How To: Use Your Outdoor Space For Holiday Entertaining

12/22/2015

Are you planning on organizing parties and gatherings for your friends, relatives, and office colleagues in this holiday season? Read ahead for some interesting tips that will help you incorporate your home’s outdoor space in your party plans. Create a Landscaped Outdoor Space: Landscaping can transform an ordinary backyard into a cool and classy extension of your stylishly-designed home. A well-maintained landscaped garden will provide that much-needed natural look and feel to your modern home. Moving your divan outdoors or placing a few chairs around a small bonfire will create a warm and roomy ambience. Add a few trees or simply install a natural pergola or pavilion to give your guests a glimpse of the joys of outdoor living. Transform the Mood with Stylish Outdoor Décor: A cartoon-themed décor with colored ribbons, balloons, and other accessories will be a great way to organize your child’s birthday party during the holidays. Planning on inviting your colleagues? Muted lighting and wooden furniture will create a classy and sophisticated feel where your guests can relax and have a great time. For your traditional holiday season party for the entire family, you can simply spread a few rugs and throw in numerous soft pillows and cushions that relaxed and homely feel under the clear skies. Unleash your Imagination: Holidays present the perfect opportunity for you to let your imagination run riot. If you want to give your guests something really interesting to talk about, then you can opt for pond-less waterfall or a rustic bubbler in your patio. The mesmerizing sight of a waterfall coming out of thin air will definitely pique the curiosity of your guests and liven up your party. Cater to the Senses: Transform a small backyard into an aromatic garden by combining flowers and herbs with scented candles sprinkled throughout the outdoor space. Catering to the senses will distract attention from the fact that you don’t have a lot of outdoor living space. The lights and scents will help you incorporate the outdoor space into your party even if you don’t plan on seating your guests outdoors. From creating ecospaces with the help of professional landscaping firms to decorating the outdoors on your own—explore all available options to create a memorable experience for your guests during the...

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The Importance of Snow & Ice Management

11/18/2015

When you own or manage a property, commercial snow and ice management is essential during the winter months. The Ohio Valley Group has the equipment and expertise to do the job correctly, each and every time. Safety. Winter weather conditions can cause safety issues. You do not want your customers or employees to slip and fall on icy sidewalks. Driveways and parking lots can be hazardous if snow and ice are allowed to accumulate. Our snow plow and other removal equipment can clear dangerous ice and snow from around your business. Everyone who drives or walks in the area will be safe. Convenience. Unexpected weather conditions occur frequently in this area. It can be difficult to get in and out of the building, and in and out of the parking lot. You need a snow removal service that can do the job on short notice. You do not have to close your office when a storm occurs unexpectedly. Our 24 hour service means convenience for everyone in the workplace. Tips For A Safe Work Environment. Snow and ice management is a job for the experts. It is not a do-it-yourself project. First, business owners do not have the right equipment to do the job properly and effectively. Second, snow and ice removal can result in an accident if you are not trained and experienced. Your own safety is a concern, and you do not want to risk ruining expensive equipment because you do not know how to use it correctly. It is easier, safer, and smarter to hire us for snow and ice management. Whether winter conditions occur before your business is open in the morning, during the day when employees or customers are indoors, or after everyone has left for the evening, we can provide the service you need. Winter does not have to mean slip and fall accidents, dangerous parking areas, or inconvenience for everyone at your workplace. We can remove ice and snow at any time of the day or night. You can have confidence knowing your property is safe, because we are available whenever you need...

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Fun Fall Activities To Do On Your Patio

10/12/2015

Just because the temperature is going down and the days are getting shorter, that doesn’t mean that you can’t spend time in your outdoor living space. Enjoy the cool and crisp fall weather with some family fun on the patio. Patio lovers can make the most of October with these fall actives: Carve pumpkins. Pumpkin carving can be messy, so this year, move the carving party out on the patio. Spread out newspaper over the table, and give the kids some big spoons so that they can scoop out the pumpkins. Have a friendly competition to see who can come up with the coolest design for their jack-o-lantern. It’s a great way to get into the Halloween spirit. Make s’mores. If you have a fire pit on your patio, you can easily make s’mores. Kids and adults love these sweet treats, and they’re perfect for chilly nights when you’re relaxing around the fire pit with a cup of warm cider or hot cocoa. Just make sure that you have a full bag of marshmallows, a box of graham crackers, and a few chocolate bars handy. Make fall themed crafts. Bring all of the children’s craft supplies out on the patio and let the kids make some fun fall crafts. There are many simple and cute crafts that kids can make to celebrate the season, and it’s a great time to teach them about nature and how things change once the weather turns cool. You can also have them gather up natural materials from the yard, like leaves, flowers and sticks, to incorporate in the crafts. Host a wine and cheese gathering. Invite some friends and family over for a relaxing evening of wine sipping and cheese tasting. A fire pit makes the perfect source of warmth, or you can add a heat lamp to make the patio more comfortable on cold nights. Don’t forget to offer your guests a fleece or flannel blanket to wrap up in, too. Don’t let the chilly air keep you inside this fall. Make the most of your patio in October by enjoying these fun fall...

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Falling In Love With Your Fall Landscaping

9/3/2015

The autumn brings some much needed changes to the weather, as well as to landscaping. It’s an important time of the year to prepare the lawn and garden for the next growing season. Here are some helpful fall landscaping tips to help homeowners fall in love with their property this autumn: Yard Clean Up. The changing colors of the leaves are pleasant to look at, but soon enough, they end up coloring the lawn and garden, as well. While it may not sound like an enjoyable task, it is necessary to do a yard clean up in the fall. Take the time to rake up leaves, small branches, and other debris that may have settled in flower beds and across the lawn. They can either be bagged up, or left by the curb for pickup, depending on the community’s procedures. Add Color. Plant some fall perennials for bursts of rich, bright colors in flower beds and along walkways. Just because the spring and summer are over doesn’t mean that the flower beds should be left alone. Some of the best options are Mums, Hostas, Inulas, and ferns, to name a few. These plants will add beauty and enhance curb appeal. Remove Dying Plants. Take the time to remove any dead or dying plants. When left as they are, they take away from the curb appeal, so it’s best to just get them out of the ground. Remove any annuals that have died off, and cut back perennials and grasses that have died. Just don’t prune any plants in the fall, as pruning encourages growth, and plants should remain dormant for the duration of the cold season. Aim to tidy up flower beds and give them a cleaned up look. This will also make it easier to get started next spring. The fall is an important time to tend to landscaping. By following these simple tips, you’ll fall in love with the look of your property in every season. Take the time to prepare for the winter, and ensure that your home has a well maintained appearance throughout the winter...

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Benefits of Tree Pruning

8/6/2015

Why is it good to prune your trees? Many different benefits make this popular landscaping service a worthy investment: It looks good. This first reason to trim your trees is simply that you can form your trees and make them grow in ways that are visibly pleasing. The difference between a messy landscape and a clean, beautiful one could be simply the structure of the trees. It’s safe. Controlling the structure of the trees reduces any unbalanced growth that may cause them to fall easily in heavy weather. Trimming and pruning while trees are still young can prevent any hazards that are costly to fix. It’s good for the trees. Even though it sounds like a painful process for the trees to go through, in the long run, the trees actually turn out healthier and cleaner. Pruning prevents decay and fungi, and the cleared-out spaces allow more fresh air to flow through the leaves. When’s the best time to prune? While it may come as a surprising fact to many, the best time to have your trees pruned is during winter. The frozen ground allows for greater access for large machinery that may otherwise sink in soft ground; the lack of foliage allows for greater visibility to see and address problem spots; and since the tree is dormant, the wounds will heal before the growing season in spring. Another perk to pruning in winter is that insects, which could cause infection in the newly exposed areas, are inactive. Big trees vs. small trees. Smaller trees actually handle pruning better than a large tree would. A tree’s live cells only exist a few inches under the bark so a small tree is made up of mostly live cells, allowing it to adapt and regrow faster. When dealing with larger trees, don’t cut a branch more than 6 inches wide. Otherwise rot and infection could set in. Hiring a professional to do the job would be the safest way to ensure that your trees are pruned correctly and without any harm done to the tree. Pruning your trees can greatly benefit your property—its beauty, its safety, and its health....

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GO AHEAD AND INHALE THE GRASS….IT’S GOOD FOR YOU

7/2/2015

The sweet smell of freshly cut grass is summer.   That particular smell – over and above the intoxicating scents of blooming crabapple and lilacs—brings on an immediate sense of peace and well-being. I generally believed this effect was because the smell conjured up childhood memories of playing outside. Most of us can recall the universal parental rule to “play outside until the street lights come on”. There were no structured activities and we were left to the standard games of “kick the can” or “ghosts in the graveyard” or some other game imagined up. My belief is probably scientifically incorrect. Australian researchers have discovered that the chemical that is released when grass is cut makes people feel relaxed and happy. In fact, these researchers claim that this chemical can prevent the mental decline often associated with aging. The Times of India similarly reported that the chemistry in a pleasing odor, such as freshly cut grass, can alter gene expression in the brain and reduce aggression, calm the nerves and sharpen the mind. On all fronts, imagined and scientific, the smell of freshly cut grass is good for you. Unfortunately, this is not so true for the grass. The same odor that calms our nerves and relaxes us is actually a distress call from the grass itself. The calming odor we enjoy so much is actually a chemical defense called green leaf volatiles [GLVs] that the grass emits in an attempt to save itself from the injury you have just inflicted upon it. As the French writer, Alexandre Dumas stated, “there is neither happiness nor misery in the world; there is only the comparison of one state to another, nothing more.” So the next time you inhale a deep breathe of freshly cut grass and enjoy the flashback to childhood memories and the rush of well-being that floods you, give silent thanks to the grass.  ...

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