Tag Archives: garden design Denver

Gorgeous, Low Maintenance Plants Great for Xeriscapes

The Rocky Mountains of Colorado are a breeding ground for gorgeous, low maintenance plants ideal for Xeriscapes. There are so many wonderful varieties to choose from with colors, textures, and forms you can endlessly feast your eyes on.

What is Xeriscaping?

Xeriscapes are landscapes centered around low maintenance plants, which are tolerant in droughts and require little water. Even though once established, these plants can survive in harsh conditions with little water, they do need to be carefully watered during the establishment period.

Gorgeous, Low Maintenance Plants Great for Xeriscapes

Source: Lifescape Colorado

Low Maintenance Plants Great for Xeriscapes

Here are some suggestions for several beautiful flowers, shrubs, and grasses to help transform your landscape into a self-sustaining oasis.

1. Yarrow. This group of Rocky Mountain native perennials are smashing in a variety of colors ranging from yellow, to white, to red. Once established, Yarrow require very little water and often spread on their own.

Source: Wikimedia

Source: Wikimedia

2. Iceplants. Not to be confused with the invasive Iceplant that plagues Southern California, the Iceplant native to Colorado is a mat of leaves that range from grey to green. We especially like the shiny, delicate flowers that coat the leaves, ranging from red, to purple, to pink.

3. Spanish Gold Broom. The Spanish Gold Broom is a shrub native to the Mediterranean. The medium-sized, deciduous shrub flourishes with small, yellow blossoms in the late spring. Even in the dead of winter, the stems remain a bright, vivid green.

4. Yucca. Yucca is an easy favorite, and it’s no wonder why. You can choose from a variety of the true evergreen, and the leaves can range from dark green to a demure, blue-green. With this plant, you can bring form and structure to your Colorado landscape all year long.

5. Blue Avena Grass. The striking texture of this grass gives it a unique appeal, and it has an effortlessly graceful look that requires so little maintenance you can just sit back and enjoy its noteworthy beauty.

Don’t let the dry season get the best of you. Lifescape is here to help you design and establish your new xeriscape. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

Cleverly Designed Outdoor Rooms for Entertaining

An open-air room allows you to bask in beautiful weather while relaxing and entertaining as if you were in the comfort of your home. Designing an outdoor room is much like designing any other space of the home, except the inspiration and backdrop is your landscape.

Source: Houzz

Source: Lifescape Colorado via Houzz

Here are some inspiring design ideas for creating delightful outdoor rooms that are just as aesthetically pleasing as they are comfortable and convenient.

A custom stone slab waterfall and a stunning stone fire pit make for a uniquely beautiful outdoor room. Built-in wooden benches make it easy to get cozy with friends and family by the fire.

Source: Houzz

Source: Houzz

This picturesque hardscape design features a patio, chimney fireplace, and tiered retaining walls that create privacy while offering opportunities to bring colorful plantings upwards.

A creative lighting scheme that includes underlighting beneath built-in benches gently illuminate an outdoor dining room to set the mood with a gorgeous glowing ambiance.

A covered porch creates a 4-season space that allows you to feel comfortably protected while in nature. This transitional eclectic covered porch brings style, entertainment, and great views of the surrounding landscape all under one roof.

A water feature or outdoor sound system can be used to produce a pleasant auditory experience that adds to the environment and masks traffic or other unsettling sounds.

A little running water makes an elegant outdoor room all the more charming and enjoyable, while in another example, a creative water feature doubles as a concrete dining table.

Outdoor rooms are not only for homeowners with big backyards. This rooftop retreat is a prime example of the outdoor room design possibilities for urban abodes. Plenty of plants and warm wood create a space that combines the serenity of nature with fantastic cityscape views.

Source: Lifescape Colorado via Houzz

Source: Lifescape Colorado via Houzz

With winter waning and spring on its way, it’s a wonderful time to think about how hard your yard is working for you. Our team here at Lifescape would love to help extend your living space beyond the walls of your home with a smart and chic outdoor room design. Contact Lifescape in Colorado to learn more about our services.

Top Plants & Flowers for Butterfly Gardening

It’s hard to imagine a sunny garden scene without the ephemeral flutter of butterfly wings. In fact, it’s impossible. Without butterflies, which are very important pollinators, many of our favorite blooms would never grow in the first place.

Introduce Plants and Flowers That Attract Butterflies & Other Pollinators

The benefit of adding butterfly-friendly plants is that you will also attract a host of other pollinators, including honey bees, bumble bees, and birds. It transforms your garden into a veritable playground for winged creatures, and you and your guests will delight in the additions.

Keep in mind that butterflies prefer a break from the wind and open, sunny spaces so creating these environments will also help to attract them. Organic gardening practices are also very important since insecticides kill pollinators.

Here are suggestions for plants and flowers that attract butterflies and do well in our Rocky Mountain climate.

Asters (Asters, spp.) . These cheerful flowers are in the same family as sun flowers or daisies. They bloom towards the end of summer and well into fall, which make them an attractive candidate for gardeners who want to add a bit of interest when other blooms are beginning to fade. They are drought-tolerant and prefer sandy, well-draining soil – another boon for our area.

Source: Wikimedia

Source: Wikimedia

Butterfly bush (Buddleia davidii).  Every yard is enhanced by this robust species of plant that blooms with white to purple flowers. They grow six to 15-feet tall and can withstand temperatures below 20° F. Butterfly bush also remains evergreen during the winter months, which is another bonus.

Source: Wikimedia

Source: Wikimedia

Rabbitbrush (Chrysothamnus nauseosus). Those interested in a Xeriscape may recognize this plant species. Rabbitbrush grows wild throughout Colorado and much of the Southwest. A desert and high-desert plant, it is decidedly drought-tolerant.

Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca). This is another native Colorado plant and it serves a very important role; Milkweed is a host for Monarch butterfly larvae. These are an endangered species, so adding milkweed to your garden is a wonderful way to support their comeback.

Other plants that attract butterflies, hummingbirds and bees include Culver’s root, blue sage, bee balm, and purple prairie clover.

Contact Lifescape Colorado to design a landscape that includes the plants, flowers, and other landscape features that attract butterflies.

2015 Garden Trend: Bedhead Gardens

Twenty years ago, it was unheard of for women to get out of the shower, tussle their hair with a little product, and walk out the door. Nowadays, low-maintenance, mussed up “bedhead” hair is all the rage. Gardens seem to be following suit, and formal landscapes are taking second stage as bedhead gardening trends take root.

Source: Lifescape Colorado

Source: Lifescape Colorado

Enjoy the Low-Maintenance Bedhead Gardening Trend for 2015

What’s a bedhead garden you ask? It’s one that lets the plants have a little room to grow and “do their thing” without all the regular pruning, trimming, and precise edges we find in formal English gardens or more traditional landscape designs.

Here are some bedhead garden traits:

They’re a little more random. A more traditional garden will use plants in repetition, create geometric shapes, and lines and will have a precise feel about them. It’s like there is a place for everything and everything in its place. Bedhead gardens, on the other hand, will have a more random and wild approach. Think mountain meadow as opposed to a golf course or formal English garden.

Native and drought tolerant. Typically, bedhead gardens are landscaped with mostly native plants. These will include native grasses, drought tolerant shrubs, and perennial flowers that can withstand the climate changes here in Colorado. These plants grow on their own in nature without any help from a gardener, and they can do almost the same thing in your garden.

Color with wild abandon. Rather than selecting purples for this corner and reds in that corner, your bedhead garden will combine a riot of colors to mix things up a bit.

Source: Pixabay

Source: Pixabay

Casual without being overgrown. While bedhead gardens do require less maintenance, they aren’t completely overgrown. Planting trees, shrubs, and flowers in areas that allow them to reach their medium to highest heights and widths simply means you have to groom them less often. Curved pathways, rather than rigid walkways, allow plants to stretch and bloom with their own personality.

Contact Lifescape when you’re ready to free up some of those warm weather weekends and embrace the bedhead gardening trend for 2015.

Spring Ready: Simple Garden Projects for Planting

This time of year can feel like Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride when it comes to the weather patterns in the Colorado Rockies. Warm, spring-like days that have gardener’s hands itching to get in the soil are followed by unexpected storms and freezing temperatures. In other words, your garden isn’t ready to be planted just yet.

7 Simple Garden Projects to Get Your Garden Spring and Planting Ready

Even so, there are plenty of simple garden projects that will satiate your desire to work in the garden without jeopardizing the lives of innocent plantlings.

Photo: Anne F Walters Company via Houzz
    1. Clear drainage ditches. Snow melt and spring rains need a place to drain. If your drainage ditches are full of fall and winter debris, that water will flood your yard and can do damage to existing plants and plant beds. Clear drainage ditches and expand or rebuild them as necessary.
    2. Repair trellises and fences. These aren’t killed off by frosts and freezes, so the good work you do now on trellises and fence lines will last through the growing season.
    3. Weed and mulch. Get those early weeds out of there while they’re still young and easy to pull. Then mulch bare and freshly weeded spots to enhance soil and prevent new weeds from emerging.
    4. Test your soil. Colorado doesn’t have the richest soil quality, so have it tested to determine which amendments are needed this year.
    5. Prune and thin dead foliage. If you wait too long to clear dead foliage from ornamental grasses and other perennials, you risk doing damage to the new shoots. Use a few good weather days to prune the dead stuff from trees and plants, and rip out any skeleton plants left in your vegetable garden.
    6. Prepare your lawn. Start raking the lawn to get dead plant materials and debris out of the way. It will aerate the soil and let more sunlight in. Your lawn will be ready for re-seeding soon.
    7. Make plans with a landscape designer. If you plan on using a landscape designer this year, make your appointment now as the calendar fills up quickly this time of year.
Photo: Lifescape Colorado. via Houzz

Would you like a little help with spring landscaping and planting? Have a few ideas you’d like to run by a professional? Contact Lifescape Colorado to schedule a consultation.