Making Your Yard Festive for the Holidays

The holiday season is here, have you done your decorating yet? While many people will deck their halls and make the insides of their homes a winter wonderland, the yard and landscape are often overlooked. Don’t skimp out on your curb appeal- follow these tips to make your yard festive and welcoming for the holiday season:

Touch Up Your Walk Way

You want your guests to feel welcomed and excited to enter your home. To help with this effect, consider redoing your walkway. With the increasingly shorter days, a little extra lighting will keep everyone safe, especially as things get increasingly icy with the cold weather. Additionally, if the stones or bricks that you currently have lining your path are dingy, old, and worn down, it may be time for a makeover. You can take a seasonal approach to this project by lining your space with lights shaped like elves or candy cane or focus on fixtures that you can display throughout the whole year. Regardless, both you and your guests will be thankful for the extra lighting

Add Planters

Another way to add life to your space in the cold is by investing in holidays planters. This beautiful burst of color will help to make your yard and deck beautiful and vibrant. You can buy planters with evergreen and birch to last throughout the holiday. Spruce up your planters with pinecones, ribbons, and ornaments to give them a night holiday feel. Planters are an elegant way to add some decoration to your home for the season.

String Some Lights

The same old Christmas lights can seem a tad boring, but with a little creativity, you can add a fun new twist. You can line your house and porch with strings of lights but have also you considered draping them throughout the trees and other foliage? Instead of traditional white lights, invest in other colors to add some flare. You can also get icicle-like hanging strands that can give your front porch a great wintery theme. Add some lights to unusual places, like light posts and mailboxes, to add some shimmer. The more lights, the merrier.

Add Some Foliage

While many of your plants will suffer in the winter months, maybe it’s time to rethink your landscaping scheme. Wintergreen boxwood, coneflowers, blue spruces, and catmints are just some of the many plants that can survive and thrive in the winter. Adding new foliage will help to give a feeling of life to your yard that may otherwise be looking a little barren in the season. If you are confused or unsure of what plants will do well during the season in your space, give us a call. We can help you make a landscaping plan to meet your needs and to help your yard stay vibrant the whole winter long.

Revamp Your Deck

If you don’t have a porch or deck, now may be the perfect time to consider adding one. With the weather getting colder and colder, you will want a space where you can enjoy being outdoors, even for a little. A furbished deck or patio is the perfect spot to sit outside and entertain company. You can add a firepit or heat lamps for warmth and decorate your space to entertain. In addition to keeping you happy and cozy, these additions will also help with your curb appeal and the overall value of your home. If you already have a deck or porch but just aren’t crazy about their look, feel, or layout, use this time to do a quick remodel. You’ll be so excited to have them when the weather gets warm again.

No matter how you decide to decorate for the holidays, don’t skip out on your landscape! And, as always, if you need any help, call the experts at Hidden Creek Landscaping. We will help you get your space ready for the holidays and the new year!  

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The Best Landscapers in Central Ohio

When you decide to take on a new landscaping project, one of the most important things is to find a company that you trust. Attention-to-detail, high-quality materials and thoughtful design are all essential components for the success of your project.

At Hidden Creek Landscaping, we strive to be your top choice for exceptional service and impressive results for all aspects of landscaping and patio design projects.

Residential and Commercial Services

Regardless of whether you are eager to transform your backyard and patio or you are looking forward to updating a business property’s curb appeal, rest assured that our skilled and experienced design and installation team will work hard to exceed all of your expectations.

A thoughtful landscaping design improves aesthetics for a boost in curb appeal and for your overall enjoyment. An appealing landscape can have a bold impact on property value and conditions.

Creating a Gorgeous Custom Design

Your property’s landscaping design should be unique to you and your family’s wants and needs. One of the first steps in our design process is to craft a design plan specific to your property. When you contact our design team, we will take the time to learn more about what your goals are for your space. We create a custom design that is truly unique and perfectly tailored for your needs and your specific property.

High-Quality Design Materials

As part of the landscaping design process, we will work to select the most high-quality materials possible. We can use a variety of stones and other materials in your project. Beautiful wood species, such as teak, cedar, and others, may also be great additions to your space. These can be stained and sealed to perfection. Together, we can make a plan of action to incorporate these elements into your design.

Additionally, will also decide what vegetation will be ideal for your space. We go to great lengths to choose species that have the ideal overall aesthetic appeal and that are appropriate for your ongoing maintenance preferences. Our team can also make thoughtful recommendations for outdoor appliances, fire pit or fireplace features, electronics, ceiling fans and all other products that may be essential for creating a space that is truly appealing to you in every way.

Completing Flawless Installation

Creating a beautiful design and selecting high-quality materials are an essential part of initiating your landscaping project. We cannot emphasize the importance of quality workmanship enough. Our entire team has been selected based on their strong work ethic and their desire to produce incredible results. 

Ensuring Your Satisfaction

With landscaping firms serving central Ohio business and residential customers, you may be wondering what makes Hidden Creek Landscaping the best choice. Designing and installing a beautiful landscape on your property requires considerable attention-to-detail.  It is also important to have a strong mastery of various natural elements throughout the design.

The design plan and installation work will be tailored to your needs. We go to great lengths to ensure that your new space lives up to and even exceeds your expectations. We will work diligently to bring your beautiful new space to life with efficiency.

At Hidden Creek Landscaping, we go above and beyond to exceed all of your expectation and to build you a space that will make you happy for years to come. If you are looking for a trustworthy, innovative landscaping team, give us a call today.

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What is Hardscaping?

Landscaping, plantscaping, softscaping, hardscaping….suddenly everywhere you look, new terms and trends are popping up! But what do these words really mean for your yard at home? 

Landscaping, of course, is the sum total of every action taken to improve the look and ambiance of a piece of land. Plantscaping takes some of that lovely greenery indoors in the form of strategically-placed potted plants. Softscaping refers to the placement of greenery outdoors. And finally, hardscaping is the underlying permanent or semi-permanent structure that holds the softscaping in place. Clear as mud? Don’t worry – this is our complete guide for everything you need to know about hardscaping your home or business. 

What Is Hardscaping?

Hardscaping is the hard materials – bricks, rocks, concrete, planters, and other structures – that form the outline of your landscape design. Hardscaping is essentially the foundation of your landscape. Without hardscaping, all those carefully chosen trees and shrubs and flowers won’t stay in place for very long.  

When your greenery is placed firmly into a structure of hardscaping, it stays put. Hardscaping is the opposite of green, living things. It is the inanimate, non-living, durable and long-lasting “home” in which your greenery will live.

Benefits of Hardscaping

Hardscaping comes with a number of benefits, some more visible than others. One of the major benefits is that it keeps all your greenery in place.

Well-designed hardscaping is also able to deter weeds and pests. It can encourage desirable structured growth (up, out or both) and present a seamless curbside appearance. Hardscaping can help to control runoff from watering and storm waters. The choice of non-porous or porous materials can encourage water to soak into the soil or direct it into controlled runoff channels.

One fun new trend in hardscaping is increasing emphasis on hardscape design for small or vertical spaces.“Living walls” incorporate hardscaping and softscaping to bring greenery into small outdoor or indoor spaces to refresh and oxygenate the air while adding ambiance and natural beauty to formerly functional areas.

Hardscaping can also help visitors to your space understand what areas are for parking and walking. They also set apart what areas are designed to be kept clear of foot traffic.

Effective Hardscaping

The most effective hardscaping begins with a study of the local climate. Arid climates demand a different hardscaping strategy than do tropical climates. For areas regularly impacted by drought-based water use restrictions, hardscaping can help maximize retention of available water. Careful hardscape design can also compensate for areas that are less hospitable to greenery while still adding visual appeal.

The choice of hardscape materials can also have a surprising level of impact on future maintenance needs. Well-chosen hardscaping can reduce maintenance in all sorts of ways. From guarding against weeds and pests to working with the local climate and seasons to maximize greenery all year round.

Types of Hardscaping

As the landscaping industry becomes more sophisticated, the line between hardscaping and softscaping begins to blur. Today, there is an increased demand for “living” semi-permanent or permanent materials. These are used to create eco-friendly landscapes at home and at work. With this new demand has come a range of new hardscaping materials that are both alive and inert.  

Examples of traditional manmade hardscaping materials can include artificial turf, bricks, prefabricated stone, weed barriers made of nylon or poly materials, glass, concrete, and metal. Examples of naturally occurring “living” yet inert hardscaping materials can include sand, pea gravel, decomposed granite rock, finely ground marble stone, river rocks, and mulch.  

It is important to understand all your hardscaping options. It’s also smart to use the right terminology to talk with your landscape designer about your wants. Here are three terms you need to know:

Soft-scapingThis term refers to using naturally occurring hardscaping materials along with greenery to craft the design for your space. A good example would be filling in walkways with river rocks and then lining the walkways with moss.

Mixed hardscaping– Combining naturally occurring and man-made hardscaping materials together with greenery for your landscape design. A good example would be filling in walkways with river rocks, lining those walkways with concrete stepping stones and interspersing each stepping stone with moss.

Living hardscaping– Alternating living greenery with non-living natural or manmade hardscape materials. A good example would be alternating concrete stepping stones OR river rocks with moss.

Reducing Hardscaping Maintenance

A well-planned hardscape design can help reduce your ongoing maintenance needs, saving you both time and money. Here is where hardscaping, softscaping, and landscape design meet to create a landscape plan that is durable, lovely and low maintenance.

Three factors can greatly influence the maintenance of landscaping: choice of climate-friendly greenery, hardscaping/softscaping materials and planned drainage. In other words, you don’t want to walk out after the next heavy rainstorm to discover your entire landscape has washed away down the drain! Similarly, you don’t want to spend your winter worrying about what is going on underneath all that snow. Pest control is often best accomplished by carefully choosing weed barriers, fertilizers, mulch and soil that will encourage plant growth and send pests packing. 

If all of this sounds intriguing yet overwhelming, remember we are here to help! Here at Hidden Creek Landscaping, we’re here to answer all of your questions and ready to help you take on any project. Give us a call today. 

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Steps For Effective Landscape Planning

The success of any landscaping project depends on design and preparation. Thoughtful and professional planning of your landscaping will help you to create your dream backyard.

Formulating a Plan

A landscape design is first sketched on graph paper or drawn up with a CAD software program. Without the assistance of an experienced professional, creating a landscape-design plan can be somewhat intimidating for homeowners.

First, a scaled map is created to show where the property boundaries are in relation to the home. It is critical for the dimensions and placement of structures to be precisely represented to create an accurate depiction.

Studying the Property

When creating a landscape design, the entire property must be looked at as one cohesive unit. A landscape designer will know how to factor in everything from the trees and shrubs to the walkways and lighting.

You need to account for all parts of the home and yard, including patios, decks, gazebos, and pools. Design your walkways to be both aesthetically pleasing as well as safe to walk on during both day and night time. Once you have an accurate illustration of your yard, other characteristics of your property, you can add in types of vegetation and natural areas to the plan.

Creating Purpose

Once you have a thorough understanding of what you have to work with on your property you can start to think about what landscaping design features you want to incorporate. A properly landscaped yard should have something for the whole family. This may include adding flower, herb or vegetable gardens and areas for entertaining or relaxing, a play area for the kids, a pet-exercise area or spaces for hobbies and equipment repair.

Plants and Materials

Once you have a general idea of how you want your yard to be laid out you will need to choose the right plants and materials for your space. Choosing plants that are native to specific growing zones will allow them to survive and flourish while minimizing maintenance.

You will need to decide on the types of trees, shrubs, and flowers as well as materials for patios, decks and walkways, privacy screens and noise barriers. In some places, plants can also serve as structures. For example, a row or two of some type of evergreen shrub, hedge or bush can act as both a noise barrier and privacy screen.

Hiring a landscape designer will help you make these decisions and avoid common mistakes. For example, one common mistake many people make while landscaping is placing plants or trees to close together. This constricts plant growth.  

Bringing It Together

After you have determined the primary uses for your yard you can begin the process of organizing and laying out the design on paper. The house, garages, outbuilding and any other relevant structural details should be added to your design first. 

Any areas of your yard that are in public view should be given special consideration, including setting up sheltered areas for storing refuse, lawn maintenance equipment, and other miscellaneous outdoor supplies. Finally, add driveways, walkways, and entrances for patios and other main areas. Each of these basic, but important, features plays a vital role in creating an attractive and functional landscape design.

Climate and Terrain

Rainfall, wind, topography and temperature variations in the area should all be considered while you design your property. Consult a professional landscape for specific recommendations. 

Because soil heavily impacts vegetation, it is important to have a professional soil test done to determine what plants are best suited for your soil type. Topography, including slopes and variations in elevation, will affect the drainage of your property and should be factored into your decision as well. 

Sun-Shade Patterns

Daily sun and shade patterns on your property can help you map out where to plant trees in your yard. Additionally, the angles of your house, garages, sheds and other outdoor structures can help to highlight or downplay qualities of your home and yard.

Night Gardens

A night garden is a great way to add both romance and mystery to your yard. The proper selection of plants is crucial to create the perfect night garden. When in doubt, choose low-maintenance species that thrive in the moonlight. 

Plants that release scent during the night, called “noctiflora,” are some of the best choices for night gardens. Light-colored flowers and foliage that show up well in the dark are also great choices.

Lighting

A garden’s layout can have a big impact on how the light falls on and illuminates the plants. If natural lighting can’t be used for some reason, you can achieve the desired effect with landscaping lights. 

The three main types of landscape lighting include downward, upward and cross lighting.

Downward lighting adds a feeling of class and is a fashionable choice for casting light from above. Upward lighting works well for illuminating the sides of structures, such as walls and pillars, from the ground, adding depth to an otherwise boring scene. Cross lighting is designed to cast light a specific point from both sides, above and/or below.

Multi-colored lighting will allow you to express yourself, mix things up and make the landscape features truly pop at night. A well-lit multicolored path can also be a stunning feature for a night garden.

When you decide to landscape your backyard, it is important to craft a meticulous landscaping plan. If you would like to redesign your backyard, call the experts at Hidden Creek Landscaping. Together, we can create a backyard that’s perfect for you and your whole family.

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Ways to Make Landscaping Pop at Night

How can you make your landscaping stand out while you’re hosting night-time gatherings this summer? The installation of landscape lighting accents some of the most important features and can help to create your perfect yard. Follow these design tips and tricks to get the most out of your landscaping on these upcoming summer nights.

Take the Whole Property into Consideration

The entire property should be seen as a cohesive unit, and you have to consider all the landscaping components to achieve the best results. Everything from the bushes to the trees and flowers must be considered. Also, you should look at the paths that guests will walk along. This will create a pleasing environment as well ensure safety as they walk at night. Another thing to consider is your home’s architecture and any other features such as decks, patios, and gazebos to get the best idea of how you should follow through.

The Differences between Down, Up and Cross Lighting

You have three different types of landscaping lighting. First, there’s what is referred to as down lighting which literally means the light is pointed downward. Downward lighting has become a popular choice for lighting on trees and architecture. This style of lighting brings a certain feel of class with it. Next, you have uplighting, which is where the light is angled upward. This is a popular addition for buildings-you can place the lighting on the ground to focus them upward, which adds depth to an otherwise boring wall or pillar. Finally, you have cross lighting. This lights a focal point from all sides, and it achieves a unique look that can play well with specific styles and features.

Accent, Task, and Overall

Along with lighting options, other considerations must be made. For example, overall lighting does exactly as it says. It lights up the whole space, which is good for those gathering areas with your guests. You also have task lighting, which gets used for specific intentions and purposes. For example, you might use it as a way to illuminate a walkway. Finally, you have accent lighting. This lighting comes with the specific purpose of accenting certain areas of the yard during the night time. Ultimately, it depends on your design goals for the property.

Security

Landscape design might also take security into consideration for the night design. For example, you might install lighting above the garage door or close to the back door to make it more difficult for people to sneak onto the property. Much of this lighting will be motion activated, and it has the potential to scare away unwanted burglars. At the least, this lighting serves the purpose of alerting you inside of the home. Additional lighting can also protect from the risks of tripping or falling at night. For example, pool areas, pathways and steep drop-offs could all have hidden obstacles in the night that could be dangerous. The addition of a few simple lighting elements can make your home overall much safer.

Use Different Color Lighting

Changing the color of the lighting elements you choose is a good way to mix things up and spruce up your home. In fact, to make your yard pop at night, you might employ blue lighting, purple lighting, and even red lighting as a way to switch up the landscape and give it a refreshing look. You might even design an awesome night garden with a well-lit path. These fun and different uses of light will allow you to express yourself through your home design and really make it your own.

Creating a Night Garden

Ever wished you could add some mystery and romance to the landscape? Night gardens tend to solve all these problems. You might use the following low-maintenance plants that still achieve the perfect effect under the moonlight:

  • Meadow rue
  • Lamb’s ear
  • Star jasmine
  • Brachycome
  • Flowering tobacco

Plants that bloom or release fragrances during the night time can be called “noctiflora,” and it will spice up almost any occasion. Light flowers and foliage will show up the best in a night garden. While having the moonlight hit the garden just right can light it up, it isn’t always required. You might even add your own lighting to the location with torches, candles or even regular landscape lights. It depends on the mood you want to achieve, which is what you should always consider most.

Define the Purpose

Before you ever decide to invest in landscape lighting for night time, you should ask yourself what you want to achieve through the illumination of the backyard. Maybe you want the mood to have a soft and romantic feel, or maybe for security reason, you want to illuminate your garden. You might also choose this method because you want to highlight the best features in the yard. For example, maybe you have this elegant water fountain or this Japanese Koi fish pond, which is one of the popular trends of the industry today. You might, for example, illuminate the bridge walk that span over the pond, or you could illuminate the pond waters so that your guests can watch the fish even at night. It all depends on what you want overall for your home.

These are some of the ways that you can build a brilliant space at night on your property. When choosing a company, you want to pick one that has an established reputation for quality. For all of your garden questions, concerns, or needs, don’t forget to contact the experts at Hidden Creek. Together, we can work together to create the dream landscaping that you’re envisioning.

 

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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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What Are the Best Trees for Ohio Landscaping?

The unpredictability of midwest weather can cause a lot of frustration.  One minute it is sunny, and it could be storming the next. There can be snow in the springtime and warm winter days. However, when the weather messes with your landscape, it can be discouraging. After all, homeowners usually put a lot of time, effort and money into the landscaping to ensure that it is always looking splendid.

To stop this frustrating dilemma from affecting your landscape, here is a list of trees, flowers, and shrubbery that will survive year-round in Ohio:

Best Trees for Ohio Landscaping

Red Oak Tree

The sturdy and heavy Red Oak wood has a reddish-orange color that adds vibrant color to the landscape and is an excellent source of shade.

Japanese Tree Lilac

The Japanese Tree Lilac is perfect for those who are looking for an exceptional accent plant with beautiful and fragrant spring blooms.  A big part of the popularity of this tree is that it is low-maintenance and resistant to diseases. Also, it prefers moist, well-drained soil, thrives in direct sunlight and requires very little pruning.  Among the most favorite selections of the tree are Summer Snow and Ivory Silk.

Witch Hazel Tree

This tree is a remarkable option for broad and open areas in your landscape.  The tree favors partial shade or direct sunlight and soil that is moist and well-drained.  Its orange and yellow foliage creates a spectacular display during the fall months. Even when there is snow on the ground, the Witch Hazel tree will flower.  The spicy fragrance and twisting branches of the tree are particularly unique and form a part of its grand appeal. crabapple tree

Crabapple Tree

Easy to grow and stunningly beautiful, crab apple trees produce incredible flower shows during the spring.  It is necessary for these trees to be planted in well-drained loamy soil because fruit trees will not flourish in wet soils. Crabapple trees require good air circulation and full sun exposure to ensure the leaves stay dry.  It is essential to keep these leaves dry because wet leaves on fruit trees tend to cause diseases. When the apples fall, disease resistant varieties will not create a mess.

American Hornbeam Tree

American Hornbeam trees are a fantastic option for naturalized or woody landscapes.  This magnificent tree thrives in shade or partial sunlight and favors soil that is wet and well drained. The American Hornbeam is native to the northeast and produces outstanding red and yellow foliage during the months of fall.

Pagoda Dogwood Tree

The Pagoda Dogwood tree is a well sought after the native of the Midwest and hails, more specifically, from the state of Minnesota.  This tree favors full sun exposure or partial shade and thrives well in these conditions. The foliage of this tree is a beautiful purple that shows out during the fall.  It produces a pleasing aroma and creamy white blossoms during the spring. The Pagoda Dogwood tree can be significantly affected by city pollution, and as such, your Pagoda Dogwood should not be planted near to the roadside. Argentina and Venus are popular types of the Pagoda Dogwood tree, and its unique horizontal branching is one of its most remarkable features.

Japanese Maple Tree

This spectacular tree produces beautiful spring and fall colors.  During the fall, its textured foliage changes to a hue that ranges from deep red to purple.  White and pink blooms show up in the spring and last into the months of summer. To maintain its form, it requires pruning, or it will reduce into a shrub.  It favors minimal sunlight and light shade and thrives best in average, well-drained soil. While this tree is typically hardy in Ohio, it is best to check with a local nursery to determine the variety that will thrive best in your region. Japanese maple tree

Asimina Triloba (Pawpaw)

This deciduous, conical tree grows between 12 and 20 feet tall.  It has tropical-looking leaves that turn yellow in autumn and become as big as 12 inches.  Dark-brown, velvety flower buds produce upside-down, maroon flowers as big as 2 inches across that bud for approximately six weeks early in the springtime. The Asimina Triloba produces the largest native edible fruit in America, and its flavor is similar to both banana and mango. Once established, this tree can tolerate full sun exposure, and young trees favor filtered sun. 

Stewartia Pseudocamellia (Japanese Stewartia)

This deciduous, slow-growing tree is shaped like a pyramid and extends between 20 and 30 feet in height and 8 and 25 feet in width.  It can be single trunk or multi-stem, prefers partial shade, favors well-drained soil and has no tolerance for drought. In July, its cup-shaped, white flowers emerge, and its fall foliage has incredible shades of burgundy and reddish-orange. It reddish-brown bark provides interest and fantastic winter color.  It can be used near the patio or as a specimen plant in the yard.

Best Shrubs for Ohio Landscaping

Buxus “Winter Gem” 

This trouble-free, dependable evergreen is not a deer favorite.  It is most effective when used to create a hedge, and it produces glossy, medium-textured foliage.  The leaves will hold their color even throughout long and brutal winters. This shrub’s growth becomes a refreshing light green color in the Spring.  It can be used to bring evergreen structure to the landscape, which is mainly essential during the winter when there is very little green left.  It is a low-maintenance plant as it only requires pruning once or twice a year.

Clethra Alnifolia (Summersweet)

This native shrub is delightfully fragrant, attracts beautiful butterflies and blooms in mid to late summer. The elegant foliage and form of taller varieties make them great accents for anyt landscape.  They typically reach between 5 and 6 feet tall and 3 feet wide. Shorter cultivars like the ‘Hummingbird’ work well for repetition and massing, staying approximately 2½ to 3 feet tall.

If you need more information about types of plants for Ohio landscaping or need help with a design, contact us!

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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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