Monthly Archives: January 2011

Spruce up your Outdoor Space with Large Potted Plants

If you are looking for a simple solution to sprucing up your front porch, the area around the front door or the patio, large potted plants will be a great option.  Potted plants can add a colorful and decorative accent to an otherwise dull and ordinary area. Large potted plants in many cases are quite easy to care for and can require very little gardening skill. The Colorado winters can get very cold and there are many large potted plants that are strong enough to endure the snowy winter weather, even when the temperatures drop to below freezing.

Large potted plants are very heavy, especially after you add in the weight of the soil in a huge pot, plus the sheer weight of the pot itself. The plants foliage or stems make it difficult to move heavy potted plants around your landscape. It’s best to call a professional landscape contractor if you are thinking about having large potted plants in your landscaping. They have all the necessary equipment to easily plant and move large potted plants.

Get your Shovels ready before Gardening Season

Now that the snow has melted and the sun’s come out, if you gardeners are dying to get outside, now is your chance. The first thing you need to do is sharpen those shovels. Go in the shed and check the sharpness of your shovel because planting time is just around the corner and you’ll want your tools to be ready to go.

Here are the steps you’ll need to follow to get those shovels ready:

1. Make sure you remove the rust before sharpening the blade of your hoe or shovel. Rust will shorten the life of your garden tools. To do this, use steel wool and a rag.

2. Use a metal file to sharpen the blade.  During the gardening season, regularly use a file to maintain sharpness. If the blade is really dull, you may need to rent a small grinding wheel to sharpen the edge.

3. Check the handles also. It can be very dangerous using a shovel with damaged handles. The handles are replaceable if the blade is still good. Fiberglass handles are a good option for replacement.

Now you’re all set to start digging next month, but if you have a landscaping job that a simple shovel just won’t do, contact Lifescape Associates for your Colorado landscaping needs.

Photo: Rob D. Brodman via

How to Protect your Trees from Snow Damage

The recent Colorado snow storm may have caused damage to some trees due to the ongoing days with temperatures below zero. An important thing to remember during this time is to protect your trees against the heavy snow loads that can break limbs. The wet spring snow especially will cause damage. Take a proactive approach to guarding your trees. As you see the snow start to accumulate, gently shake it off the trees. If the storm is more severe with heavy snowfall, you will need to do this repeatedly as the snow continues to fall. Here are a few tips on getting snow off your trees:

  • Use something similar to a broom handle as your tool.
  • Start shaking branches at the lowest part of the tree first. If you start at the top, you’ll just be adding more snow to the snow covered lower branches.
  • Make sure you always push the branch up and not down. By pushing the branch down you add to the tension on the weighted branch and that could cause it to snap.
  • Check the deciduous trees, first. If the tree has a trunk with a V-shape, it’s more likely to split in time of heavy snowfall and strong winds.
Photo: Major Clanger via

Pre-planning for your Spring Landscape Design

Even while we are in the midst of winter, Colorado, you should still be thinking ahead to your spring landscaping design. Now is the perfect time for pre-planning your spring landscape because it gives you an opportunity to list out all the features you like about your landscape and those you want to change. And it is possible that you just want to enhance the look of something you already like within your landscaping, for example a pond. If you already have a beautiful pond but want to add a lovely stone wall or seating area near your pond to enjoy the landscape better, that’s an excellent idea.

Maybe you want to plant a new tree or shrub in your backyard. Once you figure out what species tree or plant you want, it’s important to make sure you have the proper care knowledge to keep the plant alive and healthy. If you are planning to introduce a new plant or tree in the front of the house, make sure it’s a species that complements the style of the home.

What about hardscapes? In your spring pre-planning you can be deciding on what type of hardscapes you want in your landscape. These are just a few things for you to plan for, but there is such a variety of different materials and styles, it’s best if you consult a landscape architect before trying to figure it out all on your own.

Lifescape Associates can help you decide on what landscape design will work best for your home and we can get the job done right, so you can stay stress free knowing your landscape is in the care of professionals.

Important Colorado Winter Watering Tips

Because winters are dry and snow is minimal in the front range, newly planted vegetation needs supplemental water to stay alive. Irrigation systems have been turned off to prevent freezing pipes, so manually watering is necessary. This ensures plants, that have been newly planted, will survive throughout the winter.The most important plants to keep watered are plants that keep their leaves all year (broadleaf evergreens) because they perspire water through those leaves.

It’s best if you water the tree underneath the branches and within the drip line. You want to water to the depth of approximately 12 inches. Most trees should get ten gallons per inch of trunk diameter however that may be reduced due to the amount of rain or snowfall received. For young trees and evergreens, water them twice a month during the winter months. You can use soil needles, soaker hoses or soft spray nozzles to water your landscape, just be careful of water runoff and placing soil needles too deep, 6-8 inches is recommended.

Don’t hesitate to contact Lifescape Associates for your winter Colorado landscaping needs.