Tag Archives: garden design Denver

Creating Privacy with Foliage & Shrubs

Fences and screens are typically the first options homeowners envision when it comes to creating privacy around and within their property. While fences can be an attractive option, they’re also expensive and an unsustainable solution for the long term.

Foliage and shrubs, however, can provide desired privacy with the added benefits of shade, movement, scent, cooler summertime temperatures, and a backdrop for watching birds and other wildlife in your yard.

Tips for Creating Privacy with Foliage and Shrubs

Source: Lifescape Colorado

Source: Lifescape Colorado

If you’re ready to add a little privacy while simultaneously gaining a greener view, the following tips will help you create a bit of solitude using foliage and shrubs.

Evaluate your needs. Maybe you want to mitigate the glare from exterior lights or desire a sound buffer between your home and a busy street. Often, homeowners want to create a secluded spot in their own backyard – less visible from the main seating and activity areas. Knowing what you want to gain from your living boundaries will determine which trees and shrubs will work best. Shrubs like privet form a dense formal boundary. Tall, narrow evergreens form barriers that can legally grow taller than most building codes permit for fence lines. If space is an issue, smaller trees pruned and trained to an espalier are an eye-catching option.

Select plants for the look you want. Do you enjoy the formal look of a traditional English garden or is your look more casual? Your living borders can have a very structured look, such is the case when you plant more formal hedges and shrubs like boxwood (Buxus spp), privet (Ligustrum spp), or yew (Taxus spp). If you prefer a more casual or wild look, you can use these to form the primary border and then augment them with more free-form trees, shrubs, and perennials, keeping year-round interest in mind.

Consider maintenance requirements. While most hedges and narrow evergreens will require regular pruning and shaping, other perennial plants and shrubs will not. Select plants that match your level of maintenance enthusiasm. The Lifescape team is always available to shape and prune living boundaries for you.

Are you looking forward to trading boring fences for more attractive living options? Let Lifescape help to design and implement live privacy and landscape divisions using foliage and shrubs that will last for decades.

Integrate Aromatic Plants Into Your Landscape

Landscape design is a holistic endeavor, orchestrated to provide stimulation and pleasure for all of the senses. Often, amateur designers place the largest emphasis on looks, without taking the other senses into consideration. With the right attention to detail, you can integrate landscaping elements that provide pleasing sounds, tangible delights, fruits, and vegetables to please the palate, as well as herbs and blooms that integrate pleasing aromas.

Plant These Aromatic Plants for Gardens and Landscapes

Every time the breeze blows or a flower opens you have the opportunity to enjoy intoxicating fragrances – compliments of Mother Nature. Here are some recommendations for plants to add to your landscape in order to reap rewarding aromatic benefits. Remember to keep wind direction in mind to guide their scent, whether it be towards an open bedroom window on a summer evening or to infuse a favorite outdoor seating area.

Source: Lifescape Colorado

Source: Lifescape Colorado

Lavender. Lavender is hardy, withstands Colorado winters, and thrives in dry climates. Its blooms are both colorful and aromatic, and they’re celebrated worldwide in their dried state. Just a few plants will add lavender’s calming scent to your garden spaces. An added bonus are the bees and other pollinators that will buzz and fly about, taking advantage of its pollen.

Source: Wikimedia

Source: Wikimedia

Rosemary. A staple in most kitchen gardens, rosemary plants do well in arid climates but aren’t fans of the cold. For this reason, you’re better off planting rosemary in portable containers that you can protect and insulate from the harshest winter weather. They are pretty hardy, so a few days indoors or in a decently-lit garage shouldn’t hurt them. In addition to their outdoor aroma, you’ll enjoy the addition of fresh-cut sprigs for your kitchen recipes.

Roses. No list of aromatic plants would be complete without a nod to roses. Examples that thrive in Colorado include two native varieties, such as Rosa woodsii and Rosa acicularis as well as species that have adapted to our climate, like Rosa Sydonie and a climbing rose called Paul’s Himalayan Musk. Roses are typically higher maintenance, so hire a professional maintenance team if you aren’t a consummate gardener.

Source: Wikimedia

Source: Wikimedia

Other beautifully scented flowering plants include chocolate daisies and creeping phlox. Of course, many conifers release a lovely scent when warmed by the sun, as do sweet aslyssum, bouncing bets, honeysuckle, and wisteria.

Would you like to design and grow a garden that integrates aromatic plants into your landscape? Contact Lifescape Colorado and schedule a consultation. We are here to assist you create, cultivate and maintain an extra-sensory landscape experience.

Can Your Dog Dig It? Pet Inspired Gardens & Landscapes

Dogs have long been man’s best friend and both interior and exterior designs can take the Dog of the House into consideration. If you’re planning a Colorado landscape design for a new piece of property or are ready to re-vamp your existing landscape, consider adding landscape and hardscape features your dog will dig.

Dog Inspired Gardens and Landscapes

Design for the breed. Dog breeds emerged as humans custom-bred their canines for looks and personality. Consider your dog’s personality when planning your landscape. Is your dog a digger? Will he stay out of water? Does she prefer to spend a good deal of time outdoors, “guarding the fort?” Plan for a landscape that accommodates these traits with boundaries to keep a digger off the lawn, bridges, and sloped sides with water features for a comfortable but stylish house.

Safety first. Your dog’s safety is a primary consideration, second is the safety of your garden! It’s always a good idea to have some portion of the yard that is securely fenced with plenty of room for Fifi to walk and play a bit. It can keep her safe from the weekly landscape maintenance team or from finding a rogue gap in the perimeter fence when you’re not at home. Fences also protect your herb and vegetable gardens from digging and/or chewing.

Photo via  Huettl Landscape Architecture via Houzz

Water features. Add a dog-specific water feature to gain a fountain and watering hole in one. If you have a pool or pond, install a safe walking bridge, a fence, and/or sloped edges so dogs will stay out or can get out when you aren’t around. Even the most water-friendly dogs can struggle if they can’t get a good foothold when their swim is over.

Use Non-toxic plants. Be careful of the plants and flowers used in your landscape. Some of them, such as azaleas, amaryllis, and daylilies can cause problems. Consult this list of Plants to Keep Away From Pets if you have a dog prone to chewing foliage and blooms. On the flip side, plants like burdock, peppermint, astragalus and milk thistle are attractive and healthy landscape additions.

Source: Wikimedia

Source: Wikimedia

For more advice on landscaping your home or selecting a landscape that is pet-friendly, consult with Lifescape Colorado for more information.

Tips for Starting a Beautiful Container Garden

Tips for Starting a Beautiful Container Garden

Source: Lifescape Colorado

If you want more flexibility when it comes to the location of your plants (i.e. herbs near your kitchen window), consider starting a container garden. Container gardens are ideal when you want to create special seasonal plant displays or when you don’t have the space for garden beds.

Here are a couple tips for growing a successful container garden today.

Container garden design

First off, you should determine the main purpose of your container garden. If your containers are for decorative interest, determine the the look you want to achieve. For example, you might prefer bold container designs with showy flowers or a simple desert-themed container with a beautiful cactus.

Choosing plants

A plant’s size can help determine container size, as well as which plants can be planted in the same pot. Staggering plant heights can create visual interest, but you don’t want to overshadow other plants. You should also consider your garden’s lighting needs. If your landscape has a lot of shade, try growing impatients or English ivy.

Choosing containers

You should select pots deep enough for the plants you’re growing. Plants that form shallow root systems, like succulents, won’t require deep pots. However, many other plants require space to develop a strong deep root system.

If your decorative container lacks drainage holes, create some, or place the plants in a smaller pot that does have drainage holes. After filling the bottom of the decorative pot with a brick or with layers of pebbles, insert the smaller pot.


Soil in containers dries out faster than soil in your garden. This means you must check container plants more often to make sure they’re not too dry. When watering, make sure to water deeply, until water seeps out of the drainage holes.


Container soil can be quickly depleted of nutrients, so container gardens need to be fertilized frequently. Soluble fertilizer added to water, as well as time-release fertilizer added to the soil will help keep plants healthy.

At Lifescape Colorado, we specialize in container planting and can create beautiful holiday or seasonal containers to match your lifestyle. Contact us today to learn more.

Celebrate the Holidays with a Festive Container Garden

During the fall and winter season, holiday decor can add a warm, cheerful ambiance to your home. You can even enhance this festive vibe by expanding outdoors with classy, beautiful holiday container gardens. These gardens can welcome visitors dropping by for holiday gatherings and add a splash of color to a stark winter landscape. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Tips for Starting a Beautiful Container Garden

Source: Lifescape Colorado

Create a colorful fall holiday display. Gold, red, and orange are traditional fall colors found in mums and pansies that are great for container gardens. Mix these colors in one planter for a compact festive statement, or assign one color to a separate container and place them close to each other. Remember, you don’t have to limit your fall containers to these colors. For example, adding blue flowers next to bright orange foliage or flowers can really make these colors pop.

Texture adds charm. Adding different textures to your holiday container improves visual interest. Incorporating a variety of patterns can even make a monochromatic display more exciting. However, mixing textures doesn’t just mean adding in fuzzy-leaf plants or tall grasses. Combining flowers of varying sizes and shapes can also add textural interest.

Use evergreens for festive winter containers. When winter arrives and your landscape grows barren, evergreen trees and shrubs offer a welcome splash of green. You can combine various evergreen dwarf conifers in a large planter, or plant a single native tree, such as the Rocky Mountain Bristlecone Pine, to replant in the ground at a later date. Then, just drape festive lights around these plants for a dramatic effect after sunset.

Accessorize your containers. Adding holiday cheer to a planter can add a lot of charm and warmth. For fall containers, nestle a pumpkin or gourd amidst the plants. When winter rolls around, a pinecone, holiday ornament, colored bows or similar items, can draw the eye and help highlight a beautiful holiday display.

Our professionals at Lifescape Colorado specialize in creating gorgeous container gardens for the holidays. Contact us today to let us know how we can help you design the perfect garden for your needs.