Thanksgiving Meal Ideas from Your Garden

Thanksgiving Meal Ideas from Your Garden

First things first: Happy Thanksgiving from all of us here at Bella Giardino Landscape and Garden Design! We hope you, your family and your friends all enjoy the precious time you share together this year, whether it is in person or over a video call. We all still have so much to be thankful for this year, so don’t forget that!

Now, as we all probably agree, 2020 has gone by in a flash, so it’s no surprise that none of us feel like it’s really Thanksgiving time. But we are here, so let’s pull out or festive hats and get some delicious Thanksgiving meal ideas ready! Although Thanksgiving is a little late in the gardening season, and most of us are most likely not thinking about our garden at this point in time, it may help to plan your garden now for next year’s Thanksgiving Day meal! We have some easy yet fun vegetable ideas to add to your garden that you can plant and incorporate into your Thanksgiving dinner for 2021. There is nothing more fulfilling that eating a meal that came from what you harvested yourself.

Side Dishes

There are so many delicious side dishes that was can add to our Thanksgiving feasts, but we often have too many to choose from and fit on our plates. We thought we would provide you with some yummy yet healthier ideas that can come directly from your own backyard to add to your side dish options next year. Below are some incredible side dish ingredients that can be grown in your garden and frozen or stored for use next November:

  • Sweet Corn
  • Green Beans
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Zucchini
  • Potatoes
  • Brussel Sprouts

The corn and green beans should be canned or frozen just after they are harvested in the summer months, but the rest of these items can then be harvested right before the holiday time frame. Potatoes do need to be cured in a warmer, humid location but then they can be stored at a cooler temperature for multiple months. Brussels sprouts are typically harvested in the Fall and can withstand below freezing temperatures, so they can be grown through the season and harvested fresh on Thanksgiving Day as well. All the other veggies above can be stored and saved as needed to ensure they are kept fresh for everyone’s favorite family feast. Regardless of your taste buds, any of the above vegetables can act as perfect side dishes that everyone will love!

Desserts

The most popular, staple desserts for Thanksgiving are typically pumpkin or apple pie. Either seem to always be present on the dinner table for this family feast, so how perfect is it that you can grow the ingredients yourself! Just like the side dishes, the main portion of these delicious desserts can be grown in your very own garden.

Pumpkins are perfect harvest options for Fall since they are great for both Halloween and Thanksgiving. Of course there are many different types of pumpkins for both holidays, so choosing the proper species of pumpkin for your pumpkin pie is very important. Processing pumpkins are the perfect type for making pies since they work better for baking purposes and are more manageable in size. These pie pumpkins are usually smaller, sweeter, and less watery than a jack-o-lantern type of pumpkin, which makes them much easier to bake with. So just make sure the type of pumpkin seed you plant next Spring is the type that you’ll need for baking.

Apples can also be picked from your own tree in your backyard and can be preserved in multiple ways. People often use them to make their infamous apple pie filling, so these fruits make it very easy to freeze or can for storage until Thanksgiving Day. Fresh apples store fairly well under home storage conditions for up to 6 months, so they can just be harvested and stored indoors for use in your holiday pies until you need them. Interestingly, apples store best around 32 degrees, so we all know how simply living in Colorado makes that stipulation much easier for us!

Although you may not be able to grow all ingredients needed to make your Thanksgiving dinners from your backyard gardens, a good portion of your dishes can come from your homegrown fruits and vegetables. Colorado does limit us to growing specific items, but for the majority of essential ingredients, we can harvest most of our own Thanksgiving dinners ourselves! Keep this in mind when you go to plant your garden next year so you can properly prepare for what ingredients you do want to grow in your own backyard for the 2021 holiday season. The feeling of providing for your friends and family is absolutely amazing and worth all the extra work.

Once again, take time this Thanksgiving to be thankful for all that you do have because 2020 has definitely shown us what could be taken from us in a moments notice. So be safe but still share love with family and friends this year. Happy Thanksgiving from your luxury landscapers!

Happy Thanksgiving

Unique Patio Options for Small Backyards in Colorado Springs

Unique Patio Options for Small Backyards in Colorado Springs

Our Colorado Springs Luxury Landscapers here at Bella Giardino often ask our clients, “what better way to complete your landscape than with a backyard patio?” However, we have received a consistent answer recently of, “well, our backyard is too small for a patio.” After getting this reply quite a bit, we think it’s about time to address your actual options since many homeowners here believe their backyard is way too small to add a patio to it. We are here to prove you wrong! There are actually many landscaping ideas for small backyards when it comes to a relaxing area like a patio, so let us enlighten you on some ideas for your small backyard!

Whether you’re one who wants to create a space conducive for a quick daytime retreat or fun friendly dinner under the stars, there are surprisingly many options for a patio in a small backyard. Regardless of if you want your patio to act as a dining area, a fireside lounge, or a full-on family space, our professional landscaping designers have some clever ideas to leverage every inch of your tiny backyard for your benefit.

Small Backyard Landscape IdeasSome of our past Colorado Springs landscaping projects for those clients who have a somewhat smaller backyard have concluded quite successfully, despite the client’s skepticism of the idea. We have completed several different patio designs in small backyards, like a quant eating space with a table and chairs, a brick-floored option with succulents surrounding, a simple lounging space for sun tanning and even a cozy fireplace patio combination for those summer nights. All of these landscape designs turned out to be so lovely and perfect for the smaller-sized area we had to work with. You’d be surprised at what our team of experts can accomplish in such a tight space! So trust us when we say we can place a patio in just about any space, even if you’ve always seen it as “small.”

For some other patio design ideas that work very well in small backyards, here’s a list of style options our team put together for you:

Some Specific Patio Style Ideas:

  • INTIMATE DINING PORCH
  • MOROCCAN-INSPIRED PATIO
  • GARDEN WALL PATIO
  • MOUNTAINSIDE LOUNGE
  • DELIGHTFUL SECLUDED PATIO
  • RUSTIC FRENCH PATIO
  • LIMESTONE CABANA
  • COZY AND RUSTIC GUEST PATIO

Don’t let your landscaping dreams get defeated by your backyard size. Where there is a will, there is a way, and Bella Giardino’s luxury landscape services allow for abundant creations in almost any space available. Let our professionals design the perfect patio for you and the perfect patio to fit your small backyard! Give us a call or schedule a consultation today to see what options you truly have for a new home patio.

Pumpkin Spice & Everything Nice for Autumn Time

Pumpkin Spice & Everything Nice for Autumn Time

11 Fantastic Colorado Fall Color Trees and Shrubs for Your Landscape Design

Summer 2020 has been nothing but eventful, but now that it’s almost October, it is now a thing of the past! Pack away those up those flip flops and sun dresses, and breakout the scarves and pumpkin spice everything because…Fall is here! It’s that time of year where Colorado mountains begin to flourish with tones of yellow, orange and red as a chill begins to arise in our morning air, and also the time where it becomes acceptable to have everything pumpkin spice flavored without judgement. Who doesn’t love a little PSL obsession?!

But aside from those environmental changes and acceptable habits for coffee flavors, Autumn in Colorado is the perfect escape for photographers and landscapers alike. Autumn means rich warm-toned landscapes, orange and red leaves changing, dramatic silhouettes at sunset, morning fog, and stunning reflections throughout the state. No wonder so many people are flocking to live here in Colorado Springs. But how do you get that Fall Color look for your own home? Our landscaping experts here at Bella Giardino Landscape and Garden Design have curated a list of the perfect Fall color plants to add to your landscape to get these stunning glimpses each year. Below are precisely those Autumn colored plants or Fall foliage you can add to your yard today to feel more of the Pumpkin Spice season coming on!

Great Fall Color Plants for Your Landscape

Try these underused but worthwhile trees and shrubs for an autumn landscape pop every year during this time!

Aspen Trees

Native to the state of Colorado, these trees are very self-sufficient when it comes to watering. Plus, they automatically change their leaf colors right around September/October so they are the perfect hands off addition to your yard.

Fall Landscaping Trees & PlantsBigtooth or Wasatch Maple

Another Colorado-native, medium-sized tree with bold orange-to-red fall color as well. Similar to Aspens, these trees are well adapted to our diverse climate, soils, elevations and temperatures.

“Miss Kim” Lilac

Medium-large lilac bush with low to moderate water needs. This hardy, late-blooming lilac with dark green foliage and stellar burgundy fall colors also has a stunning Springtime pale-blue, fragrant flowers as well.

Serviceberry Bush

A great foothills shrub with upright to spreading branches, small, rounded leaves and clusters of small white flowers. It’s blue-black fruit attractive to wildlife for an added bonus on top of the mellow pale-golden to red fall color change.

New Mexico Privet

Stellar choice for xeriscaping and an extremely drought-tolerant plant. These are a large shrub to small tree with a dense, grayish-green foliage, yellow flowers before it’s leaves, blue-black fruit on some, and buttery yellow fall leaf color!

Western Chokecherry

This hardy, irregular branching shrub has shiny dark green leaves that complete a typical Fall cycle of yellow to orange to red every year. It also has elongated flower clusters with suckers to form thickets, in addition to their beautiful dark purple fruit for that diverse fall color.

Smooth Sumac

Another drought-hardy shrub with bright green leaves and pyramidal clusters of yellow flowers that produce fuzzy dark red fruits in fall and into winter. This plant is another outstanding red fall color characteristic too.

Three-Leaved Sumac, or “Skunkbrush”

This strong shrub with arching branches and glossy green three-parted leaves contains  small pretty yellow flowers before it’s leaves and natural reddish hairy edible fruits that alter into our beloved Autumn colors.

Fall Time in Colorado SpringsGolden Currant Shrub

Tolerant across a wide variety of conditions, this plant has some pretty cool yellow clove-scented flowers in late spring, but then change to orange and then deep red in the Fall. These also have yellow to black fruit as well, that attracts an even more colorful array of birds to your yard.

“Red-Twig” / “Red-Osier” Dogwood

This native medium-sized tree is adaptable to both plains and montane environments. It has a gorgeous red stem in winter, flat, white flower clusters followed by white to blue fruits attractive in the Spring, and yellow to red fall color leaves to complete the look.

Pumpkin Vines

These perfect Autumn-themed plants not only grow like crazy, they produce the beautiful orange pumpkin fruit that are the typical Fall objects used for decorations, Halloween activities and the source all thing PSL.

Contact Bella Giardino Landscape & Garden Designs today for more pumpkin spice and Fall additions to your Colorado Springs landscape. Contact our experts today!

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The Benefits of Having a Drip Irrigation System

The Benefits of Having a Drip Irrigation System

We’re sure you have all heard of a drip irrigation system by now, especially since we all live in this precarious Colorado state of uncertain weather patterns! So, of course, those of us who are passionate about our flower garden or backyard lawn are very diligent when it comes to keeping everything healthy and alive during the warmer months. But what is the best solution to keeping our yards healthy while still respecting local water regulations at the same time? Well, that would be a drip irrigation system.

What is a Drip Irrigation System?

The concept of drip irrigation systems is actually pretty simple. This relatively new irrigation technique essentially has tiny holes inserted at various points along a hose line that is placed within your flower bed or tree line. This almost invisible line allows small quantities of water to trickle slowly into the soil over long periods of time, instead of a consistent, heavy flow of a full sprinkler system that you have to manually set. The consistent dripping effect of this irrigation service not only saves water, it’s also a less maintained way of keeping your garden or yard alive and well in Colorado Springs.

Drip Irrigation SystemsAs we all know, especially during our summer months, our state constantly comes in and out of a drought status. As damp as Colorado weather can be sometimes, we are still prone to being very dry and even have a high fire warning at times as well. So water consumption, especially in our residential areas, has always had a tight regulation on it. This is precisely why many HOA’s suggest a drip irrigation system instead of a full on, old school, sprinkler system.

The disadvantage of sprinkler systems unfortunately comes with just how this watering solution is setup. Sprinklers often waste quite a bit of water, not only from just how sprinklers work, but also owing some of the wastefulness to evaporation of the spray droplets as they fly through the air. This was an initial watering idea that was ingenious at the time, but now with our steeper regulations and enhancements in technology, sprinkler systems have simply become out of touch with this times. Drip irrigation systems use way less water when they are on because they are applied directly where the plants need it most and nowhere else. The creation of a drip watering system has greatly decreased the wastefulness of water by quite a bit, aiding in achieving both state regulations and decreases in personal utility bills as well.

Whether your garden is ornamental or food-producing, or you just love your aspen line on your back fence, a drip irrigation system can be used with equal success. This is a great addition to your Colorado Springs luxury landscape design that lasts for years and keeps you both secure with your monthly water bill and in line with state drought regulations. Bella Giardino Landscape and Garden Design is a Colorado Springs landscaper who not only can create a stunning new high-end landscape for your home, but also install a drip irrigation system for you as well. Give our friendly team a call today and start saving on your water consumption with our effective drip irrigation services. Book a consultation now!

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Colorado’s Monsoon Season is Here – What Does That Mean for Your Colorado Springs Landscape Design?

Colorado’s Monsoon Season is Here – What Does That Mean for Your Colorado Springs Landscape Design?

July & August is typically Colorado’s “monsoon season,” which usually brings our beautiful state a significant portion of annual precipitation. But like everything else that has occurred and still occurring in 2020, this year is looking oddly dry, which spells bad news for growing drought concerns, and ultimately your home’s landscape as well.

So what is a Monsoon?

Monsoon's and your Landscape DesignPeople hear the term “monsoon” and almost instantly associate it with something extreme, like a hurricane or typhoon. This is not the case. In reality, a monsoon is simply a “switch in the wind pattern that brings moisture to the usually dry desert southwest.” Running roughly from June 15th to September 30th each year, the North American monsoon, also known as a NAM, is a “seasonal wind shift that brings a stream of moisture from the Gulf of California into the typically dry and arid southwestern United States.” This major alteration in mother nature brings daily summer thunderstorms with heavy rain, lightning, and the even sometimes hail or flash flooding. So in other words, a monsoon is just a timeframe where Colorado Springs receives an extensive amount of moisture/rain than any other time of year. We are smack dab in the middle “monsoon season” right now.

So how does this effect your stunning luxury landscape design?

One of the neat things about monsoon season, or monsoon driven thunderstorms, is how these storms pretty much occur around the same time every day for multiple days in a row. You can typically set your alarms for early afternoons in Colorado Springs to see those dark clouds begin to climb over the mountains. Now, depending on what your backyard or front yards have within their landscaping design, that will depend on if this season is profitable or detrimental to your own home. Either way, it’s important to be prepared for what is coming your way so you can not only alter your daily routine, but also help prep your garden or luxury landscape are for the craziness to come.

Predictions for the 2020 Monsoon Season

Unfortunately, Colorado is over 75 percent abnormally dry right now, including about 30 percent of our landscape being in extreme drought; this year’s monsoon season is quite critical. This means, of course, fire season should be a temperamental time for our residents. But, with monsoon season now here, we can only hope the influx of rain helps bridge this gap! Our Colorado Springs landscapes, including all pretty little flower or veggie gardens, all backyard BBQ or fire pits and even the outdoor kitchen design areas, will all be affected by this season in different ways. You know our flowers, trees and shrubs will all thrive off of the extensive amount of moisture that these monsoons bring, but of course, it’ll limit our time spent in our backyard with friends enjoying our backyard kitchen. So there are pros and cons to both, depending on what your own landscape includes, but it’s important to at least be aware of what weather is coming our way. “The North American monsoon is one of our last hopes for decent summer rains before overall drier conditions move in for Fall and Winter, but unless the forecasts change it might not have the impact Coloradans hope for.”

Call Bella

If you’re looking for a local landscaping company to perform a quick maintenance service in your yard, or you’re looking for help on winter plans for your landscape, give the experts here at Bella Giardino Landscape & Garden Design a call today! We are here to assist in any way possible to make sure this monsoon season doesn’t destroy everything you’ve worked so hard on! Call now for a consultation!

Summer Garden Design Ideas for Your Colorado Springs Home

Summer Garden Design Ideas for Your Colorado Springs Home

During our sunny and warm days of summer here in Colorado Springs, there’s plenty to do in our gardens. With a bit of planning and some professional landscaping help, you can make the best use of your time by prioritizing what needs to be done in your own yard this year. Whether you have had the luxury landscapers here at Bella Giardino create your home’s garden or not, we have some clever garden ideas for you to try out this Summer when it comes to restructuring or just maintaining your beautiful garden. Aside from those normally scheduled chores on your to-do list to keep your local garden in tip top shape, we wanted to also give you some new ideas to maybe add a little more flavor to your current outdoor oasis if you were looking for an update! Our luxury garden landscapers will have you enjoying your home that much more this and actually stop to smell the roses once and a while. Grill up some dinner, invite some friends over, relax and enjoy your outdoor oasis with the new summer garden design ideas:

To give you a simple jump start with your new garden ideas, here are some of the most popular garden styles that are currently trending this year for you to possibly run with!

GARDEN STYLES Colorado Springs Garden Ideas

  • JAPANESE GARDENS
  • MODERN GARDENS
  • MEDITERRANEAN GARDENS
  • ENGLISH & COTTAGE GARDENS
  • TROPICAL GARDENS
  • DESERT GARDENS
  • ECO-FRIENDLY GARDENS

Now, if just a style idea isn’t quite enough to get you motivated to update your own garden, let’s outline some newer ideas that many current Colorado Springs residents, and actually homeowners all across the US, are currently utilizing. Instead of running with a complete tone or mood to a garden layout, why not pick and choose some ideas here and there that mesh to fit your personal home’s style!

To start, be sure to keep in mind our current climate and state’s particular needs so you can create not just a beautiful garden, but a sustainable garden. Take them or leave them, but below are some of the top Summer garden landscape choices our luxury landscape designers gathered for you:

  • Be waterwise – Use mulch or rock beds with organic matter to suppress weeds and help retain moisture while using drip irrigation when possible
  • Think big – While our local weather is sunny and warm, summer is the perfect time to tackle major projects, like new concrete for a patio, new waterfalls or addressing drainage issues so you can get those more time-consuming items completed while the days are warmer.
  • Keep it cool – Think of ways to cool off your yard, like by planting a tree to cover your patio or placing a fountain near your patio for a cooling evaporation effect
  • Add colorful containers – Keep annual containers looking their best with regular watering, fertilizing, deadheading, and replacing tire-looking plants with new, vibrant ones.
  • Mix things up – Don’t be afraid to combine edibles with ornamentals! Different colored lettuces make attractive edging along a pathway instead of your typical shrubbery.
  • Keep pollinators happy – Insects and hummingbirds are crucial for pollination of all types of plants, so be sure to include a selection of native Colorado plants that can bloom over the growing season and keep that attraction of wildlife present in your yard.
  • Freshen your deck – Aside from hosing down your patio or deck areas occasionally to keep all surfaces looking crisp and clean, switch out pillows or cushions and move containers around for a fresh, updated look.
  • Make a list – Make a list of what needs to be divided or replaced, take a few snapshots as a visual reminder, and provide yourself a structured to-do list for the summertime.
  • Search for inspiration – Visit the botanical gardens in Denver or even venture around some Colorado Springs public parks like Red Rocks to get new and improved design ideas and inspiration for your home!

Get a New Garden Today!

It’s always fun to set aside some time during the summer to maintain, reorganize or even renovate your entire front or backyard. We are one of the top states in America that has the most amount of sunny days per year, so take advantage of our beautiful sunny skies and warm evenings this year and get to work on your garden designs. If you are looking to do a larger overhaul this year, give our luxurious garden designers here at Bella Giardino Landscape and Garden Design today to book a free consultation. There’s a reason ‘garden design’ is in our name, so give us a call today to experience a truly caring landscape firm in Colorado Springs.