Tag Archives: landscape design Denver

Top Native Plants of the Mountains

Winter is the season to plan next year’s garden. At Lifescape Colorado, we’re committed to implementing green and sustainable landscapes, which means planting more Colorado native plants. After all, our native plants are more drought- and fire-resistant than other non-native counterparts.

As you begin sketching your garden layout, make sure to include the following top native plants of the mountains in your design.

Source: Better Homes and Gardens

Korean feather reedgrass (Calamagrostis brachytricha). If you love the soft, feathery and low-maintenance presence of ornamental grasses, Korean feather reedgrass is a great alternative to overused varieties seen everywhere else. They grow about 2 feet high and the feathered, flowered stalks will soar to about 3 to 4 feet high. The flowers have a light pink tinge when they bloom in the late summer, and they fade to a pale golden shade, which adds interest during the winter months.

Source: Better Homes and Gardens

Indian Paintbrush (Castilleja integra). It’s no surprise how this fire-resistant native flower got its name. The fiery, orange-red color of an Indian Paintbrush is actually comprised of bracts, not flowers. Its flowers are much smaller and interspersed amidst the bracts. Indian Paintbrush thrive with full sun and well-drained soil. You’ll also love the hummingbirds it attracts.

Source: Better Homes and Gardens

Pasqueflower (Pulsatilla patens). It makes good sense to list Pasqueflowers next because they look great next to Indian Paintbrush. They also enjoy the same soil, sun and low-water environment. They non-aggressively reseed on their own.

Source: Better Homes and Gardens

Prickly Pear (Opuntia polyacantha). Who doesn’t love a Prickly Pear cactus for a unique and interesting change from traditional greenery and flowers. While they remain a gray-green cactus year-round, you’ll enjoy bright yellow and pink blooms in the spring. And, of course, they’re the ultimate in drought-resistance.

Source: Better Homes and Gardens

Red Hyssop (Agastache rupestris). Your Colorado landscape will benefit from both texture and color when you plant Red Hyssop. This greenery has a silver sheen and the tall, graceful blooms add splashes of apricot, red, salmon or magenta, depending on the varieties you select. Red Hyssop is also a favorite amongst butterflies and hummingbird. Plus, deer and rabbit will leave them alone!

Contact the design team at Lifescape Colorado to plan your landscape using hardy Colorado native plants.

5 Tips for an Enjoyable Spring Garden

Spring is a unique season in the Rocky Mountains. We can experience winter, spring and summer in a single day. This makes it tricky for gardeners who yearn to transform their winter landscape.

The following Colorado gardening tips can help you prepare your landscape for the warmer seasons, regardless of what Mother Nature has in store.


Design by Lifescape Colorado

Have a vision. Use this downtime to create your vision. Have you fallen into a gardening rut, planting the same things in the same location? Visit with professional landscape designers to gain a fresh perspective. Then, start drawing up the plans or laying down the borders, so you can finalize your shopping list.


Source: Le jardinet via Houzz

Use containers. If you’re dying for a little color, consider the benefits of container gardening. Smaller containers can be easily moved undercover or indoors when a freeze or spring storm is predicted. Place larger pots on flats with wheels before planting for easy moving. Containers can create colorful focal points in a garden that isn’t quite ready to explode into full splendor.


Source: James R. Salomon Photography via Houzz

Reshape the lawn. Are you ready to cut back on your lawn and add more drought tolerant plants? Has your lawn usurped some of your garden beds? Use the dormant season to reconfigure your lawn’s size and shape, keeping in mind the mowing path come spring.


Source: Better Homes & Gardens

Work with the soil. This step requires a little soil know-how. If you jump the gun, you’ll be working — or trying to operate heavy equipment — in a muddy mess. Pick up a handful of soil and compact it into a ball. If it breaks up relatively easily when agitated or dropped from a height of about 3 feet, you’re good to go. If it remains lumped together, you should wait until soil moisture has evaporated a bit more.

Source: HGTV

Prune and shape. Your vines, trees and ornamental grasses will enjoy a little pruning and shaping attention just as much as you’ll love reacquainting yourself with them.

Contact Lifescape Colorado for professional assistance with your landscape planning and maintenance needs.

Succulent Container Garden Designs


Source: Janet Paik via Houzz

Colorado container gardens can add color and character to your landscape. They’re also the perfect venue for displaying unique and captivating succulents. While large containers can be a focal point on their own, smaller containers can be moved around at your whim, or brought indoors during the winter to preserve less hardy plants.

Designing your succulent container garden is a simple matter of form, color and inspiration.


Source: Sitescapes Landscape Architecture & Planning via Houzz

Succulent 101

You’re most likely familiar with common succulents, such as Hen-and-Chicks (Sempervivum) or Jade Plant (Crassula ovata), but the world of succulents is vast. From the larger Agaves to smaller plants that replicate exotic corals, there are succulents of every shape, size and color variation. Visit a succulent nursery or peruse this article from BHG to view a wide sampling of your future medium. You’ll be better prepared to envision future container designs.


Source: Le jardinet via Houzz

Choose the right container

One of the most wonderful features of succulents is their ability to grow in just about any container. From vertical frames to a small, chipped teacup, your container options are endless. There are two ways to approach your container design: create complements or opt for contrasts. A complementary design would match a container to the shape of the plant. Or, you might lean towards a pot that mimics the succulent’s color scheme. To contrast the plants with their containers, have fun and look for whimsical ways to create a relationship between the container and the plant inside.


Source: Better Landscape and Gardens via Houzz

Same or different?

In some cases, you may want to designate one species of succulent per pot, and then arrange the pots to gain height, texture or color variations. Other times, you may choose to show off your succulent know-how by using a wide range of succulents in the same container, creating a veritable artist’s palate of interesting shapes and colors.


Source: Better Landscape and Gardens via Houzz

Succulent Colorado container gardens are low-maintenance, requiring very little water or attention. However, Lifescape Colorado offers year-round landscape maintenance so your gardens and containers will always look their best.

Contact us to learn more about our landscape design and maintenance services.

Eclectic Outdoor Garden Styles


Source: Matt Kilburn via Houzz

There’s no cardinal rule of landscaping that says you can’t mix design styles. In fact, two of the most well-known early-20th century garden designers, architect Edwin Lutyens and plantswoman Gertrude Jekyll, were known for doing just that. Lutyens designed hardscapes and used Jekyll’s intuitive ability to choose plants that would create a unique and special garden space.

You can incorporate some of their techniques to create an eclectic Colorado garden design in your backyard landscape.


Source Jeffrey Gordon Smith Landscape Architecture via Houzz

Understand the role of architectural hardscapes

The hardscape designs form both the skeleton of your finished landscape, as well as unique features. Think carefully about how you can use the classic geometry of hardscaping to create walkways, plant beds, terraces and water features. Then, think a little outside the box to give them a different or creative flair.


Source: Kathleen Shaeffer Design, Exterior Spaces via Houzz

Masculine and feminine

Formal landscape designs lean more towards the masculine. It’s all about straight edges, symmetrical, geometric shapes and solid boundaries. You can appreciate the beauty of a formal hardscape design and then soften the edges by using rounded, draping and flowering plants.


Source: Pam Adams via Houzz

Be creative

Remember, we mentioned combining classic hardscape geometry with a creative twist? There are many ways to go about this. One example is the use of a traditional concrete walkway that becomes a part of a water feature’s path. Incorporate art pieces during the warm, dry season and use sculptures as a means of adding the unexpected to your landscape. Traditionally, a line of garden containers is planted with uniformly formal plants. You can shift the tradition by planting them with a variation of softer, asymmetrical plants.


Source: Shades Of Green Landscape Architecture via Houzz

Make a graceful entrance

The entrance to the home is often an area where architects lean toward a more formal design, since this makes a more dramatic impression. You can enjoy a very classic and formal entryway, while still experiencing the graceful and feminine energy provided by groundcover that intentionally spills over onto walkways.

Contact Lifescape Colorado to begin creating your own eclectic Colorado backyard design. Or, turn to our landscape maintenance team to keep your garden looking its best all year long.

Go Green Between Patio Pavers


Source: Jeffrey Gordon Smith Landscape Architecture via Houzz

Pavers are popular hardscaping tools, especially during the cold, winter months. They come in a wide range of sizes, shapes and colors and also work well for everything from water features to driveways to winding garden paths. Going green between patio pavers is a sustainable landscape practice, as well as an attractive way to add natural beauty to your hardscape.

The following examples show how balancing solid pavers and green space can enhance backyard designs.


Source: Windsor Companies via Houzz

The lawn that wasn’t

Water conservation is all well and good until you crave the feeling of green grass beneath bare feet on a warm summer’s day. By using large flat pavers, with generous space in between, you can design a “pseudo-lawn” area in your backyard. The space will require significantly less water than a traditional lawn, but will still provide the essence of a green area.


Source: Shirley Bovshow via Houzz

Natural water features

A water feature appears more integrated with the landscape when surrounded by natural stone pavers bordered with greenery. Grass isn’t your only option between pavers. A drought-resistant alternative that grows well in Colorado, Dymondia margaretae, will add a lovely green and silver accent, as well as texture. It forms a weed barrier, grows quickly and is soft on the feet.


Source: Rossington Architecture via Houzz

Hidden walkway

For areas where ground cover is more fragile, we recommend installing your pavers flush with the ground. In addition to providing sound footing, they’ll be low enough to avoid nicking lawnmower blades. They are also much less of a trip hazard.


Source: Cassy Aoyagi, FormLA Landscaping via Houzz

Green borders

If you’re planning on installing a solid patio or walkway slabs, use drought-resistant ground cover to form attractive borders and interruptions. Aesthetic improvement isn’t the only goal. These areas form a more permeable surface, allowing valuable water runoff to return to the ground where it’s needed.

Contact our team at Lifescape Colorado if you want to go green between your pavers. We provide Colorado hardscape services in addition to landscape design and year-round maintenance.