Tag Archives: garden design Denver

Fabulous Water-Wise Perennials for Colorado Gardens

As you begin to plan your spring garden, don’t neglect the power of growing native plants. There are multiple benefits to prioritizing native plants in your garden. They’re hardier and are able to withstand hot dry summers and freezing winters. They also require less water than non-native counterparts and will also attract birds, bees and butterflies to enhance your outdoor environment.

Sustainable plants are also a great choice, as they require zero to little watering for up to three years once established. Before you make your final selections, evaluate your landscape and identify which areas have well-draining soil and which areas get the most sun. These are the optimal locations for your drought-tolerant perennials.

Here are some suggestions for fabulous water-wise perennials that will keep you smiling year after year.

Houzz

Source: Jocelyn H. Chilvers via Houzz

Jupiter’s Beard. This cheerful plant grows between 2- to 3-feet tall and 2-feet wide. This species (Centranthus ruber) has deep-pink blooms, while Centrathus alba has white blooms. They grow on upright stalks with blue-tinged leaves and will bloom from spring all the way through fall with regular deadheading. Butterflies love them!

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Source: Jocelyn H. Chilvers via Houzz

Candy Tuft (Iberis sempervirens). Have a tumble of boulders you’d like to adorn? Meet Candy Tuft. Growing no more than 12-inches high, these crisp white blooms sit atop verdant green mounds of foliage. They look beautiful sitting between earthen gaps in rock formations or creating foreground interest in planters and edgings.

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Source: Jocelyn H. Chilvers via Houzz

Western Spiderwort (Tradescantia occidentalis). This lush and delicate grass-like foliage combined with beautiful blue-purple blooms makes it hard to believe Western Spiderwort does so well in our arid climate. It’s a beautiful addition to your meadow or wild grass garden and will bloom from spring to early summer. It attracts butterflies, but is deer resistant.

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Source: Jocelyn H. Chilvers via Houzz

Purple Mullein (Verbascum phoeniceum). This will look wonderful right alongside your Western Spiderwort, a wildflower garden or mixed-borders. Purple Mullein grows about 2-feet high and will spread just a little more than a foot. It’s a biennial with a relatively short spring blooming season. However, it does self-sow without taking over your garden bed.

Looking for the right Colorado native plants to enhance your sustainable, water-wise landscape? Contact the design professionals at Lifescape Colorado for more information.

Front Porch Landscaping Ideas

The front porch has a special place in American history. It’s the ideal place to drink a cup of coffee in the morning or converse with family while dinner is cooking. Porches also encourage neighbors and passersby to stop for a moment and say hello. These front porch-landscaping ideas will get your porch in shape for spring and summer.

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Source: HGTV

Extend your porch. Don’t have much of a front porch to speak of? You can extend it. Whether you extend it forward a bit or wrap it around the side, a larger porch creates space for comfortable furniture, as well as planters and container gardens. Things to consider:

  • Include lattice or some kind of skirting around the bottom to keep critters out
  • If you wrap it around, add another set of stairs so you have more than one way to enter/exit
  • Instead of a formal walkway, use stepping stones or space large pavers for access to auxiliary steps
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Source: Barnes Vanze Architects, Inc via Houzz

Consider the design. Porch design isn’t all that different from interior design. Consider how the porch is used and amend your decor and furnishings accordingly. Because this is a prelude to your home’s interior, the porch decor should complement your foyer and/or front living spaces.

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Source: HGTV

Create a seamless transition. Create a seamless transition from your driveway and walkway to your porch by planting flowering shrubs and plants that grow as high, or slightly higher, than your porch floor. However, plants shouldn’t be high enough to impede the view. Consider blooming times and a balance of evergreens, so your porch has year-round interest. Lavender, jasmine and sweet peas are beautiful and will also emit a sweet fragrance when they bloom.

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Source: TruexCullins via Houzz

Use containers. Container gardening is ideal for porches. Using pots and containers in varying heights and sizes, you can create a layered and interesting front porch landscape. Hanging baskets are also a visual bonus. Make sure to plant ferns, impatiens and other shade-loving plants.

Contact Lifescape Colorado for professional front yard landscape design ideas for your porch. We also offer year-round landscape maintenance to keep your yard looking its best.

An Overview of Seeds for Spring

Are you planting a fair amount of seeds this spring? If so, these Colorado gardening tips can help you order just the right type and amount of seeds you need to yield a luscious and interesting landscape all year long.

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Source: Strumelia’s Blog

Organize the seeds you have. Before you go too crazy with your seed catalogs or online seed shopping, take a careful inventory of what you have. While some seeds can sprout indefinitely (like hundreds of years-old Anasazi beans from our Colorado cliff-dwelling natives), most seeds have an expiration date. Cull through your collection and throw out any seed packets that have expired dates. If you have bagged your own seeds, or collected seeds from friends, check online to see how long they last. Keep in mind that you have to wait a precious two or three weeks before you’ll even know whether old seeds are viable.

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Source: Ellwood Thompson’s

Order now! Some seeds can be purchased year-round, others are so popular that they sell out pretty quickly. If you have your heart set on the exact species you laid out in your winter garden plans, order ASAP to make sure you get the seeds you want.

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Source: Insteading

Use heirloom seeds. Seeds have been hybridized, genetically modified and changed to grow and/or look better. As a result, many of them don’t pollinate (read: won’t attract butterflies and bees), and may even lack important phytonutrients. Planting heirloom seeds, which have been passed down for generations, preserves plant species that are going extinct. If you’re planting edibles, heirlooms are often tastier and healthier than their modified counterparts. Plus, you can harvest your own seeds for next year, or participate in local community seed exchanges.

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Source: Alan Levine via Auntie Dogma’s Garden Spot

Plant perennials. Planting perennials that do well in our Rocky Mountain climate is an excellent way to see a return on your investment. Colorful perennials that do well in our area include Lupine, Columbine, Blue Flax and self-seeding Pinks — these do especially well when temperatures get chilly.

Once your landscape is blooming, contact Lifescape Colorado to learn more about how our landscape maintenance services can help keep your garden vibrant all year long.

Top Garden Trends in 2014

Garden planning requires two perspectives –reflecting back to learn from what didn’t work in years past, and gazing forward to embrace modern gardening trends. Here are the top garden trends of 2014. Which ones will you implement in your Colorado garden design this year?

5 Top Garden Trends for 2014

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Source: All-America Selections

Plants of the year. Are you stuck in a plant rut, growing the same varieties year after year? Nearly every garden-oriented organization has a plant of the year. Here are a few of this year’s selections that do just fine in our climate:

  • Northwind (Panicum virgatum). This tall ornamental grass turns a beautiful golden color in the fall.
  • African Sunset Petunia. Looking for a burst of vibrant color? In the right conditions, these fiery orange blooms will proliferate through the first frost.
  • Sparkle White Guara. Delicate white blooms tinged with pink belie this plant’s ability to withstand heat and drought.
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Source: HGTV Gardens

Color of the year. Interior and outdoor design go hand in hand, which is why the same bold colors we see in modern textiles and paint colors are cropping up in gardens. Case in point, Pantone announced Radiant Orchid as its color of the year. As a result, you’ll see plants with similar color profiles in homes and garden shows.

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Source: Urban Farmer

Sustainable gardening. The more we learn, the more we realize synthetic pesticide and growth enhancers are detrimental to Mother Nature’s balance. In fact, the 2014 Garden Trends Report states composting as the no. 1 garden trend. They have dubbed it “the new recycling.” Use compost to organically amend your soil.

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Source: Aloe Designs via Houzz

Edible gardens. In line with sustainable gardening is the growing trend towards edible gardens. They just make sense. You can include fruit trees, herbs and fruits. If you plan it right, your edible garden will add year-round visual interest.

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Source: Calvin Craig Landscaping via Houzz

Bee love. If you don’t want to become a backyard bee keeper, you can do your part by cultivating plants essential pollinators love. These include pollen-rich flowers, fruit trees and pollinating vegetables.

Contact Lifescape Colorado for professional assistance incorporating these top gardening trends into your Colorado garden design.

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.