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Annuals for Sun

Posted on 16 January 2011 | No responses

While there are many annuals available to us in Colorado, there are certain types that need to get full sun and will only thrive if they receive full sun. This video details which types of annuals to use in the Denver area, and what type of landscape maintenance to use for your annual gardens. Annuals are the big “pop” of any landscape, and keeping them well maintained will keep them looking their best. Choose the right kind of fertilizer and your annuals will bloom and blossom all season and sometimes into the late season if the Denver weather permits it.

This video details some of the types of full sun annuals that will thrive in the full sun of your landscaping and make your yard stick out from the rest. Watch what happens – it’s called “keeping up with the Joneses'” factor – once your yard fills up with annuals, you’ll slowly watch a portion of the neighbors on the block pull up and unload annuals and plants into their front yard as well. Nice way to spruce up the block!!

Annuals planted right

Posted on 16 January 2011 | No responses

In this video, a demonstration of one method of annual planting that reduces weed growth in between plants and makes maintenance easier throughout the annual growing season.  Annuals tend to take over the area, so it’s not always required to use a landscape fabric between the plantings, however, it can be used.  Certain annuals will spread, and should not have fabric between them.

Lilacs in Spring

Posted on 15 January 2011 | No responses

April 7th, 2010
by Anna Bellamie for the Landscape Network

Of all the plants in the world, the lilac may just be one of the loveliest. The genus is comprised of around 20 different species (and 1,000 varieties!), all of which are fragrant, hearty, and beautiful. The most common shade is that of a light purple, but lilacs can also commonly be seen in varying shades of white, cream, pale yellow, and the rarer deep burgundy.

Some call it a shrub, some call it a small tree. But either way, it’s a fine and lasting addition to any home landscape, providing shade and ample flowers for cutting that can scent your living space for months. The key to maximizing the flower output is actually not pruning them- an unpruned shrub will produce every year while a pruned one will have one to five years without blossoming. Despite this fact, some gardeners will recommend to prune a lilac every year. But let’s be honest, what’s more important- the shape of the shrub or the fabulous blooms that can be harvested?

Historically, the lilac symbolizes love, in Greek and Lebanese cultures especially, and is often associated with Easter, when they begin to flower for the season. The city of Spokane, WA holds an annual lilac festival and parade, solidifying its nickname as the “Lilac City”.

This gorgeous plant only blooms for a few weeks per year, so for maximum potential, it’s best to plant several different varieties, to stagger the flowering periods. They grow best in moderate climates. New bushes can take up to four years to produce blooms, but once established, can last centuries. Evidence of this can be seen up an down the East Coast. Ideal soil conditions are slightly acidic to alkaline. Though they are generally hearty, they do require ample watering (up to an inch per week). The lilac can be subject to fungus issues.

The lilac remains one of the classic blooms to complete any fine garden, with flowers that produce a wonderful scent that both lasts and carries throughout an entire home.

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Water Features

Posted on 15 January 2011 | No responses

April 19, 2007
by Monte Kearns for the Landscape Network

The main thing about water features is the excitement that they bring to a landscape. Water Features can take a somewhat simple landscape, and turn it into something that can really make it feel alive. Our first water feature was in a home that we purchased in Austin, TX back in 2001. I remember it being a big selling point with the house and our family was really impressed by the back yard in general. The house was o.k., pretty standard suburban living, but it was the landscaping that made the house feel special. The house was built in the 1970s, so the landscape was mature with big trees and shrubs. The couple that we purchased the house from almost seemed somewhat sad to see it go, as it was their hobby for years to tend to their yard and make it beautiful. The main thing that we loved about the water feature was the sound that it produced in the yard. It could be heard from inside the house, which was very relaxing and enjoyable. The water feature came with 3 japanese koi that I had to assure the sellers would be taken care of. I had a little experience with fish and felt pretty confident that I could maintain their health. The children loved to feed the koi and we always made a family ritual of going out to feed the fish with our coffee. To this day, we spend most of our time outdoors when the weather allows it and our pond is the main attraction in the back yard. We added water plants the second year and they really made the water feature come to life. We didn’t know who had constructed it, but it seemed to be very solid. I have heard of water feature nightmares, where leaks can’t be found and they end up getting filled in with dirt because they weren’t built right. I guess we were lucky as we never had any problems with ours.

We were able to enjoy our first water feature for 3 years before I was transferred to Denver, CO in 2004. We looked at probably 2 dozen homes before finding a great bungalow home in the Highlands Neighborhood just west of downtown Denver. The yard at this house was much smaller, but we knew it had potential. It wasn’t anything as nice as the yard we had in Austin, but the deal on the house was right, and we purchased it with the intentions of having the landscaping redone. The first summer, we pretty much left the yard alone as it was much effort just to relocate and get settled in. In the Spring of 2005, I started looking into having a landscaping company re-design my yard. This was a fun process and the company that we hired seemed to have a lot of experience with water features. The design process was enjoyable, and the whole family was really excited to see what it would turn into. The design that they came up with included a water feature that was much larger than the one we had in Austin. It’s hard to picture exactly what a water feature is going to look like on a top view landscape design, so we had to trust our landscaping company that they had something really good in store. The end result was amazing, and we love the new water feature. It always takes a few years for the plantings to fill in near a water feature, so it looked a little barren, but as the plants filled in, it turned into something even better than what I had envisioned. Just as we did in Austin, we still spend our summer times outdoors here in Denver. We love our water feature and look forward to enjoying it for years to come! We would recommend to anyone that wants some more interest in their landscaping to consider installing a water feature – they are an instant hit!

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Seasonal Color

Posted on 15 January 2011 | No responses

Seasonal ColorJune 3, 2009
by Margaret Sass for the Landscape Network

A great feature of our yards is the ability to transform with the seasons giving us an exciting splash of changing color and adding interest into what would otherwise be a predictable yard. Perennials are a key component to a yard that changes color over throughout the seasons. Evergreens are also a key component to giving some stability to the look of our landscaping throughout the year. Annuals will bring the bright, exciting summer-time color to our landscapes and give us the ability to control the color layout each year. Plantings are an exciting component to our landscaping and they give us the chance to decorate our outdoors with our choice colors.

Some things we learn in life, we don’t always immediately connect with other things that may apply. Sometimes it becomes clearer over time that their relevance can be applied to many other things. My mother still to this day maintains her garden, and it has grown to be quite large. Last year she had a company come and expand her garden so that she can have even more vegetables that she uses as a topic of conversation with her friends and the neighbors that she shares them with. It is truly one of her favorite pastimes that I get to share with her and my children. We always look forward to being able to visit her. We never get tired of spending time in her yard and enjoying her great displays of color.

Many gardeners enjoy annual gardens because it gives them a chance to always have a changing annual display every year, and some of the annuals they will use as cuttings for displays inside of their homes. Although annuals are short lived, their explosive color and beautiful appeal to a garden are almost a necessity. A very common annual found in landscapes is the petunia. Petunias grow to fill in areas with dense varying color and can give your yard an extreme color appeal. Wave petunias are known for their ability to spread as they grow and cover a wide area. Petunias will need sufficient sunlight to flower and do not do well in shaded areas, so be sure to plant in areas of your landscape that are full sun. Petunias can be planted at the base of another larger potted plant, to drape over the edges and provide a nice colorful border to the larger plant.

Some people opt not to use annuals in their landscape for a simple over-looked reason. Annuals require daily water, as they are small plants that soak up the hot sun. Many homeowners and landscaping companies overlook setting up the irrigation system to handle annual plantings. Having your annuals on their own zone will give you the ability to control their watering independently from other trees and shrubs, which do not require daily watering. Irrigation contractors can install annual irrigation areas, commonly with microspray nozzles which area easily removed and adjusted as the annuals grow. While to add a seperate zone can be somewhat costly ($350-$850), the ability to plant your flowers and virtually forget the watering is well worth the cost.

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Fall Colors

Posted on 15 January 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.

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Plant and Tree Care

Posted on 15 January 2011 | No responses

Plant and Tree CareApril 13, 2009
by Jessica Brandt for the Landscape Network
The seasons bring us changes in temperatures, changes in sunlight, and changes in our landscaping. Your trees and plantings are what make your yard beautiful and to have them look their best year after year required the right care to ensure that they continue to grow and beautify.

Trees and plants are subject to disturbances both above the ground and below the ground. Roots are the integral base of any plant and tree and are fragile. Excessive disturbance of the roots of any plant can cause signs of stress or even death. Whenever excavating or digging in your yard, keep this in mind. The roots of your trees can generally extend the width of the canopies that they provide. Deciduous trees tend to spread out, while coniferous trees tend to aim slightly outward and down. There are many different schools of thought on how to diagnose and correct problems with trees and there are only few areas where arborists come to mutual agreements. If you have trees that need attention, you should probably contact your local arborist, as this is their specialty. For plants and perennials, there are companies that only focus on gardens and plantings. Trees are a specialty item, so they should be seen by an arborist.

When pruning your trees, use great caution. Every time you cut a tree you are creating a wound. Every time you make a cut, you are also ridding trees of the leaves that provide the photosynthesis that causes the tree to grow. By trimming your trees properly, you can help them to achieve growth to more key areas. By thinning out your trees, you are ridding them of branches and leaves that are stealing away energy from the main part of the tree that needs that energy to continue to grow.

Trees that are planted in color climates can often benefit from being wrapped in the winter while they are young. Wrapping a tree provides an insulation during the winter when the tree is young. This will help the survival rate of the tree and protect it from air that can reach well below freezing, which can be damaging to newly planted trees.

Winter time watering is essential for proper growth and establishment. Although a newly planted tree may look like it has no life in the winter, with no leaves or growth, it is very alive and standing by for spring time when it gets more light and seeks to grow upward and outward. Newly installed trees need to receive moisture in the winter time to achieve the best success. When conditions allow, your trees should be watered once monthly to keep the tree and roots moist. Don’t bother watering your plants and trees when they are somewhat covered in snow, as this is a good sign that the ground is frozen and will not be accepting any water.

There are several factors that play a role in when a plant will flower. Sunlight, soil conditions, and nutrients can all play a large role in making your landscaping beautiful. Many perennials and shrubs will grow without any nutrients. These plants want to grow on their own, and don’t necessarily need any help to do so – but, you can make a big difference with timed feedings to all of your shrubs and plantings. Perennials will really enjoy an occasional feeding and they will reward you by increasing in size and producing much larger flowers. As with any fertilizer, use great caution to be sure that you are not over-fertilizing your plants. Over-fertilizing can have very adverse affects, stunt growth, and even possibly kill your plantings.

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Success with Soil

Posted on 15 January 2011 | No responses

By Lita Malaseo for the Landscape Network

September 8th, 2008

Every plant starts somewhere – in some sort of growing medium. It’s what the growing medium does for the plant that dictates what a plant will do and how well it will do it. One of the most common problems with gardens and outdoor growing is the lack of a proper soil. There are many choices in soil to use. When you visit your local nursery, you can find atleast a dozen different kinds of soil for your garden. Which one do you use? Good question, and that is why some gardens look much better than others. There is soil that contains no nutrients, just organic matter. There are other kinds of soil that you purchase with the nutrients already contained inside. Which do you choose? Well, this depends on what you plan on doing with your plantings and what you are planting. It has become very commonplace for people to want to grow organic fruits and vegetables, and therefore only use organic soils and fertilizers. If you are going to be growing annuals, shrubs, or perennials, maybe organic doesn’t matter. Organic vegetables often do better than vegetables that have been grown in non-organic soils, and surprisingly the organic vegetables grow bigger and faster. Very interesting – this may make you wonder why we would use anything other than organic for our vegetables. Much of the fruit and produce that you purchase at the mainstream grocery store (other than natural grocery stores) has been scientifically engineered to be produced for the most possible profit to the grower. Unfortunately the dollar comes first when it comes to the choice between organic and non-organic. But for your home garden, stick with the organic soils and fertilizers for the best results.

If you are planting annuals, shrubs and perennials, organic isn’t as big as a factor – hopefully you don’t plan on eating them. The amount of soil choices can be very confusing, so this is what we have found best for annuals and shrubs: Peat Moss, mixed 3:1 with topsoil. That’s 1 part peat to one part topsoil. The peat moss gives the plant a breathable surface to set its’ roots into and provides the plant with an excellent environment to spur growth. Use caution with the peat moss, though, as it is strong and not dilluting it enough can hurt your plantings. A general potting soil is good for annuals, and some have small traces of fertilizers already in the mix. If you decide to use a soil that already has the fertilizer in the mix, adjust the fertilizer accordingly so that you are not overfertilizing your plants. If is usually safe to start with 1/2 the recommended amount of fertilizer listed on the bottle, observe your plant’s success, and then add more if you think your plant requires it. A very common cause of your annuals not looking their best are because of the combination of soil that already contains fertilizer and the addition of too much fertilizer to the soil. If your plantings are showing signs of fertilizer burn, just switch them to an all water schedule for a minimum of 4 days and then re-introduce the fertilizer to the plant, at 1/2 the recommended dosage listed on the bottle.

If you decide to use a soil that doesn’t contain any fertilizer, this lets you control the amount of fertilizer entirely. If you have somewhat of a green thumb, this is a good thing. This takes the guesswork out of how much fertilizer you should be adding to your soil, because it doesn’t have anything you haven’t put there.

Never try to re-use your soil for new plantings. As you water and fertilize your plants, the soil will slowly break down and lose its’ ability to provide a good environment. Salts can also build up in your pots, and counter act the fertilizer that you are using. For best results, just start with new soil.

Gardening for Life

Posted on 15 January 2011 | No responses

by Jessica Brandt for the Landscape Network

July 12, 2006

Shrubs play a key role in defining our seasonal color,

as they are the backdrop of our color palette that give us consistent color, size and shape, for which we can align our other colors. Evergreens provide us with the other aspect of our color palette – year round presence. All combined, we can create our landscapes to be changing year after year with a new and exciting look.


Garden Installation in Washington Park - Denver, Colorado

Potted plants are special to our landscapes, because they can provide us with plantings that otherwise wouldn’t survive in our landscapes. Any landcape can be given a different feel with trees and plants from different hardiness zones. An otherwise evergreen and native landscape in Colorado could display a tropical feel with potted plants and trees from tropical regions. It’s how we combine our planting options that can give our yard a new excitement every year.
Sometimes in life, we need simple things to make us think about our lives here. I will always be grateful that gardening is something that we get to share together.

Five Great Plants to grow in Denver

Posted on 15 January 2011 | No responses

The city of Denver, Colorado is a seasonal setting that has four different

seasons: Spring, summer, autumn and winter. When choosing what plants to grow in Denver, you always want to make sure that you make your selections carefully so that you don’t spend your time and money buying plants that may not take to the soil, or plants that will die off soon after you plant them. However, there are some great plants to grow in Denver that will take to the climate and seasons, and even if they die off during the wintertime, they will assuredly grow back during the warmer spring and summer months. Here’s a list of five plants to grow in Denver that can really add some flare and a homely touch to your residence.

Starburst Ice Plant

The starburst ice plant is a great plant to grow in Denver. This plant is a very beautiful plant that has very bright and pink flowers with a metal-like glint on the petals, and is a very attractive plant that can really add some color to your front yard. The Starburst Ice Plant takes full bloom by mid-June and last until about the middle of the fall. It only requires moderate soil and temperatures, and grows up four inches tall and between 6-10 inches wide.

Lavender Mist Sun Daisy

This plant is a very ornate plant that features oblong leave with decent-sized flowers that can be as much as three inches in width. The heads of the flowers are white, but when the flowers bloom and open they are deep and beautiful lavender. The Lavender Mist Sun Daisy grows in moderation temperature between April and September, and requires daily watering and half-sun/half-shade for proper growth.

Colorado Gold Hardy Gazania

This beautiful and native plant features large and high-glossed mounds of strap leaves that are a deep green. During the warmer months when it blooms – from spring through the autumn – three inch flower heads open that are a classic deep yellow gold color. The Colorado Gold Hardy Gazania grows to about three inches tall and ten inches wide, and requires moderate soil and even sun and shade for proper growth.

Pink Crystals Ruby Grass

This native Rocky Mountain grass is indigenous to the mountainous regions of Colorado, but can also be found in and around Denver and its surrounding regions. It’s a preferred grass for bedding because it thrives in moderate soil and temperatures.

Pink Crystals Ruby Grass is appropriately named because its bright ruby flowers with a silver lining that blooms during the warmer months.

Purple Mountain Sun Daisy

This gorgeous plant features flowers that look very similar to daisies and grows from around mid-April until the end of the summertime, and is a great seasonal flower to plant in your front or your back yard. This flower is not native to Denver or to Colorado and is actually a transplant that was imported from the Drakensberg Mountains in South Africa. When in full bloom, the name is very suiting; the flowers are a deep purple and this plant also features desirable and elegant-looking mat bedding.

Tags: Denver, Colorado, plants to grow in Denver, plants, Starburst Ice Plant, Lavender Mist Sun Daisy, Colorado Gold Hardy Gazania, Rocky Mountain, Purple Mountain Sun Daisy, Pink Crystals Ruby Grass

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