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Fall Colors

Posted on 18 February 2011 | No responses

Autumn brings us color and transition as our plants and trees prepare themselves for the winter ahead. Fall brings us the bright colors that many trees and plants wait to display every year. Autumn Purple Ash, Autumn Blaze Maple and Burning Bushes to name a few have some of the most beautiful colors of the year and quickly evolve the landscaping to show off its’ special colors. If you watch closely, you can actually see the changes taking place and on a daily basis. It’s these changing colors that define the time of the year.

When a tree starts to change its’ color, it is getting ready to survive yet another winter, to hibernate and braze the cold temperatures and precipitation that are in its’ near future.

When designing a landscape, be sure to consider all of the colors that a particular plant or tree will provide. With this in mind, you can actually align your yard with different plants that provide on color palette during the summer and an entirely different color palette during the fall that will be just as spectacular as the summer if not better.

Colorado has excellent choices in hardy plantings that will provide fall colors and give your landscaping the interest that it deserves. Certain plantings will begin to change their colors at different times of the season, giving an opportunity to chase the colors with the sun as its’ presence during the day gets shorter and shorter.

Dwarf Burning Bushes are an excellent choice for displaying fall color and provide a deep dark red color that lasts for nearly a month in the autumn. Burning Bushes, a dwarf’s older brother will also provide brilliant red color but will grow to be very large shrubs of nearly 10’ size.

Autumn Brilliance Serviceberry will get nearly 25’ tall and approx. 15 feet wide and are a great display of fall color in your landscape. They will also provide you with beautiful white colors in the spring and purplish-black fruit that will attract birds to your yard. They make an excellent statement in any yard and because of their upright, rounded growth habit, they will also look excellent with up-lighting at night. They are very adapaptable to many soils and are somewhat drought tolerant. They will grow in full sun to part shade. Serviceberries planted in shade will provide fewer blossoms in the spring and will produce a slower growth habit. They are an easy to grow tree that will provide great spring and fall features within your landscape.

Chanticleer Pear Trees make a great display of both spring and fall color. The Chanticleer Pear is a true 4 season tree by producing white flowers in early spring on dark green foliage that changes to long lasting touches of purple and red in mid to late fall. During the Winter, the tight upright and narrow form makes for a nice silhouette in the landscaping. Chanticleer Pear Trees are a great choice for trouble free landscape decoration.

Growing a Pet Friendly Garden

Posted on 18 February 2011 | No responses

Many pet owners just getting into horticulture may not think about their pets’ needs when planting a garden. This is a mistake. In fact, if your pets spend any time near your garden, you’ll need to consider the safety of both your plants and animals. Thankfully, growing a pet-friendly garden is easy with the right precautions.

Growing a Pretty Friendly Garden
Growing a Pet Friendly Garden

The first step to growing a pet-friendly garden is to consider if any of the plants you’d like to grow are toxic to your animals. This is especially the case with dogs. Many people forget that dogs have very different reactions to plants than people do. A vegetable garden might provide much delicious food to humans but could be fatal to any dogs who eat from it. This is compounded by the inquisitive nature of most dogs. If the plants in your garden aren’t pet friendly, there’s a good chance your dog is going to snoop around in it.

Onions and garlic, for instance, are quite fatal to dogs. These foods can make your dog anemic, which is serious business. Grapes are also trouble. Even a small amount of grapes can cause vomiting, diarrhea and other digestive problems. Grapes can seem very tasty to some dogs, so think twice about growing a vineyard if your dog is going to be snooping around the grapevines. Avocados, peaches, and plums are some other fruits your dog should stay away from.

However, it’s not just fruits and vegetables that can cause problems for dogs. Other types of plants are not good for a pet-friendly garden, either. A number of flowers can be toxic, like azaleas, chrysanthemums, and almost any type of lily. Indoor plants, such as aloe and poinsettias, are not good to have around dogs either.

The same cautions apply for cats as well. Although cats are less likely to nibble on plants, it’s better to be safe than sorry when considering whether or not your garden is pet-friendly. If your cat is known to occasionally eat or chew on plants, be sure to avoid all the items mentioned above. Other animals bring all other sorts of issues into consideration. Herbivorous pets are most likely to eat things around the garden. For instance, it would be kind of silly to let a pet rabbit loose near your precious plants.

In truth, you can grow plants that aren’t necessarily pet-friendly as long as you take the right precautions. Keeping the plants out of reach of your animals is the general strategy here. Put some fencing around the plants that aren’t safe for your pets, for instance. Another thing to do is let the dog out the front yard if the garden’s in the back yard or vice versa. If you’re concerned about your cat, maybe you could consider making your cat stay inside.

Growing a pet-friendly garden isn’t as troublesome as it might seem. There are plenty of beautiful flowers and tasty fruits and vegetables that are safe to grow around animals. Also, much of keeping your garden pet-friendly is knowing the personality of your animal. If you have a curious, energetic puppy, you’ll undoubtedly need to exercise much more caution than if you have an older dog. Older animals are usually less likely to start munching on an unfamiliar plant, so you may not need to exercise as much caution.

Is a Desert Landscape right for your Denver home?

Posted on 18 February 2011 | No responses

Desert landscapes in Denver happen to be a very popular choice, especially among newer built homes in Denver and even many different remodels. Some people prefer a desert landscape because it has a very appealing aesthetic quality, look and feel to it. Whereas other people may prefer such a landscape because it truly augments the exterior look of their home and highlights the finer details of the workmanship, allowing stunning features to really shine through. Yet some other people enjoy a desert landscape because of the low cost of maintenance and the ease at which they can have one installed into their home’s yard. Let’s take a quick look at some of the popular reasons for seeking a desert landscape in Denver, Colorado and see if one may be right for your home.

  1. Easy to install and many options to choose from. There are so many desert plants and different types of bushes, cacti, plants and even trees that you can choose from when considering adding a desert landscape to your home that the options are nearly open and endless. Unlike a traditional grass lawn, a desert landscape opens up an array of different options that can really put your home under the community spotlight.
  2. Desert landscapes require far less watering. Since the plants, bushes, trees and cacti that are used when designing a desert landscape area all native desert plants, they require far less watering weekly. When you factor these costs over the course of a year, the savings can truly add up to something more than significant. This can save you some serious money annually from your utility bill.
  3. Palm trees come in all shapes and sizes, they are easy to maintain and you can illuminate them brilliantly in your front and backyard. It’s hard not to like palm trees. They suffer from few diseases, they require very little water, they are very inexpensive to trim and maintain, and you can decorate them with Xmas lights during the holidays and place strategic flood lights at the bases of them to really make your yard look attractive.
  4. Less maintenance overall and greater savings on landscaping services. A great advantage to desert landscapes is that they are also very cost effective to maintain overall. Most often your landscaping service will only need to visit your home a few times per month, and their time spent servicing your yard is also greatly reduced. This equates to greater annual savings for you while getting to enjoy a wonderful looking yard.
  5. They are a great way to change things up. Sometimes the same looking yard year after year can become boring. Some people enjoy adding a desert landscape in Denver to their home just for a change of pace, look and appeal. This is more commonly seen when a homeowner decides to remodel their home. Adding such a unique landscape to your home can really work to change things up for you. Even if you are not remodeling your home, try taking a short neighborhood drive and checking out other homes that have this landscape. You may just decide that it’s what you have been looking for all along.

Tags: Desert Landscape in Denver, Desert Landscape, Landscape, Denver, Colorado,

Hardy Colorado Annuals

Posted on 17 February 2011 | No responses

by Janine Buchal for the Landscape Network

Withstanding gusty winds, drastic and often sudden temperature fluctuations, and intense sun due to altitude, is a tall order for a plant that needs to be replanted annually. Gardners and landscapers alike hope that annuals not only last the season but flourish in our Colorado gardens. Here are some potential choices for annuals that consistently withstand the test of Colorado time.

Because the summer winds are very drying, low-growing, shade-loving annual plants do exceptionally well in Colorado. Annuals like impatiens, begonias, coleus and lobelia will bloom in brilliant colors in a shade garden. Being mindful of planting out of the windy areas of your yard will give annuals a more hopeful future and a longer blooming season.

Some hardier annual plants include: rose bush varietals, petunia, marigold, salvia, pansy, snapdragon, verbena and dahlia. These anuals do well in direct sun ;however, remember to water often so your garden receives enough moisture to keep flowers vibrant. Garden center experts can assist you with selecting successful plants that are in abundance this year.

Colorado State University’s hybrid annuals named, “All American Selections” are grown dedicated to quality testing and recommended as the cream of the crop of plants for gardens in N. America.  Specifically, they are tested and grown from seed to give best results and have become notable as hardy new varietals. This year’s interesting varietals include: “Gaillardia Arizona Apricot”, “Ornamental Glamour Red Kale,” and “Salvia Summer Jewel Red,” amongst others.  These annuals offer interesting color, texture, and would look especially nice along with tall grasses or smaller ground cover in any annual garden.

Rather than succumbing to the daunting task of designing and managing the upkeep of new annuals this spring, hire a garden designer from your local garden center or search the options on Denver Landscape Network’s website. Planning your garden ahead of time will help you organize the look, the bloom schedule and your budget.

Winter Lawn Maintenance Tips

Posted on 16 February 2011 | No responses

by Janine Buchal for the Landscape Network

An optimal time to maintain the lawn is actually before winter seriously sets in. Taking several easy steps could prepare your lawn for an amazing start in the spring.  Grab the kids or a favorite neighbor and make an afternoon of it, you will not regret the results.

Watering the lawn before the first freeze is often helpful in preparing the grass for better growth. Watering helps set the pace for

Denver Sprinkler Systems

Fertilizing your lawn before Winter brings green in the summer

activating the fertilizer once temperatures improve. Fertilizing is key. Grass stores up nutrients in the root system over the winter and will release when the warmer temperatures arrive.  Rake and remove large objects from your lawn, such as logs and bricks. Once the snow falls, these objects can damage the lawn and make for a difficult repair. Patchy lawn color can result and disease may set in, if removal of large objects from the lawn are not taken seriously.  Aeration is greatly under estimated and under utilized. It allows for more effective fertilization, better air and water circulation and an overall healthier lawn in the spring.

Simple lawn maintenance can truly make the difference in getting a jump-start for a healthier and easier start to a nice spring lawn. We all admire a nicely kept and maintained lawn and by following these steps, you can achieve the lawn you aspire to have this year.

DIY Sprinkler System with Video

Posted on 5 February 2011 | No responses

by Jason Sanders for the Landscape Network

Adding a sprinkler system to your yard is for certain something that you will need if you are looking to add a lush, green lawn and be able to keep up with your landscape maintenance. You will also require one if you have any plant life and trees that you want to keep healthy and watered, and if you don’t want to have to be carrying the hose around with you every other day feeding the plants and trees on your own time. A sprinkler system can be easily installed by doing it yourself, but you will require some supplies and some know-how, and a decent amount of your time in order to do so.

You can also seek out seasoned and trained landscape contractors to assist you with sprinkler system installation, if you think that you won’t be able to pull it off on your own. There are also plenty of listings of irrigation contractors that specialize with installing sprinkler systems, too. Usually you can even have them come out to your house and provide you with a free quote based upon your yard size and irrigation needs. This can allow you to get the best deal on installation by comparing quotes and contractors so that you can find the right price and contractor for your project.

This video will show you how you can install a sprinkler system on your own in your yard:

By installing a sprinkler system in your home on your own, you can save a significant amount of money, as well as increase the value of your home and ease your landscaping maintenance issues by adding an automated irrigation system. You will also be protecting your investment in your yard be ensuring that it is watered regularly. And, you will have a quality sprinkler system that you can enjoy for years to come.

The first thing that you need to do is have the utility companies come out and mark any spots where underground wires or cables are run, so that you don’t accidently cut through them while digging your sprinkler or irrigation lines; they usually provide this service free of charge. Next take a different color utility spray and mark the lines where you want to install your irrigation system. If you have time and a shovel, you can hand dig your marked lines, or you can usually rent a trench digger from most home improvement stores.

After you have dug your irrigation lines, lay down 1” poly piping into the trench and connect barbed saddles where you want your sprinkler heads to be; they will puncture the line and allow for water to pass through each spot where you place them. Attach a “funny pipe,” which is a smaller line, to the saddle before filling the trenches, and then fill your trenches. Attach your sprinkler heads by fitting an elbow to the head and the funny pipe to the elbow. Wire your control box on your own or hire an electrician to make sure it’s installed properly. Lastly, lay your sod, adjust your sprinklers so they are aiming in the right direction and set your timers.

Budget Deck Building

Posted on 31 January 2011 | No responses

by Jason Sanders for the Landscape Network

It’s always of a good mind to take into consideration the costs of building a deck. Tantamount to that would be some other things that you will want to know before building a deck. Here are some basic questions that you should ask yourself. Do you have the proper tools for the job? Do you know how to use the tools and build a high quality deck? Are you able to read deck building prints and follow them? And do you know if the region in which you live requires certain permits to build decks?

If you are not as inclined as you wish that you were, you can always contract the services of licensed deck builders that can easily help you design and build that dream deck for your home. Decks are seemingly simple to the eye, but they can be a bit complex to build, too. Since decks attach to the exterior of you home, many different tools are required. Usually these are tools that most people don’t happen to own. You can always rent many of the tools that you will need to build a deck at a local home improvement store, as well as being able to find the supplies that you will need to purchase in order to build that deck.Budget Deck Building

Summary of how pro deck builders build a deck:

The first thing that the deck builders do is drill holes in the ground for the footers of the deck. Then they fill up the footer holes with cement. They attach a ledger board so that they can connect the deck to the home. In order to ensure that the deck remains attached to the home, the deck builders use expansion bolts in the ledger boarding. After that, the next step is to add posts to the concrete footers so that they can begin framing the deck.

They use metal hangers on the framing so that the joints are firmly secured and remain in place. Using specially made fasteners they are able to secure the boarding to the deck. Last but not least, they add a custom railing for finishing touches. You can choose to add certain amenities to the final deck. For instance, adding a really nice hot tub to the deck can make it even more useful for soaking off the stress of the day. You can also add a nice bench or even a table. Some homeowners even like to add outdoor kitchens to their deck. Additionally, by adding a deck to your home you can actually increase the value of your home and your equity as well.
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Top Reasons why an Outdoor Kitchen Installer Can Make Your Back Yard Come to Life

Posted on 28 January 2011 | No responses

by Mark Forrester for the Landscape Network

Cooking, grilling, barbequing and making great eats is as much of an American pastime and tradition as football, baseball, apple pie and sports cars are, and for many good reasons, too. We have this firmly imbedded food philosophy that is instilled in the good natured food-loving nomenclature of all of us. It’s just something that defines who we are as society, how we choose to spend the “good times,” and the many varieties of tasty eats that we have grown up loving.

In par with that notion is outdoor grilling. And there are most certainly some very amazing and unique outdoor kitchen setups that have been custom built over the years – signature jobs performed by outdoor kitchen installers – that have made our homes, and the backyards where we like to fire up that grill and enjoy an outdoor meal during the nicer times of the year – that much more, well, homely.

Many of us have had the pleasure of being invited over to a friend’s house for one of those unforgettable outdoor, backyard cooking frenzies, where the grill is opened up wide and the good foods are poured, and the ‘good times’ seemingly roll. We all have seen for our own eyes how unique, decorative and sleek-looking an outdoor kitchen can be when added to the backyard of any home. In case you find yourself considering whether or not you should be looking for an outdoor kitchen installer to add the same amenities to your home, and your cooking joys and thrills, here are some good reasons to stew over it.

Top Reasons to Contract Outdoor Kitchen Installers:

  1. Most people do not have the spare time to install an outdoor kitchen in their backyard. Directly related to that is that most people are not professional outdoor kitchen installers, either. It takes a certain amount of experience, know-how, knowledge of materials, tools and building plans, gas piping and so forth to properly install an outdoor kitchen.
  2. An outdoor kitchen can actually increase the value of your home because you are adding another amenity to it. Not only that, but it’s an amenity that you can enjoy for years to come. And if you decide to sell your home, you benefit as well because you will be able to fetch a better price on the appraisal.
  3. You can have an entirely customized outdoor kitchen installed in your home and the outdoor kitchen installers can aid you in deciding the features and look of your new kitchen, so the end result is something that looks great and has all of the features that you desire in it.
  4. It doesn’t take that long to get an outdoor kitchen installed in your home. From the minute that you sign off on the plans, it can usually be installed and completed, and ready for you to use and enjoy, within about a week or less.

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Attract Songbirds with your Trees

Posted on 26 January 2011 | No responses

by Janine Buchal for the Landscape Network

You no longer have to whistle like a professional to attract lovely songbirds
to your yard. Attracting songbirds in Colorado can be as easy as what tree
you plant in your yard. Colorado provides a unique environment for up to 400
different species of birds. Many of these birds migrate through Colorado during
the fall. Many more live here year-round. Birds merely need shelter, food and
water.

Larger trees like pine or firs that border property provide a safe haven for visiting
birds, escape from predators, winter shelter and summer nesting sites. Trees
that provide seeds, berries and sap are also just what our feathered friends are
seeking as well. .

Trees that will provide food and cover include many species of hawthorn, oak,
mountain ash, Rocky Mountain juniper, Austrian and pinyon pines, spruces,
firs, hackberries, mulberry, plums and flowering crabapples. Shrubs that will
provide food and cover include honeysuckles, snowberries, red and yellowtwig
dogwoods, sumacs, coralberries, serviceberries, chokecherries and a wide variety
of shrubby plums. Balsam fir and Beech trees provide shelter as do many other
tree varities.

It is important to provide some brush for smaller birds so hawks are unable to
prey upon them frequently. It all depends on the type of bird you are trying to
attract. Hundreds of books are available to assist with your yard layout or check
with your local garden center for their success stories.Bookmark and Share

Green Friendly Composting

Posted on 26 January 2011 | No responses

by Janine Buchal for the Landscape Network

Green Friendly Compositing

Local Guru of Composting, Judy Elliot, says, “Composting feeds plants better
than chemical fertilizers, reduces disease and can reduce water bills by 40%.”
Furthermore, composting makes gardening easier. “You can enjoy the fruits of
your labor, rather than laboring over your fruits,” Judy continues. An educator
for Denver Urban Gardens, Judy reminds us “composting turns trash to
treasure.” It is a simple process, not labor intense, messy or smelly. Eureka!

So how do we start? Pick a commercial bin or make a homemade one from

cinderblocks, wood palates or my favorite, chicken wire fencing. Most garden
centers sell compost bins or can suggest dimensions that will work best for the
homemade version.

Go ahead, cut off the end of carrots and grab your broken eggshells, coffee
grounds or banana peels. Rather than dumping them into your trash, add these
items to your outdoor compost bin. Anything organic, short of fats, meats or
bones can be used as compost and will transform itself into the best possible
growing material, just by letting it sit outside in your well-chosen compost bin or
in a covered space fenced in by chicken wire.

Cover the pile, if not already and water occasionally so your compost does not
completely dry out. After time, the compost should become dark in color and be
broken down enough not to recognize its original state. The best compost is the
consistency of coffee grounds but somewhat more lumpy. Compost smells like
earth. It can be spread as top soil as it neutralizes our Coloradoan alkaline soil.
It slowly releases nitrogen, phosphate and potassium into the soil making it ideal
for scrubs, herbs and lawns.

Compost has other enormous advantages. It loosens up otherwise dense soil,
including the clay like options we have throughout Colorado. Compost holds
100% of its weight in water making for easier plant drainage. It can drastically
reduce ones trash collection load, as well. Remember, any organic item can
be composted rather than thrown in the landfill. The nutrients found within
compost combined with the soil make for a much fertile soil for your garden,
beneath your scrubs or even to aid bad grass patches with more healthy growth.

Green compost material is higher in nitrogen. Nitrogen is an important element
in helping speed up decomposition, naturally. Yard waste such as leaves and
dirt are okay to add to the pile as well. Continue to turn the soil occasionally
to disperse the nutrients. Treat it like a magical pile that will one day be your
plant’s source of inspiration for growth and perhaps your garden will become the
envy or your neighbors.Bookmark and Share

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