Designscapes Colorado creates beauty for every season Email
Written by Christine Manapace   
Tuesday, November 07, 2023 12:00 AM

Colorado Green Now

As any Green industry professional knows even the most meticulously designed and maintained landscapes are in constant flux. So, imagine the unique challenges and incredible rewards when a landscape company not only completes a stunning design-build project in natural mountain terrain, but then has the opportunity to maintain the property over 15 years. Throughout those years, Designscapes Colorado has evolved the landscape to optimize the Colorado mountain environment and its four seasons, winning 11 awards—most recently, a 2022 Gold Award for Residential Landscape Management from the National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP).

Set on 23 acres of forested mountain terrain, the property includes a flowing river and pond. The property owners’ two primary goals when designing the outdoor space were to capitalize on the beauty of the creek and adjacent pond by providing views and access to the water and to create an inspiring setting for entertainment and relaxation. Designscapes Colorado installed a bridge across the river and pulled water from it for irrigation. The wraparound driveway has a central garden that holds a variety of plants and a sprinkling of native aspen trees, which have been planted in various other places around the property. Native plants and materials throughout the landscape complement the beauty of the natural environment. The abundance of wildlife in the area made plant selection crucial to help prevent animals from eating the new garden. The array of blossoms that thrive in each season are carefully selected and layered so that as soon as one plant is done putting on a show, another will come to life. This creates an enduring canvas of colors throughout the year.

Spring bulbs, summer blooms

In early spring, pots are decorated and planted for Easter. Then, as the weather starts to warm up, the landscape explodes with yellows, whites and blues as spring bulbs bloom. The client likes bulbs in the scillia, chionodoxa, and allium varieties, but deer- and rabbit-proof daffodil bulbs are also planted.

Perennials across the property peak during the summer and are paired with various annual flowers. Some perennial varieties used throughout the gardens include catmint little Trudy, strawberry barren, dianthus kahori, moneywort, snow-in-summer, sweet woodruff, lady’s mantle, lilacs, hydrangeas and veronica.

Every year, annual flowers are planted in rustic wood pots to add extra dashes of color during the warmer months. The flower varieties change every summer to give the property a fresh look. Designscapes Colorado also provides general maintenance services including regular mowing to help encourage strong root growth in the bluegrass, edging, fertilizing, weed control, pruning, deadheading and more.

Fall and winter interest

When bright summer colors wind down, Designscapes Colorado revamps the annual flowerpots by adding new flowers to existing summer ones or replacing them with fall flowers that can handle cold weather and frost. In the high-altitude environment, it’s essential to select hardy varieties, such as asters, snaps, pansies and violas, because the climate can change to freezing very quickly. Sometimes Designscapes Colorado adds cabbage and kale to the pots as well.

A similar rejuvenation of the annual pots happens in winter, with evergreen branches, tinsel, pinecones and other festive décor included to give holiday interest. Designscapes Colorado also hangs holiday lights and décor while performing winter maintenance services and planning for spring and summer changes.

One thing that sets this property apart, and helped earn it awards, is how Designscapes Colorado experiments with different plant pairings. Playing around with different combinations over the years has allowed for the utilization of local materials and created unexpected beauty.