Tag Archives: landscaping in 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.

Big Ideas for Small Space Landscapes

A modern lifestyle often means larger living spaces on smaller plots of land. You can take advantage of this by implementing big ideas for your small Colorado landscape design. Choosing multiple focal points, the right color combinations and a precisely placed hardscape, your small garden space will pack a powerful punch.

Here are five tips for creating a stunning landscape in a small space.

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Source: Better Homes and Gardens

Every inch counts. Your landscape should be precisely plotted beforehand because every inch matters. The difference between 6 to 12 inches here or there can mean a lost opportunity for a water feature or seating area. Using graph paper, sketch a variety of plans so you can see where pathways, hardscape features, planter beds, etc. make the most sense. Use this opportunity to meet with a professional landscape designer to correct potential mistakes before they become a reality.

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Source: Better Homes and Gardens

Identify focal points. Determine a couple of focal points ahead of time. Perhaps there are existing plants, trees, or features you would like to highlight. Maybe you have a unique piece of garden art already selected. Place them strategically to add interest in multiple locations, rather than displaying them all front and center. This will make your space more interesting.

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Source: Better Homes and Gardens

Use color to create dimension. When you place bright, bold colors in the foreground, the muted colors in the background seem to recede, lending the illusion of more space. You can use this trick to your advantage when selecting your shrubs, flowers and ground cover. Include plants that yield interest in the fall and winter months.

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Source: Better Homes and Gardens

Create uncluttered flow. Even a small garden space should flow. Create walkways that lead from one area to another. Using the right proportions, paths and open spaces will create a sense of scope and spaciousness.

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Source: Better Homes and Gardens

Make it cozy. Embrace the smallness of your space by making it cozy. A border of tall, lush shrubs with a well-placed cafe table and chairs can create a private, peaceful sanctuary.

Would you like professional assistance making the most of your small garden space? Contact the Colorado landscape design experts at Lifescape Colorado.

Backyard Garden Designs for Family Fun

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Source: Juergen Partridge Limited via Houzz

Backyards serve a range of family needs. It’s a place to relax, visit with friends and share holiday meals. While landscaping provides a beautiful backdrop, backyard gardens are often a child’s first playground. So, why not add “fun” to your Colorado garden to-do list next year?

Here are a few steps you can take to create a fun and enjoyable backyard for every member of the family.

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Source: Blackwell Architect Inc. via Houzz

Get to know your yard. If you’re new to your home, resist the urge to go landscape crazy. Instead, get to know your backyard over a season or two. Make sure to eliminate any hazards or overgrowth that can be detrimental to family play time. However, learning sun and shade patterns, wind directions, drainage, etc. will help you create a design that complements your land’s natural geography.

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Source: Valerie McCaskill Dickman via Houzz

Go native. A professional Denver landscape designer can help you select flowers, trees and shrubs that do well in our Colorado climate. Drought and fire-safe plants will save water and protect your home during exceptionally dry seasons. A landscape designer can also help make sure your yard is 100 percent child-friendly, so you never have to worry about plant toxicity.

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Source: Juergen Partridge Limited via Houzz

Dream big on a realistic budget. Once you know where you need more shade or sun, which areas would be best for gardening and which ones for play, it’s time to draw your dream yard. Here is the wonderful thing about landscaping — it is an ever evolving process. You can draw a dream plan and work little by little, year by year. Even the most modest annual budget can yield a stunning yard in just a matter of years. For inspiration, you can view this backyard plan from Better Homes and Gardens. It incorporates everything your family could want, including a patio, play area, vegetable garden and beautiful plants that provide visual interest year-round.

Contact Lifescape to begin planning a Colorado garden design that is both beautiful and fun for the whole family.

Take Advantage of Fall Leaves

Colorful fall foliage is one of autumn’s most celebrated features. However, once those leaves fall, homeowners don’t always feel like celebrating. The first Saturday afternoon spent raking may be fun, but the third or fourth — not so much. Here at Lifescape, we like to keep our focus on the bright side, so we’re sharing a handful of ways you can take advantage of those fallen fall leaves for your Colorado landscape.

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Source: Horizon Landscape Company via Houzz

Know their value. Incorporating leaves into your lawn and garden increases the nutrient levels in your soil. Mulched leaves will also boost the soil’s microbial population, which is beneficial for both the soil and your plants’ root systems. Water retention is improved by leaf mulch, which is vital in our dry climate. Decomposed leaves also improve the tilth, or structure of the soil.

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Source: Jocelyn H. Chilvers via Houzz

Get access to a mulching mower. If you have thought about replacing your lawn mower, consider the benefits of a mulching mower. Remove the bag and orient the discharge shoot, so it’s facing the lawn and set the mower height to about 3 inches. You may need to make more than one pass to ensure the larger leaf pieces are more finely chopped. Let the fresh leaf mulch overwinter on your grass. The leaves add carbon, the grass adds nitrogen and the result is happy soil. The leaf layer should be about 3/4 of an inch. Any excess can be added to your mulch or compost pile.

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Source: Earth Mama Landscape Design via Houzz

Add them to your resting beds. Once you’ve cleared out your vegetable garden, add a layer of leaves, whole or mulched is fine, and let them sit there all season. Most of the leaf material will decompose over the winter. When spring returns, you simply mix what’s left back into the soil with some compost and your beds will be ready to plant.

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Source: Amy Renea via Houzz

Compost. Throw your leaves into the compost pile, or let the leaves decompose in a damp pile all winter to make leaf mold, which can be used as compost in the spring.

Contact Lifescape if you would like our Colorado landscaping maintenance team to take care of your fallen foliage.

 

Don’t Forget the Trees!

It is very possible to achieve a gorgeous landscape that will retain its beauty even during drought conditions. But it’s easy to get caught up in the appearance of flowers, grass, shrubs, and other plants during dry conditions that we forget an equally important part of the equation… trees.

Trees offer a number of benefits to homeowners in addition to enhancing the aesthetic of a landscape.

With those benefits in mind, it’s important that you include some basic tree care in your regular lawn and garden maintenance. The Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado recently shared some great tips in its weekly newsletter. First, be sure to keep trees pruned properly. That will help protect your trees (and their surroundings) from wind and storm damage.

Also, be on the lookout for signs of disease or bug infestations. A change in leaf color or the appearance of a tree’s bark could be signaling a serious problem. Quick action will not only preserve the health of your trees, but protect your investment, too.

It’s also important to make sure your trees are receiving the right amount of hydration, especially in drought conditions like we are currently experiencing here in Denver. A dehydrated tree usually has brittle limbs that will snap easily in a storm and it will also be more likely to incur an insect problem or disease.

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Don’t neglect the trees in your landscape.

How do you care for the trees in your Colorado landscape to ensure they are healthy and happy?

Lifescape Associates is here to help you with your landscaping needs. Contact us today at 303-381-3810 for more information on our landscape design and maintenance services.