Summer Outdoor Patio Events

Patios are the perfect summertime hang out spot. With the warmer weather and longer days, it’s a great time to get ready for patio gatherings and events.

Your outdoor space is an extension of your home, so it should be comfortable and cozy. You want to be sure that it is spacious enough to entertain guests. Most of all, your patio should meet all of your family’s needs and fit in with your personal style.

Patio Ideas for the Summer

If you are looking for ways to spend more time outside, consider renovating and refurbishing your outdoor space. Before you get started, think about your desired style and theme. The style can be casual, modern, traditional, colorful, rustic, simple, or any combination of the above. A few possible decorating themes are seaside, tropical, floral, or old world charm.

Whether you are redecorating or building it from scratch, be sure to plan ahead and think about how to best use your space. Consider how much seating you need, where the entry point will be, and how to make it accessible. Think about the primary uses of your patio, such as whether it will it be for lounging, dining, or entertaining.

There are many ways to add structure to your patio. To make it cooler and more private, you can build a pergola or a privacy wall or fence. A pergola, a type of gazebo made from cross beams and lattice supported by tall pillars, is a perfect way to protect you from the glare of the sun and can serve as a good place to hang lights, plants, and decorations. Umbrellas can also be used to keep you cool on hot summer days.

Decorating Ideas

Once you have a basic plan in mind, you can begin to think about the design details and colors. For summertime, consider using bold colors like teal, red, orange, and yellow. A colorful design will keep your space fun and vibrant. If you are looking for something more relaxing you might stick with natural materials such as wood, stones, and bricks.

As you select your furniture, look for items that are comfortable, waterproof, and sun resistant. Durable and weatherproof, outdoor furniture can be left out and enjoyed for months. The fabrics won’t fade in the sun. They feel soft and comfortable and are filled with quick dry foam so you don’t have to worry about bringing them in when it rains. There are many beautiful pieces of outdoor furniture available in just about any color and style.

Lighting is an important consideration if you plan to use your space at night. String lights, lanterns, bistro lighting, a metal chandelier, torches, candles, outdoor fireplaces, and fire pits are some clever ways to incorporate lighting in your outdoor living space.

To make your outdoor space into a beautiful garden getaway, include plants, flowers, and landscaping. You can incorporate water by adding a fishpond, a mini waterfall, a sunken spa, or a pool. To make it into a relaxing paradise, include a hammock, lounge chairs, loveseats, a wrap around deck, a rock wall, or stone arches.

If you plan to entertain a lot,  you will want to incorporate a few additional items, such as extra seating, countertops, tables, outdoor appliances, and a bar. Bringing out linens, table runners, and benches will make your guests feel comfortable and at home.

Finally, add some finishing touches to make it feel cozy, such as colorful outdoor area rugs, pillows, cushions, and decorations. Have fun and be creative with the décor. Keep it casual and relaxing or add some exciting patterns and bold colors. And don’t forget to install an outdoor sound system so you can listen to music.

Summertime Events

Once your space is ready to go, there are many summertime events you can plan. Use it in the mornings for your morning coffee and breakfast. Use it for meetings with friends or colleagues, for family barbecues, picnics, and small get-togethers.

Have some friends over for outdoor cocktails and serve fun refreshments such as fruit punch, wine chilled on ice, and a charcuterie board. For a larger gathering, consider having people over a fourth of July backyard barbecue, drinks, and desserts, or a sit-down meal.

It’s possible to use it for even larger celebrations, such as graduation parties, engagement parties, or outdoor weddings if you have enough space. To keep things simple, prepare food in advance and set up a self-serve and bar and small seating areas. This will help make your guests feel comfortable and relaxed. Get creative with themes and centerpieces and decorate the surroundings with plants and flowers.

Kids love to be outside, so patios are excellent places for kids’ birthday parties. Include a burger bar, and for dessert try a s’mores bar or make your own ice cream sundae station. Decorate the trees with lights, set up water balloons, a bubble station, a tree swing, and some games to play. They are guaranteed to have a blast.

Consider something out of the box like a potluck dinner or barbecue, an outdoor movie night with popcorn, a theme party, or an impromptu game night. Most of all, have fun and be creative. The possibilities are practically endless.

Remember, summer is short so make the most of it. Using your patio is a great way to spend more time outside enjoying the sunshine before the cold of winter returns. To help add to the ambiance of your outdoor space, call 614-777-4254. http://Most of all, have fun and be creative”>Hidden Creek Landscaping today. Together, we can build your dream backyard!

 

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Landscape Water Features

Landscape water features give you a natural sanctuary providing a respite from the stresses of the day right inside your own backyard. There is a richness and diversity that water features produce as both people and nature respond to the refreshing and soothing qualities of moving water.

Whether it is a water fountain nestled among your flowers, a pool waterfall with underwater lighting as a focal point, a pond stocked with exotic fish, a stone waterfall, or spillways that feed into a meandering stream, we have ideas and tips for creating, planning and installing water features that cater to your specific desires.

 

Water has a Healing Effect

Landscape Water Features

Why install a water feature? Well, listening to the sounds of flowing or trickling water, studies have shown, ranks among the same beneficial effects we glean from sleep or massage for their restorative, stress-relieving powers. Water features help relax mind, body and spirit. There are all manners of stone and pool waterfalls, stream designs, koi ponds, fountains and more from which to select your own personal landscape water features.

 

Our Recommendations

The options for backyard water features in Ohio are endless whether you are dealing with limited space or have a large spread of land. We specialize in scaling landscaping projects to add beautiful tranquility to your outdoor living space. Not sure what type of water feature you are looking for to enhance your lawn and garden? Here is our comparison of a few common types to give you a better understanding of will work for you in your garden:

Pools

For one of the most classic water features, it is hard to beat the allure of a pool. This will take a substantial initial investment, but will be a great source of entertainment and beauty for years to come. You can even spice them up with fountains or waterfalls for a natural, relaxing feature. 

Pros:

  • Great source of entertainment for all ages
  • Flexibility – the pool can be whatever size/shape/style you need it to be
  • Increases the value of your home
  • Able to be heated to use for longer time period during the year
  • Great way to exercise

Cons:

  • Requires maintenance to keep the water clean and free of the accumulation of sticks, dirt, algae, etc.
  • Initial excavation may require substantial digging and investment
  • Not able to use all throughout the year
  • May increase your insurance costs

 

Container Ponds

If your available space is limited, a container pond is an impermanent and convenient alternative to an in-ground pool. You can convert just about any container into a container pond from glazed pots to a half-cut wine barrel to concrete bowls, all of which can be of any size. Whether the diameter is the same from top to bottom or the bowl is tapered, they typically have a wide opening, but even a 3-foot diameter allows enough space inside to add fish, aquatic grass, water lilies or other suitable plants for the perfect aesthetic touch. You can use a convenient plant support ring, which is a simple wire rack with openings that hold the plants in their containers just beneath the water’s surface. Now you are dealing with the equivalent of a fish tank to which you can add pumps and filters to keep the water clean and circulating.

Pros:

Landscape Water Features

  • No need for digging or excavation
  • Excellent choice for small spaces
  • Container ponds are available as kits
  • An inexpensive way to “get your feet wet” in the world of landscaping water features. Start with something small and graduate to bigger projects

Cons:

  • You may need to seal your container to prevent leakage
  • The deeper the container, the more difficult it can be to keep clean
  • You need to be cautious of the drowning risk posed when small children present

 

Wall Fountain

Wall fountains provide another alternative when space is an issue. These vertical water features offer the unexpected treat of a water aesthetic within the confines of compact spaces. They typically have a basin to catch and circulate the water with some wall fountains spilling directly into a container pond. Wall fountains use a pump requiring tubing or pipes that are invisibly set behind the fountain.

Pros:

  • Prime for small spaces
  • Can be uniquely designed and installed
  • Available as easy-to-assemble kits that are simple plug-in units
  • Different sizes and shapes available

Cons:

  • Fountain flow is not adjustable without an adjustable valve
  • Cost comparison between a kit and designing your own wall fountain is negligible
  • Can increase humidity in the air

 

Streams

For your larger property, man-made streams present a way to incorporate natural pools and waterfalls while offering a feature that may sidle up to a walkway, providing a tranquil path for all who traverse the landscape.

Pros:

  • Lends to a more natural, informal design
  • Adapts well to existing water features or to expand upon what you may already have in place
  • Conducive to decorative plants, grasses and river rocks for a natural aesthetic

Cons:

  • Streams require a pump system and plumbing to route the flow of water from the pond or pool destination back to the start of the stream
  • Longer streams just look better, which can involve a significant amount of digging
  • The initial build can be costly
  • Requires significant maintenance for the size and organic matter that can accumulate

 

Whatever landscape water features that you select, you should always install a pump to keep the water circulating. This helps detract still-water insects such as mosquitoes and wasps. If you do add fish and plants, make sure your pumps, filters and cleaners are up to the task. Anytime you install an outdoor landscape water feature that includes fish, expect to see other interested creatures appear on the scene such as frogs, raccoons and herons.

The pleasurable effects of landscape water features enhance the overall experience of your garden, whether enjoying a backyard party, a barbecue get-together or simply a private break all by yourself. You can make your yard a sanctuary, and the investment not only offers a calming presence at home, but it contributes to your property value as well.

If you are interested in learning more about custom landscape water features or how to winterize your existing features, our expert team of creative landscaping professionals can provide insight and in-depth knowledge of the many types of feature designs as well as the local Ohio terrain and trends. Contact us today to discuss your dream landscape and how we can bring your plans to fruition!

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Pet-Friendly Landscaping

How to Create a Pet-Friendly Yard

 

You love your pets and even consider them as members of your family! But, unfortunately, sometimes it is difficult to maintain a perfect yard with pets roaming around it.

Across central Ohio, you can see countless yards that have all of the familiar signs: big holes in the ground, dead spots in the grass, dog poop everywhere and flowers that have been trampled on. These yards have all of the bare essentials to be a beautiful space, but the owners have seemingly let their animals take them over.

The following are some ideas you may consider if you are looking to create a pet-friendly landscape.

 

Consider Hardscaping

 

Hardscaping may be something you want to consider if you have a puppy who likes to get his paws dirty. This will create a barrier between your dog and your garden. By designing your yard with hardscaping, you will be able to remove some or all of the spaces where your dog can dig. Whether it is stone structures, retaining walls, or paved paths, Hidden Creek can help you design and install these features to protect your space.

 

Pick up the Poo

 

This isn’t so much a design idea as it is a simple suggestion. Many yards and lawns are ruined because there has been so much pet waste accumulated in them over the years. You would be surprised how many families and children don’t like to enjoy their yards simply for this reason. And, guests don’t feel comfortable walking through your yard and enjoying the space unless it’s clean.

You may want to consider regularly cleaning up after your pet in your yard. It will make your yard both more enjoyable and healthier for everyone. Make “pooper scooper the yard” a weekly chore for you or your kids, and protect your beautiful yard!

 

Keep your Herb Garden Safe

Pet-Friendly Landscape

Many homeowners like to grow little herb gardens in their yards. This is a great way to provide your own additions to healthy meals to enhance the flavor.

Unfortunately, though, dogs and cats also seem to love herb gardens. Our little friends like to chew on and eat soft and small plants. Avoid this by creating a barrier around your herb garden. You could consider protecting your herb garden with chicken wire, a stone wall or another hardscaping feature.

 

Steer Clear of Poisonous Plants

 

A well-designed garden will usually feature a number of different plant species. When planning your garden, though, you need to keep your animals in mind when choosing plant species. There are some commonly-used landscape plants that are poisonous to dogs and cats when consumed.

Some of these common species include lilies, azaleas, and tulips. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruetly to Animals (ASPCA) has an extensive list of these plants which you may consult. Take care when choosing plants for your yard, and make sure your landscape professional is aware of this concern.

 

Pick a Hearty Grass Species

 

A beautiful, lush, green lawn is what most homeowners desire. However, dogs can be problematic when considering your lawn maintenance. As mentioned before, dogs can frequently burrow into lawns, which causes damage. Pet waste can also cause dead and yellowing spots in the grass. It can be difficult to balance the needs of your lawn and the needs of your pet.

Despite all of these concerns, if you still want a green lawn, then consider carefully which species of grass you choose. Some species of grass are heartier, and they can take the beating of a dog’s usage a little better. For a species recommendation, schedule a consultation with one of our landscape professionals.

 

Fence in your Dog Yard

Pet-Friendly Landscape

Oftentimes, the best solution to having animals and a beautiful landscape is allocating one part of your yard for them and another part for more intricate gardening or entertaining space. This separation can often best be done with fencing.

One solution would be to have a smaller backyard area where you allow your dogs and cats to roam that’s fenced in, and a separate space for entertaining and gardening. Or, if you don’t have that much space in your backyard, you can have a fenced in area in the back and then place more beautiful and delicate plants that could potentially be harmed by animals in your front yard.

 

Place Delicate Plants Away from your Pets

 

Features like flower beds, herb gardens, and succulent plants need to be placed away from where your pets go. As these features tend to be more easily harmed, they should be positioned in an area that will not be frequented by your animals. As mentioned before, this could be accomplished with fencing, or with a water feature or hardscaping.

In areas where your animals will be, you can place sturdier plants and landscaping features. In these spaces, hardscaping or ground covers would be great options, as well as larger shrubs or small trees.

 

Time your Irrigation Appropriately

 

In many cases, irrigation is necessary to maintain a beautiful garden. Plants have different moisture requirements to grow and be healthy. Irrigation allows you to control and create the ideal environment to keep your garden beautiful.

However, many times irrigation systems are set on timers, which can actually be problematic if you have pets. Don’t set your irrigation to run immediately before or during the times your pet will be in that area of the yard. When soil and lawns are wet, they can be more easily damaged by your animals. Not to mention, this could set you up to have muddy paw prints tracked into your home!

Creating a pet-friendly landscape is definitely doable, but does require some extra planning beforehand. Usage by your pet is simply another factor to be taken into account during the landscape design process. Make sure to communicate this need to your landscaping professional when creating your ideal design.

Have questions? Contact Hidden Creek Landscaping and together we can build a yard that is great for you and your furry friends!

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3 Landscape Design Trends for 2018

Taking advantage of the latest landscape design trends will help you enjoy your home more and boost your property value. This is why landscape designers and property builders explore the evolution of trends and ideas in landscaping. Here are the landscape design trends we’ve seen grow and ones we predict to be popular in 2018.

Trend 1: Outdoor Living & Dining, Fire Pits & More

We like to treat your backyard as another room and added living space. This trend will continue to grow this year as more people are interested in spending more time outdoors. We strive to create livable outdoor spaces that will add to the function and enjoyment of your home.

Outdoor Dining and Kitchens

We believe kitchens and outdoor dining will be more popular this year. Spaces dedicated to outdoor dining and entertainment are great for people who have upcoming special events or often throw parties. Having a kitchen as well just adds to the convenience and overall atmosphere.

Firepits

In connection to this, fire pits are also going to grow in popularity. Fire pits allow people to stay outdoors longer when it gets dark and even in colder temperatures. Apart from adding ambiance and keeping the atmosphere warm, the pits also double up nicely as a sort of table. In the mornings and afternoons, you and family can gather around it for coffee and conversation.

Outdoor living, of course, is not about dining only. Many are also interested in sunken lounges, outdoor showers, daybeds, as well as comfortable outdoor furniture.

Trend 2: Masonry, Textured Paving, and More

Masonry and stonework patios and walkways are predicted to undergo changes in 2018. 

patio

Now there are a variety of exciting stones including granite, limestone, porphyry. These can be turned into unique cobbles and flagging to break up larger spaces into smaller, textured paving. These stones are also becoming increasingly available in different shapes, sizes, and finishes. This will give landscapers more freedom to introduce exciting ideas in cobblestones such as mixing rounded shapes with linear lines. In short, expect asymmetry to be the leading trend in place of the polygonal paving of the yesteryears.

When it comes to flooring, wood-effect tiles have risen in popularity in the last couple of years. We predict this trend to continue now with the introduction of sophisticated wood-effect porcelain tiles. These are heat, scratch, and stain-resistant, hard-wearing and we may expect an increased use of them in both cladding and flooring.

Copper is another material that is making a comeback this year. Since the color of copper gradually weathers to a beautiful looking bluish-green patina, this serves to provide a wonderful sense of contrast with the surrounding wood, stone, and the gravel. More generally, the trend is moving to a naturally weathered patina away from the shiny stainless steel of the last years, so all the more reason why copper is going to get popular.

Trend 3: Small Gardens and Unique Plants

The garden trend in 2018 seems to be moving to smaller gardens that are integrated with the outdoor living space. In other words, the gardens and living spaces will come closer and often mix into each other instead of being separate areas of our outdoor space. So, expect a lot of plants inside and around your outdoor kitchen. Also, we expect pergolas with integrated heating, drainage, and lighting will grow in popularity.

Interesting Plants

As to the plants themselves, the opinions seem to be a little varied. Some believe that cacti and other succulents will hold their ground. We can mix these with a variety of other unique plants. For example, dwarf fan palms or dwarf palmettos may be preferred along with the big ‘Rex’ with its two feet palmate leaves to lend an exotic charm to the garden. However, this can be toned down by mixing some country-style plantings to soften the hard edges.

small garden

Others contend that shrubs and woodland plants will steal the trend this year. The woodland style with its mix of tufted grasses, anemones, mosses, and ferns may become popular following the installation of a similar style at the NEO Bankside at London. However, according to some other garden experts, we may be moving away from grasses, palms and naturalistic perennials towards a variety of unique and exotic shrubs.

Ecological Gardens

Another big trend in 2018 can be the ecological gardens. As interest in locally grown food continues to increase, we predict that greenhouses with a variety of edible plants may see a big comeback. These gardens may include some unique plants too, but for the most part, they will include locally-sourced materials and plants native to the area.

If any of these trends sound appealing to you or sparked your own ideas, contact us today! Contact us to discuss your dream landscape and put plans into action to make it happen.

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Spring Landscaping Tips After Winter

After the long months of winter, a number of homeowners recognize the need to perform spring landscaping tasks in their yards. This freshens up the lawn and other parts of the landscape that are in need of extra attention at this particular time of the year. Doing so gets the yard prepared for the growing season. A yard clean up checklist for spring can be separated into 6 categories of related tasks:

  • Major Clean Up
  • Flowerbed Preparation
  • Begin Planting
  • Control Weeds
  • Control Pests
  • Plant Care

Major Clean Up

This aspect of preparing the yard for spring landscaping will require a rake, gloves, and perhaps a few other small tools. Picking up after the snow melts can be quite a messy, yet necessary task. Therefore, you should roll up your sleeves, put on your gloves, and get to work. You can also ask a landscape maintenance specialist for help.spring landscaping preparation

Leaves that have blown around, trees, and perennials can remain in place and mulched over.  If they are in modest quantities, there is no need to remove them. However, there are often matted leaves all over the yard after the winter has passed, so we recommend you do remove most of those.

The cleaning process requires you to remove debris. This includes clearing away dead leaves, grass, pinecones, and whatever other unwanted rubble that may be on the lawn.

Flowerbed Preparation

For flowerbeds that performed optimally the prior year, the best thing to do is put additional compost around the plants for fertilization. Also, you should remove any weeds that have sprouted in the beds. This will prevent them from spreading and growing more as the season goes on.

You have a few options when it comes to opening up new planting beds. They include breaking new ground using a tiller and transforming lawn space into planting beds. There is also the option of building raised beds. You could consider soil solarization in areas that are particularly rough.

If you have broken ground to open up a new planting bed, there is no doubt weeds will find it fast. Therefore, in many situations, it’s a good idea to lay a landscape fabric on top of the ground. This should be followed by adding a layer of mulch.

Begin Planting

Early spring is ideal for the installation of trees and shrubs and the planting of perennial flower borders. However, this is only true if the perennials are hardy.  For tender perennials, annuals, and seed, you should await the passing of the last frost date for your region.

Control Weeds

Sometimes it is much easier to battle weeds prior to their emergence, instead of waiting for them to rear their heads. While landscape fabric can be used to eradicate weeds in flower beds, pre-emergent herbicides may be helpful for your lawn, especially to control crabgrass.  

Control Pests

Precautionary measures can be taken to deal with garden pests. Many gardens require the protection of deer fencing or rabbit-proof fences. In regions where deer could pose a problem and fencing is not an option, installing deer-resistant plants is a wise idea. You could also look into growing rabbit-proof flowers if this is relevant to your situation.

Plant Care

  • Pruning

Trees and shrubs can frequently benefit from spring cleaning as well. The period between the end of winter and early spring is ideal for pruning shrubs that will flower in late June and last through much of the fall.  For example, during this time you can prune shrubs like butterfly bush, abelia, beautyberry, clethra, caryopteris, smooth hydrangea, rose-of-Sharon and panicle hydrangea. It is also prime time to prune crape myrtle, St. Johnswort, vitex and summer-blooming spirea. Spring-blooming shrubs like rhododendron, azalea, lilac, weigela, viburnum, and forsythia should be pruned right after they start to flower.

There is no doubt that dead branches should always be removed.  However, the need to prune off live branches is typically determined by personal taste or one’s need to give the tree or shrub a more visually appealing shape.  The ideal time to prune shrubs to give them a desirable shape differs from shrub to shrub. 

  • Mulching

Any deep coating of mulch that may have been covering your perennials throughout the winter should be monitored to determine when they should be pulled away.  This is necessary for the perennials to emerge unhindered. There is no exact date for when the mulch protection should be removed from your perennials; this has to be played by ear.  

spring flower care

The exact time to remove this mulch will differ based on where you live. However, if a deep layer of mulch has been applied, it will ultimately have to be scraped away from the ground immediately under the perennials to prevent smothering.

A comprehensive spring clean up readies your lawn and other parts of the landscaping for the spring and summer seasons. However, so much more can be achieved through spring cleaning. In many cases, this will save you from frustrations as the season progresses.

Contact us for more tips and to discuss how we can help you clean up after winter and create a beautiful landscape for spring.

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Will Landscaping Increase My Home Value?

Landscaping can increase the visual appeal of your home. It can also increase your home value. Below are some examples of how this can be accomplished.

Replacing or Adding Some Design Basics

A number of individuals overhaul their closets every few years.  The process typically involves revamping their wardrobe by replacing worn-out basics with some new pieces.  The same concept can be applied to your yard with exceptional results.  Giving your landscape a basic makeover can provide the space with a classic, value-boosting foundation on which you can build a work of art.

Some landscape design basics may include:

  • A deciduous tree approximately 15 feet tall
  • Some flowering shrubs
  • A walkway made of winding flagstone
  • Two or more 6 feet by 2 feet stone planters
  • Quality mulch

Essentially, making a few small changes has the capacity to do a lot more than merely making your home more visually appealing. When correctly executed, this type of outdoor renovation project will boost the value of your home.

Building or Renovating a Patio or Deck

A patio or deck installment or upgrade can dramatically transform an empty, unattractive backyard into a tremendous outdoor feature. Any of these structures can provide the ideal spot to entertain, relax, and revel in outdoor living at its finest.

The patios and decks that will get the biggest return on investment are those that appear to have been installed since the house was constructed. However, this is not an indication that it should look old or worn out. Instead, it is widely recommended that homeowners add or upgrade a patio or deck in proportion to the structure and property on which the home sits.

The majority of home buyers appreciate being able to use the convenience of their own backyard to escape from the burdens of everyday life, even if only for a while. If you have a limited budget that will not allow you to invest in an elaborate outdoor kitchen, for example, adding a patio or deck is a straightforward upgrade that can boost your home value. 

Constructing or Remodeling an Outdoor Kitchen

The outdoor kitchen is a structure that many landscaping dreams are made of. With a kitchen on the outside, entertaining friends and family will be a breeze. For many home buyers, this added luxury is becoming more and more desirable. Outdoor kitchens can create a fascinating ambiance that enriches your experience in the outdoors.   

renovate patioConstructing or remodeling an outdoor kitchen can be a remarkable idea. For homeowners who live in regions that experience a long winter season, opting for an outdoor kitchen in place of a swimming pool would be a wise choice.  With a waterproof awning or pavilion, you will have the option of using your outdoor kitchen year-round.  

By adding one of these popular outdoor rooms to your home, you could see an average return on investment of between 100 and 200 percent. However, this largely depends on the climate.  Warmer areas and structures built with durable materials typically see a higher return on investment.   

Adding a Rainwater Recycling System

The cost of water is constantly on the rise; therefore, efforts to conserve water have become an important issue in the minds of frugal and environmentally-conscious homeowners. While lush, green lawns have a certain appeal, a number of homeowners have expressed a need to have homes that will not consistently take money from their pockets. In addition to solar panels, a rainwater recycling system can help to create a more sustainable home and reduce your dependence on utility suppliers. This will go a far way in increasing your home value.

Lighting Up Your Outdoor Living Space

Proper lighting will help you to highlight all the improvements that have been made to the functional and aesthetic value of your property, even after the sun sets. Adding strategically placed lighting to your property will boost its function, visual appeal and overall value of the property.

Making Lawn Care a Priority

You can make improvements to your landscaping without much complication. Keeping your lawn looking its best is a great method for improving the curb appeal of your home. This does not mean you need to constantly sit and watch for weeds to pop up. This only requires:

  • Raking

Remove debris like leaves on a regular basis.

  • Aerating

Pierce the lawn to allow nutrients and air to better access the roots of the grass. This assists roots in growing more deeply; creating a strong, lush and healthy lawn.

  • Fertilizing

During the growing season, your lawn should be fed required nutrients every 6 to 8 weeks.

  • Watering

You should water the lawn deeply and infrequently; this encourages greater growth.

  • Mowing

Regularly cut your grass but ensure it is not too short.  Shade cast by taller grass assists in preventing weed development.

  • Edging

Left to its natural progression, grass will find its way into driveways, garden beds and sidewalks; this causes an untidy appearance. For a clean, manicured appearance, trim away the excess at the edge of the turf. curb appeal

It is not necessarily expensive to take care of your lawn, but it does require an investment of your effort and time. If you would rather not invest your energy and time on lawn care, other options are available. You can hire a landscaping company to keep your lawn looking its best.

If your budget does not allow for major home improvement, a number of low-cost options exist for enhancing the exterior of your home to boost its value. Landscaping projects like adding mature plants, planting flowers at the entrance of your home, re-sodding your lawn, sealing your driveway and trimming and weeding all cost under $1000 (often considerably less). The National Association of Landscape Professionals states that “a homeowner can expect a 215% return on investment” for landscaping projects like these.

If executed properly, The Washington Post says experts estimate that landscaping can cause “an increase in value on your home from 5 percent to 20 percent.”

Contact us for more tips, or to discuss how we can help add value to your home through landscaping.

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Elements to Consider When Planning Your Landscape Project

Beyond improving the aesthetic appeal of your yard, a proper landscaping design can help propagate local ecosystems, prevent soil erosion and flooding, as well as demarcate areas depending on your family needs or upcoming events. A well-executed landscaping project can add value to your home and provide you with a luxurious escape in your own backyard!

In order to achieve these benefits, you will need to put several elements into consideration. These elements are your city’s zoning and permit laws, your budget, and how you will use your new space.

Research Zoning and Permits

elements to consider when designing a landscapeThe first thing to consider is your city’s zoning and permit requirements and laws. Of course, it helps to work with a landscaping company that is familiar with these regulations, but you should familiarize yourself with before planning the project to determine what is possible.

The City of Columbus says, “The Zoning Code regulates the type of activity that may occur within specific geographic areas of the city.” You should check this code to figure out what you are allowed to build or change and where the zone of your property lies. This also includes finding out where your property line begins and ends, so you don’t go building into your neighbor’s yard.

You should also check your city’s permit regulations to make sure you have the proper paperwork needed for certain projects. This is determined by where you live and the type of project you are planning. For example, the City of Columbus requires a special permit if you hope to build a deck that exceeds a certain size. Permits also differ between commercial and residential properties.

In addition, make sure you are extra careful to check the regulations if you live in a historic area like German Village. These areas adhere to strict guidelines in order to preserve the historical value of the area. The German Village Guidelines say, “Whenever you consider making changes in your building site, carefully weigh whether these changes would follow established historic patterns.” It goes on to explain the types of fencing materials villagers would have used in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. These are the requirements for fencing materials today.

Keep all of these zoning and permit standards in mind when researching and planning your own landscaping project. Remember to check for specific regulations unique to your city, town, or village.

Create a Budget

Budget is, of course, important to consider when you are planning a landscaping project. Make sure you set aside money for this project prior to planning it and keep this number in mind when fleshing out the details. It’s easy to get ahead of your budget when you’re looking at all of the beautiful and unique features available to you. Be sure to be selective and choose your must-haves before considering smaller details. It may also be a good idea to set aside supplemental funds for additional features you can’t live without.

How Will You Use Your Landscape?

A good way to determine what features you need is to think about how you will use your landscape. Are you known for your dinner parties? Do you have a birthday or graduation celebration to plan? Does your family have kids or pets? Looking at these factors will help you decide how much seating or open space you’ll need.

For example, outdoor cooking and dining are becoming a huge landscaping trend. If you have any upcoming parties and you’d like to entertain outside, a new kitchen and patio would be an excellent idea. If you do have kids, you can plan on putting in a pool for the summer. Think about what you will use your new landscape for most frequently and base critical features off of that.

Focus on Design

Color

Last, but certainly not least, spend some time deciding on the design features of your landscaping project.

Color is one of the most important elements of landscape design because it adds dimension and interest to a landscape, which brings it to life. More specifically, you can use color to draw attention to a focal point, provide seasonal variety, create a mood, and blend your outdoors colors with the colors of your house.

To introduce color into your landscape design, you can use planters, walls, paving, garden décor pieces and fences. At this point, it is important to note different colors typically create different effects. For instance, similar colors create harmony, whereas different colors create contrast. Additionally, warm colors such as yellow, orange and red create a different effect than cool colors such as purple, green, and blue. On the same note, you can combine warm and cool colors to create stunning effects. When designing your landscape, ensure you extend the presence of color across all seasons.

landscape color and textureTexture

A landscape’s texture includes the surface characteristic of an object, meaning it is both a tactile and visual element. In general, you can describe the texture of an object as either coarse, medium or fine. Plants, wood, bricks, stones, and other landscaping materials all possess different textural attributes. You can use these elements to enrich the visual quality of your landscape design. When using texture, consider how your landscape will appear from multiple vantage points. A landscaping professional can, of course, help you with decisions like these.

If you don’t know where to start for inspiration, you can also check out existing projects on sites like Houzz. Create an account and save your favorite photos to give your landscapers an idea of what you want to accomplish.

When it comes to creating a new landscape for your home, there are many factors to consider. The professionals at Hidden Creek would be happy to discuss these elements with you and decide on the best features. Contact us today or fill out our Dream Builder to get started on your landscaping journey with Hidden Creek.

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Origins of the Term “Landscaping”

What is a Landscape?

A landscape is essentially the visible features of a land area, its landforms, and the manner in which they integrate with man-made or natural features. A landscape includes the physical elements of geophysical landforms like hills, mountains, and bodies of water like sea, lakes, rivers, and ponds. It also includes living elements of land such as indigenous vegetation. The human elements include different types of land use, structures, buildings, and transitory elements like weather conditions and lighting. what is a landscape?

Combining the cultural overlap of human presence and their physical origins, landscapes are a reflection of a living synthesis of individuals and place that is instrumental to national and local identity.  A landscape’s character assists in defining the self-image of the inhabitants and providing a sense of home. It is basically the vibrant backdrop to the lives of individuals.

A landscape is also viewed in terms of aesthetic appeal or as a pictorial depiction of an area of countryside, especially within the category of landscape painting. In addition, when the visual appearance of an area of land is deliberately enhanced by changing vegetation and contours, it is looked at as having been landscaped.

History of the Word “Landscaping”

The word “landscape” was initially printed in English in 1603. It has origins in Middle Dutch with the word “landscap,” which means region. The word also has origins in Old Norse (landskap) and German (landschaft). Landskip is the previous formation of the word in English. It should be noted that the suffix ‘ship’ has close ties to schaft, which means constitution, shape or condition.

The emergence of the term “landscape” came around the turn of the 16th Century to represent a painting with the primary subject matter being a natural scenery. Land, which has its origin in Germany, may be viewed in the sense of a place to which individuals belong. For example, Ireland is the land of the Irish. “Scape” as a suffix corresponds with “ship,” the more commonly used English suffix. The roots of “ship” are linked etymologically to sceppan or scyppan in Old English, which means to shape. ‘Schaft’ as a suffix is associated with the verb schaffen. Therefore, “shape” and “ship” are etymologically linked as well.

The contemporary form of the word has connotations of scenery and, as was previously mentioned, it emerged late in the 16th Century. This was when the word ‘landschap’ was made known by Dutch painters who used it in reference to paintings of inland rural or natural scenery. In 1598, the word ‘landscape’ was first recorded.

The definition of landscape reflected in dictionaries conveys both a general and a particular meaning: being a part of the Earth’s surface.

Types of Landscaping Over the Years

Below are some of the common landscaping styles:

• Japanese Garden Style

The Eastern philosophy and way of designing gardens has become increasingly popular in the Western world. Therefore, to enjoy the elegance and order of this garden style, a lot of individuals devote their backyard to it.

• Mediterranean Style

Similar to other designs, this style gets much of its atmosphere from the plants with which it is created. As new varieties of Mediterranean plants like palm trees adapt to different climates, the Mediterranean style is among the most popular designs used in different parts of the world.

• Southwest Landscape Design

This is a tremendously popular design that is created through the type of plants and garden décor. This style is mainly used in arid regions like New Mexico and Arizona. However, it is becoming more and more popular in different parts of the world. Again, since much of the atmosphere can be fashioned with hardscapes and décor, it is becoming more popular in areas which are typically unable to sustain the kind of arid plants used for this style.

• Cottage Gardens

This style was originally created to raise crops for family sustenance. Today, many individuals who use this landscape style still make provisions for herbs and vegetables to be used in the kitchen. However, these gardens have taken on a slightly new use and appearance. Initially, there was a small number of flowers, but now we are seeing more and more cottage gardens overgrown with beautiful arrays of flowers. cottage garden

• Tropical Landscape Design

Based on the type of plants and geographic location, this type of landscaping is typically grouped in the same category as the Mediterranean style. However, the plants usually have considerably larger flowering plants and leaves with intensely vibrant colors. Thick foliage is usually placed towards the back of flower beds to create the look of a dense tropical atmosphere in the garden.

• Formal Landscape Design

The formal landscape style is largely based on geometrical shapes and straight lines. Most of the time, this design is quite symmetrical. Plants are placed in order and pruned continually to preserve the formal effect.

It’s exciting to see how landscaping was conceived and how it has grown over time. At Hidden Creek Landscaping, we take great pride in keeping up with the trends, retaining knowledge of the tried and true landscaping styles, and perhaps most importantly, combining our creativity with customer visions to create new and exciting designs! If you are thinking of starting a landscaping project, contact us today. We can make your backyard dream a reality!

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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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