Tag Archives: garden design Denver

Benefits of Porous Permeable Pavers for Your Colorado Landscape

We love being able to drive around in our cars, but the resulting asphalt covering our country from coast to coast isn’t necessarily doing us any favors. Luckily, the past 30 years have seen huge developments in storm-water management, and today, you can choose from several different environmentally-friendly permeable pavers. Below, we’ll highlight several of the most prominent porous paving options.

Porous Asphalt

Porous asphalt is slightly coarser than standard asphalt and allows water to filter through instead of directing it towards storm drains. Underneath the asphalt is an open-graded stone bed, averaging between 18 and 36 inches deep. Because of the deep bed, water is able to filter through to the soil below and doesn’t rise into the asphalt above.

If you’re looking for an attractive paving option that is eco-conscious and cost-effective, porous asphalt is both. Attractive and long-lasting, porous asphalt typically shows little damage after as many as 20 years. What’s more, it’s a breeze to install, doesn’t hold as much heat as conventional asphalt, and replenishes the water table.

Dry-Laid Pavers

lifescape-dry-laid pavers

Source: Houzz

Dry laying involves installing stones or pavers over a bed of sand and gravel. The openings between the stones or pavers allows water to easily pass through to the beds below. We especially like the look of growing grass or moss between the cracks — use urbanite, or recycled concrete, to solidify your sustainable patio.

Crushed Stone/Gravel

Have a garden in need of walkways? Decomposed granite or gravel loosely packed on top of leveled soil provides a visually appealing platform for rainwater to filter through the stone. This inexpensive option, when coupled with shrubs and flower beds, enlivens an elegant landscape.

Grass Pavers

Yet another form of permeable paving, grass pavers have a unique appearance in that they will resemble the surrounding lawn or landscape. Grass-paved patios and driveways are formed by filling open cells with dirt and then planting the cells with grass seed. Grass pavers are ideal for residential driveways because they can withstand heavy loads.

lifescape-grass-pavers

Source: Houzz

Our professionals at Lifescape love offering water management and irrigation services. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

Secret Garden Alcoves Come Alive with Hidden Passages & Beauty

Sometimes you just have to get away from it all, and summer is a great time to relax and retreat. Whether you’re planning a summer vacation or not, you can create a special outdoor living space at your own home where you can escape anytime.

Perhaps you would like a secret garden alcove or other hidden outdoor space where you can go to dine, relax, entertain, do yoga, or indulge a hobby such as painting. Whatever the use, the beautiful scenery of your landscape is sure to inspire you.

Secret Garden Alcoves Come Alive with Hidden Passages & Beauty

Enjoy the beauty of your garden with an arbor. Source: Lifescape Colorado

Begin by visualizing some ideas for what you would like and what would work for your existing yard. There are all sorts of garden retreats to choose from. It could be as simple as placing an arbor covered with blooming vines over a bistro table and chairs. A garden shed could serve double duty as a potting area for plants as well as a quiet spot for writing or painting.

Even plants, flowers, shrubs, and tress can be used to create a private spot in your yard. They form natural barriers that can be the walls of your secret outdoor room. Plus, this will add interest to your overall landscape, too.

No matter what type of garden retreat you choose, a big component will be giving it a magical or dream-like feel. This can be accomplished with the types of plants and landscape elements you use. Sweet-smelling flowers, colorful foliage, carpet-like groundcovers, and creeping vines all set an enchanting tone. Other features to consider include pathways and water fountains.

Secret Garden Alcoves Come Alive with Hidden Passages & Beauty

Enjoy your own secret beautiful space in your garden. Source: Houzz

Design is in the details. Pay attention to details such as finishes, styles, colors, and other effects to give your landscape an air of mystery. A window in a garden wall can reveal a hidden part of the landscape that invites you to explore what’s behind. The interplay between light and shadow is another way to add intrigue. Simply building in layers to your garden can add interest.

What would your ideal garden retreat look like and what would you use it for? Let us know by leaving a comment.

Dry Shade Plants that Dazzle Gardens

Finding plants that work well in a dry and shady place doesn’t have to be hard. Some plants are better suited to these conditions and can add color, texture and beauty to your garden at the same time.

There are a wide range of shade-tolerant plants. Some require full shade, while others can get by with partial- or half-shade. If you are planting in a shady spot, you can also try different ways to increase the amount of sunlight the plants get by using reflection off of a fence or home that is painted a light color, for example. Pruning can also help bring in more light.

Dry Shade Plants that Dazzle Gardens

Ferns are great for shady gardens. Source: Shutterstock

Shade plants also need water, so you’ll want to make sure plants that need moist conditions have access to water.

We like these ideas for designing a shade garden from the Colorado State University cooperative extension service:

  • Play up textural contrast, choosing some large leafed plants such as hostas and some fine leafed plants such as ferns.
  • Choose plants with varying heights such as dwarf and upright conifer.
  • Glossy leaves and light colored flowers stand out more in the shade.
  • Plants with red in them contrast well with lots of greenery.
  • Blues and purples should be paired with light yellows or whites to draw attention to them.

Colorado State also has these suggestions for shade-tolerant plants:

Impatiens are great for a shady garden. Source: Shutterstock

Impatiens are great for a shady garden. Source: Shutterstock

  • Shrubs and small trees are naturally found growing under the shade of large trees and are ideal for small yards.
  • Look for “serviceberry; arrowwood, burkwood and leatherleaf viburnums; highbush cranberry; redosier dogwood; Oregon grapeholly; and spreading euonymous.”
  • There are also shade-tolerant groundcovers such as periwinkle and English ivy and perennials such as daffodil, tulip, and crocus.
  • Ornamental grasses can work in shade gardens as well.
  • Foxglove and impatiens are a few of the annual flowers that can be used in shade gardens.

Have more questions about planting a shade garden? Contact Lifescape for help.

Prevent Weed Growth Organically & Without Chemicals

Warmer weather means you will be spending more time outside in your garden and yard. Plants and trees are in bloom, the grass is growing again, and you will be faced with doing some landscape maintenance to keep things looking good.

One issue to prepare for is weeds. You should try and weed your garden or yard at least once a week to keep things under control. However, if you have young children or are interested in organic gardening or landscaping, you may wish to avoid using chemical weed killers or pesticides.

Prevent Weed Growth Organically & Without Chemicals

Try weeding with your hands and tools to spruce up your garden. Source: Shutterstock

The good news is that there are many organic and pesticide-free ways to keep weeds at bay. Sunset Magazine recommends pulling up weeds up with your hands or using special gardening tools, such as gardening hoes. You can even use a simple screwdriver to remove weeds from cracks between pavement. Other suggestions include mowing, putting down mulch or ground covers, and smothering.

If you go the route of mulch, you can use an organic mulch such as straw, grass clippings, shredded bark, or leaves, according to OrganicLife Magazine. Mulches keep sunlight from helping weeds grow. To amplify the effect of organic mulch, you can place a layer of newspaper, kraft paper, or cardboard below the mulch.

Prevent Weed Growth Organically & Without Chemicals

Use mulch to organically help preventing weeds. Source: Lifescape Colorado

Solarization is another strategy recommended by OrganicLife that uses the sun’s energy to “cook” weeds. This involves getting rid of all weeds in your garden, then moistening the soil and placing a plastic cover over the area for six weeks.

Finally, Good Housekeeping has a few ideas for homemade weed killers. Some that haven’t already been mentioned are pouring boiling water or vinegar on weeds, using salt as a weed barrier on lawn edgings, and other places a mower can’t reach, making physical barriers out of pressure-treated decking, outnumbering weeds with other beneficial plants, and even eating edible weeds!

Have weed problems in your yard? Contact Lifescape for help with landscape design and landscape maintenance.

Lifescape Colorado & Colorado Homes & Lifestyles Host Design Talks in the Community

The weather in Colorado is finally starting to feel more like summer, so we thought it was a fitting time to celebrate the warmth by hosting a Networking by Design event with Colorado Homes & Lifestyles Magazine on May 15. The event got off to a great start with delectable food provided by Krave Colorado Catering — we could hardly stop ourselves from seconds (and thirds)! Guests were also able to enjoy music courtesy of ListenUp, play cornhole, and converse well into the evening.

We absolutely adore hosting events geared towards bringing together design professionals and encouraging collaboration and innovation within the design and landscape industries. The opportunity to connect with people we can share our experience and services with is practically priceless!

Colorado Homes & Lifestyles Magazine

We had such a great time at the event. Source: Colorado Homes & Lifestyle Magazine

At Lifescape, we’re always excited for the opportunity to share our love for creating and maintaining sustainable outdoor spaces. Through the nourishment of natural beauty, we hope to enhance our community and conserve our planet’s natural resources. We carry our projects from conception to actualization, and our attention to detail sets us apart from our competitors. Some of our most sought after services include:

  • Weekly turf and irrigation for your lawn.
  • Weekly or biweekly garden maintenance.
  • Development of a comprehensive three year plan to enhance your landscape.
  • Help with horticulture.
  • Winter care.
  • Water efficiency.
  • Design and implementation of xeriscapes and rain gardens.

There’s no better time than now to educate yourself on how you can increase your property value and the enjoyment you receive from your outdoor spaces. Our love of Colorado native plants inspires us to constantly innovate ways to reduce our carbon footprint and design landscapes for sustainability. Sustainability is more than just a beautiful landscape — it’s an ongoing, in-depth process, and events like this one remind us why we love what we do!

Whether you’re in need of weekly landscape services, fine gardening, or water management, Lifescape is here to help. Our work with the “Mountain Modern” project was featured in Colorado Homes & Lifestyles’ June issue as Home of the Year. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.