Colorscapes, Logo

Bringing the beauty of nature to Northern Nevada Since 1991

Closed for the season:
Re-Opening April 2020

Check out the local 
5 Day Forecast


Marvel's Corner

November 1991

Starting out at 32 years old with a husband and five year old daughter, I took on the challenge of starting a business (Colorscapes) and the other task at hand, landscaping an acre. For those of us who like to spend our down time playing outside in the dirt, it's a rewarding pastime; Wow! That looks much better! And I did it myself! I'm also a firm believer that the more you do, the more you can do, so gardening provides a heathly choice activity, mentally and physically. So, after spending most of my adult life gardening, it's natural that I also like to talk about gardening. If you have questions or comments to share, please email us through our Contact Us page.

Walkway to GH Walkway to GH

It's easy to feel overwhelmed when starting out, but by developing a new landscape in stages/areas, it's easier. Transform one area into one garden then plant with shrubs and perennials that are in scale to that space.

Try to create a shady sanctuary where you can sit comfortably, relax, and enjoy the fruits of your labor. Within each area, create strong focal points, where the eye can naturally land/rest. Privacy screens can be created with densely planted shrubs that also serve as a perennial garden backdrop. Garden edges need to be clearly defined using durable, long-lasting material. Likewise, utilize inorganic materials to create long-term, low-maintenance walkways and pathways that allow for ease of movement through and to developed areas.

View From Deck

Nearest to the deck and gazebo we have lawn areas. The benefits are numerous and not just about aesthetics. At 5,000 square feet, the three lawn areas we have keep our home and outdoor entertaining spaces cooler and relaxing through the heat of summer. The shrub border serves as a windbreak so the lawn is easier to maintain.


Gardens that include shrubs for fall foliage color add the four-season beauty sought after. Density and diversity can be achieved through layering with tall shrubs (10'+) towards the back and medium height shrubs (6-8') planted between them. Consider a wide trench for planting the screen rather than individual holes. 

Summer garden

Fall cutback

Once the landscape is developed, the garden areas require minimal time, energy, and resources to maintain. I'm in the gardens in early summer to do required weeding and again in late fall to cutback the perennials.

    Winter Landscape

Winter can be the best time to take a look at the overall landscape design. Densely planted fruiting shrubs provide food and shelter for birds as storms move through. They also continue to serve as privacy screens.


Playing Outside

When developing a landscape, consider some lawn space that provides a place to crawl, jump, run, and fall down without injury. Including colorful shrubs and perennials provides food and shelter for songbirds & bugs along with berries and colorful leaves, all adding to the sensory pleasure of being outside.

Ideally, the play space is near an adjoining area where you can relax and watch children play. Picnic tables are fun snack areas and provide a place for sit and play activities.

Spending time playing outside can be a child's favorite time of the day.

Playing Outside

Play Time For Big Kids

If you're planting, digging, tilling, spading, pruning, shearing, heading, trimming, thinning, deadheading, transplanting, dividing, fertilizing, composting, mulching, topdressing,'re gardening.

It's only work if you would rather be doing something else.

Playtime For Big Kids

Have Fun In The Sun

Granted it does help to know about drainage, tilth, pH, topsoil, clay, humus, soiless potting mix, perlite, peatmoss, zone maps, what an annual is, what a perennial is, planting depth, crown, spacing, suckering, bulb, rhizome, corm, tuber, vine, beneficials, pollinators, deciduous, evergreen...

Enjoy the simplicity and add some whimsy.

Garden Whimsy  Miniature Garden

Enjoy The Gardens

Learn Everyday

And there's what we learn along the way: Edging, borders, hardscapes, anchor, planting to scale, continuity, screening, backdrop, linear, focal points, naturalized, asymmetrical, formal, symetrical, negative space, contrast, canopy, understory, graft, flare, viable seeds, invasive,...

Learn Everyday