Tag Archives: landscape design Denver

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Panchito Manzanita

Panchito Manzanita (Arctostaphylos coloradoensis) is a Colorado gardener’s dream plant. It’s evergreen, low-growing, and thrives in our dry climate. And an added bonus is that it’s a Colorado native plant, originating in the Uncompahgre Plateau near Grand Junction. Panchito Manzanita is a natural hybrid of two other native plant species, Kinnikinnick (Arctostaphylos uva ursi) and Greenleaf Manzanita (Arctostaphylos patula).

If you’re looking for an evergreen shrub that’s ultra low-maintenance, and is not a juniper, Panchito Manzanita is for you.

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Source: Plant Select

You’re in luck!

Until relatively recently, Manzanitas were difficult to propagate. Landscape designers and enthusiastic gardeners were relegated to Manzanita envy while hiking or visiting the Denver Botanic Gardens. Fortunately, dedicated nursery enthusiasts were able to create the ideal environment for wide-scale Arctostaphylos propagation, and they’re now available via most local nurseries and plant growers.

Growth rates

It will take your Panchito Manzanita about three to seven years to grow to its full height (12- to 24-inches) and width (18- to 48-inches).

Watering requirements

One of the greatest threats to this species of Manzanita is root rot from overwatering. It will require slightly more watering than normal to be established. After that, it requires very little watering and is xeriscape-friendly.

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Source: Lot Lines

Soil and sun

These plants require well-drained soil. If you’re natural backyard consists of the crumbly, granite-based soil our area is known for, you may not need any soil amending at all. However, if you have natural clay or a poor draining yard, you’ll need to make some changes before you plant your Panchito Manzanita. This plant loves full sun, but it can also handle partial shade.

Aesthetics

Everything about these Colorado native plants is attractive. The broad leaves are a deep green and can turn a deep red or purplish in the fall. The stems are also a vibrant reddish-purple. In mid-spring, expect to see an abundant burst of small white and pale pink flowers.

Contact Lifescape Colorado to learn more about incorporating Panchito Manzanitas in your landscape design. We offer full-service landscape design and maintenance services.