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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Two Key Steps To Proper Spring Lawn Care

Now that it’s finally spring, it’s time to restore lawn beauty with proper care. There are two important steps that you don’t want to overlook in order to get your property looking great, and they are aeration and irrigation. Here are some tips for going about both steps the right way:

What is Aeration?

Aeration is critical to maintaining the health and quality of your grass. By properly aerating, the soil and grass will receive enough air and moisture to keep grass growing and reduce thatch. When you aerate the lawn, you make it easier for the roots to grow deep and strong, keeping your lawn looking hearty, fresh, and green throughout the spring and summer.

If your lawn is made up of cool season grass, then it is best to aerate in the fall and early spring. If you have warm season grass, late spring is the best time to do it. You can use a plug or spike aerator, which are tools that you can likely find in any hardware store or garden center.

Irrigation Systems

Irrigation is another key element to a well maintained lawn. Once you have it aerated, you then need to have a water source in place. You may want to consider having your existing irrigation system checked out by a professional lawn care service, just to ensure that it is in good shape and will work well. If you don’t have a system installed, it may be a good idea to do so in the spring. This will ensure that you have a well-watered lawn throughout the hottest months of the year.

Maintaining your lawn year after year will help to keep it in good shape. Once the spring season starts, take some time to work outside, getting your property cleaned up and tended to. Make sure that you aerate your lawn so that your grass will grow in thick and beautiful. A quality irrigation system will help keep the grass healthy all summer long. Once you tackle these spring lawn care tasks, you won’t have to worry about it for the rest of the season.

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Restore Lawn Beauty This Spring

April is the perfect time to start restoring your home’s lawn beauty. As the temperature warms up and the flowers begin to bloom, getting your lawn looking green and fresh should be a priority. Here are a few of the best spring lawn care tips to have your property looking lovely:

Do a Quick Cleanup

Since the ground is usually still soft and muddy in parts, you’ll want to do a quick and careful clean up. Gently rake up debris, such as leaves and branches, taking care to avoid soggy soil patches. It will take several warm and sunny days in a row to really start drying up the ground, so just focus on the areas that you can tend to in early spring.

Work on Weeds

Prepping your lawn for better curb appeal will require removing those stubborn weeds. Pull out what you can by hand on the lawn, along driveways and sidewalks, and in flower patches. You can treat your lawn with a weed control product, and it is best to do this before putting grass seed down on bare patches. Using a weed control chemical can help prevent the growth of crabgrass.

Growing Grass

Spring is the ideal time to start growing grass. Make sure that your lawn is level by fixing trouble spots. You can fill them in with a nutritive soil to level it out. This will ensure that the grass seed has enough nutrients to help the growing process along. Once you have the lawn prepped, you can then put down grass seed and tend to it daily. Make sure that you keep it watered accordingly. It’s very common to have bare patches on your lawn after a cold and snowy winter.

Check Your Equipment

You will want to make sure that your lawn mower is in good working condition so that once you’re grass is ready to be mowed, your equipment is up to the task. Don’t mow too soon over new grass growth. Have your lawn care clippers sharpened to keep things trimmed up, purchase a new pair of gardening gloves, and get ready to enjoy a beautiful lawn all spring and summer long.

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Refresh Your Outdoor Living Space Through Landscape Design

Having an outdoor living space to enjoy during nice weather is a big bonus for any homeowner. If you’re feeling like your outdoor area needs to be refreshed, here are some simple and affordable ways to improve upon it with landscape design ideas:

Build a Pergola

A pergola is a beautiful visual feature that can also serve a purpose. You can plant climbing vines and flowering vines along the sides, which will create natural shade for the area below. This is ideal for a patio or deck that gets a lot of sun during the day.

No matter how large or small of an area you are working with, you can build a pergola to suit the space. It adds a level of elegance to an otherwise simple landscaping design.

Add Shrubs and Bushes

If you would like a little extra privacy around your patio or seating area, consider planting shrubs or bushes around the perimeter. It’s much more affordable than fencing, and it’s an easy way to incorporate plant life around a concrete or brick surface. You can really define and section off a seating area this way.

Put Down Pavers

For outdoor areas that don’t have a patio or deck in place, consider it a blank canvas to work with. If you have a space where you would like to create a comfortable seating and entertaining area, you can put down pavers to make a patio. This will create a nice level surface where you can add outdoor furniture, a grill, and even a fire pit. Make space for a table and chairs where you can relax and dine. You can also use pavers to create a walkway that extends out into a garden in the yard, or along the side of the house.

There are many ways to transform your current outdoor living space into something that is both beautiful and functional. Simple improvements here and there to the existing landscape design will instantly add value and visual interest without breaking the bank. Enjoy your outdoor living area throughout the spring, summer, and fall by making easy upgrades.

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Creating A Pet Friendly Outdoor Living Space

When creating a landscape design for your outdoor area, it is important to consider your pet. There are a few things that you need to keep in mind, in order to create a space that works for both you and your animal. With the right plan in place, pets and outdoor living spaces can go well together.

Fenced In

It’s no secret that dogs love spending time outside, so you want to have room for them to run and roam freely, whenever possible. In order to do so safely, add a fence around the perimeter of the backyard. This will keep your pet protected while giving them the ability to run and play. A fence will also give you privacy, allowing you to create a retreat where you can enjoy spending time.

Add a Water Feature

Add a water feature, like a fountain or a small pond, into your landscaping design. Your pet will love taking a sip of fresh water, or even splashing around in it. It adds both visual appeal and gives your pooch a place to play on warm days.

Shade

Use trees or tall bushes and shrubs to create shady areas in the yard. If you have a patio, be sure to put up an umbrella or install a retractable awning. Your pets can get uncomfortable and overheated on hot days, too, so be sure to give them shady areas where they can cool off and get out of the sun. Another option is to add a doghouse where your pet can relax while outside.

Check Before Planting

Make sure that you check any and all plant life before getting them into the ground to ensure that they are not harmful or toxic to pets. There are some plants that can be deadly if your animal ingests them, so take time to do a little research and double checking before settling on your landscape design elements.

Another thing to look out for is the chemicals used in lawn treatment products. Many pesticides used in weed killers could pose a threat, so be sure to read all labels. By taking time to consider the needs of your animal, you can create a great outdoor living space that you will both enjoy.

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Refresh Your Outdoor Living Space Through Landscape Design

Having an outdoor living space to enjoy during nice weather is a big bonus for any homeowner. If you’re feeling like your outdoor area needs to be refreshed, here are some simple and affordable ways to improve upon it with landscape design ideas:

Build a Pergola

A pergola is a beautiful visual feature that can also serve a purpose. You can plant climbing vines and flowering vines along the sides, which will create natural shade for the area below. This is ideal for a patio or deck that gets a lot of sun during the day.

No matter how large or small of an area you are working with, you can build a pergola to suit the space. It adds a level of elegance to an otherwise simple landscaping design.

Add Shrubs and Bushes

If you would like a little extra privacy around your patio or seating area, consider planting shrubs or bushes around the perimeter. It’s much more affordable than fencing, and it’s an easy way to incorporate plant life around a concrete or brick surface. You can really define and section off a seating area this way.

Put Down Pavers

For outdoor areas that don’t have a patio or deck in place, consider it a blank canvas to work with. If you have a space where you would like to create a comfortable seating and entertaining area, you can put down pavers to make a patio. This will create a nice level surface where you can add outdoor furniture, a grill, and even a fire pit. Make space for a table and chairs where you can relax and dine. You can also use pavers to create a walkway that extends out into a garden in the yard, or along the side of the house.

There are many ways to transform your current outdoor living space into something that is both beautiful and functional. Simple improvements here and there to the existing landscape design will instantly add value and visual interest without breaking the bank. Enjoy your outdoor living area throughout the spring, summer, and fall by making easy upgrades.

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Tis The Season For Unique Holiday/Christmas Gifts

‘Tis the Season’ often brings on thoughts of sitting around an indoor fireplace leaving winter outside where it belongs. While this is understandable when the ‘weather outside if frightful’ what about those times when being outdoors is more than desirable? Giving unique holiday/Christmas gifts to those who enjoy spending time in living areas beyond the walls of their homes may require something just a bit different. Outdoor gifts are the perfect answer when the recipient already has everything needed to enjoy indoor living.

No one should be surprised to learn that there is more to a home than what can be found only after entering through a doorway. A home’s exterior generally includes lawn, garden and patio and these offer numerous opportunities for spending leisure time and quiet evenings soaking up as much natural light and fresh air as possible. The only thing is that sometimes that area is left unattended to and becomes less than attractive with little if any appeal.

Generous individuals who would like to give unique holiday/Christmas gifts to someone special should seriously consider outdoor gifts. Gifting someone or a family with a custom designed covered patio, complete with a hot tub and fireplace, could make the recipient’s dreams come true. Anyone who enjoys entertaining could spend many hours delighting in this kind of amazing gift.

An outdoor kitchen is the epitome of outdoor gifts because it provides even more opportunity for nature lovers to bask in their surroundings and becomes the gift that keeps on giving. Such unique holiday/Christmas gifts may be intended for a single person or family, but it is unusual when they are not shared with others. Done right they can even become the envy of neighbors, friends and acquaintances.

Something as simple as a small pond with rocks and foliage tucked into an intimate corner of the yard can provide inspiration for other outdoor gifts. The only limit to what can be done with unique holiday/Christmas gifts is the imagination. Bringing creativity to life can warm up anyone’s holiday season.  To explore the possibilities available for your outdoor space, contact Hidden Creek Landscaping today.

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How To Use Your Patio For Holiday Entertaining

As families prepare the home for holiday gatherings, it is important to take advantage of every inch of space. The patio is often an afterthought when it comes to holiday entertaining, but a beautiful space should not be wasted. Even though it may be a bit chilly outdoors, this area is a great location for holiday parties. Learning a few tips to prepare the area will make it a welcoming spot in all weather conditions.

Warm Up the Space

The most important thing that gives an outdoor space the ability to host guests for a holiday event is heat. A homeowner may consider small portable heaters or larger and more permanent fireplaces. Fire pits are affordable options for patio heating and provide focal points for friends to gather around and make holiday memories.

Add Comfort

The winter holidays are meant to exude cheer and comfort. If a gathering will be held in a covered patio, adding cozy curtains provides an inviting appearance. The furniture should be covered in bright pillows and warm blankets as well.

Keep the Elements Out

Although many parts of the country experience cool holiday weather, it is possible to create a welcoming outdoor space. An open patio can be lined with decorative screens or a retractable roof to keep the elements from becoming bothersome. If the budget allows, it may be wise to enclose the space with glass. This allows the beauty of winter to be viewed without the harsh and cold temperatures.

Holiday decorating means more than hanging ornaments from a tree or placing lights in the windows. It includes preparing both outside and inside space where family and friends can gather for special celebrations. Despite the cool weather, a bright and comfortable patio makes an excellent place to entertain guests and ring in holiday cheer. Hidden Creek Landscaping is happy to work with you to plan your new patio design, and help you make use of it all year round. Contact us today to schedule a meeting.

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Combine Lighting and Warmth in Your Patio Design

With shorter, and colder, days in the fall and winter there are two major things to consider in your patio design if you wish to extend its use through the colder months.  Those things are warmth and lighting.  If your patio design does not take warmth and lighting into account, your patio will be enjoyable for a much smaller portion of the year; not the best thing considering your investment in upgrading your outdoor space.  With a few additions to your patio design, you can truly make the most of your new outdoor space.

Fire Pit

Simply putting in a fire pit or installing a stone fireplace is a great way to transition a seating area from the spring and summer into the fall and winter. It adds warmth, charm, and functionality to the space.  Not only will a fire pit provide a great source of warmth, it also will serve as a fantastic lighting source as well.  Fire pits differ from artificial lights in that they appear more alive and natural, providing a greater ambiance to your patio space.

Lighting

Keeping your outdoor space well lit is even more important during fall and winter as the days are much shorter, leaving you with less time to enjoy natural light.  Trends for landscape lighting include the use of LEDs, as they are great for highlighting certain features, such as sculptures and fountains. The right lighting will add ambiance to any outdoor living area.  The key lies in identifying the highlights of your patio space, and using the proper lighting to accentuate them further in the evening hours.

Hidden Creek Landscaping works with you to determine a patio design that will best fit your style, budget, and lifestyle.  If you are concerned about keeping your patio space functional for the majority of the year, even during colder months, please contact us today to discuss the options that are available to you.  Whether you are designing a completely new space, or updating an older space, Hidden Creek Landscaping can help you make the most of your outdoor investment.  Contact us today to request a quote.

 

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Patio Design for Cooler Seasons

When you think of adding an outdoor space to your Columbus, Ohio home, you likely mostly imagine using it during the warmer times of the year.  Believe it or not, you actually can transition your patio into a cozy space for the fall and winter seasons as well.  You don’t need to stay inside when the temperatures drop down. Fall patio design trends help homeowners use their outdoor space even in the colder months.

Making it Cozy

The one essential element for your Fall friendly patio design is adding a heat source. There are many different styles of fire pits that can fit into a variety of patio spaces, from small and intimate, to large entertaining areas. Make it cozy and comfortable by installing a fire fit that will provide both warmth and light.

Comfortable Seating

Including a seating area around the heat source in your patio design is essential. Choose cushioned outdoor sofas and chairs with stylish patterns and prints. Add pillows and throw blankets for added warmth and comfort. If space allows, add in some side tables for placing drinks, snacks, candles, and reading material.

Patios are the perfect spot for soaking up the sun in the spring and summer seasons. In the fall, there is no reason your outdoor living space should go dormant and unused.  Contact Hidden Creek Landscaping today to discuss how your patio can be turned into a comfortable area for entertaining and relaxing throughout most of the year; even the cooler seasons.

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