Our Favorite Fall Landscaping Features

Just like many of you, we love fall! The air is crisp, the weather is cool, and the seasons are changing before our eyes. And do you know our absolute favorite part of the season? All of the fall landscaping projects that you can add to your outdoor space! Here are a few of our favorite fall features:

There’s No Place Better to Sit Than a Fire Pit

What’s better than snuggling up by a fire pit while the weather gets cooler? Adding a fire pit to your home will help you spend more time outside and is the perfect way to entertain guests during the fall. What’s better than sharing memories and stories by the light of the fire underneath the stars? If you add a firepit to your home, you are sure to enjoy hours of outdoor entertainment and break up the monotony of staying inside all day due to the cold weather.

Perfect your Patio

A patio is also a great way to entertain in the cool months. If you deck your space out with comfortable seating, lighting, and heating, you will have a brand new area to entertain guests and enjoy your yard. While a patio can be enjoyed all year round, you will absolutely love having this space at your disposal during the autumn months. Grab a bottle of wine and some blankets and enjoy the evening on your patio space.

The More the Merrier

One of the most scenic aspects of this season is the falling and changing leaves and colors. Simply put, the more plants you have the more you get to enjoy the reds, yellows, and oranges that signify fall. Now is the time to add additional foliage to your yard. Adding flowers, trees, and shrubs will make your space beautiful now, and will also help it flourish in the springtime.

Potted Plants

In the spirit of adding more foliage, do not underestimate the power of potted plants. Adding rustic looking pots around the area and filling them with fall-friendly flowers it a great landscaping project. These are easy, DIY projects that can make your space more inviting and can help your colors coordinate properly.

Pumpkin Displays

Pumpkins are a trademark sign of Autumn. Invest in some pumpkins to display both in your front and backyards. Choose varying sizes and craft a display that gives your home a cozy and festive feel. You can mix things up by carving a few with the kids and adding different fall elements like hay and corn to your displays. Pumpkins are a super easy way to get the desired look for the season. You can also add to this effect by adding gords of various shapes and sizes.

Time to Mulch

Mulching can be a pain, but getting it out of the way while its cool will save you hours of hard work in the harsh sunlight. Mulching your yard has another benefit too; it will make all of your plant colors pop! Your plants and shrubs will need a little TLC for the harsh winter that is just around the corner. This will give them the nutrition and sturdy base they need to survive frigid temperatures and cold weather. Your yard will surely thank you as it thrives with this new mulch job.

Let There Be Light

Since the days are growing shorter, you are going to need to compensate by adding additional lighting. Add some soft, inviting light to your front and back porches to help with entertaining. Invest in smaller outdoor lights around your plants to show off your landscaping at night time. Adding lighting around walkways and paths is always a great idea for both safety and aesthetic. The days might be shorter and the nights might be darker, but this additional lighting will give your space a cozy, homey feel.

If you haven’t already, it’s time to fall in love with fall! There are so many outdoor projects and touches that you can add to your space to make it warm, welcoming, and ready for Autumn. If you have ideas for a landscaping feature, don’t forget to consult the experts at Hidden Creek. We will have your space up in running in no time at all!

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The Top Pool Trends of 2018

A swimming pool is the perfect way to bring fun and luxury to your home. As of late, there are many new trends that you can use to make your pool perfect for your space. Check out these different pool trends that have become increasingly popular this year:

1) Darker Colors

Pools that have darker tiling and darker edges have become very popular recently, and can drastically improve the aesthetic of your area. Dark blue and green flooring has the added advantage of making your pool look deeper than it is, and the colors tend to be more soothing to the eye. If you want your backyard to have a calming vibe, a darker pool is for you.

2) Pool Landscaping

While your pool may look like the center of your outdoor area, the landscaping around your pool can make a huge aesthetic difference. Pool landscaping is one trend that has been making its way into the home decor and landscaping industry because of how beautiful it can make the space look. A few simple planters and along neatly constructed concrete can give your pool a fresh and vibrant feel

3) Pool Ledges

A pool ledge is a shallow part of the pool that protrudes inward from the edge. Pool ledges can give your pool the additional space, and can even be used to place your loungers on a hot sunny day. A pool ledge also works well for children, since it gives them a safe and shallow part of the pool that they can play in. Adding a ledge can give your pool and overall more dynamic look.

4) Infinity Pools

While infinity pools are often associated with luxury resorts and spas,they have become a more common household trend recently.  An infinity pool is designed so that the water line of the pool looks like it is touching the water line of the natural body near it. These pools can make the entire landscape look incredibly scenic and beautiful.

5) Smart Pools

With how much technology is being integrated into our homes, it is no surprise that smart pools have come forth as a trend does this year. Smart pools use a combination of devices to improve their efficiency and make the process of maintaining the pool a lot easier. Smart pools can help you clean your pool, adjust temperature controls, turn on lighting with just the click of a button.  

6) Monochrome Pools

Minimalism and monochrome tones are a classic pooling trend. Sticking to this theme is a great way to give your home an added touch of sophistication. A pool with white or light blue tiling or spa colors tend goes well with this theme in a classy, yet functional way. When trying to achieve the monochrome look, make sure that you don’t add any bright colors, since that can take away from the theme that you are going in for.

7) Elevated Pools

Elevated pools that are made slightly above the ground. This trend is becoming more and more popular for those who want to go in for a unique design that is sure to grab onlookers’ attention. Elevated pools add a nice modern touch to your outdoor area. Innovative placement and structure can give your pool its own unique flare.

8) Compact Pools

Pools don’t always have to span over a large area. Sometimes compact pools can add just as much grandeur to your home. Pools that are smaller are ideal for those who don’t have as much space for a full-scale pool. A smaller pool fits well with a landscape design that has seating areas, a grill to barbeque and any other kind of outdoor essentials.

9) Pool Additions

Things like fountains, water jets and other kinds of pool decor and add-ons can help personalize your pool. Finding additions that match the theme and color scheme of the rest of your home is key. Your landscape designer is the best person to talk to about this since they can give you a creative insight into how you can achieve your desired look.

10) LED Pool Lights

Making your pool look as bright as it can seem to be a big trend in 2018, and LED lights are the perfect way to be able to do so. LED lights are available in an incredibly wide range of colors, giving you lots of creative freedom with the look of your pool area. Using LED pool lights tends to be a lot safer than other kinds of pool lighting. There are several different kinds of LED lights, some of which come with app-based automation that enables you to change the color of the lights, as and when you please.

If you are interested in any of these awesome pool customizations or want to learn more about getting a pool in general, contact your experts at Hidden Creek Landscaping today!

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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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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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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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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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Spring Lawn Care Basics

grassOnce the weather finally changes over to warm and dry, you have the chance to get out in your yard and start making it look great for the spring and summer seasons. At Hidden Creek, we know just how important spring lawn care is to have your property in good shape. Here are some helpful tips on the basics of spring lawn care:

Deep Raking

Even though you raked up the majority of the leaves and debris back in the fall, it’s time to do some deep raking to get your lawn looking good again. Deep raking involves more than just cleaning up the surface. You need to tackle lawn thatch, clearing away roots, stems, and leaves. This is also a great way to get rid of that brown, dead grass that’s left behind from the cold winter weather.

Reseeding

Even the nicest lawns are bound to have a few bare patches here and there. Prep the soil, and then spread fresh grass seed down on those bare spots. Make sure to water daily. In a few weeks, you should start to see new grass coming in. Wait until it reaches a few inches in height before going over new grass with the lawn mower. You can also trim small patches with hand clippers to keep things looking neat until you can mow.

Pulling Weeds

In the spring, you can start to prepare your flower beds and vegetable gardens in the yard by pulling out weeds. Locate any weeds or crabgrass growing on your own, and get rid of them right away. You also may find that you have weeds growing along your walkway or driveway. You can either use an herbicide to prevent the growth, or just pull them out by hand as you see them coming in. There are many products for weed prevention that will save you the stress of having to keep up with weed growth, and it will help your lawn to have nice curb appeal, too.

Getting your lawn prepared for the summer season can be pleasant and enjoyable on an early spring day. With a little work, you’ll have your lawn looking lovely in no time at all.

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