Monthly Archives: February 2011

Japanese Garden Design

A Japanese garden design is a great landscaping idea to add a little change and variety to your garden. It is an option that will provide a new mood and feeling to your garden, making it a more peaceful area of your home. If you would like to redesign your garden with a Japanese design or just add some Japanese style elements to your garden, landscapeliving.com offers some design tips.

  • Enclose or screen the garden from the outside world with the use of plants, fences, or berms. The Japanese style garden is a place for meditation and thought.
  • Understand the scale and perspective of the space where you would like to place the garden because these are the main techniques that create a sense of size, space, and distance in the garden. Achieve this through adding false senses of perspective by planting smaller trees or plants farther from the main part of the garden. The largest water features should be for the foreground. Lanterns should be in proportion to the plants and other objects surrounding them.
  • Rocks and boulders can be the backbone of your garden. Their size and shape help other elements fall into place and create paths throughout your garden.
  • Sentinel Stone is another use of stone in the garden. This stone symbolizes warriors, dieties, heroes, etc. They are at the entrance or at a place in the garden that will enhance its atmosphere.

For more information on Japanese style gardens or any other landscaping tips, contact Lifescape Associates today!

Photo: Andy Heather via flickr

What Flowers to Plant in the Spring in Colorado

spring gardening tips

Photo via Houzz

Although temperatures are still frigid and winter still has its tight grip on Colorado, spring is just around the corner. That means it’s time to start thinking about your garden and lawns. One of the first things that need to be determined is what type of flora you are going to plant this spring. This can be a difficult task in Colorado because of the rapidly changing weather conditions. However, gardenguides.com offers some tips on the best choices for spring planting in Colorado.

  • Bulbs – Plant bulbs in a sunny area with well drained soil, after the last spring frost. Different types of bulbs include dahlias, calla lilies, gladiolus, and elephant ears.
  • Annuals – Plant annuals after the last spring frost as well. Full sun annuals include yarrow, torch flower, mexican poppy, verbena, snapdrago, fountain grass, Dahlberg daisy, and the black-eyed Susan. Plant wax begonia, coleus, impatiens, and Madagascar periwinkle in shady areas.
  • Perennials – Plant perennials after the threat of frost is over, or during the rainy season. The options for perennials include Rocky Mountain Columbine, prairie coneflower, blue flax, Russian sage, bellflower, and bloodred geranium.

Once spring begins and you need professional landscaping assistance for your lawn or garden, contact Lifescape.

A View from Above: The Parterre Garden

A parterre garden is a formal garden design planted on a level surface that consists of planting beds, edged in stone or tightly clipped hedging and visually pleasing gravel paths that usually form a symmetrical pattern. Created in the 16th century by French nursery designer Claude Mollet, the parterre garden was conceived to be a garden that was to be viewed from the high vantage points of open windows, balconies, and palisades. So it was really a garden meant to be enjoyed by the aristocratic society. However, the English were not receptive to this type of design at first. One English herbalist even said that box had a “naughty smell” and should not be used in the garden.

It was around the time of the reign of Louis XIII at the Palace of Versailles that parterre gardens really reached popularity. Elements of the parterre garden are:

  • square boundaries made from several shrubs of different shades of green
  • elaborate interior patterns of English knot gardens
  • the use of repeating geometry
  • visually pleasing especially when viewing from above

Photo: mooseyscountrygarden.com

Photo: mysuburbanchateau.blogspot.com

Photo: slightlyrelevant.com

Lifescape Associates can design and plant any style garden you want for your Colorado home.

Composting in the Wintertime

Photo: sierraclubgreenhome.com

The weekend brought in some much needed warmer temperatures so now it is time to get outside and pitch some compost over your garden. And if there is still some snow on the ground, that won’t be a problem because the compost will eventually settle in. Plus if you plan on growing tomatoes in your garden, this will be great from them.

There is a misconception that composting during the winter time is not good. But in fact, compost needs time to mellow and break down, for this reason, winter application is beneficial- even if the compost is not tilled into the soil. As the compost breaks down, it creates a homogeneous soil mixture ripe with microbial activity. This process improves the soil’s capacity to hold onto both nutrients and water. This is why composting is good for the garden.

If you need professional landscaping services for your Colorado garden or lawns, contact Lifescape Associates.

Winter Tip: Minimize Salt Damage to your Plants

Most of Colorado is still going through sub-zero temps this week and with all the icemelt products that were put down to keep hardscapes like driveways and walkways safe, it’s important to note the one drawback caused by these icemelt products –  they can seriously harm our plant materials.

It’s safe to say that nearly all icemelt products are salt-based and these salts are damaging to plant life. What happens is the salt gets into the soil and builds up over time and this creates an ongoing issue. If your front entry sidewalk is receiving repeated applications of icemelt during the winter, it is highly likely that the salt will accumulate in th grass or flower bed areas next to the walk. And season after season of using icemelt will cause the salt levels to increase, which cause plants to get thirsty and dry out.

To minimize salt damage to your plants:

  • Use icemelt products sparingly. You will need it on walks to keep them safe but less may be enough, don’t go overboard.
  • As the ice is melting, don’t be too quick to sweep the puddles into the grass where your plants are, instead, let it evaporate. After the moisture evaporates, sweep up any product that remains and dispose of it.

If you need help caring for your Colorado landscape during the brutal winter months, contact Lifescape Associates.

Photo: Ann White via Flickr.com