Tag Archives: Denver landscape architect

Our Expert Advice for Beginner Gardeners

Whether you’re growing a vegetable garden or want to cultivate a landscape full of greenery and beautiful blooms, a special satisfaction comes with watching your landscape thrive. When starting anything new, it’s always helpful to receive some advice from the experts. Here are a few gardening tips every Colorado gardener should follow.

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Source: Better Homes and Gardens

Care for the soil before planting. First, test the pH and nutrient level of your soil by using a testing kit or by submitting soil samples to a local extension office. After receiving the results, make any necessary amendments to make sure your soil is in tip-top shape.

denver landscape architects

Design by Lifescape Colorado

Choose the best locations for lighting needs. Always research particular plants’ lighting needs before planting. While some plants will thrive without much work, they’ll be much healthier if they receive adequate light. It’s typically easy to find out whether plants need full sun, partial sun or shade, but if in doubt, you can always contact a professional landscaping service.

denver landscape architects

Design by Lifescape Colorado

Plan for drought. Here in Colorado, it’s difficult to predict what the weather will be like from season to season. A wise gardener is a proactive one and considers the possibility of a future drought. Whenever possible choose landscape plants with low water needs. For all types of gardening, including vegetable gardening, protecting your landscape from drought means, in part, making sure the soil holds sufficient moisture. Extras, such as an irrigation controller, can also help you conserve more water.

Denver landscaping services

Design by Lifescape Colorado

Keep things tidy. This means keeping the garden weeded, thinning plants and removing dead or diseased plant parts quickly. Although there are exceptions, most plants dislike being crowded. Furthermore, crowding can contribute to the spreading of pests and plant diseases.

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Source: Better Homes and Gardens

Start small. If you’re growing a vegetable garden, focus on just a few types of vegetables the first year. In time, as you learn more about gardening, you can increase the variety. Plants to consider starting with include tomatoes, salad greens and culinary herbs.

When you’re starting a new garden or want to design a new landscape, you don’t have to do it alone. Contact us at Lifescape Colorado to learn how we can help you design your dream landscape.

Nutrient Storehouse: 5 Great Reasons to Compost

If you’re a fan of the environment and efficiency, you’ll love composting. Compost is a nutrient storehouse created by recycled food and other organic biodegradable matter. Healthy compost can feed landscape and garden beds all season long. Plus, it also increases soil water-retention, which is one of the tenets of water-wise landscaping in Colorado.

Can you tell that Lifescape Colorado is a fan of composting? Soon you will be too! Here are five great reasons to compost.

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Source: Organic Gardening

Composting prevents drought. In our arid climate, drought is always an issue. This is one of the reasons why Lifescape Colorado advocates for planting native, drought-resistant plants. Your water-wise landscape will benefit from composting because it forms healthy soil clusters that work like sponges to soak and store water that roots can tap into for longer periods of time.

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Source: Organic Gardening

Boost your soil’s nutrient content. Your plants need vitamins and minerals just like you do. However, their only nutrient source is the soil their roots are planted in. As food scraps from your kitchen and other organic matter (leaves, livestock manure, etc.) break down, they form a nutrient-rich stew. (Note: If you’re not careful, your compost may do more harm than good. Only pesticide/herbicide-free materials should be composted). When this stew is mixed with the soil in your plant beds, plant roots have a way to tap into the nutrients they need.

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Source: Organic Gardening

Natural plant protector. Because compost-rich soil creates such healthy plants, you’ll find your landscape becomes more impervious to pests and diseases.

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Source: Organic Gardening

It can cleanup tainted soil. If you moved into a home where the previous owner used harmful pesticides and fertilizers, a healthy dose of compost may be just what the soil doctor orders. Compost has been shown to treat semivolatile and volatile organic compounds (VOCs), bind heavy metals and has even been known to eliminate pesticides and wood preservatives. All of this is good for the soil and great for our environment.

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Source: Organic Gardening

Long-term environmental benefits. In addition to cleaning up the soil, composting reduces the amount of garbage you send to the landfills, which also saves on fuel and transportation costs.

Interested in learning more about composting and water-wise landscaping? Contact Lifescape Colorado for more information today.

Simple Spring Landscaping Tips

Spring is less than a month away, which means spring landscaping in Colorado is just around the corner. While it’s still a little early for planting without the worry of snow or frost, there is plenty you can do to finalize plans, prepare the soil and begin enhancing your curb appeal.

5 Simple Spring Landscaping Tips to Get You in the Mood

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Source: Better Homes and Gardens

Go ahead and plant. Just do it indoors where your plants will be safe from the remainder of our storms and freezes. Use small pots to sow hardy annuals and perennials to add to your garden in late spring.

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Source: Rugo/ Raff Ltd. Architects via Houzz

Finalize your plans. By this point, you should have a strategy in place for spring landscaping. These questions can get you started:

  • Are you hiring a professional landscaping company?
  • Will the work be done in phases or all at once?
  • Have you identified the areas that get the most sun, wind and shade, as well as those with drainage issues?
  • What pests will you be dealing with, and are you prepared for them with fencing, mesh, and/or pest-resistant plantings?
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Source: Better Homes and Gardens

Clean up your current landscape. Use weekends to begin cutting back ornamental grasses and late-blooming fall perennials. Remove dead plant material and garden debris. When the weather is nice enough, you can start turning the soil bed by bed, being careful of perennial roots and bulbs. You can also use Lifescape’s professional landscaping and maintenance services to prepare your landscape.

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Source: Better Homes and Gardens

Prepare lawns. Nothing is worse than staring at brown patches of lawn once spring is in full swing. Take soil samples to test the pH of your soil. Amend the soil as necessary and add appropriate fertilizers. Your soil will be ready for reseeding in late spring.

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Source: Better Homes and Gardens

Prepare plant beds. Similar rules apply to your plant beds. Remove dead plant material and turn the soil. Cover them with plastic sheets to create a greenhouse effect, which will warm the soil below so it’s ready for late spring plantings.

Contact Lifescape Colorado for professional assistance with your spring landscaping in Colorado.

Succulent Container Garden Designs

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Source: Janet Paik via Houzz

Colorado container gardens can add color and character to your landscape. They’re also the perfect venue for displaying unique and captivating succulents. While large containers can be a focal point on their own, smaller containers can be moved around at your whim, or brought indoors during the winter to preserve less hardy plants.

Designing your succulent container garden is a simple matter of form, color and inspiration.

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Source: Sitescapes Landscape Architecture & Planning via Houzz

Succulent 101

You’re most likely familiar with common succulents, such as Hen-and-Chicks (Sempervivum) or Jade Plant (Crassula ovata), but the world of succulents is vast. From the larger Agaves to smaller plants that replicate exotic corals, there are succulents of every shape, size and color variation. Visit a succulent nursery or peruse this article from BHG to view a wide sampling of your future medium. You’ll be better prepared to envision future container designs.

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Source: Le jardinet via Houzz

Choose the right container

One of the most wonderful features of succulents is their ability to grow in just about any container. From vertical frames to a small, chipped teacup, your container options are endless. There are two ways to approach your container design: create complements or opt for contrasts. A complementary design would match a container to the shape of the plant. Or, you might lean towards a pot that mimics the succulent’s color scheme. To contrast the plants with their containers, have fun and look for whimsical ways to create a relationship between the container and the plant inside.

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Source: Better Landscape and Gardens via Houzz

Same or different?

In some cases, you may want to designate one species of succulent per pot, and then arrange the pots to gain height, texture or color variations. Other times, you may choose to show off your succulent know-how by using a wide range of succulents in the same container, creating a veritable artist’s palate of interesting shapes and colors.

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Source: Better Landscape and Gardens via Houzz

Succulent Colorado container gardens are low-maintenance, requiring very little water or attention. However, Lifescape Colorado offers year-round landscape maintenance so your gardens and containers will always look their best.

Contact us to learn more about our landscape design and maintenance services.

Natural Hardscaping Designs

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Source: Margie Grace – Grace Design Associates via Houzz

Natural hardscape designs may seem like an oxymoron. However, Lifescape is dedicated to providing Colorado hardscaping services that blend with our clients’ natural surroundings. The term “hardscaping” refers to the non-living aspects of your backyard and garden designs and, surprisingly, these additions can add a soft natural look to your garden.

The following ideas can inspire you as you make your landscaping plans for the new year.

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Source: Jeffrey Gordon Smith Landscape Architecture via Houzz

Pathways

Consider using bulk materials for your garden paths. Options include gravel, mulch or decomposed granite. These materials will create a clear path, but the edges will be softer and provide a more fluid boundary between the path and your landscape.

Gravel paths can have a variety of looks, based on the size and color of the gravel. This brown gravel path complements the color of the home’s exterior and looks natural in the environment. It leads to an expanded area of gravel, rather than a cement patio, which enhances the soft look. Larger pebbles and stones create an entirely different look. They’re ideal in settings with a water feature, since they mimic the environment of a lake shore or ocean. A mulch path lends the most natural look of all. When it’s unfettered by a border, it appears as if it’s been there all along.

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Source: Arterra LLP Landscape Architects via Houzz

Planted pavers

Pavers are a multi-purpose landscaping tool. While they can be used to create a traditional hardscape path or patio, leaving a little space around these features can change their appearance. You can intentionally plant these spaces, fill them with pebbles or colored gravel, or leave them empty and let Mother Nature take over. Even a modern landscape design is softened with spaced pavers, such as this one. Hard concrete pavers are spaced with various gravel patterns.

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Source: Dean Herald-Rolling Stone Landscapes via Houzz

Consider the foliage

The plants you select also have an effect on hardscaping aesthetics. Use a higher ratio of plants to hardscape to immediately soften the effects. Choose round and soft plants to hide firm edges of hardscape planters and boundaries.

Contact Lifescape to learn more about our Colorado hardscaping and landscaping services.