Tag Archives: sustainable garden

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.

Landscaping Ideas with Recycled Materials


Source: sustainable garden design perth via Houzz

If you’re looking for creative and sustainable ways to enhance your Colorado landscape, look around your home, garage and neighborhood to see if there are materials, furnishings, or cast-off items that can be cleverly re-purposed.

The following backyard landscaping ideas demonstrate how one person’s cast-offs can be creatively transformed for your garden design.


Source: Landscaping Network


Plants can grow in just about anything, as long as they have access to adequate water and nutrients. For a rustic and unique look, keep your eye out for old pallets that can be converted into a vertical garden. Managers at local grocery or hardware stores will be more than happy to have you take them off their hands. You can build a cold frame, perfect for a cool season vegetable garden and/or prepare your seedlings for spring planting, by recycling old storm windows.


Source: HGTV

Hardscape designs

From functional to artistic, there are plenty of ways to use recycled materials for unique and attractive hardscape designs. If you’re in the process of re-designing your backyard landscape, you can slice an old concrete slab into sections and convert it into planter beds, a water feature, or walkway slabs. If you see a home being demolished, ask the contractor what they plan on doing with the old bricks, pavers and stones. If you offer to haul them, you may score high-quality materials for a walkway, patio space or garden bed.


Source: HGTV

Backyard art

You may not think of old corrugated metal as artsy, but with a little paint and ingenuity, scrap metals can be used to build an attractive fence or privacy screen. Old windows can be hung for their artistic value or as colorful latticework for climbing plants.


Source: HGTV

Garden preparations

Gardeners have been re-purposing old containers for mini-planters and to propagate their seedlings for hundreds of years. This article from GreenYour.com has a myriad of examples of how typical household items can be functionally adapted for use in the garden.

Our Lifescape Colorado design team is expert at designing and creating green and sustainable landscape designs. Contact us to implement sustainable backyard landscaping ideas at your home today.

What is sustainable landscaping?

You may have heard the term “sustainable landscaping” tossed around, but many people still don’t fully understand what it actually is. To be honest, there are quite a few varying definitions but the staples of sustainable landscaping are: an attractive environment that is in balance with the local climate and requires minimal resource inputs, such as fertilizer, pesticides and water. – colostate.edu Sustainable landscaping starts with an appropriate design that is cost efficient, functional, environmentally friendly, visually pleasing and has maintainable areas.

Goals can be different for each sustainable landscape. It can have a short-term goal such as saving water or implementing and using a compost bin. Or it can have a more long term goal like creating a more self-sustaining garden. Talk with your landscaping contractor to find out what your needs are and what sustainable landscape design is best for your yard.

Lifescape Associates can design your landscape for your needs and budget. Just give us a call at 303-831-8310.

The Best Eco-Friendly Outdoor Floors

Photo: Stephen Orr

When it comes to eco-friendly outdoor flooring, there are a few choices that really make a great option for your home’s outdoor environment. Here are 4 of the latest trends in flooring for sustainable gardens courtesy of Elle Decor:

1. Gravel. Gravel is making quite the comeback. If you have to choose between the crushed stone or the pea gravel, go with the stone – pea gravel is a nonrenewable resource.

2. Pavers. Having a local stone in your outdoor rooms will look natural along with native plants and soil, plus it is better for the environment.

3. Decomposed Granite. If you would like an attractive flooring material for your outdoor dining area, decomposed granite is a sand-like cover that has a nice pink tint.

4. Lawn with a Purpose. Big sprawling lawns are nice, but smaller lawns that are framed with stone or gravel and have a bit of an artistic flare are in style these days.

If you want more information on what is the right type of flooring for the landscape of your Denver area home, contact Lifescape Associates.

3 Go Green Tips for your Garden

Everyone can use the Earth’s natural resources to give their garden everything it needs. As a matter of fact, keeping your garden as natural and “green”as possible is not as difficult as you think.

Here are 3 good tips to start going green with your home garden:

1. Mother Nature knows best, so use all natural compost instead of weed killers, pesticides, and chemical fertilizers. Some strictly “green gardeners” use beneficial insect reinforcements to get those pesky garden pests out.

2. Grow your own food.  Organic food can be a bit expensive. An edible garden can also be a beautiful garden. There’s no need to sacrifice aesthetics to grow your dinner.

3. Water Conservation.  A way to save on that water bill as well as water itself is to re-use it.  Many Coloradans are getting permits for rooftop precipitation collection systems, harvesting rainwater and directing it to their own personal gardens.  Enough water is collected to water the garden for weeks after the rain has come, all without using new water from an irrigation system. Go Green!

Photo: gilintx