Tag Archives: garden design Denver

Solve Water Runoff Issues with a Dry Creek Bed

Water runoff can be a problem in your landscape, but you don’t have to settle for a boring solution. You can create a realistic-looking dry creek bed with large rocks, stones, plants and more that will artistically funnel water runoff, making it look like a river.

Solve Water Runoff Issues with a Dry Creek Bed

Source: Lifescape Colorado

When beginning to design your dry creek bed, look to nature for inspiration. Some ideas to create a realistic look include creating a winding pathway for the water to run, similar to a river. Fill it in with a mixture of native rocks and appropriate plants, such as ferns and mosses up the sides of the banks of the river bed for a natural feel. You can even incorporate tree roots if digging exposes them during the construction process.

Creating a dry creek bed on your land is a very technical project that may require the help of a professional. This is because you will want to be sure the dry creek bed will be able to handle the expected water flow and have the correct width, depth, and pitch.

Source: Houzz

Source: Houzz

Ultimately, the dry creek bed needs to help solve your water runoff problems, but it may help solve other landscape issues as well. You may find that the dry creek bed helps stabilize a slope in your yard and keep water away from your home’s foundation as well.

If you are looking into building a dry creek bed in your yard, contact Lifescape. Lifescape can assist with landscape design, landscape architecture, and construction as well as landscape maintenance, water management, and more.

Plant Highlight: The Poppy Mallow Flatters Xeriscaped Lawns

Xeriscaped or grass-free landscapes present some unique challenges when it comes to adding plants and features. You have to consider watering as well as design requirements.

The poppy mallow flower, or winecup, is perfect for Xeriscaped lawns, as it provides color and texture while also being drought-tolerant. It is a purple flower with a white dot at the base with five petals. The stems of the poppy mallow spread out up to three feet, covering a large area with bright blooms that are open during the day and close at night and after pollination.

Plant Highlight: The Poppy Mallow Flatters Xeriscaped Lawns

Source: Wikimedia

There are several design options when using poppy mallow flower in your yard. You can use them as specimen plants to be enjoyed on their own, as groundcover for a large space, or mixed with a mass of other plants and flowers. You can weave it through a rock garden, place on a sunny slope, or hang it from retaining walls.

When grouping with other plants, consider adding contrasting textures. The thick lacy stems of the poppy mallow along with its bright blooms could work well with small or grass-like plants or plants with blue or gray leaves, such as Blue Spruce sedum. White, yellow, and blue are all colors that will complement the poppy mallow’s purple blooms.

As a native to the High Plains area of the United States, which includes Colorado, poppy mallow flower is a great option for Xeriscapes. They tolerate sun and drought and thrive at high elevations. You’ll enjoy their bright and colorful blooms from summer through the fall.

For help with selecting plants for your Xeriscaped yard, contact Lifescape.

Consider Elegantly Placed Vertical Gardens for Spring

Smaller yards are coming back in vogue due to people living in denser neighborhoods and desiring to minimize landscape maintenance. Let’s say you want to exercise your green thumb this spring, but you don’t have a lot of space. Consider vertical gardens to take advantage of unused space and give your landscape an elegant look.

Source: Lifescape Colorado

Source: Lifescape Colorado

A popular vertical gardening strategy is known as espaliering, which means “to train trees, shrubs, and vines on a frame, so they grow into a flat plane,” according to Houzz. This is commonly seen as grapevines growing over an arbor, but there are many other plants you can use and ways you can train them to spread. Some ideas include:

Informal espaliers. Informal espaliers allow plants, such as bougainvillea, to grow in a free form pattern. These should be placed at eye level for greatest effect. A great example of an informal espalier is when vines are trained to grow along the cracks of a stone wall.

Formal espaliers. Unlike informal espaliers, formal espaliers have a very defined shape and direction. Popular patterns include single branch, u-shaped, tiers, fences and fan shapes.

espaliering

Source: Houzz

Privacy screens. These espaliers not only look good and are easy to construct, but they also provide privacy, which can be an issue in suburban and urban environments.

Dramatic backdrops. This type of espalier is a great way to soften a large wall in your garden or even a wall of your home. The plant is trained to grow along the wall, resulting in a mass of leaves and foliage covering the area, which creates a dramatic look.

Many plants can be espaliered, including seasonal vegetables, fruit trees, evergreens, perennial vines, berries, and more. What sorts of plants would you like to espalier in your yard? Let us know by leaving a comment.

Eco-Friendly Pest Control with Integrated Pest Management

A new movement in pest control is eliminating the need for pesticides and insecticides. Integrated Pest Management is a method of preventing pests through planning, maintaining, and employing only natural or low-toxicity controls. Instead of chemical-ridden products, this pest management system yields healthy plants without compromising human, animal, and environmental health and safety.

Source: Lifescape Colorado

Source: Lifescape Colorado

Blanket applications of pesticides and insecticides may be a quick-fix when it comes to killing and warding off bugs, but they are also the cause of some disturbing side effects. The toxic chemicals found in these one-dimensional, broad-spectrum solutions contaminate the environment, build up pest resistance, and destroy beneficial pests.

Integrated Pest Management involves heedful planning, smart garden design, and proper maintenance. Gardeners that adopt these effective and comprehensive techniques from the beginning can enjoy lush, beautiful gardens that are working with the environment instead of against it.

  • IPM begins with choosing plants that are pest-resistant and that are best-suited for the region and climate.
  • Position plants to give them the pest opportunity to thrive. This means thinking about the exact conditions they need and the location in the garden that can provide them.
  • Phase two of IPM involves caring for plants carefully by weeding, pruning, and ensuring the right amounts of sun, water, and fertilizer. The healthier the plant, the less susceptible to pests and infectious diseases.
  • Learn your insects. Know which types are destructive and which feed on harmful insects for natural pest management. If you spot intruders, try picking them off plants by hand first and pruning any damaged areas.
  • If you need more natural enemies such as mantids and ladybugs, purchase and release them in the garden.
  • Provide habitats for these beneficial insects and encourage their re-breeding by incorporating a variety of flowering plants.
  • If pest problems still arise, consider spot-treating with natural pesticides such as soaps or oils that are known to treat the particular pest identified to be an issue. Be sure to read all labels and understand what plants can tolerate what natural insecticides.

    Source: Pixabay

    Source: Pixabay

Contact Lifescape in Colorado to discuss an IPM system will ensure a gorgeous and prosperous landscape.

Gorgeous, Low Maintenance Plants Great for Xeriscapes

The Rocky Mountains of Colorado are a breeding ground for gorgeous, low maintenance plants ideal for Xeriscapes. There are so many wonderful varieties to choose from with colors, textures, and forms you can endlessly feast your eyes on.

What is Xeriscaping?

Xeriscapes are landscapes centered around low maintenance plants, which are tolerant in droughts and require little water. Even though once established, these plants can survive in harsh conditions with little water, they do need to be carefully watered during the establishment period.

Gorgeous, Low Maintenance Plants Great for Xeriscapes

Source: Lifescape Colorado

Low Maintenance Plants Great for Xeriscapes

Here are some suggestions for several beautiful flowers, shrubs, and grasses to help transform your landscape into a self-sustaining oasis.

1. Yarrow. This group of Rocky Mountain native perennials are smashing in a variety of colors ranging from yellow, to white, to red. Once established, Yarrow require very little water and often spread on their own.

Source: Wikimedia

Source: Wikimedia

2. Iceplants. Not to be confused with the invasive Iceplant that plagues Southern California, the Iceplant native to Colorado is a mat of leaves that range from grey to green. We especially like the shiny, delicate flowers that coat the leaves, ranging from red, to purple, to pink.

3. Spanish Gold Broom. The Spanish Gold Broom is a shrub native to the Mediterranean. The medium-sized, deciduous shrub flourishes with small, yellow blossoms in the late spring. Even in the dead of winter, the stems remain a bright, vivid green.

4. Yucca. Yucca is an easy favorite, and it’s no wonder why. You can choose from a variety of the true evergreen, and the leaves can range from dark green to a demure, blue-green. With this plant, you can bring form and structure to your Colorado landscape all year long.

5. Blue Avena Grass. The striking texture of this grass gives it a unique appeal, and it has an effortlessly graceful look that requires so little maintenance you can just sit back and enjoy its noteworthy beauty.

Don’t let the dry season get the best of you. Lifescape is here to help you design and establish your new xeriscape. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.