Tag Archives: landscape design Denver

Add Holiday Cheer to Winter Container Gardens

Your home isn’t the only place to add holiday cheer this year. There are plenty of ways for you to create a festive atmosphere by adding holiday colors to your Colorado container gardens. From dogwood branches, to vibrant mosses and ornamental twigs, your containers can add visual interest all winter long.

We’ve put together a list of ideas for some inspiration. If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed by all the things you have to do to get ready for the holidays, our Lifescape maintenance team can take care of your landscaping for you.

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Design by Lifescape Colorado

Transform an old container. We all have one or two containers that stare forlornly at us once cold weather comes around. These are the perfect place to begin. By adding a mix of evergreen boughs, grasses, pine cones, or other winter-inspired accents, your old containers will add festive cheer within half an hour or less.

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Design by Lifescape Colorado

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Design by Lifescape Colorado

One container – four seasons. With a little planning, you can create a container garden designed to be interesting all year long. By choosing a few plants that will last through the season, you can then select seasonal additions for your container. A pumpkin accent you added for fall can be replaced with faux gifts wrapped in colorful or metallic wrappings for winter.

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Design by Lifescape Colorado

The power of redtwig dogwood. We recommend investing in a redtwig dogwood. This deciduous shrub loses its leaves and, as its name implies, leaves vibrant red branches behind. They’re beautiful left standing naturally, or you can cut some of the branches and use them for container arrangements. They look beautiful paired with an evergreen plant, like a dwarf spruce or holly, or simply stuck into the soil with a blanket of vibrant green moss.

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Design by Lifescape Colorado

What are some of the ways you add holiday cheer to your Colorado container gardens? We would love to hear your ideas. Or, let us know if the Lifescape team can help you add festive accents to your garden space.


Backyard Garden Designs for Family Fun


Source: Juergen Partridge Limited via Houzz

Backyards serve a range of family needs. It’s a place to relax, visit with friends and share holiday meals. While landscaping provides a beautiful backdrop, backyard gardens are often a child’s first playground. So, why not add “fun” to your Colorado garden to-do list next year?

Here are a few steps you can take to create a fun and enjoyable backyard for every member of the family.


Source: Blackwell Architect Inc. via Houzz

Get to know your yard. If you’re new to your home, resist the urge to go landscape crazy. Instead, get to know your backyard over a season or two. Make sure to eliminate any hazards or overgrowth that can be detrimental to family play time. However, learning sun and shade patterns, wind directions, drainage, etc. will help you create a design that complements your land’s natural geography.


Source: Valerie McCaskill Dickman via Houzz

Go native. A professional Denver landscape designer can help you select flowers, trees and shrubs that do well in our Colorado climate. Drought and fire-safe plants will save water and protect your home during exceptionally dry seasons. A landscape designer can also help make sure your yard is 100 percent child-friendly, so you never have to worry about plant toxicity.


Source: Juergen Partridge Limited via Houzz

Dream big on a realistic budget. Once you know where you need more shade or sun, which areas would be best for gardening and which ones for play, it’s time to draw your dream yard. Here is the wonderful thing about landscaping — it is an ever evolving process. You can draw a dream plan and work little by little, year by year. Even the most modest annual budget can yield a stunning yard in just a matter of years. For inspiration, you can view this backyard plan from Better Homes and Gardens. It incorporates everything your family could want, including a patio, play area, vegetable garden and beautiful plants that provide visual interest year-round.

Contact Lifescape to begin planning a Colorado garden design that is both beautiful and fun for the whole family.

Magical Outdoor Lighting


Design by Lifescape

Lighting is an integral part of your Denver outdoor living design. In addition to utilitarian reasons, like safety and the ability to see the people you are spending time with, lighting creates a magical ambiance. Plus, you can use specialty lighting to highlight your landscape design features, or create multiple areas where people can sit or congregate into the late night hours.

Interestingly enough, many of the design principles we use in our landscape designs are integrated into lighting designs such as layering, visual focal points and creating a theme. Here are some tips for implementing those ideas into your own outdoor lighting plan. Always make sure your lights are rated for outdoor use.

Better Homes and Gardens

Source: Better Homes and Gardens

Layer your lights. Just as we recommend creating different layers and textures with your living landscape, your outdoor lighting can be layered as well. By combining low lights, spot lights and lights specifically designed for water features, your yard will come alive at night. Consider using solar lights to illuminate pathways and plant beds. Spotlights highlight trees, shrubs and other special plants.


Source: RJK Construction Inc via Houzz

Don’t forget the stairs. Take special precaution when illuminating stairways or uneven pathways. You can use solar lamps at the edges of the walkways. Or, if you’re in the process of planning your hardscape design, talk to us about incorporating the lights into your stairs for a streamlined look. You can also add lighting into your walls or columns, which serve as a safety features, but can also create a lovely, subdued glow.


Source: Richard Hughes Design, Architect via Houzz

Overhead luminaries. This is where your garden magic really comes to life. There are so many creative options for overhead illumination. By adding these lights, you’ll be able to enjoy an ambient light source that provides a soft, gentle glow for late night conversations. A grid pattern can be used for a symmetrical and even light source. Lights can be strung between the structure of your home and surrounding trees, with no additional support system required. Twinkle lights are always a beautiful addition to your nighttime patio and backyard landscape.

Contact our Lifescape design team to help light up your Denver outdoor living design.


The Beautiful, Spherical Golden Barrel Cactus

The Golden Barrel cactus is also known as mother-in-law’s cushion. But don’t let the name fool you, not only are these plants low-maintenance and drought-tolerant, but they add incredible texture and architectural appeal to Denver gardens and landscapes.

Golden Barrels have been cultivated for over a century. According to the United States Botanic Garden, the cactus was first discovered and named in 1889. Because their popularity grew so quickly, horticulturalists at one point became concerned that demand for the beautiful, spherical plant would mean its eventual demise. Thankfully, swift conservation efforts rescued it from this sad fate, and today, the cactus is enjoyed by gardeners and landscapers in multiple regions throughout the US.

Since Golden Barrels are indigenous to Mexico and other southwestern states, it is no surprise that they prefer well-drained soil and sunlight. As Maria Woodie notes in Horticulture Magazine, the attractive, interesting cacti do best in full sun and require little water. They also don’t mind the cold and can handle temperatures as low as 20 degrees Fahrenheit.

These durable plants are popular for containers, rock gardens and garden areas with sandy soils. They grow up to three feet high and three feet wide, and they look great alone or mixed in with other cacti and succulents. Fine Gardening suggests pairing them with blue succulents. Planting the cacti near blue plants or other complimenting colors can bring out the bright gold color of the spines and the yellow blooms, which appear in summer.

Here golden barrels are used to flank the home’s front entrance walkway. A top layer of pebbles aids drainage, and adequate spacing promotes airflow between the cacti while also creating an interesting and engaging aesthetic.

luxury landscaping denver

Source: Identity Construction via Houzz

Let the experts at Lifescape help you achieve a Colorado landscape that looks stunning year-round with little to no maintenance. Learn more about our landscape design services in the greater Denver area on our website or call us at (303) 831-8310.

Lawn Alternatives to Love

Not only do lawns drink a lot of water, they are high-maintenance and don’t always mix well with the hot and dry Colorado summers. But fortunately, there are many beautiful lawn alternatives that are also drought tolerant.

Cara panza or UC Verde gives you the look of a beautiful lawn without the hassle and extravagant amounts of water. These tough groundcovers are drought-resistant and do not need to be mowed once they are established, unless you want a turf-like look.

colorado landscapers

Cara panza
Source: Toposes via Houzz

Here are some other groundcovers that look great and require little water and maintenance.

  • Carex glauca – Carex glauca is a thin-bladed, grey-green groundcover that is grows well even in tough, dry conditions. When left on its own, it offers a lush, soft field of natural beauty.
  • Lilyturf – Beautiful green and grass-like, lilyturf sends out runners to spread quickly over an area. While this groundcover’s lumpy growth pattern makes it unsuitable for foot traffic, it works well to guard against soil erosion on steep landscapes.
  • Clover – Clover is an excellent water-wise lawn alternative. It can be planted and then pretty much left alone. Clover holds its color through all seasons and, although it is too delicate for pet or children’s play areas, it handles gentle foot traffic well.
  • Dymondia – This green and silver-bladed groundcover requires no mowing and is drought-tolerant after it is established. The interesting leaves make it a good choice for landscape areas where you are looking to add a little drama. It can be damaged when walked on, however, and so should be planted in low-traffic areas only.
lawn alternatives

Source: Blooming Desert Landscapes via Houzz

Native meadow plants and ornamental grasses are also wonderful water-wise lawn alternatives. Bluestem grasses and flowering plants such as wild bergamot add fantastic color and interest to Colorado landscapes. Native plants and drought-resistant ornamental grasses such as these are also easy to incorporate around hardscape designs to add lushness and break up the monotony.

wild bergamot

Wild bergamot
Source: Matthew Cunningham Landscape Design LLC via Houzz

From landscape design to landscape maintenance, Lifescape can help you achieve a beautiful lawn-less landscape that’s sustainable and drought-friendly. Contact Lifescape to learn about our extensive range of landscaping services.