Tag Archives: Lifescape Associates

The Importance of Snow Removal

 

It’s all fun and games to sing, “Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow…” until it does. Snow removal in Colorado is never top on a list of anyone’s favorite things to do, but being prepared is the key to keeping it manageable, as well as preserving your walkways and drive.

Peruse this checklist to make sure you’re prepared for snow removal this winter season.

Source: bang via morgueFile

Protect your landscape. Once the snow gets high enough, it can be difficult to tell where to stop shoveling. Before you know it, you will have hacked away at some of your prized trees and shrubs. By lining your planter beds with tall stakes, you’ll be able to tell where walkways and paths stop, and where fragile plant materials begin. Also, never shake the snow off your plants or shrubs. The frozen branches can snap off, doing irreversible damage to your plants.

Ice melters. You can purchase eco-friendly deicing products at your local hardware store. Typical deicers, or melters, have chloride, which can be destructive to both your plant and animal friends. Look for pet- and plant-safe, chloride-free products. These can even be applied before the storm to help prevent ice from sticking to hard surfaces.

Snow blowers and shovels. Invest in a snow blower that can do the backbreaking work for you. Once the bulk of the snow is out of the way, use an ergonomically designed shovel that prevents repeat bending. Avoid pileups next to the foundation or against wood, where moisture damage is a costly potential.

Act fast. Time is of the essence when it comes to safety. Ice is incredibly dangerous. The longer you wait between the storm and your snow removal, the more ice has a chance to build up. Try to shovel mid-storm to lighten your load.

Hire professionals. Lifescape offers professional snow removal in Colorado. You can schedule our services regularly, or keep us on call when you are on vacation. We make sure your walkways are safe and your landscape is protected.

Not sure if a snow removal product is landscape-friendly? Contact Lifescape today, and we’ll let you know.

A Colorado Gardener’s December Checklist

For many in Colorado, December’s cold weather offers a great excuse to huddle indoors next to a warm fireplace. However, for the Colorado gardener, December is also the time for specific garden and landscaping tasks. Here is the checklist for making the most of your landscape during this festive, yet chilly month.

Houzz

Source: The Garden Consultants, Inc. via Houzz

Repair hardscape features

By December, many plants have died or have gone dormant. Furthermore, arbors and trellises that were once covered are now exposed. Therefore, this is a convenient time to repair broken slats and beams.

Also, check your walkways for broken pavers and other safety issues. Fallen leaves or snow covering a walkway can hide these problems and create a tripping hazard.

Houzz

Source: Janet Paik via Houzz

Prune evergreens and decorate for the season

Shape up your evergreens and keep them healthier by pruning them. December is a great time for this as most will be dormant or partially dormant. Save the trimmings for wreaths, table centerpieces and other seasonal decorations.

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Source: Kaufman Construction Design and Build via Houzz

Add mulch

Landscape maintenance is a year-round activity and mulching plants is a vital part of this process, especially in fall and winter. Even if mulch was applied in autumn, you should check it in December to make sure it has not blown away or lost depth. Mulch should be at least between 3 to 5 inches deep to offer the best protection for your plants.

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Source: Studio AB via Houzz

Maintain your walkways

Prevent guests from slipping on icy walkways. Use sand on concrete and special de-icing chemicals on wood or tile.

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Source: Paintbox Garden via Houzz

Add hardy trees and shrubs

Hardy shrubs and trees can be planted any time of the year. If your landscape is lacking winter charm, adding these can bring new life and added visual interest. If you do not want to add them right now, make a note to yourself of the areas in which you wish to plant them in the future.

For professional advice and assistance with your December landscaping needs, contact Lifescape at 303.831.8310. We provide year-round landscape and gardening services, including maintenance, planting, architecture and construction.

Holiday Decor at the Governor’s Mansion

Source: Jirodrig via Wikimedia Commons

The Colorado Governor’s Residence at the Boettcher Mansion will be open for public tours Dec. 14 to 20 from 10 am to 2 pm. This provides the perfect opportunity to see “Colorado’s Home” bedecked with holiday finery. The interior was decorated by the Colorado chapter of ASID, while Lifescape Colorado had the honor of decorating the exterior grounds of the Governor’s Mansion.

Tours are free of charge, but tickets are limited, so we recommend making reservations to hold your spot. In addition to beautiful holidays decorations, guests will be able to see art and artifacts with ties to three original Denver pioneer families — Cheesman, Evans and Boettcher.

Throughout the 19th century, Americans who believed in the Manifest Destiny set their sites outside crowded East Coast cities and began the great westward migration. In 1861, one of these pioneers, Walter Scott Cheesman, drove an ox cart from Chicago to Denver and joined his brother in the drug store business. Cheesman worked hard to make the most of his new town, and was instrumental in bringing railroad services and developing the real estate market. In 1907, he began construction on what is now the Governor’s Residence.

The home’s construction was continued after his death by his wife and daughter Gladys Evans. In 1923, the house was sold to successful businessman Claude K. Boettcher and was presented to his wife as a Valentine’s Day present in 1924. Eventually, the home was left to the State of Colorado to be used as a Governor’s home.

The Governor’s Residence has evolved and grown over the past two centuries. It features stunning Colorado landscaping, including a pond, an extensive fountain-centered rose garden and a solarium. The interior has several celebrated architectural and artistic features, including a Waterford cut crystal chandelier that originally hung in the White House ballroom during President Grant’s term in 1876.

Stay tuned for future updates on the decorating progress, as well as pictures from the upcoming media night on Dec. 2! Several of us from Lifescape will be attending.

Settle into the holiday season by touring beautiful Colorado landscaping and architecture at The Governor’s Residence.

Foliage Fun: Adding Texture to Your Garden

Think of your garden like a bouquet. If you want to achieve a distinct and dynamic design, you’ll want to combine various colors, shapes, heights and textures into a harmonious arrangement. Becoming familiar with different types of foliage textures can help you learn how to best arrange plant varieties to achieve a beautiful garden design with wonderful depth and interest.

Some foliage textures or leaf sizes and shapes will be ideal for filling large spaces, while others will be better suited for adding decorative touches along garden edges. One way to go about choosing foliage textures is to sort them into four broad categories.

Simple Foliage. Leaves of this category are typically round, oval, heart-shaped or arrow-shaped.

Linear Foliage. This category includes ornamental grasses, as well as plants with long, narrow leaves like iris and yucca. It also includes spiky or upright foliage like Euphorbia or “Sticks on Fire.”

Fern-like Foliage. As the name implies this foliage texture includes plants with deeply cut leaves like that of yarrow, as well as those with thicker, more compounded leaves like the European mountain ash.

Complex Foliage. Houzz writer Jocelyn Chilvers calls these types of leaves “fancy foliage.” Whether lacy, loped or indented, elaborate foliage is like the jewelry of the garden.

Let’s take a look at some stunning examples of these four foliage textures.

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Source: Creative Garden Spaces via Houzz

The simple foliage and tiny blue flowers of the groundcover below create a nice contrast with the large, heart-shaped leaves of the false forget-me-not or “Jack Frost.”

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Source: Stone Farm via Houzz

The fancy foliage of these geraniums add a rich lushness to this garden, while the linear foliage of the ornamental grass adds welcomed height.

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Source: Strata Landscape Architecture via Houzz

This succulent garden is a gorgeous combination of large and small simple foliage, linear foliage and complex foliage.

Each foliage texture allows individual plants to make a visual statement. But a keen eye is required to ensure harmony and cohesiveness in landscape designs. Contact the experienced landscape designers at Lifescape Colorado, and we’ll help you achieve a garden with great color and textural interest.

Prepare Your Garden for Winter Weather

If you prepare your garden properly, winter becomes a beautiful season of hibernation that is well worth the wait come spring. But to ensure your perennials will come back with all the color and fervor they can, here are some tips to get your garden ready.

Source: Better Homes and Gardens

First, be sure to clean up any dead stems and foliage of annuals and vegetables. This is crucial to preventing any diseases from harboring. Gather all of the fallen leaves as soon as possible to add to your compost, or start a new one. Smaller pieces decompose faster, so try mowing over leaves before gathering and adding to your compost. Consider saving branches and vines for natural decor and wreaths during the holiday season.

Source: Better Homes and Gardens

Fertilize any young trees and shrubs. At this time, it is also beneficial to till the soil to discourage weeds in the spring. Next, you’ll want to spread a thick layer of mulch to provide protection for soil and plants.

Source: Better Homes and Gardens

The layer of mulch acts like a thermos. This is important because when the soil freezes you want it to stay frozen. It’s the freezing and thawing and then freezing again that can damage plants and rob soil of its nutrients. It’s best to wait until the first frost to lay down this mulch to ensure no rodents are nesting within the soil.

Source: Better Homes and Gardens

For your mulch, it’s recommended to use evergreen boughs on bulb beds to keep soil from shifting and shallow plants from upheaving. For beds and perennials, chopped leaves and pine needles are best.

Source: Better Homes and Gardens

If you are moving any plants indoors, let them acclimate to temperatures slowly by keeping them in a shed or garage for a few days first. Finally, it’s time to clean garden tools thoroughly, including your hose. Store them away in a safe, dry place until spring.

If landscaping becomes a chore, let the experienced team at Lifescape Colorado help you care for your yard and garden all year long.