Tag Archives: Denver landscape design

Dealing with the Effects of Heat in Your Colorado Garden

As long as you’re planting drought-tolerant and drought-resistant plants, why not seek a specific kind of plant? The Drought Evader. We love this term coined by Gary Paul Nabhan in a recent Mother Earth News article. It describes plants that not only survive drought, but can also harness minimal watering to speed up its flower-to-veg cycle, bearing delicious fruits with significantly less water.

Using this as our inspiration, let’s look at four Colorado gardening tips you can use to deal with the effects of heat in your garden spaces.

colorado landscaping services

Source: Better Homes and Gardens

Use drought evading veggies. Regardless of how conscientious you’ve been about your xeriscape, odds are the vegetable garden is still gulping more water than you would like. That’s where drought evaders come into the picture. Examples of crops with early-maturing, short-seasons include:

  • Egyptian Flat Beets
  • Black Mexican Corn
  • Armenian Cucumbers
  • Charleston Belle Peppers
  • Native Sun Tomatoes

 

You can also speak to your landscape designer regarding other drought-evading vegetables that do well in our climate.

Contemporary Landscape by Sausalito Landscape Architects & Landscape Designers Shades Of Green Landscape Architecture

Source: Shades Of Green Landscape Architecture via Houzz

Cultivate Alley Crops. Alley cropping involves planting shade-yielding plants alongside lower-growing plants in order to reduce the soil evaporation rate and conserve water. You can use this technique in your vegetable garden by planting taller fruit and nut trees on the edges and lower growing vegetables in between them.

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Design by Lifescape Colorado

Water deeply. Most plant roots are healthiest when they grow deep in the soil, tapping the moisture that lies inches or feet underground. If you water deeply and less frequently, your plant roots will move deep into the soil looking for the moisture they need. If you water more often and shallowly, roots will spread outward — rather than downward — and are more susceptible to drought and heat stress.

Landscape by Other Metro Landscape Architects & Landscape Designers jenny_hardgrave

Source: jenny_hardgrave via Houzz

Try Intercropping. Native Americans taught the pilgrims the beauty of intercropping using corn, beans and squash — or The Three Sisters. This holistic planting method can work for a range of plant species and can actually increase crop yields. Mixing annuals and perennials in plant beds establishes “polycultures” that are able to harvest more sun and rain.

Contact Lifescape Colorado today to help your landscape better cope with drought and heat.

Protect Your Plants From the Effects of Water Stress

Plants that don’t grow, bloom or flourish like they should are often victims of water stress. This is especially true in our Rocky Mountain region where drought and extreme temperature changes can be detrimental, if not fatal, to non-native plants. There are several things you can do to protect your plants from water stress — the most important of which is planning a water-wise landscape.

protecting plants from water stress

Source: Feelart via FreeDigitalPhotos.net

What is water stress?

Water stress can occur in two ways. The first is when roots lack an adequate water supply. The second source of water stress is transpiration — a process by which water evaporates from the stems and leaves. In dry climates, transpiration can easily exceed hydration, which is detrimental to plant health.

Your plants will tell you when they’re suffering from a lack of water. Signs of water stress include:

  • Wilting
  • Less intense coloration
  • Reduced or non-existent blooms and/or fruits
  • Death

In some cases, soil amendments and irrigation adjustments may do the trick. You might even transplant the victims to a site with more ideal growing conditions. In a worst case scenario, you may lose the plant altogether.

The following tips can help you avoid water stress on your landscape.

Traditional Landscape

Source: Milieu Design via Houzz

Design a drought-tolerant landscape. Planting a drought-tolerant landscape is the simplest way to prevent water-stress. Water-wise landscaping in Colorado begins with knowing your own landscape, amending the soil as needed and planting more native plant species, or species that are well-suited to arid climates.

water stress

Source: Organic Gardening

Amend your soil. Organic soil amendments make a remarkable difference in the soil’s ability to retain water. Each soil type has its own benefits and drawbacks. Organic soil amendments create sponge-like clumps that retain water and enhance soil nutrients.

water stress

Source: Organic Gardening

Use mulch. A healthy mulch layer, up to four-inches deep, greatly reduces soil evaporation rates and will also insulate root beds from extreme heat and cold.

Are you worried about water stress? Contact Lifescape Colorado, and our maintenance team can evaluate your current landscape and make recommendations for a more water-wise landscape.

Simple Spring Landscaping Tips

Spring is less than a month away, which means spring landscaping in Colorado is just around the corner. While it’s still a little early for planting without the worry of snow or frost, there is plenty you can do to finalize plans, prepare the soil and begin enhancing your curb appeal.

5 Simple Spring Landscaping Tips to Get You in the Mood

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Source: Better Homes and Gardens

Go ahead and plant. Just do it indoors where your plants will be safe from the remainder of our storms and freezes. Use small pots to sow hardy annuals and perennials to add to your garden in late spring.

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Source: Rugo/ Raff Ltd. Architects via Houzz

Finalize your plans. By this point, you should have a strategy in place for spring landscaping. These questions can get you started:

  • Are you hiring a professional landscaping company?
  • Will the work be done in phases or all at once?
  • Have you identified the areas that get the most sun, wind and shade, as well as those with drainage issues?
  • What pests will you be dealing with, and are you prepared for them with fencing, mesh, and/or pest-resistant plantings?
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Source: Better Homes and Gardens

Clean up your current landscape. Use weekends to begin cutting back ornamental grasses and late-blooming fall perennials. Remove dead plant material and garden debris. When the weather is nice enough, you can start turning the soil bed by bed, being careful of perennial roots and bulbs. You can also use Lifescape’s professional landscaping and maintenance services to prepare your landscape.

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Source: Better Homes and Gardens

Prepare lawns. Nothing is worse than staring at brown patches of lawn once spring is in full swing. Take soil samples to test the pH of your soil. Amend the soil as necessary and add appropriate fertilizers. Your soil will be ready for reseeding in late spring.

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Source: Better Homes and Gardens

Prepare plant beds. Similar rules apply to your plant beds. Remove dead plant material and turn the soil. Cover them with plastic sheets to create a greenhouse effect, which will warm the soil below so it’s ready for late spring plantings.

Contact Lifescape Colorado for professional assistance with your spring landscaping in Colorado.

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.

Project Spotlight: Cherry Hill

12-Cherry Hills Residence

Design by Lifescape Colorado

Looking for some landscape architecture inspiration for your luxury Colorado home? We invite you to take a photo tour of an exquisite Cherry Hills property, which our team here at Lifescape Colorado recently finished designing and renovating. Located in the suburbs of Denver, this impeccable residential landscape has it all - recreation, entertainment and an elegant, dynamic design.

This photo taken before we began renovating really captures the state of the space, which was intended to be a garden. However, the homeowners later realized they did not have the time to invest in it.

11-Cherry Hills Residence

Design by Lifescape Colorado

This shot of the front yard shows how we were able to bring the landscape to life with vibrant, xeric and native plants, as well as a sophisticated layout with a manicured look.

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An action shot taken during the construction process shows our team filling the 8-inch thick concrete walls surrounding the tennis court and outdoor living area.

01-Cherry Hills Residence

Design by Lifescape Colorado

A luxurious outdoor living room was designed with a TV, cedar covering and limestone fireplace for relaxation and versatile entertaining. The TV can even lower into the stone counter to maximize entertaining possibilities.

06-Cherry Hills Residence

Design by Lifescape Colorado

At this angle, you can really see the gorgeous palette created with the combination of the cedar arbor and large, limestone fireplace.

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Design by Lifescape Colorado

The expansive stone terraces offer multiple opportunities to enjoy wonderful views of the pools, tennis court and Colorado Front Range.

04-Cherry Hills Residence-A

Design by Lifescape Colorado

A built-in fire pit spanning seven feet in diameter creates the perfect space for people to enjoy a cozy and warm get-together outdoors. Notice how we carefully chose stone veneers for the hardscaping to harmonize with the home’s exterior.

07-Cherry Hills Residence

Design by Lifescape Colorado

In addition to a grand fireplace and luxurious furniture, we added amenities like a ceiling fan and refrigerator to make relaxing and entertaining in this outdoor room all the more comfortable and luxurious.

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Design by Lifescape Colorado

We designed these container arrangements of colorful, cascading annuals to contrast the earthy neutrals of the stone veneers.

09-Cherry Hills Residence

Design by Lifescape Colorado

A gorgeous granite bar allows users to enjoy a front-row view of the action on the tennis court from the covered bar area.

10-Cherry Hills Residence

Design by Lifescape Colorado

As if the regulation tennis court modeled after the Centre Court at the US Open wasn’t enough, we also designed stunning stone veneer stadium seating.

We’re excited to announce that Lifescape was one of PLANET’s 2013 National Landscape Awards of Excellence Award Recipients. We’re extremely honored to have been recognized for both our Cherry Hill Residence design and build and for our Colorado Golf Club project!

From planting beautiful, drought-tolerant gardens to designing and constructing entire hardscapes, our team of horticulture experts and landscape architects here at Lifescape Colorado can help you turn your Colorado home or commercial property into an outdoor oasis.

To see more examples of our gardening, landscape architecture and construction work, browse through the gallery on our website. Then, when you’re ready to discuss a potential residential or commercial landscape project, contact us at 303-831-8310.