Tag Archives: Denver landscaping

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.

Inviting Front Yard Structures for a Welcoming Spring

When you think of attractive landscape structures, odds are you envision gazebos, fountains, fireplaces and other hardscape designs found most typically in a backyard. Your front yard, however, may also be begging for a little structural attention and curb appeal.

5 Ideas For Creating a Gorgeous Front Yard This Spring

Creating a gorgeous front yard is always a good idea, whether you are planning to sell your home in the near future or are simply ready for a front yard facelift.

    1. Show off your blooms. A beautiful arbor, draped with spring’s bountiful blooms, is an iconic garden visual. Arbors and pergolas can also make a wonderful entrance to your home, focusing your guests’ attention on landscape highlights, the walkway, and the front door. Combined with a fence, they can also create a sense of privacy and mystery.
    2. Demonstrate your artistic side. Lawn art is often confused with tacky gnomes and ceramic deer when, in fact, high-quality garden sculptures can create focal points that catch and surprise the eye. Invest in a local artist, and add a new piece of sculpture to your front yard.
    3. Optimize the corners. Cut out the corners of your lawn (hooray for water conservation!) and plant them with drought-tolerant plants and shrubs that will provide colorful interest year-round.
    4. Install a water feature. Those corners you just cut out are also a great place to install a water feature. It will help to mask traffic or neighbor noise and is attractive to passersby, porch sitters, and bathing birds alike.
    5. Update your front yard lighting. Does your front yard lighting consist of a porch light or a few flood lights? Start thinking more holistically, and add front yard lighting for both safety and ambiance. Choose welcoming lights for your porch, entrance way, and to light the path(s). Consider uplighting to highlight a tree or two, the aforementioned art or sculpture or to illuminate your newly installed fountain.

Are you ready add a new structure or two to your front yard? The team at Lifescape is ready to design, build and maintain a front yard that heartily welcomes spring.

Geometric Designs Dazzle Your Landscape

Geometric designs have been used in landscape designs for thousands of years. Greeks and Romans used boxwood hedges, which were manipulated into the shapes and arrangements they wanted, whether it be a manicured plant in the shape of an animal or part of an intricate labyrinth. Stone tiles were laid in perfectly executed diamonds, or linear walkways ended in circular seating areas complete with a fountain.

Ideas for Garden Hardscaping with Geometric Designs

Garden hardscaping with geometric designs has continued into the formal English garden, as well as contemporary gardens, providing a tidy aesthetic. Look how the following gardens have included geometric shapes into their hardscaping plans.

Circles. We mentioned the idea of linear walkways that lead to a circular open area, often containing a water feature or planter bed. Here is an example of this from the Lifescape gallery. This lush garden proves that you can blend the formality of geometric designs with a more casual landscape to find a happy medium. The gray gravel is less formal than pavers, and while the plants in the center follow the shape of the circle, they are loosely pruned for a softer edge.

Geometric Designs Dazzle Your Landscape

Source: Lifescape Associates

Squares. Squares are the most popular geometric shape used in landscapes. They are easy to achieve, whether it is a square of lawn bordered by a plant bed or square pavers arranged in specific design. Here is an example a more formal installation where square pavers are set with smooth river stones in between for contrast. You can achieve an informal version of this using wood dividers and rock, like we see in this West Coast garden. This idea would work very well for a Colorado Xeriscape.

Photo via Houzz

Geometry on the lawn. One way to apply geometry, and minimize water hungry lawn square footage, is to implement pavers with your lawn. The pavers create both movement and contrast. They can lead the eye to a focal point like your home, a bench, or a beautiful plant bed.

Would you like assistance using geometry as a foundation for your hardscape design? Schedule a consultation with Lifescape Colorado.

Enhance Your Landscape with a Gorgeous Courtyard Design

Enhance Your Landscape with a Gorgeous Courtyard Design

Source: Lifescape Colorado

A courtyard is a private oasis in the best sense. It is a place to sit in peace surrounded by nature or entertain guests, while having all of the conveniences of home just a few steps away. Here are some tips for creating beautiful courtyard designs.

Create Comfortable Sitting Areas

In small courtyards, creating sitting areas is as simple as setting up a small table and chairs. Larger courtyards call for a different approach, however, to keep things visually balanced. One method uses the same principals that interior designers use for defining separate spaces indoors. Creating several small sitting areas, each with their own unique views or special aesthetic, breaks up the space and adds warmth and comfort. Here we built a low, semi-circle wall with built-in seating. The fire pit makes this area cozier, even on chilly mornings or evenings.

Pathways for Function and Beauty

Easily navigable walkways make a courtyard more welcoming, and the design and colors used can enhance other architectural or landscape features, creating design cohesion. For this pathway, we used colors and materials that complemented other features of the home and landscape.

Designing a Side Court

Side yards can be put to wonderful use as a singular courtyard or as part of your front or back courtyards. The wall opposite the home will strongly influence the ambiance of this space, so add beauty to it where you can. One way is to add a fountain, as we did in this side court, and flank it with lush greenery in raised beds.

Soften Hardscaping with Plants

Hardscape features can serve dual purposes for privacy and decoration. Without the softening influence of plants, however, they can make the space feel cold and empty. Use plants to cover walls or place container arrangements nearby. The planter atop the pillar here adds visual appeal to the sitting area and creates a transition between the courtyard area and the surrounding landscape.

Lifescape’s talented landscape architects and designers can help make your courtyard dreams come to life. Contact us today to learn about our services.