You love your new home and can’t wait to show it, off but there’s one more thing left to finish — the landscaping. Maybe you’d like to design something yourself and aren’t sure where to start. Peter Goldberg offers six easy landscape ideas to complete your new home.
Colorado isn’t known for its rainfall. Denver averages 17 inches per year; the United States averages 38 inches. One easy way to deal with the lack of rain is to xeriscape. This landscaping method requires little to no irrigation. That doesn’t mean you have to fill your yard with rocks and cacti. Instead, use drought-tolerant native plants and flowers (more on that below!). You may prefer to mix living elements with hard materials such as stone, concrete, and pavers. But don’t buy those items from out of state – choose local material that holds up in our Colorado climate. You might also consider adding a patio or sitting area to complement your xeriscape.
2. Garden in a Box
Create a unique, gorgeous landscape with a do-it-yourself Garden In A Box. The boxes contain perennial gardens designed by landscape professionals. The plants and vivid blooms add color and beauty to your yard. The kits are created for all gardening levels. You can add them to part of your yard or the entire thing to increase curb appeal. The gardens are especially suited for Colorado soil and designed to keep water use to a minimum. It takes about three years for the plants to reach maturity. The nonprofit behind these boxes is based in Boulder, but you can pick them up at various locations around Denver.
3. Consider Native Plants
Another way to spice up your landscape while supporting conservation efforts is to add native plants. Flowers such as the scarlet gilia and Rocky Mountain columbine need little maintenance because they’ve adapted to local soil and weather conditions. Native plants are also drought tolerant and require little water, making your landscape more energy efficient. This also means you won’t have to use chemical fertilizers, pesticides, or herbicides on them. Native plants are wildlife-friendly, providing habitat for birds, butterflies, and other pollinators. Instead of competing with nature, native plants let your landscape coexist with it.
4. Let It Creep
If keeping up with mowing isn’t your idea of fun, turn to ground cover other than grass. Ground cover crawls and sprawls across the yard and doesn’t grow tall. These low plants spread quickly and overtake weeds. Popular ground covers in Denver include Korean rock fern, begonia and star cluster. You can use ground cover in conjunction with patches of lawn or remove all grass and add it to patios and pavers.
5. Divide and Conquer
If your new home already has a thick, green lawn, add to its beauty by dividing it into sections. Create borders in your landscape using proportional sections of flowers, shrubs, and plants. All sections should be the same size and shape, and the greenery should be similar in height. Be sure to trim diligently around these areas with a weed trimmer for the best look. This look gives a formal feel to your landscape and tends to draw positive attention from neighbors. Many homeowners like symmetrical landscapes for the feeling of balance, security, and order.
6. Try Containers
Add to an already great looking lawn by using containers. Plants in vessels work in any landscape and are quick and easy to put down and move around. Whether you’re an experienced gardener or just starting out, container plants are an excellent way to put your stamp on your landscape. Since the containers are portable, you can try out different looks until you get it just right. Maybe you want to line the walkway or place them around your home’s perimeter. Flowers look lovely in terra cotta. Wood barrels add a unique look. Try flower boxes, ceramics, or even plastic. Be sure all containers have drains since container plants will need regular watering.
Peter Goldberg is a gardening and landscaping writer, and outdoor extraordinaire. He likes to fire up the grill to cook for family and friends, as well as using his organically grown garden produce to create mouthwatering meals.