Tag Archives: garden design Denver

Top Perennials for Sheltered Gardens

A shade-tolerant Colorado landscape design sounds like an oxymoron, right? For the most part, Rocky Mountain gardens need to be designed for well-draining soil, water conservation and extreme weather conditions. However, the same mountainous geography we know and love has ample north-facing slopes that enjoy more shade than sun, and your own landscape may have large trees or buildings that provide shady spots in the summer.

In honor of these shady respites, we’ve put together a list of attractive perennials that enjoy the shade, but still do well in our climate.

Shade-Loving Perennials for Your Colorado Landscape Design

colorado landscape design

Source: Better Homes and Gardens

Bigroot Geranium. What’s not to love about these boisterous and colorful and hardy plants that provide beautiful green foliage displays, even while they aren’t in bloom? Here are some of our favorite features of bigroot geraniums (Geranium macrorrhizum) that are bound to be yours too:

  • Deer and rabbits pass them up
  • They can handle heat and cold
  • They don’t mind a little sunbathing now and again
  • Some varieties offer fall color


Geraniums grow up to about 2-feet tall, so give them room to flourish.

colorado landscape designers

Source: Sunset

Amethyst Flower. Did we have you at the name? These flowers live up to it, we promise. In addition to their bluish-purple color, the blooms of the amethyst flower (Browallia hybrids) are also star-shaped, which adds to their beauty. Their blooms range from white to violet and are so big they nearly cover the 2-foot-tall plant. Amethyst flowers are as happy in a container or hanging basket as they are in your flower beds.

Colorado landscape designers

Source: Better Homes and Gardens

Lungwort. Although the lungwort (Pulmonaria) may not sound like much, its fun and unusual blooms are surprisingly stunning. One of the lungwort’s most unique feature is its white spotted foliage (the reason for its name), which can add greater visual interest to your garden.

Other plants that thrive in shady spots include begonias, columbines, bleeding hearts, lily-of-the-valley, white wood aster and phlox.

Contact Lifescape Colorado for assistance designing and building your shady summer garden.

Natural Pest Control Solutions for Colorado Gardens

Landscaping with sustainable practices in mind can help eliminate toxic pesticides that are harmful to the environment. There’s a learning curve involved, but the benefits far outweigh any inconveniences. In addition to polluting the air, soil and water, pesticides also wipe out huge populations of beneficial insects that help eliminate harmful garden pests that can damage your plants.

Take a moment to learn about some of the natural pest control solutions you can use to eradicate the pests you don’t want, while keeping beneficial insects and critters alive and active.

Contemporary Patio by Jersey City Design-Build Firms Brunelleschi Construction

Source: Brunelleschi Construction via Houzz

Use birdhouses and bird baths. Talk about a two-fer; birds who prey on garden pests want nothing to do with your fruits and veggies. We’re fortunate to have a whole host of insect-loving birds here in Colorado, such as bluebirds, nuthatches, grosbeaks, chickadee, swallows and more. Providing a habitat for them near your garden gives them ample access to the creepy crawly things they love to feed their hatchlings. Plus, you get to watch the interesting and playful behaviors displayed by these intriguing members of the animal kingdom.

Eclectic Exterior by Wayne General Contractors Janiczek Homes

Source: Janiczek Homes via Houzz

Raise chickens. Even a hen or two will do their part in eating predatory garden insects. They also like greens and veggies so it’s usually best to feed chickens hand-picked garden pests, and then let them have free reign of the beds in between crops to eliminate pests and fertilize the soil.

colorado landscaping services

Source: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Identify good guys. It’s worth your while to identify beneficial insects so you know who to keep and who to pick off. Some of Colorado’s native insects are your best ally in eliminating harmful pests. Examples include:

  • Spiders
  • Assassin Bugs
  • Lady Bugs
  • Green Lacewings
  • Syrphid Flies
  • Ground Beetles
  • Preying Mantids
  • And so many more!

You can consult this fantastic guide from CSU to learn more.

colorado landscaping services

Source: Better Homes and Gardens

Organic insecticides. There are plenty of organic pesticide options as well, including diatomaceous earth (DE), horticulture oils and Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis). Make sure you discuss them with your landscape designer to learn more about how to use these insecticides.

Lifescape Colorado is committed to helping you design and maintain the most sustainable landscape possible, so make sure you contact us today for more information about our services.

Bountiful Bee and Hummingbird Gardens

A sustainable landscape design taps into the relationship we share with our living, breathing world. This means making conscientious choices about the types of trees, plants and flowers we decide to incorporate into our landscapes.

If sustainable Colorado gardening is important to you, try keeping wildlife, such as bees and hummingbirds, in mind when selecting your plants. You’ll be repaid with beautiful blooms and ample visual entertainment to while away lazy summer afternoons.

Here are a couple tips for growing your own bountiful bee and hummingbird garden.

Traditional Landscape by Lincoln Landscape Architects & Landscape Designers Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens

Source: Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens via Houzz

Think “native” and they will come. One of the most delightful gifts of planting a native, drought tolerant garden is being able to attract the local population of bees, birds and butterflies to your landscape. These are the plants they have adapted to our climate over thousands of years. By using native plants, you’ll provide the pollen, seeds, fruits and nectar our local wildlife depends on year-round.

Traditional Landscape by Austin Landscape Architects & Landscape Designers J. Peterson Garden Design

Source: J. Peterson Garden Design via Houzz

Plant tubular blooms. Hummingbirds are nectar feeders. Pollination occurs when their feet or feathers brush against a flower and its pollen is transported to the next nectar station. Their prominent beaks and amazingly dexterous tongues are attracted to colorful tubular blooms, such as the climbing Crossvine (Bignonia capreolata), virtually any species of Penstemon, especially Scarlet Bugler (Penstemon centranthifolius), honeysuckles and salvias.

Landscape by Lincoln Landscape Architects & Landscape Designers Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens

Source: Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens via Houzz

Pollen for the pollinators. Bees use pollen to make honey, so pollen-rich plants are a must for any bee and hummingbird garden. Your best bet is to use heirloom plant species because hybrid and genetically modified plants don’t have the same quantity/quality of pollen as their ancestors.

Traditional Landscape by Chicago Landscape Architects & Landscape Designers The Brickman Group, Ltd.

Source: The Brickman Group, Ltd. via Houzz

Baths and watering holes. Using a shallow bird bath with a large stone in the middle is another treat you can set up to keep bees and hummingbirds in your good graces. Birds like to use baths to wash themselves — usually in the early mornings — and both birds and bees will use it to hydrate themselves throughout the day. Placing a rock in the middle will help prevent thirsty bees from drowning.

Finally, go organic! Pesticides and herbicides can mean the death of these gorgeous winged creatures. Would you like professional assistance with your Colorado garden design? If so, contact Lifescape Colorado today!

Beautiful Backyard Landscaping Design Ideas

Some garden planners can see a beautiful landscape in their mind’s eye, draw a sketch and begin listing where certain flowers and plants should go without a single consultation. Others need a little visual inspiration before they can commence with their Colorado landscape design. If you fall into the latter category, read on for a some beautiful garden design ideas.


Source: Better Homes and Gardens

Elevate your landscape. Living in the Rocky Mountains doesn’t automatically mean you have a hilly landscape. Many of us city dwellers could use a little elevation to create interest. You can haul soil into your backyard, frame it with pavers or natural stone and enjoy a raised bed for a small lawn and/or garden. It can make a dramatic difference.


Source: Better Homes and Gardens

Paver heaven. Pavers are a wonderful gift to the landscaping world. When you fill the spaces between them with green groundcover, you can create an area that’s exceptionally drought-tolerant and well-draining. Pavers also provide visual interest and can be used as a seating area, dining space, or a relaxing outdoor room for your family.

Source: Lori Smyth Design via Houzz

Create an outdoor room. With the addition of a fireplace or fire pit, you can increase your home’s square footage. Analyze your space carefully so you can provide appropriate wind blocks, lighting, heat sources, furniture, etc., to make the most of your outdoor room.

Source: Laidlaw Schultz architects via Houzz

Design an pond. A pond or water feature provides soothing sounds, a peaceful area to relax and a space to grow some water plants. They don’t have to be big – small ponds provide equal enjoyment and require significantly less work.

Source: JKT Associates, Inc. via Houzz

Use a living wall. There are all kinds of ways to create privacy in your backyard, but we’re fans of the living wall. A vertical garden is stylish, enhances your view and can be augmented seasonally to retain interest year-round.

As always, you can get in touch with Lifescape Colorado should you need any assistance along the way. We can help you design, build and maintain your masterpiece all year long. 

Colorful Annuals for Spring Container Gardens

There are so many reasons to incorporate container gardens into your Colorado landscape. Hanging or grounded, these gardens provide seasonal color to walkways, porches and patios. Plus, you can plant slightly off-season, since containers can be moved inside or under cover to avoid damage from late spring frosts or storms.

While containers can be planted with perennials, such as succulent containers, most landscapers use annuals to enjoy vibrant colors in different seasons.

The following are five superstar annuals for your spring container and basket gardens.

Source: Proven Winners via Houzz

Superbells Lemon Slice (Calibrachoa hybrid). Ready for some sunshine in your landscape? Superbells Lemon Slice look similar to petunias, but are actually Calibrachoa hybrids. They’re unique, bright and decidedly cheerful. They prefer full sun and require moderate water.


Source: Log House Plants

Superbells Dreamsicle (Calibrachoa hybrid). Here’s another fun Calibrachoa hybrid for you in practically edible shades of pink, orange, yellow and purple. They’re colorful and interesting enough to be the sole star of a container or two.


Source: Dave’s Garden

Chinese Spinach, Joseph’s Coat (Amaranthus tricolor). There are multiple reasons to use this hardy annual in your baskets or containers. The first is their unique, tri-color foliage that boasts color nearly year-round. The second is that its blooming period stretches from summer through fall. Thirdly, it can handle everything but soggy soil, making it a versatile addition with other plants.

Jewel of Africa

Source: H ELITE

Jewel of Africa (Tropaeolum majus). If you’re a gardener who appreciates the finished product more than the process, you can save some time by planting Jewel of Africas in a basket or container located where the plant can climb (it can grow up to 8-feet). It blooms in a variety of shades, including salmon, peach, apricot, scarlet and dark cream.

Source: Le jardinet via Houzz

Bonfire Begonia (Begonia boliviensis hybrid). What’s not to love about the Bonfire Begonia? It’s a stunner when trailing out of baskets, hates anything more than average watering, loves full sun and will draw humming birds like crazy from summer until our first fall frost.

Don’t forget that Lifescape Colorado offers landscape maintenance services, so you can enjoy healthy and colorful Colorado container gardens for most of our four seasons.