Tag Archives: drought tolerant plants

Top Native Plants of the Mountains

Winter is the season to plan next year’s garden. At Lifescape Colorado, we’re committed to implementing green and sustainable landscapes, which means planting more Colorado native plants. After all, our native plants are more drought- and fire-resistant than other non-native counterparts.

As you begin sketching your garden layout, make sure to include the following top native plants of the mountains in your design.

Source: Better Homes and Gardens

Korean feather reedgrass (Calamagrostis brachytricha). If you love the soft, feathery and low-maintenance presence of ornamental grasses, Korean feather reedgrass is a great alternative to overused varieties seen everywhere else. They grow about 2 feet high and the feathered, flowered stalks will soar to about 3 to 4 feet high. The flowers have a light pink tinge when they bloom in the late summer, and they fade to a pale golden shade, which adds interest during the winter months.

Source: Better Homes and Gardens

Indian Paintbrush (Castilleja integra). It’s no surprise how this fire-resistant native flower got its name. The fiery, orange-red color of an Indian Paintbrush is actually comprised of bracts, not flowers. Its flowers are much smaller and interspersed amidst the bracts. Indian Paintbrush thrive with full sun and well-drained soil. You’ll also love the hummingbirds it attracts.

Source: Better Homes and Gardens

Pasqueflower (Pulsatilla patens). It makes good sense to list Pasqueflowers next because they look great next to Indian Paintbrush. They also enjoy the same soil, sun and low-water environment. They non-aggressively reseed on their own.

Source: Better Homes and Gardens

Prickly Pear (Opuntia polyacantha). Who doesn’t love a Prickly Pear cactus for a unique and interesting change from traditional greenery and flowers. While they remain a gray-green cactus year-round, you’ll enjoy bright yellow and pink blooms in the spring. And, of course, they’re the ultimate in drought-resistance.

Source: Better Homes and Gardens

Red Hyssop (Agastache rupestris). Your Colorado landscape will benefit from both texture and color when you plant Red Hyssop. This greenery has a silver sheen and the tall, graceful blooms add splashes of apricot, red, salmon or magenta, depending on the varieties you select. Red Hyssop is also a favorite amongst butterflies and hummingbird. Plus, deer and rabbit will leave them alone!

Contact the design team at Lifescape Colorado to plan your landscape using hardy Colorado native plants.

5 Tips for an Enjoyable Spring Garden

Spring is a unique season in the Rocky Mountains. We can experience winter, spring and summer in a single day. This makes it tricky for gardeners who yearn to transform their winter landscape.

The following Colorado gardening tips can help you prepare your landscape for the warmer seasons, regardless of what Mother Nature has in store.


Design by Lifescape Colorado

Have a vision. Use this downtime to create your vision. Have you fallen into a gardening rut, planting the same things in the same location? Visit with professional landscape designers to gain a fresh perspective. Then, start drawing up the plans or laying down the borders, so you can finalize your shopping list.


Source: Le jardinet via Houzz

Use containers. If you’re dying for a little color, consider the benefits of container gardening. Smaller containers can be easily moved undercover or indoors when a freeze or spring storm is predicted. Place larger pots on flats with wheels before planting for easy moving. Containers can create colorful focal points in a garden that isn’t quite ready to explode into full splendor.


Source: James R. Salomon Photography via Houzz

Reshape the lawn. Are you ready to cut back on your lawn and add more drought tolerant plants? Has your lawn usurped some of your garden beds? Use the dormant season to reconfigure your lawn’s size and shape, keeping in mind the mowing path come spring.


Source: Better Homes & Gardens

Work with the soil. This step requires a little soil know-how. If you jump the gun, you’ll be working — or trying to operate heavy equipment — in a muddy mess. Pick up a handful of soil and compact it into a ball. If it breaks up relatively easily when agitated or dropped from a height of about 3 feet, you’re good to go. If it remains lumped together, you should wait until soil moisture has evaporated a bit more.

Source: HGTV

Prune and shape. Your vines, trees and ornamental grasses will enjoy a little pruning and shaping attention just as much as you’ll love reacquainting yourself with them.

Contact Lifescape Colorado for professional assistance with your landscape planning and maintenance needs.

Spanish Gold Broom

Winter is the season for planning landscape changes and garden additions for the upcoming year. Here at Lifescape Colorado, we encourage clients to grow native plants for a hardy and successful landscape. Native plants are able to withstand hot, dry winters and freezing, cold winters without a struggle. They are also less maintenance-intensive than their non-native counterparts. If you’re looking for a new plant to add to your landscape repertoire, we recommend Spanish Gold Broom.

broom spanish gold

Source: Colorado Tree Farm Nursery

Spanish Gold Broom (Cytisus purgans) is originally a native of the Mediterranean, but has adapted to areas with a similarly arid climate, such as our own. It is a medium-sized shrub and naturally maintains a rounded shape, requiring very little pruning. Another benefit is its stems, which remain green all year long. Even after the plant’s leaves begin to fall off in the mid-summer, your landscape will benefit from winter interest.

Some additional benefits of Spanish Gold Broom include:

Color. In addition to the aforementioned evergreen stems, Spanish Gold blooms will reward you with a dramatic and beautiful display of fragrant and bright yellow blossoms. They will begin to bloom in the spring and will remain vibrant through the spring season.

Soil adapted. Our area has some tough soil for plants to contend with. We suggest you amend your soil accordingly. Even so, Spanish Gold Broom has been able to adapt to our native soil amazingly well, which is one of its “hallmark” qualities, according to CSU.

Drought tolerant. In a perfect world, this shrub prefers moderate watering. However, it can withstand a dry season or two and continue to thrive.

Versatile locations. Spanish Gold Broom is only averse to one location – those that are full shade. Otherwise, they do well in partial-shade, filtered sun, partial sun and full sun. In this environment, they will grow between three to five feet high, and from four to six feet wide.

Would you like assistance with your 2014 landscape planning or maintenance? Contact the experts at Lifescape Colorado for recommendations regarding other native plants, and to learn more about our design and maintenance services.

Create a Water-Wise Landscape

Increasing environmental awareness and heightened attention regarding the benefits of xeriscaping is important in maintaining a water-wise landscape. Lifescape Colorado has always put an emphasis on sustainable landscaping in Colorado to preserve both our local habitats and the planet. A xeriscape, or water-wise landscape, uses sound planning, conscientious irrigation and native plants that can survive dry seasons without being overly demanding on our precious water resources.

Here are professional tips for creating a sustainable, water-wise landscape.

Source: Better Homes and Gardens

Start with a plan. Your backyard is like its own ecosystem and you should select your plants and their locations accordingly. The first step is to analyze your property by hour, by day and by season. Get to know which areas are most affected by sun and shade, or where water tends to pool the most after a storm. This will help you design a landscape plan that suits your lot orientation, while making the most of existing geographical features.

Source: BJWOK via FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Amend the soil. The healthier and more balanced your soil, the better it will be for producing the nutrients your plants need. The ideal xeriscape soil will be able to store water and drain it efficiently. Try to use organic soil amendments, which are healthier for your landscape and the environment.

Source: sakhorn38 via FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Irrigation. We recommend installing a timed drip or soaker hose irrigation system with a rain sensor, so you have the ultimate control of where, when and how long your plants are being watered. Never water during the day when evaporation rates are at its highest.

Source: Better Homes and Gardens

Learn about our native plants. Native plants provide the best chance of ensuring your landscape’s health. Plants that have evolved to survive hot, dry summers, freezing winters and occasional floods will provide seasonal beauty for years to come. Plus, our Colorado native birds and insects prefer the blooms and berries found on our native plants, which means your xeriscape garden will also become a wildlife habitat of sorts.

Contact Lifescape Colorado to learn more about sustainable landscaping in Colorado. We can help you make the most of your water-wise landscape.

Mojave Sage

Year-round color, aroma and height. These are just a few of the benefits your garden will gain from growing the Mojave Sage. This sub-shrub perennial thrives in full sun, well-drained soil, high altitudes and extremely dry conditions. Guaranteed to be a standout in xeriscape designs, the Mojave Sage is not only drought-tolerant and low-maintenance — it is also semi-evergreen, which empowers even winter landscapes with beautiful interest.


Source: Plant Select

Mojave Sage blooms all summer long and into late fall with gorgeous textures and hues. Plant Select describes the show-stealing xeriscape perennial as having “beautiful, intensely aromatic silvery-green foliage, topped with densely whorled bracts of lovely smoky mauve-purple that surround delicate violet-blue flowers.”


Source: Waterwise Landscapes Incorporated via Houzz

What’s particularly striking about the Mojave Sage flowers is the slight color variegation of the outer petals and inner petals, which dawn slightly different shades of purple, blue, lavender, mauve and rose. Because its big, bright blossoms are beloved by birds, bees and hummingbirds, the Mojave Sage also carries common names like Blue Sage, Mountain Desert Sage, Rose Sage and giant-flower sage.

The soothing fragrance of the Mojave Sage is an archetype of the plants overall laid-back way of life. This xeriscape plant requires little watering and pruning. On top of this, the sage is rarely phased by heat or cold. Therefore, xeriscape gardeners join birds, bees and butterflies in a special fondness for this hardy plant.

Benefits go beyond garden design too. Wonderful natural remedies can also be enjoyed by growing Sage, also called Salvia, which is Latin for “to save, redeem or heal.”


Source: Waterwise Landscapes Incorporated via Houzz

After a couple of growing seasons, the Mojave Sage can reach up to 36 inches in height and width, making it a perfect plant for creating a pretty backdrop. Lavendula, Penstemon, Coreopsis and creeping Veronica are some recommendations to plant in conjunction with Mojave Sage to create a full and vibrant garden design.

Let the passionate experts at Lifescape Colorado help you achieve a xeriscape that will improve not only curb appeal and property value, but also your quality of life. For a natural therapeutic beauty that can be enjoyed all year long, contact us online or call 303-831-8310.