Tag Archives: Denver landscaping

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.

Cheerful Spring Container Gardening Designs & Ideas

Are you itching to start your spring planting? We understand, but you’re rolling the dice this time of year since we’re still too far out from the official start of spring; future snow storms and freezes are a given. The good news is you can still put those green thumbs of yours to work by creating container garden designs and layouts that will add early spring cheer to your porches, plant beds, and patios.

Tips for Achieving Beautiful Container Garden Designs and Layouts

Container gardens are becoming quite the rage. They are versatile, easy to manage, and portable. That latter quality is especially desirable in a climate where having the wherewithal to move containers in and out, depending on the weather report, allows you to enjoy early and late landscape interest when the rest of your neighborhood is surrounded by a sea of winter grays.

Use these tips to create cheerful spring container gardens, even while the snow flies.

Keep containers consistent. It’s easy to get carried away with the myriad of container designs, textures, and colors out there. However, if you go too crazy, it can look like a big mish-mash, rather than a well-designed landscape arrangement. Try to keep your containers consistent, especially within the same grouping, so the plants and blooms remain the same.

If, on the other hand, you have a few prized containers that you want to show off, consider keeping a pot or two empty altogether this year, or plant them with a single tree, grass varietal, or other plants with upward movement, so the plant and container aren’t in competition.

Use a color wheel. If you aren’t naturally creative or artistic, choosing your flowers and plants can be daunting. Grab a color wheel, and use it to assist you. Complementary colors lie directly across from one another on the wheel, and analogous colors lie side by side in groups of threes.

Skip the groupings altogether. If you’re planting your containers in a pinch, forget the idea of using multiple plants in the same pot, and keep it simple by using one plant per container.

Photo: Lifescape Colorado. via Houzz

Then, when you have a minute, you can play around by grouping the containers together to create monochromatic or colorful displays and to yield the variations in height that will make your container garden more interesting. Looking for new ideas for your containers this year? Call on Lifescape, and our design team will be happy to create and maintain your container gardens for you.

Tips for Brightening & Sprucing Up Garden Pathways

Once the last snow melts and sunny days outnumber the cloudy ones, garden pathways can look a bit bedraggled. Often, our clients’ pathways need more sprucing up than their plant and flower beds do.

Photo: Lifescape Colorado. via Houzz

Tips for Updating Garden Paths and Walkways

Whether you are doing a little post-winter maintenance and repair or are looking to expand your garden path and walkway design, we have a few tips and considerations to share with you.

Choose the right material(s). Don’t just lay down the material you like the best on sight. Consider how a path is used and the level of maintenance you are interested in providing. Pea gravel or rocks are attractive, versatile, and makes a satisfying crunch underfoot, but they can scatter and will require tidying up and replacement from time to time. Decomposed granite is durable, affordable, and works well for natural Colorado landscapes, however, it will need to be weeded throughout spring and summer because established weeds are difficult to remove.

Work with a landscape designer who can balance the aesthetics you want with the reality of your lifestyle. The Lifescape team is always available to assist with landscape maintenance as well, which can allow you to select whatever pathway material you like.

Replant if necessary. You may have found plants you used as path and walkway borders didn’t work as well as anticipated. Perhaps they overgrew the path too quickly, were sticky or prickly, or shed messy fruit or blossoms that stuck to shoe soles and feet. Spring is the time to transplant these offenders to a better site, and select plants that are better suited to the environment. If it’s a high-traffic area or you have small children, plant low-growing plants that can take a beating. Plants like creeping thyme or Corsican mint fit the bill, plus they release a delicious fragrance when crushed.

Add lighting. Pathways are much safer if you add attractive lighting to pathway borders. It keeps them functional after the sun sets and will also add to your landscape’s ambiance. Consider solar lanterns to spare the expense of electrical work.

Source: Lifescape Colorado

Source: Lifescape Colorado

Are your garden pathways ready for a little makeover? Schedule a consultation with the Lifescape design team.