Lifescape Colorado receives Gold ELITE Award Email
Written by Colorado Green NOW   
Tuesday, April 11, 2023 04:00 AM

Colorado Green Now

Maintenance success for Boulder property rooted in detail 

The Boulder homeowners want their landscape to provide tranquil beauty that invites relaxation. For the dedicated maintenance team caring for the propertythere’s a lot going on to sustain property’s health and beauty. Lifescape Colorado’s garden manager Matt Cloud and his team have provided weekly maintenance and seasonal cleanups for the past four years and they know the property and its needs very well. 

Ongoing challenges 

Cloud says the big ongoing challenges are twofold: to balance the client’s desire for a formal landscape style while staying within the constraints of the Boulder County Green Building program; and to successfully manage plant well-being in the face the extremes of the property’s microclimate.  

Sudden strong winds, extreme temperature shifts, hot dry summers and unpredictable precipitation events – including heavy snow and unpredictable heavy monsoon rains – are the reality of this property’s location. And of course, the varying sun/shade exposures and drainage needs of the property also influence plant health and maintenance tasks.  

Being familiar with the Boulder County green ordinances was essential during design but continues to be important for maintenance practices for which guidelines must be followed. Fortunately for the maintenance team, Lifescape Colorado’s relationship with client began during the design and installation of the landscape. That meant design considerations included appropriate plant choices and hydrozones for the differing areas of the yard. 

Flood mitigation versus formal style 

A large area in the back was designated for flood mitigation, which meant the client’s preference for a formal style wouldn’t work in this area. Instead, a stream bed with natural rock was designed and is bordered with xeric and native plants that provide color and texture to the area. This flood mitigation design element provides the right amount of natural mix within the more formal landscape. 

Practical maintenance constraints 

The crew has learned to deal with other constraints of the property. “We can’t use large equipment,” Cloud says. “The gate is small and the crew can access the back with only walk-behind movers.  

Another constraint affects ease of irrigation management. “We can’t communicate remotely with the controller,” says Cloud. “Even though we tried different brands of equipment, we can’t get wireless control. We have to operate from the faceplate.” 

Have keen eyes and know the rules 

The team is very familiar with the maintenance guidelines specified by the county green ordinances. Vigilance and attention to detail inform the team of the needs. They use selective pruning methods to help encourage healthier grow, apply organic fertilizers based the specific needs of plants or turf. Additionally, plant water needs are constantly evaluated and watering adheres to strict Boulder County rules. 

Deer are a constant threat. Plants that attract deer were avoided, and along with appropriate fence height, the deer challenge has been successfully mitigated without using toxic chemicals.  

An integrated pest management (IPM) approach is used for pest management, which means the team is constantly keeping a sharp eye out for potential pest issues and, if needed, treating with only with environmentally-friendly pesticides. “When we had to address a beetle problem, we used a product targeted to beetles,” Cloud says. “No broad-spectrum insecticides can be used.” 

Cloud and his team have kept up with the owner’s desire for a meticulous landscape, despite the challenges. Under their level consistent care, the landscape is maturing and thriving. 

Lifescape Colorado received the 2022 ALCC Gold ELITE Award for Maintenance for this property, Manoir Moderns. 

Read more in this issue of Colorado Green Now:
Green Industry Field Day                                                                                                                                                                                                Top Plant Picks



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