Caring For Your Landscape In Winter

Winter landscaping can seem a tad challenging. In fact, you probably haven’t given much thought to your landscaping in the winter months. Taking care of your yard now can set you up for success in the future. Here are some of our top tips for caring for your yard and garden this winter:

Break out the Fertilizer

Fertilizing your lawn before the weather gets too cold is a great way to set it up for success during the springtime. Summer can deplete a lot of the nutrients from your grass, so fertilizing can reverse this damage and help replenish the roots of your plants. Your lawn will be in full bloom when the weather gets warm again if you decide to fertilize.  

Aerate Your Yard

Aerating your lawn is the process of breaking up soil and dirt to allow oxygen and water to get into it. Aerating your lawn will keep it healthy and thriving. It helps the roots of your plants to grow deep into the lawn, which leads to healthier grass and foliage. The soil in your yard will naturally get compact over time, making it hard for air and water to seep down into the roots of your plants. Aeration will help break this up and reverse it. This will make sure that your plants are well nourished, even during winter.

Clear it Out

Although this tip may seem like common sense, it is important to keep your yard free in the winter time. If you leave things like furniture and toys on your grass during the cold season, it can lead to dead patches when the weather gets warm again. Make sure that your yard is cleaned up and cleared out, especially before the snowy weather begins.

Do Some Last Minute Raking

If you still have leaves in your yard from the fall, break out the rake and get them cleaned up before the first snowfall. Not only will this help you clear out your yard, as mentioned above, but it will also help open up your root system. This is a good way to prepare your yard for seeding and to help with the aeration efforts of your soil.

Don’t Step on the Grass!

Although you are probably used to strolling through your yard at your leisure, stepping on the grass during the winter can be incredibly damaging. When people tread through the snow, they tend to take the same path each time. As you walk through your yard, the snow will become continuously compacted. While one walk through the yard won’t do too much damage, continuing to tread the same paths can make it hard for grass in that area to grow.

Make Sure Your Lawn is Mowed

Speaking of grass, it is incredibly important to keep up with your mowing schedule all the way up until the first snowfall of the winter. Leaving tall grass for winter weather can have devastating effects on your yard. Longer grass will trap in moisture and will stay wet throughout the season.

Evaluate Your Hardscape

While your yard will not be as visually pleasing in the winter time because of the lack of foliage, you can still up your curb appeal by adding and updating hardscaping features to your space. Benches, gazebos, walkways, and other features will still be visible in the winter months and can give your landscape a welcoming vibe. Winter is the perfect time to take on these projects because you will be putting less maintenance into your grass and garden. 

Taking good care of your lawn in winter is half the battle to keeping a successful landscape all year long. Practice these maintenance tips, and contact the experts at Hidden Creek Landscaping for all of your winter landscaping needs. Together, we will make sure that your yard is beautiful and healthy for the new year.

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Everything You Need to Know About Greenscaping

You’re probably familiar with landscaping but do you know what greenscaping is? Greenscaping deals with all kinds of landscaping practices that protect and preserve the environment’s natural resources while improving the look and appearance of your garden or personal space. Simply put, greenscaping is a form of ‘environmentally-friendly’ landscaping.

Over the years more companies, organizations, and factories have chosen to convert their landscapes into greenscapes in hopes of making their practices holistic and nature-friendly. The practices used for landscaping often have a detrimental effect on the planet’s ecosystem not to forget that these practices can cost a lot of money in the long run.

Importance of Greenscaping:

Have you ever wondered about land usage in the United States? Think of all the malls, retail centers, recreational facilities, resorts, golf courses, amusement parks, public parks, the roads, and the highways in our country. All these places use a ton of resources; concrete, trees, lumber, asphalt, etc. Think about the millions of gallons of water used, the pesticides and chemicals that are exposed in the environment through popular and unsafe landscaping methods. The processes and materials used are both economically and environmentally costly. Greenscaping can eliminate these redundant costs to create beautiful outdoor spaces.

The Four R’s of Greenscaping:

To make the most of greenscaping it is necessary to understand the four R’s of greenscaping. By setting short and long-term goals gradually you can make your practices environment-friendly. Even the tiniest of improvement can have a huge impact. All you need to do is to focus on the four R’s: reduce, reuse, rebuy, recycle.

Reduce:

The first step for greenscaping is to reduce the composition of natural resources. This can be done through a couple of holistic practices that include:

  • Substituting the plant lumber for recovered plastic lumber. By doing so, you are helping conserve plants and trees and natural ecosystems. In addition to this recovered plastic material has a longer life than wood, plastic does not require routine upkeep. This reduces the maintenance and replacement costs.
  • Conserving water through the process of ‘Xeriscaping’. Using native plants that are indigenous to the region’s climate and soil require fewer pesticides and chemicals. Adding compost to the soil improves water absorption, which reduces water requirement.
  • Reducing pesticides by “spot treating”, aka only using them on specific affected areas instead of an entire patch of land. This reduces the number of chemicals released into the environment. Consider using organic and bio-based fertilizers and pesticides.

Using compost as the top layer of the soil can improve water absorption and decrease the use of fertilizers by up to 50%.

Using mulch over the plant’s root zone can reduce moisture evaporation and conserve water. Mulch also prevents the growth of weed.

Reuse:

You would be surprised to know that just how much of the materials can be reused. You can effectively use many items which would otherwise go to waste. Consider the following tips for reusing materials:

  • Create your own mulch through tree clippings and wood chips. This will give you the benefits of mulch and save you the disposal cost.
  • If you plan to remove plant or shrubs from your property then donate those to a local community or shelter.
  • Reclaimed water, gray water, and collected rainwater can all be used as alternative sources of irrigation. This saves water resources and money.

Rebuy:

Rebuying requires making purchases that are more mindful. It means looking for products that fit your needs but also help to protect the environment. A simple change in habits can fix this problem. When purchasing an item look for materials that have been recycled or buy biodegradable materials. Recycled products are more durable than virgin materials and cost much less. Buying recycled material also helps sustain the ecosystem, as less waste is disposed into the ecosystem. There are plenty of environment-friendly brands out there that sell products that are not harmful to the planet. Consider the following tips when you make your next purchase:

  • Compost, when used in the form of blankets and berms, minimizes the risk of soil erosion, and mitigates pollution. Due to its organic natural compost, make an excellent air filter media for volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
  • Purchase plastic lumber instead of wood for benches, signs, and other outdoor structures. Plastic lumber is durable and has a low maintenance cost.

Recycle:

The most beneficial habit you can adopt is recycling. By recycling already used materials, you can save resources and money and in certain cases even generate revenue. Consider the following ways to recycle:

  • Trade the leaves, clippings, and trimmings found on your site to a compost manufacturing facility for fresh compost.
  • Recycle old tires from your vehicles and equipment.
  • Use biodiesel and organic lubricants for your working equipment.
  • Use recycled glass for filter media and golf course bunker.

Greenscaping is an effective and sustainable process to upgrade your property. Not only does it benefit the ecosystem but also keeps your finances in check. If you are interested in learning more about ecoscaping or exploring your ecoscape options give us a call today. Your expert landscapers at Hidden Creek can help you make your space eco-friendly in no time at all.

 

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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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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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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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