Tag Archives: Denver landscaping

Adding Color to Artful Gardens

Anyone interested in Denver landscape design considers a barren yard the same way an artist views a blank canvas. Landscape designers use artistic principles when planning their visions — balance, texture, depth and color work to create a unique space so that something beautiful appears in every corner.

The following are tips you can use to add color to your artful garden.

Better Homes and Gardens

Source: Better Homes and Gardens

Seasonal interest. If you aren’t careful, you can end up with a garden bursting with color through spring and summer, but then goes flat through the fall and winter months. Experienced gardeners choose plants carefully, ensuring visual interest all year-round. It’s especially fun to watch colorful berries attract winter birds when the rest of the world seems to be quietly hibernating.

Better Homes and Gardens

Source: Better Homes and Gardens

Bright focal points. Vibrant reds, bright yellows and deep oranges capture a viewer’s attention immediately. Grow plants with bright colors in strategic areas to intentionally draw someone’s gaze. This can also be helpful in leading the eye away from things that are less attractive, like your garbage cans or the compost pile.

Better Homes and Gardens

Source: Better Homes and Gardens

Use your walls. Use blank walls to showcase climbing, flowering vines, or to display seasonal artwork. If possible, keep your walls a neutral color, so they will complement any plant choice.

Better Homes and Gardens

Source: Better Homes and Gardens

Take advantage of containers. Plant containers to add depth and to achieve the effect of different landscape levels. The containers can become their own showpieces when they are brightly colored or decorated with an attractive design.

Better Homes and Gardens

Source: Better Homes and Gardens

Create a bright spot. It’s easy for a shady corner of the garden to become monochromatic. Use plants with pale green, yellow and chartreuse tones to add a spot of light. Examples include Japanese forest grass, variegated bamboo and Thuja occidentalis (Sherwood Frost), which does well in our Colorado climate.

Better Homes and Gardens

Source: Better Homes and Gardens

Add hardscape structures. Adding a brick walkway, a decorative fountain or a colorful garden shed can create various focal points and different colors in your Denver landscape design.

The Lifescape design team is pleased to help you add color to your artful landscape. Contact us and let the color magic begin!

Creating Definition Within Your Landscape With Planted Borders

Whether it’s a small courtyard or an outdoor living room, any landscape can benefit from a little extra definition. Creating a border not only draws attention to the space, but also adds extra emphasis, texture, and in some cases, creates a cozier, more intimate space for relaxing and entertaining.

While lots of homeowners opt for brick or other forms of hardscaping to border and define their landscapes, using plants can create an excellent effect. The Houzz ideabook “Define Your Garden Softly With Planted Borders” explains: “Plants have the edge in several ways, including being cost effective, providing year-round interest in foliage and flowers, and most of all, having the ability to soften the joint between pathways and plantings.”

Boxwood hedging was a favorite of English botanist John Parkinson and remains a favorite among landscape designers today for more formal landscapes. It can be used alone, or with another low-lying plant to create more dimension when the boxwood has been hard clipped.

boxwood hedging

Photo via Houzz

Perennials are another great choice for creating a border within a landscape, offering seasonal foliage that is especially refreshing when compared to other plant species that don’t thrive well in certain seasons.


Photo via Houzz

Planted borders have been used in this example to create symmetry and frame the fountain, which serves as the focal point of the courtyard.

bordering a focal point within a landscape

Photo via Houzz

As Sunset Magazine shares, ornamental grasses not only bring texture and interesting color to a garden border, but also motion and sound. More importantly, the magazine notes that they are “graceful threads that weave all other plants in the garden together, making them look more like family members than a convention of strangers.”

ornamental grass bordering a walkway

Photo via Sunset Magazine

 Are you interested in creating definition in your landscape with planted borders? The experts at Lifescape are here to assist you with all of your landscape design needs. Contact us today at 303-831-8310, and let’s start developing a plan for a stunning new look for your landscape!

3 Landscape Design Ideas Inspired by the Denver Botanic Gardens

When it comes to planning or updating the landscaping on your property, the possibilities on what to do with the land can be overwhelmingly endless. You have to decide: do you want trees, shrubs, or flowers? Do you prefer perennials or annuals? How much time do you want to spend taking care of the landscaped property?

One way to pare down your choices is to look to sources of inspiration. An excellent resource that can act as your “idea book” is the Denver Botanic Gardens. Either browsing at photos online or visiting the garden grounds itself offers a wealth of information on which combinations of plants go well together, what kinds of flora thrive in Colorado, what’s in season and ready to go in the ground, and which colors are hot right now. Moreover, the Denver Botanic Gardens showcases supplementary elements to add to your cache of ideas, such as water features, stonework, and interesting layout designs.

Here are some examples of what’s popular in landscaping at the moment:

Garden Paths
It’s not just the garden you want to enjoy — it’s the journey to it that should be appreciated as well. A garden path leads the way — a primer for the beauty that’s about to unfold ahead.

A rock path set to scale complements the large rocky surroundings.

a xeric_lakewood_2

— Image via Lifescape

A pea gravel path is in perfect contrast to lush lines with varying height.

— Image via Houzz

A path doesn’t have to be flat.

landscape path

— Image via Houzz

Rock Gardens
If you need a low-maintenance option, a rock garden is the way to go. Not only is little work required once it’s installed, the garden is in season year-round!

A wall of boulders provides privacy.

denver rock garden

— Image via Houzz

A unique way to utilize rock formations — as furniture!

rock garden furniture

— Image via Houzz

A simple statement.

rock garden landscape

— Image via Houzz

Flowering Trees
Certain flowering trees do well in Colorado’s Front Range despite the low humidity, arid winds, and high-alkaline clay. If you can master the green thumb needed to maintain trees like the crabapple Louisa, your property will benefit from its beauty.

a louisa crabapple

— Image via The L.A.N.D. Line

A goldenrain tree is hardy enough for Colorado’s high elevation and full, intense sunlight.

a goldenrain tree

— Image via Wikimedia Commons

For more ideas on how to landscape your property this season, contact Lifescape to survey the area, draw up plans, and make the most beautiful gardens to surround your home.


Enhance Your Outdoor Living Spaces with Landscape Lighting

The outdoor entertaining season is right around the corner. Soon we will be able to enjoy beautiful evenings at home with friends and family dining and lingering outdoors long after the sun goes down. With that in mind, now’s the perfect time to take a look at your outdoor living spaces. Could they use a bit of refreshing before your first gathering of the season?

It’s easy to focus on the more obvious design aspects of outdoor living spaces, such as plants, furniture, and specific colors and textures. An equally important design element that should never be overlooked is landscape lighting. A well-lit landscape allows us to take in all the beauty that surrounds our homes here in Denver all evening long.

There are a variety of ways you can light up your landscape to enhance its beauty and bring it to life even at night. The American Lighting Association offers the following suggestions:

  • Illuminate paths and steps so that guests can walk about safely. Low-level path lights and post lanterns provide a warm glow that not only brightens up walkways, but also lights up nearby plants. As the Houzz ideabook “The Top 3 Ways to Light Up Your Landscape” notes, there are also path lights that blend into their surroundings for a more subtle approach.
  • Create a cozy lighting scheme for decks, patios, and porches. Illuminate these spaces with smaller, low-voltage lights placed under steps, railings, and benches. Consider installing spotlight that can shine down from the branches of nearby trees.
  • Pools and fountains create a relaxing backdrop for spring and summer gatherings. Many people choose LED lighting to help set the ambiance, but another fun option is fiber optic lighting because it creates a stunning “starry background” in and around the pool.
landscape lighting for outdoor living spaces

Project by Lifescape Associates

Are you ready to light up your outdoor spaces for spring and summertime entertaining? Contact the experts at Lifescape today. Our designers can help you achieve an outdoor lighting scheme that creates a welcoming atmosphere for you and your guests to enjoy!

Water Conservation Tips as the Colorado Drought Continues

The winter brought very little snowfall to the Denver area, and if the predictions of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for spring turn out to be true, the drought situation is likely to worsen over the next few months, National Geographic reports.

The Denver region is currently listed as being in an “abnormally dry” state. Climatologist and head of the Colorado Climate Center at Colorado State University Nolan Doesken says it’s currently a waiting game to see what spring brings. He shared with The Denver Post that “If we don’t get a big storm or two, summer is a problem.”

water wise landscaping

Is your landscape prepared to tolerate more dry conditions?

Andy Pineda of the Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District agreed, sharing with The New York Times that “We only have a month or two, and we are so far behind it’s going to take storms of epic amounts just to get us back to what we would think is normal.”

We all know that drought wreaks havoc on our plants. And in some cases, certain plants can actually accelerate a fire. With water in high demand and running low in supply, it’s important to consider how you can decrease the amount of water used for your landscape by incorporating water conservation practices.

The Denver Water website is a wonderful resource that offers the most up-to-date water conservation efforts in practice, not only for outdoor water use, but indoor water use, too. Here’s a few of our favorite outdoor conservation tips and suggestions from Denver Water.

  • Follow the Watering Times Chart for a monthly breakdown of what needs to be watered, the length of time you should water per zone, and which irrigation systems to run.
  • Be sure to choose the right grass for your yard, based on your land and lifestyle. A landscaping professional can help you make sure that the grass you select can stand up to drought.
  • Check outdoor water features regularly for leaks so that repairs can be made quickly to reduce water waste. Also, don’t run them during the hottest part of the day or at night.
  • Consider xeriscaping. This landscaping practice adds beauty with plants that are typically native to the area and can thrive with little water use. Click here to see one of Lifescape’s xeriscape projects.

For more water-wise landscaping tips to help you through the drought, be sure to take a look at Denver Water’s Water Wise Landscape Handbook.

For professional assistance in making sure your landscape is prepared to withstand what could be another very dry spring and summer, contact the team at Lifescape today.