Tag Archives: Lifescape Associates

Create Visual Appeal & Control Water Runoff with Dry Riverbeds

Taking a second look at something that appears ordinary at first glance can lead to exciting new discoveries. Now that it’s getting warmer, properly managing the water from summer showers is more important than ever. While many landscape architects do plan and build drainage ditches as dry creek beds, they often fall quite short as functional and beautiful elements.

lifescape-dry-riverbed

Source: Houzz

In many areas, too much water can have dangerous and unsightly consequences. As water runoff continues to disrupt our storm systems, it can ultimately lead to ocean pollution, land slides, and slope destabilization. So, instead of relinquishing control of what happens to your water, consider making a positive impact on the Colorado landscape with a visually appealing dry riverbed.

Use a dry riverbed as a fresh new focal point or within the existing landscape to strengthen its overall appearance. To make the riverbed design look great, make sure its shape and materials complement the style of both your house and property. For example, a contemporary home and landscape is best suited by straight and geometric lines, whereas a rustic or traditional look might go well with informal and natural curves.

Knowing how water moves around your property is an important early step in constructing a stellar dry riverbed — you’ll want to make sure yours can properly funnel excess water. For a stone choice, we recommend keeping it local and choosing something indigenous to where you live. Once you’ve found the perfect shape and materials, the end result will be a realistic, artistic, and useful design element.

lifescape-dry-riverbed

Source: Houzz

If your goal is to conserve water, you’ll be celebrating in no time. A dry riverbed replaces turf, which in turn dramatically reduces the need for watering. The addition of a dry riverbed also brings a plethora of stimulating new elements to interest children and sustain their play for hours. These irresistible elements include insects and other wildlife, sand, mud, rocks, sticks, leaves, and plants.

If you’re looking to take your landscape from drab to dynamic, contact Lifescape today. Our professionals are experts at landscape design and architecture, fine gardening, water management, and more.

Funky, Colorful Large Garden Containers Add Landscape Appeal

Home gardening is all about convenience. And nothing is more convenient than a stylish garden container. It can be a hefty undertaking to redesign a garden or landscape, but with garden containers, you can redefine a garden’s style in just a few moments. We love how gardens can be designed as an arrangement of distinct spaces that feel like separate little rooms. This little collection of rooms can be achieved by carefully arranging garden containers. Below are our top five ways to use garden containers to add landscape appeal.

container garden

Source: Shutterstock

  1. Set bounds to your garden spaces. Think outside the box, and arrange small, medium, and large sized garden containers to enclose garden spaces or create walkways. Or, if your garden overlooks a beautiful vista, you can use garden containers to frame and enhance the view.
  2. Line your walkways with fragrant container plants. What could be better than a garden stroll filled with the beautiful scent of fresh flowers and herbs? For a delectably scented garden, line your walkways with lavender, rosemary, sage, and scented geraniums. You can even use the herbs and flowers to extract essential oils, make candles, soaps, and more.
  3. Add variety and architectural interest. Strong shapes naturally draw attention, and you can use this to your advantage with garden containers. Mix it up with structural plants, like elephant ear and agave. Both have different soil needs, but planting them in containers ensures both get the proper care to suit their unique needs.
  4. Control traffic with container plants. Form a snug passageway by grouping as many container plants together as possible. Naturally, guests of the garden will be forced to slow down a little and fully enjoy the sights and smells around them.
  5. Experiment with color and texture. Part of the beauty of garden containers is that they are incredibly forgiving — if you don’t like the results, you can easily start again. Experiment with different color schemes, plants, and textures to express your personality without the long-term commitment.

    container gardening

    Source: Shutterstock

Our professionals want to help make your garden visions a reality. Contact Lifescape today to schedule a consultation.

Healthy Landscapes Begin with Healthy Soils

Happy plants and trees grow from healthy soil, and even the smallest of changes in soil composition can impact plant growth. Both organic and non-organic soils have benefits that make each suitable for a variety of environments. Even still, many soils require further soil amendments such as mulch, compost, and manure to develop a rich environment in which vegetation can thrive. In Colorado, common mulch materials include wood chips, pine needles, straw, lawn clippings, and more.

soil texture

Source: Shutterstock

Organic Soil

The scientific definition of organic soil is “of, related to, or derived from living matter.” Typically, it consists of worms, microorganisms, decaying plant material, and many other things. Soil is comprised of three main particles — clay, silt, and sand. Loam is the ideal soil, containing equal parts of all three particles. Loamy soil is beloved by gardeners for its ability to retain moisture and promote adequate drainage.

Non-Organic Soil

Non-organic soils don’t contain any nutrients or organic matter, which allows them to retain a neutral pH and remain free from contaminants. In many fields of horticulture, a sterile soil is key and can be achieved by using non-organic soil and soil amendments. Another benefit of non-organic soils is that they can be controlled much better than organic soils, which makes them popular for use in hydroponics as well as in moisture retention.

soil texture

Source: Shutterstock

Soil Amendments

In Colorado’s semi-arid climate, materials called soil amendments can be added to the soil to better its quality. Especially with sandy soils, soil amendments help increase water and nutrient holding capacity. When you really want to find a solution, you have to dig a little deeper. Soil amendments work best when they are thoroughly mixed in with the surrounding soil. Keep in mind that soil amendments and mulches are not the same thing — mulches are placed on the soil’s surface to inhibit weed growth and moderate soil temperature. Over time, organic mulches will decompose and be incorporated into the soil. The end goal of both mulches and soil amendments is to improve the soil.

For help bringing your soil, plants, and trees to optimal health, contact Lifescape today.

From Conceptual Design to Budget, Working with a Professional Landscape Architect Reduces Errors

From Pinterest boards to wikiHow, it’s no secret the internet world loves DIY projects. But that doesn’t necessarily mean you should jump to do just any project by yourself. Landscape and interior design are very different, namely because landscape design presents challenges and detours that simply don’t exist in controlled environments, like your home. Landscape design requires a specific skill set, and as your landscape evolves, so will its maintenance and care. We want to share our tips on how to find a landscaper so you can transform your property into the star of the neighborhood.

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Source: Lifescape

Establish which type of landscaper best suits your needs. There are three basic types of landscapers. You’ll find that your landscape vision might require just one or all three of these types of professionals.

  1. Landscape architects have advanced training and degrees and can develop complex, comprehensive plans for hardscaping, water use, and drainage, as well as exterior structural modifications and garden design.
  2. Some landscape designers have advanced training, while others may not. These professionals can best help with the aesthetic and horticultural aspects of garden design.
  3. Looking for someone to carry out the plans devised by your architect or designer? You need a great landscape contractor!

Determine your budget. It’s a good idea to establish a budget before you reach out to the pros. A spending plan will help save you and your landscaper frustration as the project progresses, and knowing what you can spend helps you create a more realistic vision. The good news is a stunning landscape design can increase the value of your home by up to 15 percent, so keep that in mind when formulating your budget.

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Source: Lifescape

Doublecheck licensing and potential candidates’ references. Some projects such as decks and walls require certifications, especially for certain safety elements. If the job and area call for certification, confirm that your pro has the proper licensure. It’s also a smart idea to check references and make sure a candidate’s past clients were happy with the outcome.

Want to make your yard stand out from the rest? Contact Lifescape today to schedule a consultation.

Unite Your Garden: Incorporate Similar Plants & Flowers Into the Xeriscape

All of the great clothing designers of our time have centered their collections around a common idea or theme. As the models walk purposefully down the runway, the artistic unity is palpable, and you can see the vision flow from one ensemble to the next. Why should your garden be any different?

lifescape-continuity

Source: Lifescape

Landscape designers follow a set of principles for landscape design that include:

  • Unity – organizing a garden to capture and hold attention.
  • Lines – defining garden rooms and providing a physical connection the landscape.
  • Color – choosing complementary and contrasting colors to carefully create feeling and atmosphere.
  • Balance – maintaining equilibrium by carefully arranging plants and structures.

Gardening is a fast-evolving process, and constructing a garden in which all the elements appear elegant and balanced can prove quite difficult. Gardens that stand above the rest have commonalities you can implement in your own landscape. Here are our guidelines for uniting your garden:

Focus on repetition. Repeating key plants is a powerful tool to bring cohesion to your garden. Repeating one specific plant variety is a simple way to achieve this look, but you can also extend this practice to similar shapes, colors, and textures.

Reiterate a common color. Like with your home’s interior, a great landscape is enhanced by elegant color choices. Use this to your advantage by creating a color scheme that playfully meanders throughout the whole landscape. For example, a blue garden path speckled with blue sculptures and benches is much more attractive than a boring, monochromatic landscape.

Strive for continuity. Visually, the relationship between multiple garden beds can make or break a landscape. Try to avoid monotony or a clash of colors by arranging the plants to complement each other. Mixing plants with similar features is a great place to start.

Plant in groups. Using just one or two of many different variety of plants can have a clustered, confusing effect. Instead, narrow down the number of plants and multiply the number of each variety. This creates more of a strong visual statement.

lifescape-continuity

Source: Lifescape

For help incorporating the right plants and flowers into your xeriscape or garden, contact Lifescape today.