Tag Archives: Lifescape Associates

Secret Garden Alcoves Come Alive with Hidden Passages & Beauty

Sometimes you just have to get away from it all, and summer is a great time to relax and retreat. Whether you’re planning a summer vacation or not, you can create a special outdoor living space at your own home where you can escape anytime.

Perhaps you would like a secret garden alcove or other hidden outdoor space where you can go to dine, relax, entertain, do yoga, or indulge a hobby such as painting. Whatever the use, the beautiful scenery of your landscape is sure to inspire you.

Secret Garden Alcoves Come Alive with Hidden Passages & Beauty

Enjoy the beauty of your garden with an arbor. Source: Lifescape Colorado

Begin by visualizing some ideas for what you would like and what would work for your existing yard. There are all sorts of garden retreats to choose from. It could be as simple as placing an arbor covered with blooming vines over a bistro table and chairs. A garden shed could serve double duty as a potting area for plants as well as a quiet spot for writing or painting.

Even plants, flowers, shrubs, and tress can be used to create a private spot in your yard. They form natural barriers that can be the walls of your secret outdoor room. Plus, this will add interest to your overall landscape, too.

No matter what type of garden retreat you choose, a big component will be giving it a magical or dream-like feel. This can be accomplished with the types of plants and landscape elements you use. Sweet-smelling flowers, colorful foliage, carpet-like groundcovers, and creeping vines all set an enchanting tone. Other features to consider include pathways and water fountains.

Secret Garden Alcoves Come Alive with Hidden Passages & Beauty

Enjoy your own secret beautiful space in your garden. Source: Houzz

Design is in the details. Pay attention to details such as finishes, styles, colors, and other effects to give your landscape an air of mystery. A window in a garden wall can reveal a hidden part of the landscape that invites you to explore what’s behind. The interplay between light and shadow is another way to add intrigue. Simply building in layers to your garden can add interest.

What would your ideal garden retreat look like and what would you use it for? Let us know by leaving a comment.

Dry Shade Plants that Dazzle Gardens

Finding plants that work well in a dry and shady place doesn’t have to be hard. Some plants are better suited to these conditions and can add color, texture and beauty to your garden at the same time.

There are a wide range of shade-tolerant plants. Some require full shade, while others can get by with partial- or half-shade. If you are planting in a shady spot, you can also try different ways to increase the amount of sunlight the plants get by using reflection off of a fence or home that is painted a light color, for example. Pruning can also help bring in more light.

Dry Shade Plants that Dazzle Gardens

Ferns are great for shady gardens. Source: Shutterstock

Shade plants also need water, so you’ll want to make sure plants that need moist conditions have access to water.

We like these ideas for designing a shade garden from the Colorado State University cooperative extension service:

  • Play up textural contrast, choosing some large leafed plants such as hostas and some fine leafed plants such as ferns.
  • Choose plants with varying heights such as dwarf and upright conifer.
  • Glossy leaves and light colored flowers stand out more in the shade.
  • Plants with red in them contrast well with lots of greenery.
  • Blues and purples should be paired with light yellows or whites to draw attention to them.

Colorado State also has these suggestions for shade-tolerant plants:

Impatiens are great for a shady garden. Source: Shutterstock

Impatiens are great for a shady garden. Source: Shutterstock

  • Shrubs and small trees are naturally found growing under the shade of large trees and are ideal for small yards.
  • Look for “serviceberry; arrowwood, burkwood and leatherleaf viburnums; highbush cranberry; redosier dogwood; Oregon grapeholly; and spreading euonymous.”
  • There are also shade-tolerant groundcovers such as periwinkle and English ivy and perennials such as daffodil, tulip, and crocus.
  • Ornamental grasses can work in shade gardens as well.
  • Foxglove and impatiens are a few of the annual flowers that can be used in shade gardens.

Have more questions about planting a shade garden? Contact Lifescape for help.

Lifescape Colorado & Colorado Homes & Lifestyles Host Design Talks in the Community

The weather in Colorado is finally starting to feel more like summer, so we thought it was a fitting time to celebrate the warmth by hosting a Networking by Design event with Colorado Homes & Lifestyles Magazine on May 15. The event got off to a great start with delectable food provided by Krave Colorado Catering — we could hardly stop ourselves from seconds (and thirds)! Guests were also able to enjoy music courtesy of ListenUp, play cornhole, and converse well into the evening.

We absolutely adore hosting events geared towards bringing together design professionals and encouraging collaboration and innovation within the design and landscape industries. The opportunity to connect with people we can share our experience and services with is practically priceless!

Colorado Homes & Lifestyles Magazine

We had such a great time at the event. Source: Colorado Homes & Lifestyle Magazine

At Lifescape, we’re always excited for the opportunity to share our love for creating and maintaining sustainable outdoor spaces. Through the nourishment of natural beauty, we hope to enhance our community and conserve our planet’s natural resources. We carry our projects from conception to actualization, and our attention to detail sets us apart from our competitors. Some of our most sought after services include:

  • Weekly turf and irrigation for your lawn.
  • Weekly or biweekly garden maintenance.
  • Development of a comprehensive three year plan to enhance your landscape.
  • Help with horticulture.
  • Winter care.
  • Water efficiency.
  • Design and implementation of xeriscapes and rain gardens.

There’s no better time than now to educate yourself on how you can increase your property value and the enjoyment you receive from your outdoor spaces. Our love of Colorado native plants inspires us to constantly innovate ways to reduce our carbon footprint and design landscapes for sustainability. Sustainability is more than just a beautiful landscape — it’s an ongoing, in-depth process, and events like this one remind us why we love what we do!

Whether you’re in need of weekly landscape services, fine gardening, or water management, Lifescape is here to help. Our work with the “Mountain Modern” project was featured in Colorado Homes & Lifestyles’ June issue as Home of the Year. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

Optimum Gardening Solutions for Sandy, Dry Soil

Wouldn’t it be great if you had the perfect soil for your garden? Few gardeners do. If you have sandy, dry soil, we have some solutions for designing, growing, and planting in these conditions.

When it comes to designing a landscape with sandy, dry soil, you can find inspiration in desert or beach environments. These are sparsely planted and have a lot of the soil visible so the plants all get enough nutrients and can be properly maintained with limited resources. Plants often include drought-tolerant plants and succulents. Water features are kept to a minimum to reduce water evaporation.

Optimum Gardening Solutions for Sandy, Dry Soil

Succulents are great for sandy landscapes. Source: Pixabay

Paths, such as slightly elevated wooden boardwalks, may be added to prevent the sandy soil from being disrupted by feet and the soil from entering your home. Other hardscaping elements such as gravel, boulders, and stone pavers, walls, and sculptures help fill in the sparseness of the plantings and offer a modern look.

If you have the opportunity to install permeable pavement for hardscapes or driveways, sandy soil is one of the best materials for helping to promote drainage through the pavement. The permeable pavement allows water to filter through the soil below rather than turn into runoff.

Optimum Gardening Solutions for Sandy, Dry Soil

Add pavers and gravel to help sandy gardens have more of an appeal. Source: Lifescape Colorado

While sandy soils are great for drainage, they can also be a challenge because they may not hold water and nutrients well enough to suit some plants. For this reason, the best plants are ones that can thrive in dry, nutrient-poor soils.

Here is a do-it-yourself soil test to determine the composition of your soil if you’re unsure. All soils can be amended with compost and organic materials, such as leaves, to help it build up nutrients and be better suited to whatever you want to plant.

Contact Lifescape with your questions on landscaping with sandy soil.

Hide the Imperfections of the Yard with Garden Accessories

Every yard has some undesirable features that leave owners searching for creative solutions. A small landscape that needs more privacy or an unattractive element such as an air conditioning unit that needs to be hidden are just a couple common problems we hear about. Luckily, there are many ways to address these issues.

Let’s begin with hiding the air conditioning unit. You could simply fence it in with fencing that matches an existing fence or other element of your home or exterior. Second, you could build a decorative structure to enclose the unit as well as offer additional storage space for garden tools.

Hide the Imperfections of the Yard with Garden Accessories

Hide the air conditioning unit with a nice fence that also serves to provide storage. Source: Houzz

If you’re undergoing a large renovation anyway, you can choose to locate all outdoor utilities and storage in one attractive closet enclosure that can fit seamlessly into your landscape. Another option is adding architectural or vegetation screens around the unit to visually hide it. Finally, design your landscape such that it doesn’t draw attention to the unit with a pathway or feature that draws the eye away from it, for example.

Next, let’s talk about increasing the privacy of your landscape even with a small yard and close neighbors. The go-to solution is a privacy screen or wall, but there are so many options to think about. We like solutions that incorporate plants or vegetation, such as a row of planters with tall grass-like plants, screens covered with climbing plants, and the strategic placement of hedges to increase privacy.

Hide the Imperfections of the Yard with Garden Accessories

Keep your garden and space private with a privacy wall. Source: Lifescape Colorado

When it comes to privacy screens and walls, you can really get creative with the side that faces your yard. Screens with geometric patterns add a stunning visual element, while adding an oversized chalkboard or a climbing wall for the kids can add a fun twist. A simple horizontal wood privacy wall creates a modern vibe when paired with bamboo. You can even play with lighting effects by choosing translucent glass or plastic panels that filter sunlight for your wall.

What are your concerns about your landscape? Let us know by leaving a comment.