What Are The Best Plants for Ohio Winter?

Weather in Ohio is quite unpredictable and winters often seem severe to plant-loving landscape and garden enthusiasts.  The gray skies, biting winds, and snowfall make it difficult to see the grounds-eye view of the landscape. This typically makes it hard to imagine having a beautiful yard during these cold-weather months.  However, if you would like to ensure a superb landscape all year long, there are options. Below are some of the best plants for Ohio’s winter:

American Beech

With the American Beech’s pointy buds, you will still be able to see leftovers of last year’s beechnuts, which can be found all throughout all of Ohio. The tapering surface roots and smooth, steel-gray bark make these trees easily recognized and wonderful to see, even from a distance. Even when highlighted against a bleak winter sky, these trees are remarkable to behold. In addition, American beeches have “marcescent” leaves, which means that the leaves from the previous season remain on the plant until spring (this is also the case for several types of oak trees).  These remaining leaves serve as the spectacular sylvan and golden foliar reminders of the past season.

Evergreens

Austrian Pine: The Austrian Pine is one of the most common evergreen tree species in Ohio. This type of conifer is covered in full, dark green branches covered in pine needles. It also has unique, black and white bark with a checkered or striped texture. It can grow to be extremely large at an average of 60 feet tall by 40 feet wide. This tree grows well in moist, clay-heavy soil which is very common across all of Ohio. evergreen tree in winter

Blue Spruce (Colorado Spruce): This is one of the most common types of evergreen trees grown in Ohio and the United States. This tree is typically known for its blue or blue-silver color and has several different growth habits such as dwarf, weeping, broad, columnar, and pyramidal. Blue Spruces can usually grow to be 50 feet tall by 25 feet wide around the bottom.

Yew: A yew bush or tree is a type of conifer which grows red seeds berry-like seeds instead of cones. Aside from the berries, the yew has small needles which are dark green and grey-green. Because the yew is an evergreen, it retains this color throughout the year.

Scotch Pine: The Scotch Pine is also known as the Scots Pine because it originated in Scotland. This tree has a crooked or twisted trunk that can split into different branches that shoot in different directions. This gives each Scotch Pine a unique look. These trees may extend to 50 feet tall by 30 feet wide if mature and given sufficient room to grow. The tree’s shape begins as a classic pyramid, but becomes twisted when growing and being exposed to high winds. This is a great option to add a unique touch to a winter landscape.

Christmas Rose

These beautiful, cold-loving flowers are nicknamed Christmas Rose due to their unlikely habit of blooming outside in early winter. With the right conditions, these flowers can brighten your landscape and your porch well into the New Year. They also stay through early spring. Planting this perennial (which means they multiply and continue growing for at least three years) in the spring will garner the best results throughout the seasons.

Snowdrop Flowers

Snowdrop flowers are named so for their white drop-shaped blooms which point downward. These flowers grow from bulbs and are perennial as well. Snowdrops are not only named for their white color, but because they are known to bloom as early as February and don’t wait for the snow to melt before sprouting out of the ground. While these flowers might not be out all winter, they are hearty enough to survive cold temperatures and bloom before the season’s end.

Winterberrywinterberry in winter

Winterberry is a shrub which loses its leaves in the fall and leaves only the red or gold berries. These bright remains provide a beautiful contrast against white snow. Winterberry is also a type of holly which can be used to decorate the home during the winter season. The berries stay for multiple weeks or months into the winter season. In the spring, the shrub will also blossom with tiny white flowers that will turn into berries again once the leaves fall.

Witch Hazel

Fragrant in summer, these resilient plants put out clusters of spidery yellow and red blooms that blaze like flashes of sunlight in the heart of winter. Depending on the temperatures during the winter months, the ribbon-like petals of these flowers will crinkle up and expand afterwards. Witch Hazel is a sizeable shrub and as such, the ideal spot in a garden or landscape will offer a lot of room for growth. While called a shrub, this plant can potentially grow as high as 15 feet tall and almost as wide. Witch hazel should be planted in the fall for best results throughout the year.

Cold weather is not an automatic indication that your landscape will look dull and lifeless. You can plant some of these resilient plants to brighten your Ohio winter. Contact us to discuss these and further options for your winter landscape.

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How Does Winter Weather Affect Landscaping?

While winter weather can be beautiful to look at, it can have an ugly impact on your landscaping. Cold weather brings dry air, snow, and frost which can leave your plants and lawn looking run-down by the time the spring season finally arrives. Here’s a closer look at the effects of winter on landscaping:

Wind Damage
Wind can cause damage in any season, and in the winter, it can also be accompanied by snow. Blowing snow drifts can cause snow to pile up on some areas of the lawn, while other spots may see less accumulation. This can cause some areas to see worse damage than others. Winds can also lead to downed branches from trees and shrubs. Even if the plant is well-established, this damage can still kill it. To prevent this, pruning before the winter is important. During the season, you may also consider shaking the snow off or gently removing it with a broom.

Dry Air
Winter can bring plenty of moisture in the form of frost, snow, and ice, but the cold air that sticks around for months is dry and lacking in moisture. Just like our lips and skin dry out after exposure to the cold, plants will too. The dry air, especially when combined with the wind, can cause plants of all kinds to dry out. Evergreen trees are especially vulnerable to damage from the dry air. One way to reduce the negative effects is by pruning and fertilizing plants before the cold air sets in.

Heavy, Wet Snow
Snow can lead to several different problems for plants and lawns. One issue is snow mold growth, which occurs when snow that has accumulated on turf starts to melt. The mold growth leads to patches of brown and pink which kills the grass. In the spring, the grass may need to be raked and reseeded if the damage is too severe. Prevention is the key, and can be handled by properly aerating and fertilizing the lawn beforehand.

winter weather affects landscaping

Heavy snowfall can also damage plants and trees. As snow piles up on branches, it can cause the branches to sag and snap under the weight. Again, proper pruning of trees, shrubs, and other small plants is essential in the weeks before the cold and wet weather settles in. By keeping these plants pruned, it will be easier to prevent limb breakage.

Professional Care
One of the best ways to keep your lawn and gardens in great shape is by working with a professional landscaper. They have the right equipment, knowledge, and skills to maintain the look and quality of your landscaping throughout the year. Proper prevention can help reduce the damage that cold winter weather can do to your property.

When it comes to keeping your landscaping looking its best throughout the year, proper preventative measures and quality care-taking measures are key. By taking steps to protect your lawn and garden, you’ll be able to ensure that the cold weather doesn’t do severe damage to your landscaping during the winter months.

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Benefits of Having a Green Roof

hidden-creek-landscaping-green-roof-environmentally-friendlyThe environmentally friendly movement has been gaining momentum for several decades as people embrace “green” lifestyles. Numerous homeowners have discovered that the many benefits of a green roof make it possible to maintain an eco-friendly home, while simultaneously enjoying the luxury of functional fashion.

Benefits

Regardless of how environmentally conscious one is, he or she may still ponder the question “why have a green roof?” The multiple benefits speak for themselves, the most advantageous of which are outlined below:

Financial Return

Even though the initial expense of green roofs may be higher than their traditional counterparts, they usually pay for themselves within several years.

Extra Insulation

Green roofs create an extra layer of insulation for the dwelling. This means that the property owner can use less insulation, as well as less energy to cool and heat the home.

Sound Proofing

Another significant benefit of green roofs is the fact that they are essentially soundproof. This is highly advantageous for those who live in areas with a considerable amount of traffic or neighborhood noise.

Aesthetic Appeal

Green roofs almost always end up being the talk of the town. Because of their unusual appearance, they draw attention from neighbors and others in the community, and virtually everyone loves their beautiful and unique details.

Fewer Roof Drains Required

A green roof also enables homeowners to reduce the number of roof drains that are needed or even eliminate them entirely. Although this may not seem like a huge advantage, when drain cleaning time comes, most people find it a major benefit.

For the Environment:

Another advantage of green roofs is their impact on the “Urban Heat Island Effect.” In other words, the more green roofs that are found in an urban area, the lower the heat island effect. This leads to a decrease in costs for communities trying to meet greenhouse gas reductions and be more environmentally friendly.

Stormwater Effects

Green roofs also lower the costs necessary to handle stormwater effects. Green roofs have very little runoff, and therefore create additional space in local storm sewers.

Clean Oxygen

Finally, green roofs aid in the production of clean oxygen. With an increasing number of forests and landscapes being destroyed, the need for plants to manufacture oxygen continues to escalate. Providing a roof that can boost oxygen production is an ideal way to ensure that our planet stays green and healthy for many future generations.

Commercial Green Roof Benefits

Green roofs are beneficial for commercial building owners who are looking for ways to be environmentally friendly. For example, they expand roof longevity two to three times. Additionally, they reduce heating and cooling costs and offer businesses up to 15 LEED credits. It is also possible for certain commercial building owners to receive municipality and government incentives for installing a green roof.

Ultimately, there is a vast array of benefits associated with eco-friendly roofs. Therefore, those whose goal is to maintain an environmentally friendly home or business have everything to gain and nothing to lose by contacting a qualified professional to obtain an estimate on a new, beautiful, green roof.

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We’re Hiring at Hidden Creek Landscaping!

were-hiring-at-hidden-creek-landscapingSince 1998, we have been providing remarkable service to the Columbus metropolitan area for landscape design and maintenance. We’re hiring currently and expanding our team in our landscape management and landscape installation divisions. If you are considering working with us, you can join our family by applying for one of the positions outlined below:

Landscape Irrigation/Lighting Foreman

This position is ideal for anyone who wants to become a part of a landscape team in a positive and high-energy environment. In this position, your lighting and irrigation skills will have a significant impact as you assist in growing an entire division.

Landscape Construction Foreman

If you have prior experience in creating patios, retaining walls, outdoor fireplaces and kitchens and you are prepared to train and lead others, this could be the position for you. This position also allows you to continue learning new skills and work on creative and award-winning projects.

Grounds Maintenance Foreman

This position is suitable for a person with an ‘artist’s eye,’ who pays attention to the details in every landscape bed you clean up and each line you mow. Our landscape team needs a Grounds Maintenance Foreman to be an energetic team leader to assist us in delivering the professionalism and customer service expected by our clients.

Landscape Construction Team Member

If you are fascinated by an opportunity that will provide you with the freedom of working outside and being active and teach you relevant skills to build a landscaping career, this could be the position for you.

Landscape Maintenance Team Member

This position provides the opportunity for you to work outside and be active while learning career-building skills to work in a professional, creative and high-energy environment.

To apply to become a part of our landscape team, you can call (614) 721-3225 or complete an online application at https://www.hiddencreeklandscaping.com/positions/.

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Why You Should Start Your Spring Projects in the Fall

pexels-photo-259588A number of homeowners consider spring and summer as the perfect seasons to maintain their garden and lawn. However, landscaping experts have found that proper prepping and other fall projects lead to lusher spring landscaping. Below are some details on fall projects you can do to prepare your landscaping for the spring:

• Apply chemicals to stop the growth of winter weeds in the flower beds. Trim your shrubs and you can also add seasonal color by planting chrysanthemums in the fall.

• If there are perennials in the yard, now is the time to cut them back. Plants like daylilies can also be divided at this time.

• Add some type of organic compost to the landscape. Following this, you can add about 2 inches of mulch or pine straw.

• Fall is also the best time to plant shrubs and trees. At this time of the year, the strongest hydrocarbons are present in the soil and this makes the roots grow to their strongest potential.

• It is very important for your spring bulbs to be planted in the fall. To emerge beautifully in the spring, they require the cold of the winter as the weather change. The colder the season, the better it is for the spring bulbs.

• Mix in compost with the existing soil and allow it to marinate throughout the winter. The fall is the ideal time to ensure the soil has adequate nourishment to make it through the cold months of winter. This nourishment is provided through proper composting.

Any grass growing in your yard should be cleaned up during the fall. Any debris that remains and covers the turf will compact and suffocate the grass and compact the soil. When it starts to warm up, the grass will have difficulty growing in the compacted soil.

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When to Stop Mowing for Fall

lawn-mower-1593890_1280As the warm weather winds down and the cooler temperatures take over, it’s time to start getting your lawn and garden ready for the winter. At some point, you’ll want to give your lawn one last mow for the year. Keep these fall lawn care tips in mind as you prepare for the months ahead:

Clean Your Lawn

You’ll want to wait until most of the leaves are done falling from the trees before doing the final mow of the season. Be sure to clean up your lawn by raking and bagging up piles leaves. Once the lawn is clear, you can cut the grass.

Use a Mulching Mower

A lawn mower with mulching blades is especially helpful in the fall. It will help to take care of whatever last leaves have settled on the lawn. Consider using this type of mower for the best results throughout the year.

The Right Length

You don’t want to cut your grass too short, but you don’t want to leave it too long, either. When left long, the grass can become diseased over the winter. The moisture, snow, and low temperatures during the winter months could kill grass that’s too long. However, you don’t want to trim it down too much. Once you see that it’s stopped growing, usually at the end of October or in November, you’ll want to mow it to a low height. Just be careful not to leave it bald in any areas.

These fall tips are important to know when preparing your lawn and garden for the winter. Your landscape design for the spring will be much easier to execute when you have a good starting point. By mowing your grass properly at the end of the fall, you’ll ensure that you have a healthy lawn to work with next spring.

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Landscape Master Planning: It’s All About Teamwork

1885_Scioto_Point-8When you have outdoor living space then you need to get creative if you’re going to maximise on its aesthetic value. Many times owners find it difficult to remodel as ideas aren’t always forthcoming. Landscape master planning is the creative and decisive use of the outdoors in order to bring the maximum benefit to the homeowner. The only stumbling block to contend with is finding an experienced landscape architect to convert your tastes and bare intentions into something tangible and worthwhile.

Landscape planning requires detailed planning. Factoring in things like privacy, entertainment, maintenance, drainage, and functionality isn’t easy but, with a plan, nothing is impossible. Ordinarily, it all begins with a site inspection to enable the architect to take note of existing features, most of which include the amount of sunlight, elevation, hardscape (permanent fixtures), the location of utilities as well as the general lay of the land. In most cases, your landscape planner will -on his own accord- proceed to conceptualize the overview and initial layout. However, it is customary to have a sit-down and discuss the client’s vision with the aim of drawing up a feasibility study.

A landscape architect normally employs environmental consultants, developers, engineers, regular architects, public agencies, and lawyers when executing their tasks. This ensures that everything is above board –compliance with municipal regulations- and handled by the best persons for the job.It is crucial to understand that, ideally, landscape planning isn’t a jigsaw puzzle where everything just fits into place miraculously. A huge part of the design process revolves around working with a preliminary design and finding ingenious ways to work with what’s on the ground. It’s about grinding alternatives and working out solutions that best suit the current and future uses of space. But overall, it’s largely about timing.

It is crucial to understand that, ideally, landscape planning isn’t a jigsaw puzzle where everything just fits into place miraculously. A huge part of the design process revolves around working with a preliminary design and finding ingenious ways to work with what’s on the ground. It’s about grinding alternatives and working out solutions that best suit the current and future uses of space. But overall, it’s largely about timing.

Contact us for any questions you may have or planning needs!

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Keeping Your Plants Safe During Colder Nights

Colder PlantsIf the weather gets a bit too cold at night during the transition months and your plants are too sensitive to the cold, you may need to help your landscape to survive. A bit of extra plant care will help certain planting withstand the rigors of the cold. Below are some landscape tips that can be used to help with gardening when the nights get cold:

Carry Potted Plants Indoors

Temporarily removing your plants from the low temperatures is an easy solution to keeping them safe when the nights get too cold. Hanging baskets and potted plants can be brought indoors. Even moving them to the sun room or garage will help to keep them safe as the temperature will increase by at least 10 degrees Fahrenheit. If possible, you should decorate the interior of your home with your plants. They will get the necessary without causing clutter.

Cover Your Plants

To solve the gardening issue of keeping plants warm during cold nights, a tarp, drop cloth or old blanket can be thrown over vulnerable plants. If your plants need protection from a few cold nights, an old blanket could provide adequate protection. To avoid damage, choose the covering and spread it out carefully so the leaves or branches are not touched by the cover. This could require the use of some stakes to prop it up. This technique works best to safeguard against frost since the covering will not significantly increase the temperature.

Add a Layer of Mulch

Applying a layer of mulch will help with insulation and keep moisture and heat in the soil. It safeguards the root systems of the plants against cold temperatures. A good choice is mulch made of pine straw or wheat. This is because it is excellent at trapping heat and is easy to remove once it is no longer needed.

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How to Plan for Commercial Landscaping

Commercial LandscapeInstalling landscaping around your commercial property can add value, function and visual appeal. Adding design elements like flowers, trees, pavers and boulders assist in creating an environment that can be relished for decades to come. Below are guidelines on how to plan for commercial landscaping:

Phase One — Establishing a Budget

Preparing your commercial landscaping budget should be done cautiously and should include thorough planning and setting realistic goals. To avoid certain pitfalls, create a solid budget that incorporates everything that is needed now but will also address your long-term objectives.

Phase Two — Meeting with the Landscape Designer

This phase involves meeting with a reputable landscape professional to discuss budget and customize a plan for the project. During the initial consultation, you should learn that commercial landscaping can be carried out in phases. For example, you could start at the front of the property and the sides and back can be added at a later date.

The consultation should also include a discussion about plant selection. This should include color preferences, likes and dislikes and options for screening and shading. Ensure that you clearly highlight what you need to have done and explain how you want the different areas to function.

With a clear understanding of your needs, the lawn care professional will draw up a blueprint plan and present it to you. This gives you another opportunity to interact with the landscape designer. You will be able to add or subtract elements of the design and ensure you are satisfied with the overall plan.

Phase Three — Installation

The phase involves the actual installation. You would have already discussed the time frame for completion of the project. Therefore, you can inform staff and customers about any disruption in regular operations. The installation should be done to the exact design specifications to ensure you will get what was agreed upon.

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Summer Colors for Your Home

shutterstock_217424809New coats of exterior colors provide the perfect opportunity to give your curb appeal a boost this summer.  This also extends the life of the exterior of the home and enhances the overall look of the property.  The main things to consider when looking for summer colors are light, location, scale and architecture.

Bear in mind that exterior colors are typically applied to the siding, roof and trim of the home.  This makes for a long-term investment when compared to wall paint and accessories.  Thankfully, with a bit of color knowledge, you can choose the perfect color scheme to highlight the architectural style of your home and reflect your personal design preference.
As a part of your preparation to select exterior colors, you should tour neighborhoods and take note of the colors that appeal to your design aesthetics.  Pay close attention to homes with an architectural style similar to that of your home.
For homes with brick or stone siding, choose a minimum of two colors for the exterior.  Choose three colors for homes in which the siding paint will be the main color.  The additional colors will be a complementary trim color and an accent color for shutters, doors and decorative trim.
It is also important to factor in the size of your home.  Based on its’ proportions, you could opt to tone down or emphasize certain features.  Lighter colors are typically used to visually expand the home or one of its features; darker colors visually shrink them.  Neutral colors allow certain features to fade into the background, while bright colors bring attention to them.
You can find color scheme inspirations in color forecasts; they are typically presented with coordinating color ideas.  We can help you design, build and maintain your home. Contact us today!
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