Tag Archives: Lifescape Associates

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.

Practical Water Saving Ideas with a Water Wise Fountain

Even with water restrictions and water conservation efforts, it is still possible to enjoy a beautiful water fountain in your yard. Here are some practical water saving ideas for a water wise fountain:

Practical Water Saving Ideas with a Water Wise Fountain

Source: Lifescape Colorado

  • Install your water fountain, especially those with long, shallow pools, in a shady area to minimize evaporation, as warm water evaporates quicker than cool water.
  • Decrease wind evaporation with strategically placed plants and fences or barriers around the water feature.
  • If you can choose a water feature that cascades down rather than sprays up, do so. This will help conserve water by minimizing evaporation.

Some other practical water wise tips for fountains include:

  • Minimize surface area of the fountain as well as splash and overspray from fountains to decrease evaporation.
  • Choose a bubbling fountain, which can recirculate water as it flows down the sides of the vessel.
  • Install a fountain such that it waters surrounding plants.
  • Place permeable plants and materials around fountains so water can be absorbed into the ground.
  • Supply your fountains with runoff or recycled water.
  • Place a decorative rain barrel under a set of rain chains to create a “fountain” from the water collected.

Let’s say you already have a water fountain installed on your property, and you’re looking for ways to make it conserve more water without replacing it. Some options include adjusting the spray to no higher than four inches, decreasing water levels to reduce splash, only turning fountains on at certain times such as when you are entertaining, and being sure there are no cracks or leaks in your fountain.

How do you conserve water in your landscape? Let us know by leaving a comment.

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.

Maintain Landscapes Naturally & Efficiently with Greenscaping

If you want your lawn to reflect your clean lifestyle, greenscaping is the way to go. Knowing where to start, however, is another matter entirely. Each year, American homeowners spend countless hours every year mowing, raking, clipping, and landscaping. Just by trying to keep our landscapes and property values up to par, we create an unnerving amount of waste.

Additionally, yard waste contributes to already overflowing landfills known to produce methane gas and carbon dioxide, harmful gasses associated with climate change. You can take charge of your own environmental impacts by greenscaping — grasscycling, mulching, and composting. Not only can you better your environment, but you can save money in the process!

Grasscycling

Grasscycling is an incredibly simple way to reduce yard waste. All it entails is mowing your grass to no lower than 2 to 3 inches tall. Then, you leave the grass clippings where they fall and allow them to naturally decompose. Healthy grass shouldn’t be cut more than an inch, and because grass clippings are composed of 90 percent water, they will decompose and return nutrients to the soil quickly. One study has also suggested that grasscycling takes up to 38 percent less time than conventional mowing.

Source: Pixabay

Source: Pixabay

Mulching

Organic mulch made from chipped or shredded wood waste and dried leaves can greatly benefit your landscape. Mulching is the act of spreading thin layers of organic waste around plants and trees to help retain water, reduce weed growth, regulate soil temperatures, and constantly add nutrients back to the soil. As we discussed earlier, grass clippings make for excellent mulch. Another recycling idea is to donate unwanted plants to local schools, churches, and charities.

Composting

Composting turns ordinary yard waste into a natural soil additive that your soil will soak in like a sponge. Compost allows soil to better absorb air and resist erosion. You can create your own compost pile right in the backyard! To get started, just throw in food scraps, fruit peals, manure, grass clippings, and leaves.

Source: Pixabay

Source: Pixabay

Lifescape Colorado is dedicated to helping you make your landscaping dreams come true. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.