Tag Archives: Denver landscaping

Prevent Weed Growth Organically & Without Chemicals

Warmer weather means you will be spending more time outside in your garden and yard. Plants and trees are in bloom, the grass is growing again, and you will be faced with doing some landscape maintenance to keep things looking good.

One issue to prepare for is weeds. You should try and weed your garden or yard at least once a week to keep things under control. However, if you have young children or are interested in organic gardening or landscaping, you may wish to avoid using chemical weed killers or pesticides.

Prevent Weed Growth Organically & Without Chemicals

Try weeding with your hands and tools to spruce up your garden. Source: Shutterstock

The good news is that there are many organic and pesticide-free ways to keep weeds at bay. Sunset Magazine recommends pulling up weeds up with your hands or using special gardening tools, such as gardening hoes. You can even use a simple screwdriver to remove weeds from cracks between pavement. Other suggestions include mowing, putting down mulch or ground covers, and smothering.

If you go the route of mulch, you can use an organic mulch such as straw, grass clippings, shredded bark, or leaves, according to OrganicLife Magazine. Mulches keep sunlight from helping weeds grow. To amplify the effect of organic mulch, you can place a layer of newspaper, kraft paper, or cardboard below the mulch.

Prevent Weed Growth Organically & Without Chemicals

Use mulch to organically help preventing weeds. Source: Lifescape Colorado

Solarization is another strategy recommended by OrganicLife that uses the sun’s energy to “cook” weeds. This involves getting rid of all weeds in your garden, then moistening the soil and placing a plastic cover over the area for six weeks.

Finally, Good Housekeeping has a few ideas for homemade weed killers. Some that haven’t already been mentioned are pouring boiling water or vinegar on weeds, using salt as a weed barrier on lawn edgings, and other places a mower can’t reach, making physical barriers out of pressure-treated decking, outnumbering weeds with other beneficial plants, and even eating edible weeds!

Have weed problems in your yard? Contact Lifescape for help with landscape design and landscape maintenance.

Designing Intimate Outdoor Rooms for Homes

Having a yard is great, but how do you make it feel cozy? Maybe you have a small backyard and aren’t sure what to do with it. You need to divide up your landscape for different uses or features. One great feature to add to your yard is an outdoor living room, where you can relax, dine, or entertain.

Designing Intimate Outdoor Rooms for Homes

Source: Lifescape Colorado

You can approach your outdoor room just as you would any indoor living space. You will need furniture, flooring (even if it’s just grass), a style, color scheme, etc., not to mention plants and perhaps a water feature. If you’re struggling to decide on a style, French garden style is a classic choice that suits just about any space. This is because of the symmetry and order of the style.

Some hallmarks of French garden style are geometric shapes, boxwood hedges, well-manicured shrubs, neat garden beds, lavender and stone. If you have a small courtyard, this style would translate very well.

One way to combine an intimate outdoor room and lots of plantings is a pocket garden. If you’re short on lawn area, make your outdoor room feel just as lush by adding dense groupings of planters to create an urban jungle. You can even use mirrors to make the space feel larger. Another small space strategy is to choose a simple neutral color palette and make use of every square foot, such as using built-in benches on a balcony.

Short on budget? You need little more than a picnic table, some string lights, and climbing plants to create an inexpensive outdoor entertaining area.

lifescape colorado outdoor living

Source: Lifescape Colorado

Need more ideas for your small yard? Consider adding some lighting to extend your use of an outdoor room to night time. Add a new outdoor area rug to pull your seating area together or refresh an existing one. If you’re laying pavers, align them diagonally to create the illusion of more space. Especially in a small space, choose properly scaled furnishings and avoid clutter.

What are your suggestions for creating an intimate outdoor room? Let us know by leaving a comment.

Decorative Design Features for the Summer Xeriscaped Landscape

Summer is fast approaching, and with it comes sun-filled days and cooler evenings that entice you to spend as much time enjoying the outdoors as possible. Whether you opted for a xeriscaped landscape to help conserve water or because they do not require as much maintenance as traditional types, you have more time to enjoy your outdoor space than you would with a traditional style. Your summer can be filled with cookouts with the kids, hosting parties for friends, and quiet evenings just relaxing with some of these outdoor design features for landscapes.

Decorative Design Features for the Summer Xeriscaped Landscape

Source: Lifescape Colorado

Pergolas are an excellent way to define a room-like space in your xeriscaped landscape. Due to their versatility, pergolas can create a whimsical shaded area from the hot sun to enjoy with your kids and with a few changes to your accessories, lend themselves perfectly well to an al fresco dining area when hosting friends.

Another design feature that can define outdoor spaces or highlight specific areas is the use of an arbor or trellis. An arbor can be designed to create a unique canopy for dining or seating areas, or it can be used for walkway entrances for decor. The use of a trellis can run from adding splashes of color throughout your xeriscape to creating privacy screens where needed.

If cookouts and grilling are a big part of your summer activities, a built-in grill should definitely be on your wish list. You can have one designed to blend right into your landscape or choose a style that creates a focal point for entertaining. If a BBQ is not something that appeals, you can create warmth and comfort with an outdoor fireplace instead. While we have to be mindful of drought conditions and fire bans throughout the summer, there are many options that make cozying up to a fireplace possible.

Source: Lifescape Colorado

Source: Lifescape Colorado

Lifescape can help you with even more great design ideas so you get the most out of your Denver xeriscaped landscape this summer. Visit our website for more inspiration, and contact us to start working on your project right away.

Water-Wise Perennials for Colorado Xeriscapes

If you picture cacti, sparse shrubbery, and rocks when you think of xeriscaping, please don’t! Even though xeriscaping might have quite a “dry” reputation, it can actually manifest into vivid, dynamic garden landscapes. According to Colorado State University, the recent ingenuity and experimentation of modern gardeners has resulted in a new positive outlook on water-wise gardens — one that is supported by the recent widespread availability of water-wise plants from dry climates around the globe.

Water-Wise Perennials for Colorado Xeriscapes

Source: Lifescape Colorado

Just because water-wise plants survive on less water than other more traditional varieties doesn’t mean they aren’t also beautiful. In reality, they have the potential to be not only useful but also vibrant and provocative. In a modern Colorado garden, you’ll often find grasses, perennials, and wildflowers that are native to the Rocky Mountain area. Another popular option is introducing plants originally hailing from the Himalayas, Andes, Middle East, and South Africa.

Perennials are well-suited for Colorado xeriscapes for several reasons. They survive for more than two years, require plenty of sun to flower, and rejuvenate the landscape. Of course, native plants are also loved for their drought tolerance and infrequent need for watering. We absolutely love the idea of mixing them with shrub borders and especially using them to create a unique, visual display of color.

Popular water-wise perennials native to Western North America are pentsemons which create stunning red, orange, white, blue, and lavender flowers, red-orange blanket flower, and crimson-flowered beebalm.

Source: Pixabay

Source: Pixabay

Other prized North America flowers include yellow black-eyed Susan, purple coneflower, poppy mallow, New England aster, gayfeather, and perennial flax.

Add a bit more flavor to your garden with perennials from the Mediterranean region. Three that typically thrive in Colorado are lavender, red valerian, and iris.

For the lucky homeowners with numerous trees, a select few water-wise perennials will actually do quite well in shady conditions. These plants include golden banner, cardinal flower, candy tuft, harebell, gasplant, pansy, and columbine.

With drought being a big concern for most of Colorado, you can’t argue that planting water-wise perennials are a smart decision. For help selecting the perfect perennials for your Colorado xeriscape, contact Lifescape.

Put the Green Back in Your Lawn: Top Lawn Care Tips

April is National Lawn Care Month, and we want to help you get your lawn green again with some lawn care tips.

Source: Lifescape Colorado

Source: Lifescape Colorado

First, you want to examine the content of your soil to be sure it is healthy. Good soil contains microorganisms, is well drained, and promotes oxygen flow. You can contact your local county extension agent or other community resources to test the pH balance of your soil to determine what nutrients may need to be added.

Determine if the grass you have or are considering planting is suitable for your climate. This is a major factor for Colorado homeowners, as many homeowners opt for grass-free landscapes due to drought restrictions and our climate. If you do go with grass, you can either lay sod or grow it from seed. Planting season will depend on the type of grass. Keep grass moist but not too wet.

Another reason to have your soil tested is to help determine how much and what type of fertilizer you may need for your lawn. Going with a slow-release fertilizer is best for reducing runoff and being sure the nutrients are absorbed. Fertilizing your lawn is a very meticulous process. Follow the 4R’s for best results: “right fertilizer at the right rate at the right time in the right place.”

Apply good mowing practices such as not cutting grass too short, not cutting the grass when it is wet, switching directions each time you mow, spreading grass clippings on your lawn, and following safety guidelines.

Source: Pixabay

Source: Pixabay

Lastly, try to avoid using chemical pesticides to control pests. Avoid pests by keeping your lawn healthy. If pesticides are necessary, be sure to follow all safety guidelines when applying.

For more tips on growing and maintaining a green lawn, contact Lifescape.