Tag Archives: garden design Denver

Design Ideas for Year-Round Potted Plants

With the right plants and design, potted plants can add year-round beauty and life to Colorado landscapes.

Single plants with rich colors or interesting shapes can be planted in individual pots to stand alone and create eye-catching focal points. Or, multiple plants can be carefully combined to create lush, portable gardens.

When designing a container with multiple plants, the three main ingredients for a beautiful design are thrillers, fillers and spillers. Thrillers are colorful plants with brilliant blooms and/or striking foliage. Fillers provide attractive bulk to the arrangement, much like a florist’s use of Baby’s Breath or fern fronds in a bouquet. Grasses and leafy plants, for example, make great fillers in potted plant designs. Spillers, as the name implies, are plants that gracefully spill over the sides of the pot as they grow. These include vines, cascading flowers or trailing succulents. Let’s look at a few classic thriller, filer and spiller combinations that make for stunning year-round container designs.

An evergreen, such as an Emerald arborvitae, can easily function as a thriller, due to its textured foliage and height. It’s wonderful for pairing with low-growing fillers and spillers that have contrasting colors or textures like shiny, large-leaf bergenias.

colorado gardening

Source: Fine Gardening

Large showy shrubs, such as the redtwig dogwood, also make a fantastic thriller focal point in a container arrangement. This dogwood has attractive green and white leaves that are offset by bright red stems, providing a burst of welcome color during winter months. Cascading vines and flowering plants like the heucheras can be used to complement redtwig with small spots of interest as in the example below.

year-round landscaping colorado

Source: Fine Gardening

Low-growing ‘Blue Star’ juniper also works beautifully in potted designs as its branches grow to elegantly arch over the edges of the pot. Plus, its dusty blue needles look great with almost any plant. Here it’s paired with ‘Fuldaglut’ sedum for a nice visual effect.

potted plant designs

Source: Fine Gardening

If your Colorado landscape could use more year-round interest, and you (and your wallet) could benefit from a landscape that is water-wise and low-maintenance, contact the landscape designers at Lifescape.

Elevate Your Denver Garden with a Raised Bed

Gardening in raised garden beds provides convenience and versatility while creating a controlled environment for growing gorgeous flowers and foliage. Here are some of the benefits that can be enjoyed by incorporated raised beds into your Denver landscape.

  • In the confined space of the raised bed, it is easier to establish and control drainage, nutrients and acidity/alkalinity of soil for optimum growing conditions even in urban areas.
  • With potent soil comes the ability to plant more per square foot since plants do not have to fight for nutrients.
  • Raised beds completely eliminate erosion as it prevents rich soil from washing away in rain or blowing away in high winds.
  • The controlled space makes it easier to keep the garden bed weed-free.
  • The walls of beds provide extra protection from pests, such as slugs and snails.
  • The added height reduces the need for bending and makes tending the garden less strenuous and more enjoyable.
  • Raised beds set gardens apart from play areas and keeps plants safe from foot traffic.

If you are convinced a raised garden bed, or multiple, will enhance your Colorado landscape, here are some unique raised bed design ideas to consider.

Water troughs can be used to design durable beds that can stand up to the elements. They are the perfect length and height for a raised bed and add a rustic aesthetic to landscape designs. They are also narrow enough to turn spaces such as side yards into gorgeous gardens.

denver garden design

Source: RaisedBeds.com

Rough-hewn logs can provide walls for a raised bed while blending harmoniously with the natural landscape and surrounding greenery. These design option also offers versatility as the size and shape of beds can be easily customized.

colorado landscaping

Source: RaisedBeds.com

For gardeners who want added charm and convenience, old wine barrels can be used to go beyond the decorative planter to achieve a terrace style raised bad.

raised bed designs

Source: RaisedBeds.com

For more design ideas, see our previous post on spectacular raised beds. As you can see, raised beds and any type of garden, for that matter, can be thoughtfully designed to become works of art in nature. Let Lifescape in Denver help you finally start and maintain your own garden. Or, leave it all to us, and we’ll not only design a landscape that blends function and style, but we’ll maintain it with regular landscaping and gardening services, too. Contact us today to learn more.

5 Favorite Colorado Native Perennials

A drought-tolerant landscape does not have to be defunct of color! There are several plants native to Colorado that are perfect for xeriscaping and offer year-round visual interest with vibrant colors, engaging textures and sculptural shapes. Here are five of our favorites that call Colorado home.

Rocky Mountain Columbine

This beautiful perennial has striking white and lavender petals surrounding a brilliant yellow center and grows up to two feet tall. As our state flower, the columbines not only celebrate the state of Colorado, but their fragrant blooms also attract hummingbirds, butterflies and bees.

colorado native plants

Source: Better Homes & Gardens


Liatrus form clusters of pink-lavender blooms atop narrow stems and grows in bunches, with each flower reaching a height from two to five feet. Requiring little water, all this hardy, low maintenance plant needs is well-drained soil. While deer typically stay away, butterflies and bees love the bright feathery spikes of liatrus.

colorado native flowers

Source: BHG

Purple Coneflower

Butterflies and bees are never far from these whimsical perennials with blooms in shades from white to pink and red to dark purple. The shape of a coneflower blossom is similar to a daisy, but the petals turn downward while the dark center reaches skyward. Great for hot-summer regions, these carefree perennials handle drought beautifully and only need light watering. In full sun, purple coneflowers bloom all summer long and can reach a height of four feet!


Source: BHG


These drought-tolerant plants can thrive even in poor soil and tend to do very well in sunny rock gardens or as a groundcover. Some varieties are low growing while others grow up to two feet tall. Sedum is perfect for full sun, high heat areas that many other plants cannot handle. Its delicate flower clusters sport shades of pink, purple, white or yellow.

colorado native plants

Source: RockWallGardens.com

Rocky Mountain Penstemon

Royal blue, red, pink or violet tubular blossoms cluster on the penstemon’s majestic spires and offer a dazzling burst of color. With their trumpet-like shape and sweet nectar, penstemons create a playground for hummingbirds. Drought-tolerant and easy to maintain, this Colorado native is fantastic choice for xeriscapes.

native colorado flowers

Source: Colorado State University Extension

Lifescape can help you create a colorful, energetic Colorado landscape that is also low-maintenance and drought-friendly. Contact the landscape design professionals at Lifescape today to find out more.

Multi-Purpose Plants for Colorado Landscapes

denver landscape design

Source: William Joyce Design via Houzz

There are several benefits to working with a professional to design and maintain your Colorado landscape. An experienced professional can help you to achieve a beautiful, dynamic and low-maintenance landscape that you can enjoy year-round. But it doesn’t have to stop here.

If you are interested in sustainable living practices, a professional landscaper can incorporate multi-purpose plants that allow you to get even more out of your landscape. Here are a few plants we recommend that can offer more than what meets the eye. 

  • Aloe Vera – The dramatic silhouette of the spiky Aloe Vera plant can add gorgeous architectural interest to landscapes. As many of us now know, the fleshy leaves of this tropical succulent plant can also be used to treat sunburns and skin irritations. While it can grow in most soil and sun conditions, aloe plants should be moved indoors during the winter months.
  • Lavender – Who doesn’t love lavender? There are several variations of the Lavender flower, making it a versatile design element for Colorado gardens and landscapes. Fragrant and edible, lavender plants can also be used in the kitchen and in a variety of other practical ways, as Mother Nature Network reminds us. Rich in nectar and pollen, lavender also attracts beautiful butterflies.
  • Perennial Herbs – Perennial herbs such as oregano, rosemary, sage and chives are not only easy to grow but visually appealing, too. Many of these can add colorful flowers and beautiful fragrances to landscapes while also providing fresh flavors to use in the kitchen.
  • Sunflowers – In addition to being drought-resistant, these flowers can withstand slight frost, which means you can begin planting them early. Their high nectar content and large, colorful flower heads also attract butterflies.


Do you wish to get more out of your Colorado landscape? As a landscape architecture and design firm serving the greater Denver area, Lifescape offers an extensive range of landscape design and maintenance services. Call us at (303) 831-8310 to learn more!

6 Spectacular Raised Bed Design Ideas for Spring

Maybe you live in the city of Denver and don’t have the right land or square footage. Maybe you’ve tried, but something – be it the sun, soil, drainage, etc. – just wasn’t right. No matter what your gardening challenges may be, you don’t have to throw in the towel (or should we say shovel) just yet.

Raised beds are a wonderful ways to achieve thriving plants when the space or soil are not ideal. As Sunset magazine writes, “A raised bed makes gardening easy. Filled with soil mix, they provide the excellent drainage needed to grow picture-perfect vegetables and flowers.”


Raise it with metal. Sheets of corrugated metal can make great siding for raised beds while adding a unique contrast to plants and soil.

raised bed ideas

Photo via Pinterest

Build one with storage. A wooden raised bed can be custom designed to include storage spaces for gardening tools and soil nutrients. And better yet – the storage space can double as nice garden bench.

raised bed

Photo via Pinterest

Really raise it. Freestanding raised beds in various heights like these wooden designs are customizable and versatile to add beautiful interest and functionality to gardens and landscapes.

freestanding raised beds

photo via Pinterest

Go geometric. This raised bed design adds symmetry to gardens and landscapes while also offering multiple areas to plant veggies and flowers.

unique raised bed design

Photo via Pinterest

Make it a multi-masterpiece. A multi-tiered raised bed design provides plenty of space for ambitious gardeners while also having a stunning visual effect.

gardening design ideas

Photo via Pinterest

Let your imagination play in the dirt, too. This spiral design proves that raised beds can be creatively designed to bring unique shapes and interesting visual effects to gardens and landscapes.

spiral raised bed

Photo via Pinterest

Have you always dreamed of having a raised bed in your Denver backyard or Colorado landscape? Let the gardening professionals at Lifescape Associates help you raise your garden! Contact us today at (303) 831-8310.