Tag Archives: Denver landscaping

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.

Grow Brilliant Trees with Natural Mulch from the Yard

If your aim is to achieve better tree health and form, mulching is one of the best practices you can adopt.

What is Mulching?

The act of mulching involves placing materials over the soil surface to help reduce water loss, prevent erosion, and reduce weeds. Mulched trees are healthier and more resistant, and you’ll end up spending less time fighting common tree problems.

There are many different kinds of mulch with the two major types being organic and inorganic. Inorganic mulch is not recommended because it does not improve soil structure or provide nutrients. Organic mulch, on the other hand, improves soil quality and fertility and decomposes naturally. Wood chips, pine needles, hardwood, softwood bark, leaves, and compost mixes are all considered acceptable types of organic mulch.

Source: Pixabay

Source: Pixabay

Tips for Growing Brilliant Trees with Natural Mulch 

  • It’s crucial to forego laying down your organic mulch until the area has been fully rid of any lingering weeds. After weeding, make sure the layer of mulch is thick enough to prevent future growth.
  • You’ll need to replenish your mulch several times a year. This practice will help maintain the ideal 2 to 3 inch depth optimal for better mulch performance.
  • Don’t over-pile mulch against the trunks or stems of plants and trees. Doing so can stress the stem tissues and can lead to the development of disease, insect problems, and girdled roots. Also, if mulch is piled high on the trunks of young trees, rodents may inhabit the area and chew away the bark of the tree.
  • If finer mulch is blanketed too thickly, the penetration of water and air may be reduced.
  • Specific plants will benefit from different kinds of mulch, so do your research before choosing a mulch.

    Source: Pixabay

    Source: Pixabay

Improper mulching materials and practices can result in damage done to your property. Always remember not to go overboard with mulching, as too much can be harmful to your trees. However, with proper methods, the health and value of your trees will skyrocket!

Do you need some guidance with growing brilliant trees on your landscape? Contact Lifescape Colorado today to schedule a consultation.

Top Plants & Flowers for Butterfly Gardening

It’s hard to imagine a sunny garden scene without the ephemeral flutter of butterfly wings. In fact, it’s impossible. Without butterflies, which are very important pollinators, many of our favorite blooms would never grow in the first place.

Introduce Plants and Flowers That Attract Butterflies & Other Pollinators

The benefit of adding butterfly-friendly plants is that you will also attract a host of other pollinators, including honey bees, bumble bees, and birds. It transforms your garden into a veritable playground for winged creatures, and you and your guests will delight in the additions.

Keep in mind that butterflies prefer a break from the wind and open, sunny spaces so creating these environments will also help to attract them. Organic gardening practices are also very important since insecticides kill pollinators.

Here are suggestions for plants and flowers that attract butterflies and do well in our Rocky Mountain climate.

Asters (Asters, spp.) . These cheerful flowers are in the same family as sun flowers or daisies. They bloom towards the end of summer and well into fall, which make them an attractive candidate for gardeners who want to add a bit of interest when other blooms are beginning to fade. They are drought-tolerant and prefer sandy, well-draining soil – another boon for our area.

Source: Wikimedia

Source: Wikimedia

Butterfly bush (Buddleia davidii).  Every yard is enhanced by this robust species of plant that blooms with white to purple flowers. They grow six to 15-feet tall and can withstand temperatures below 20° F. Butterfly bush also remains evergreen during the winter months, which is another bonus.

Source: Wikimedia

Source: Wikimedia

Rabbitbrush (Chrysothamnus nauseosus). Those interested in a Xeriscape may recognize this plant species. Rabbitbrush grows wild throughout Colorado and much of the Southwest. A desert and high-desert plant, it is decidedly drought-tolerant.

Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca). This is another native Colorado plant and it serves a very important role; Milkweed is a host for Monarch butterfly larvae. These are an endangered species, so adding milkweed to your garden is a wonderful way to support their comeback.

Other plants that attract butterflies, hummingbirds and bees include Culver’s root, blue sage, bee balm, and purple prairie clover.

Contact Lifescape Colorado to design a landscape that includes the plants, flowers, and other landscape features that attract butterflies.

Spring Ready: Simple Garden Projects for Planting

This time of year can feel like Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride when it comes to the weather patterns in the Colorado Rockies. Warm, spring-like days that have gardener’s hands itching to get in the soil are followed by unexpected storms and freezing temperatures. In other words, your garden isn’t ready to be planted just yet.

7 Simple Garden Projects to Get Your Garden Spring and Planting Ready

Even so, there are plenty of simple garden projects that will satiate your desire to work in the garden without jeopardizing the lives of innocent plantlings.

Photo: Anne F Walters Company via Houzz
    1. Clear drainage ditches. Snow melt and spring rains need a place to drain. If your drainage ditches are full of fall and winter debris, that water will flood your yard and can do damage to existing plants and plant beds. Clear drainage ditches and expand or rebuild them as necessary.
    2. Repair trellises and fences. These aren’t killed off by frosts and freezes, so the good work you do now on trellises and fence lines will last through the growing season.
    3. Weed and mulch. Get those early weeds out of there while they’re still young and easy to pull. Then mulch bare and freshly weeded spots to enhance soil and prevent new weeds from emerging.
    4. Test your soil. Colorado doesn’t have the richest soil quality, so have it tested to determine which amendments are needed this year.
    5. Prune and thin dead foliage. If you wait too long to clear dead foliage from ornamental grasses and other perennials, you risk doing damage to the new shoots. Use a few good weather days to prune the dead stuff from trees and plants, and rip out any skeleton plants left in your vegetable garden.
    6. Prepare your lawn. Start raking the lawn to get dead plant materials and debris out of the way. It will aerate the soil and let more sunlight in. Your lawn will be ready for re-seeding soon.
    7. Make plans with a landscape designer. If you plan on using a landscape designer this year, make your appointment now as the calendar fills up quickly this time of year.
Photo: Lifescape Colorado. via Houzz

Would you like a little help with spring landscaping and planting? Have a few ideas you’d like to run by a professional? Contact Lifescape Colorado to schedule a consultation.