Tag Archives: gardening tips for Colorado

Organic Gardening Tips & Tricks

A cornerstone of sustainable landscaping in Colorado is making the commitment to organic gardening practices. This involves eliminating chemicals, amending soil naturally and being patient as you learn what works and what doesn’t.

The following gardening tips and tricks shed light on what organic gardening is and the techniques you can apply to your backyard landscape.

Houzz

Source: Shades Of Green Landscape Architecture via Houzz

Cleanse your toxic gardening stash

This step involves eliminating harmful chemicals from your weed-and-pest-defense toolbox. They may be effective, but they’re also harmful to a myriad of beneficial life forms, including yourself, your family and wildlife. We recommend taking them to a local hazardous waste disposal site.

Source: Better Homes and Gardens

Prepare your soil

Your plants will thrive when their roots are nestled in properly amended and chemical-free soil. Plants, like humans, need just the right amount of food, water, space and sun. Organic materials help to aerate soil, retain ideal moisture levels and provide nutrients.

You can also make your own compost at home. Starting a compost pile requires very little space and is an easy way to make your own fertilizer. It will provide the materials both your soil and beneficial microorganisms need to make a healthy plant bed. Consider starting an earthworm bin for further soil enrichment.

Source: Better Homes and Gardens

Pests-be-gone

Other options for eliminating pests include:

  • Trap cropping. This article from Houzz describes how co-planting crops can lure pests to “decoy” plants. They can also attract the right natural pest predators. Don’t try this unless you have a pest problem, otherwise you will lure new pests to your garden.
  • Natural predators. You can use ladybugs, praying mantises and nematodes, which are all natural predators of common garden pests.
  • Weeding. Be proactive about weeds. Laying the right ground cover, like mulch, will prevent weeds from taking root. Follow these instructions from organicgardener.com to control weeds organically.

 

Houzz

Source: GreenCraft Associates via Houzz

The result of your efforts will be a beautiful, healthy and sustainable garden. Want professional help with sustainable landscaping in Colorado? Contact Lifescape Colorado today.

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

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!

coneflower

Source: BHG

Sedum

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.

Flowers to Make Landscapes Buzz with Birds & Butterflies

Landscapes humming with life have a special way of energizing our spirits. They remind us of the awe-inspiring circle of life and the infinite beauty of nature. But you don’t have to go to the Denver Botanic Gardens to experience this. You can enjoy an uplifting landscape every time you step outside your home by incorporating flowers that are known to attract birds, bees and butterflies.

As Colorado State University explains, “Butterflies often appear to be just passing through, occasionally stopping for a drink of nectar. You can prolong the stay of these colorful insects and draw in others by providing the food and shelter they need.”

Here are some drought-tolerant plants that can provide the food and shelter to make birds, bees and butterflies linger in your Colorado garden.

 

Birds, bees and butterflies love Cleveland sage. The unique, tiered bloom adds incredible interest to gardens, and it’s drought tolerant.

colorado gardening tips

Photo via Houzz

Bursting with fragrance and little white flowers, fernbush is native to the Western region and adds wonderful foliage that attracts hummingbirds and butterflies.

colorado summer gardening tips

Photo via Houzz

The bright hues of purple prairie clover will have your garden “abuzz with bees and butterflies” according to Houzz editor Annie Thornton.

colorado landscapers

Photo via Houzz

Believe it or not, butterflies love the tiny yellow flowers that bloom on desert agave. And we love desert agave for loving dry conditions!

colorado gardening tips

Photo via Houzz

Milkweed makes great caterpillar food for beautiful monarch butterflies, says Colorado Master Gardener Judy Sedbrook, and it’s great for xeriscapes as it does not require a lot of water.

colorado gardening

Photo via Houzz

Do you plant certain drought-tolerant flowers to attract birds, bees and butterflies to your Colorado garden or landscape? Share which ones are your favorite in the comment section below.

Have you always wanted your own butterfly garden? Or, do you need help designing and developing a dynamic landscape? Contact the gardening and landscaping professionals at Lifescape in Denver.

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.

Know the Plants that are Toxic to your Pets

Photo Credit: coosacreek.org

Are you sure the plants in your landscape and garden are safe for your little furry family members, meaning your beloved pets? Believe it or not, there are some plants that are safe for humans to eat but are toxic to pets. Cats and dogs don’t usually eat plants but to be on the safe side, here are a few common landscape plants to avoid:

  • Foxglove digitalis – can cause heart failure
  • Lilies – cause GI upset and vomiting in dogs, plus day lilies will cause renal failure in cats
  • Spring bulbs – Daffodil foliage, for example, will cause GI upset, but the bulb itself can cause seizures.  Most spring-flowering bulbs are toxic if the dog digs them up and chews them.
  • Plants in the onion family – toxic to pets when raw or cooked
  • Seeds of stone fruits – like peaches, cherries and apricots contain cyanide which can poison pets
  • Rhubarb is toxic to pets
  • Chamomile is also toxic to pets

Lifescape Associates understands how much your pets mean to your family. If you would like more information on how you can keep your landscape safe for your precious pets, consult your landscape contractor and your veterinarian.

Source: Alcc.com