Tag Archives: Denver landscaping

Plant Highlight: The Poppy Mallow Flatters Xeriscaped Lawns

Xeriscaped or grass-free landscapes present some unique challenges when it comes to adding plants and features. You have to consider watering as well as design requirements.

The poppy mallow flower, or winecup, is perfect for Xeriscaped lawns, as it provides color and texture while also being drought-tolerant. It is a purple flower with a white dot at the base with five petals. The stems of the poppy mallow spread out up to three feet, covering a large area with bright blooms that are open during the day and close at night and after pollination.

Plant Highlight: The Poppy Mallow Flatters Xeriscaped Lawns

Source: Wikimedia

There are several design options when using poppy mallow flower in your yard. You can use them as specimen plants to be enjoyed on their own, as groundcover for a large space, or mixed with a mass of other plants and flowers. You can weave it through a rock garden, place on a sunny slope, or hang it from retaining walls.

When grouping with other plants, consider adding contrasting textures. The thick lacy stems of the poppy mallow along with its bright blooms could work well with small or grass-like plants or plants with blue or gray leaves, such as Blue Spruce sedum. White, yellow, and blue are all colors that will complement the poppy mallow’s purple blooms.

As a native to the High Plains area of the United States, which includes Colorado, poppy mallow flower is a great option for Xeriscapes. They tolerate sun and drought and thrive at high elevations. You’ll enjoy their bright and colorful blooms from summer through the fall.

For help with selecting plants for your Xeriscaped yard, contact Lifescape.

Consider Elegantly Placed Vertical Gardens for Spring

Smaller yards are coming back in vogue due to people living in denser neighborhoods and desiring to minimize landscape maintenance. Let’s say you want to exercise your green thumb this spring, but you don’t have a lot of space. Consider vertical gardens to take advantage of unused space and give your landscape an elegant look.

Source: Lifescape Colorado

Source: Lifescape Colorado

A popular vertical gardening strategy is known as espaliering, which means “to train trees, shrubs, and vines on a frame, so they grow into a flat plane,” according to Houzz. This is commonly seen as grapevines growing over an arbor, but there are many other plants you can use and ways you can train them to spread. Some ideas include:

Informal espaliers. Informal espaliers allow plants, such as bougainvillea, to grow in a free form pattern. These should be placed at eye level for greatest effect. A great example of an informal espalier is when vines are trained to grow along the cracks of a stone wall.

Formal espaliers. Unlike informal espaliers, formal espaliers have a very defined shape and direction. Popular patterns include single branch, u-shaped, tiers, fences and fan shapes.

espaliering

Source: Houzz

Privacy screens. These espaliers not only look good and are easy to construct, but they also provide privacy, which can be an issue in suburban and urban environments.

Dramatic backdrops. This type of espalier is a great way to soften a large wall in your garden or even a wall of your home. The plant is trained to grow along the wall, resulting in a mass of leaves and foliage covering the area, which creates a dramatic look.

Many plants can be espaliered, including seasonal vegetables, fruit trees, evergreens, perennial vines, berries, and more. What sorts of plants would you like to espalier in your yard? Let us know by leaving a comment.

Maintain Landscapes Naturally & Efficiently with Greenscaping

If you want your lawn to reflect your clean lifestyle, greenscaping is the way to go. Knowing where to start, however, is another matter entirely. Each year, American homeowners spend countless hours every year mowing, raking, clipping, and landscaping. Just by trying to keep our landscapes and property values up to par, we create an unnerving amount of waste.

Additionally, yard waste contributes to already overflowing landfills known to produce methane gas and carbon dioxide, harmful gasses associated with climate change. You can take charge of your own environmental impacts by greenscaping — grasscycling, mulching, and composting. Not only can you better your environment, but you can save money in the process!

Grasscycling

Grasscycling is an incredibly simple way to reduce yard waste. All it entails is mowing your grass to no lower than 2 to 3 inches tall. Then, you leave the grass clippings where they fall and allow them to naturally decompose. Healthy grass shouldn’t be cut more than an inch, and because grass clippings are composed of 90 percent water, they will decompose and return nutrients to the soil quickly. One study has also suggested that grasscycling takes up to 38 percent less time than conventional mowing.

Source: Pixabay

Source: Pixabay

Mulching

Organic mulch made from chipped or shredded wood waste and dried leaves can greatly benefit your landscape. Mulching is the act of spreading thin layers of organic waste around plants and trees to help retain water, reduce weed growth, regulate soil temperatures, and constantly add nutrients back to the soil. As we discussed earlier, grass clippings make for excellent mulch. Another recycling idea is to donate unwanted plants to local schools, churches, and charities.

Composting

Composting turns ordinary yard waste into a natural soil additive that your soil will soak in like a sponge. Compost allows soil to better absorb air and resist erosion. You can create your own compost pile right in the backyard! To get started, just throw in food scraps, fruit peals, manure, grass clippings, and leaves.

Source: Pixabay

Source: Pixabay

Lifescape Colorado is dedicated to helping you make your landscaping dreams come true. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

Frigid Colorado Temps Wreak Havoc on Landscapes

The November snowstorm in Colorado was one of the most severe since the Halloween freeze of 1991.  In 1991, Denver saw a dip from a high of 71 degrees on October 27 to a record low of 7 degrees on October 29. In 2014, Denver went from 64 degrees on November 10 to a record low of -13 degrees on November 12, making it the third largest temperature decrease ever recorded in the area. Even more interesting is the fact that all three record-breaking drops have occurred in the last 12 months.

Source: Pixabay

Source: Pixabay

These temperature swings have taken trees off guard, resulting in brown and frozen foliage. Some trees also went winter dormancy at a weakened state while other plants were at the risk of fatal frost damage.

There are several ways homeowners and landscapers can battle harmful frost.

  • Choose plants that are tough, durable, and proven to thrive in colder climates and your particular region.
  • Prevent planting in frost pockets or areas of your garden where cold air flows and pools. Additionally, place any plants that are more tender in the sunniest spots of your garden.
  • Do not apply any nitrogen-rich fertilizers at season’s end because this will make plants softer and more exposed and apt to frost damage.
  • Insulate soil at the base of trees, shrubs, and plants. Bare soil will not hold heat on its own. A thick layer of mulch or other organic matter can be used to trap in heat, protect roots, and prevent freezing.
  • Avoid dry soil. When soil loses all moisture and becomes dry, it releases heat more rapidly. Thirsty trees, shrubs, and plants will then become stressed and are more prone to frost affliction. When conditions turn dry, winter watering can help to protect trees, shrubs, and plants from falling victim to detrimental freezing.

If a plant suffers from frost damage, don’t automatically give up on it! After a thaw, try pruning out damaged growth, applying fertilizer, creating gaps to remove frost pockets, and re-firming ground soil around plants. If treated properly, some plants can survive and show re-growth come summer.

Is your Colorado landscape looking a little limp after the most recent record-breaking frost? Our team here at Lifescape would love to help bring your landscape back to life and prepare your yard for a beautiful, colorful, and lush spring and summer season. Contact us online or by calling (303) 831-8310.

Design & Plan Your Landscape with Lifescape Colorado

Lifescape is a comprehensive outdoor living solution. Our passionate and experienced team of professionals takes projects from conception to completion making sure every element and design decision aligns with the client’s wants and needs. Committed to the environment, every project is also carefully conducted to preserve resources and reduce carbon footprints.

Here is how Lifescape approaches each phase of the landscape architecture and design process.

During the initial consultation, we like to walk through the project site with our client and begin discussing goals, budget, and any concerns or challenges. This is usually a great time for clients to share any photos with our team to discuss innovative ideas for achieving the type of space the client envisions.

Source: Lifescape Colorado

Source: Lifescape Colorado

We dig a little deeper in the next phase, taking measurements and inventory of materials and elements already on the site in a thorough analysis. Using all this information and the criteria set by the client, we develop a conceptual plan and a project budget. We incorporate options and ranges to give the client the opportunity to customize with decisions related to project scope, materials, and special features.

Once we arrive at the final material selections and project scope, we are able to devise planting and construction plans. Every detail is meticulously calculated and blueprinted to ensure a smooth and economical execution.

Before construction plans are set into motion, our project construction operations manager reviews the designs and plans with the client and together they set a starting date for the project.

An additional pre-construction meeting with the client, manager, and on-site foreman offers the chance to discuss how the project will be directed and architecturally supervised. Change orders are reviewed and addressed swiftly, and a punch list is created and the construction agreement is pending until completion.

Source: Lifescape Colorado

Source: Lifescape Colorado

The service team then takes over from here. This team of horticulturists administers aftercare and completes any necessary work per the warranty walk-through. The client can work with our maintenance team to design a custom program for regularly maintaining their landscape.

As our service team takes care of weeding, pruning, trimming, watering and any other maintenance needs, you enjoy more time actually enjoying your beautiful new landscape.

If the white winter in Colorado has you dreaming of a lush and colorful spring landscape, contact Lifescape online or by calling 303.831.8310. We’d love to discuss a potential landscape architecture project and set up your initial consultation.