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Porches and Patios 7/6/2018

Summer is here and you know what that means. The weather is warm and you can finally relax a bit. This is also the perfect time to consider adding a renovation to your home to even better enjoy the season. A porch or patio can be the perfect way to entertain your guests and enjoy time with your family outside. Both porches and patios add great charm and value to your home, but which one is better for you?

The Porch

The addition of porches to houses dates back all the way to the ancient Romans and Greeks. Generally, a porch has a roof and sometimes have two or more sides. A porch opens to the outdoors. They can be attached anywhere on the home; the front, side, or back.

The Patio

Alternatively, there is the patio. Patios are similar to porches. They have also been used in the southern United States and other parts of the country for many decades and offer an area of the house to help you enjoy the outdoors. Patios are not necessarily attached to the house and they may or may not have a roof. Patios offer an outdoor area to entertain where you can enjoy the weather without being too detached from the house.

The Benefits of Porches

Adding a porch to your home can benefit you greatly. A porch adds extra space to the house without directly expanding it. Most porches are big enough to accommodate extra furniture; sofas, tables, etc. They can also serve as a mudroom of sorts. Let your kids’ sports equipment and outside toys air out on the porch instead of bringing them into the house. Another benefit of porches is that they add a line of defense against burglars and crime. Most criminals are deterred by light and well-lit areas. By keeping your porch lit and secure, you can reduce your risk of a home invasion. Adding screens and bug lights to your porch can give you as well as your friends and family the chance to enjoy the outdoors without worrying about pesky flies and mosquitos. Because of the covered nature of the porch, it also allows you to enjoy the summer warmth in rain and shine.

The Benefits of Patios

One of the best parts of adding a patio to your home is the space it provides for entertainment. There’s nothing better than a backyard BBQ or just dinner with the family on your outdoor patio space. Patios make entertaining fun and easy. Because they are such a popular addition, they are often sought out by home buyers, and can overall greatly improve the value of your home. When creating a patio, you have many options. Patios can easily be designed to be aesthetically beautiful and pleasing to the eye, which will bump up your curb appeal. Generally speaking, patios are simple and cheap additions. The investment to add a patio to your home can pay off greatly in the long run as it boosts your overall home value.

Minor Drawbacks

It is important to keep in mind that each structure also brings their own set of drawbacks. One factor is the price; a patio can be a much more expensive investment than a porch which is something you may want to consider when choosing between the two. It should be noted that this varies from home to home, and you should request an estimate on both before choosing one. In regards to maintenance, a patio may require more of your time and attention as it is exposed to the elements. 

Choosing an Addition

Both porches and patios can make excellent additions to your home space. Choosing which one is best for you will depend on a multitude of factors. Are you using this space to entertain many guests? Or just for you and your family? Do you want to be able to sit in direct sunlight? Or is coverage from the elements more important to you? Your porch or patio should complete the vision you have for your home. If you have questions or would like to learn more about these additions, contact Ohio Valley Group Today. Together, we can figure out what home addition would be right for you!

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What are Home Irrigation Systems? 6/8/2018

Irrigation systems are artificial methods of watering plants. Changes in weather conditions globally have led to severe water shortages that have forced farmers to regulate or control the amount of water given to their crops. Controlled water consumption ensures that the plants get the required nourishment leading to a healthy and speedy growth despite water shortages. It also prevents waste because watering only happens when it is necessary. There are many different types of irrigation systems such as drip, sprinkler, manual, center pivot and sub-irrigation.

The method you choose should depend on plant types and their water requirements. It may also depend on the personal preferences, budget, and desired results. Irrigation systems are not just for farmers but also for homeowners who would like to maintain the beauty and ambiance of their landscape. Odds are that in your yard you may have a variety of plants including flowers, trees, and shrubs. These will require regular watering and care, especially in the hot upcoming summer.

Before choosing the type of irrigation for your landscape, you should first talk to a professional landscaper. Note that every climate zone requires different accommodations. It is also important to factor in the type of soil in your yard. Some soil types keep and absorb water better than others. If your garden has a sandy soil, you may need to water more often while a clay soil will require moisture less frequently. It is also important to consider water availability in your area.

What is the importance of irrigation systems?

Irrigation ensures plants get enough water when natural resources are scarce and allows plants to thrive despite lack of rainfall. Here are a couple reasons to consider adopting an irrigation system for your yard.

Irrigation Improves Productivity

Because of their consistency in water, crops growing in irrigated lands tend to thrive better and produce more than those that rely on rainfall alone. It’s possible to enjoy a green and beautiful landscape all year round and not worry about changes in plant health caused by water shortages.  

Relying on rainfall is unpredictable-you can never be sure how often your plants will get the hydration they need. Subsequently, if it rains too often your plants can suffer as well.

Some soil types cannot handle too much water but require low quantities at regular intervals. Controlled water supply ensures you take care of the soil and plant needs leading to predictable and positive. Without adequate rainfall, seeds may not germinate on time. Irrigation can eliminate these uncertainties and give your plants the precise sustenance that they require.

Irrigation is also more efficient for your water bill. Hosing down your garden can easily lead to overwatering, which neither benefits your plants or your wallet. The precision of irrigation will help you to ensure that water is not wasted.

It Promotes Variety and Conserves Soil Minerals

You can plant both perennial and seasonal crops together with irrigation systems. The system can be tailored to fit each different plants needs, making life possible for all types of foliage. Having a variety of plants in your garden can give it a more lively and overall appealing look. Irrigation gives you more freedom to custom-design the yard of your dreams.  

Without the water supply, plant roots cannot absorb minerals in the soil. However, with too much water added to the environment, nutrients leak out and can no longer sustain the plants. Overwatering can also lead to diseases, mold, and plant rot in your garden. Irrigation is the perfect way to ensure that your plant’s needs are getting met without the risks that come with overwatering. By measuring the ideal water levels for each plant, you’re ensuring a healthy and nutrient-filled environment for them to grow and thrive.

A Healthier Environment

Because of the nature of irrigation-giving each plant their needed water supply directly to their roots instead of mass sprinkling the entire area, it will be harder for weeds to germinate and grow in the area. This will promote the overall health of all your plants and save you hours in the dirt uprooting the pesky things.

Other than beautifying the lawn, irrigation can help you grow your own produce. Foods grown with irrigation tend to be overall healthier and bigger because their exact needs are being met. Growing food at home eliminates toxins and pesticides that are often added by farmers with mass crops. Growing fruits and veggies at home with your irrigation system can be a fun and healthy way to save money and the product will be nothing less than delicious.

Irrigation puts you in control

Irrigation is the perfect fix for your busy schedule. Your automatic irrigation system enables you to water the plants as you wish, ensuring your garden gets the love and care it needs even when you’re out and about. Irrigation timers allow you to pre-schedule your plants watering sessions, making it possible to accommodate to all of their needs without impeding on your day-to-day. If you want to have a healthy garden all year around, irrigation could be the option for you.

The benefits of irrigation systems are numerous and could help transform your yard into the garden of your dreams. If you are interested in an irrigation system or want to learn more, contact the Ohio Valley Group. Together, we can create the perfect yard that’s just right for you!

 

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Guide to Water Features – What’s the Best Option for Your Space? 5/18/2018

The addition of water features to your outdoor spaces can increase the beauty of your outdoor landscaping design and add a welcoming atmosphere for your guests. The harmonious sounds of water singing as it flows along has a great way of relaxing people. We love the ambiance that water features create in an outdoor space. Sitting outdoors listening to a water feature helps you relax and enjoy the beautiful weather. Read our recommendations below to get inspired and find the best water feature for your landscape!

Reflection Pools and Ponds to Promote Relaxation

Are you looking to create a natural-looking, relaxing atmosphere? Still water ponds or reflection pools can offer a perfect place for deep thoughts and intimate conversations. These areas are easy to incorporate into any type of home or business landscape. You can make these pools of water ground-level to mimic natural water ponds, or with stone or brick foundations in yards lacking a natural water spring. Furthermore, these reflection pools or still water ponds look sensational surrounded by lush plant life that can draw in local birds, colorful butterflies and other nearby wildlife.

Waterfalls that Create Outdoor Ambiance

If you have naturally hilly or inclined areas of your backyard, you may want to consider transforming a portion of your outdoor property into a sparkling waterfall. Traditionally, waterfalls offer a striking visual focal point while creating an outdoor ambiance that’s almost bewitching. A skilled and talented landscape expert can make use of natural property high places to add downward flowing cascades of gushing water. This looks terrific with any style of landscape design. You can enjoy these larger water projects from farther distances as well. This is perfect when viewed from indoor picture windows and upper level balconies. It’s a great way to differentiate your landscape from the “average” and make your neighbors envious!

Magnificent Rock Garden Water Ideas

Water Features

If you don’t have the necessary room for a large waterfall, you can still get some of the same inspirational effect by trickling water through a rock garden. These can run gracefully over and through a colorful back or side yard rock garden. Having staggered levels of natural rocks and artistically planted colorful bursts of flowers enhances the feeling of being immersed in a cool, shady forest retreat. Your landscape professional can create an ideal rock garden with a natural-looking water scene, complementing the surrounding scenery.

Low Maintenance Stunning Water Cascades and Other Water Features

Perhaps your outdoor setting is not conducive for any high-maintenance water additions. There are some amazing, easy-to-care-for water focal feature items that don’t require a runoff pond or other water drainage source. Using these outdoor enhancements decreases the safety requirements of larger scale runoff water bodies like ponds and pools. Adding a simple bubbling features even creates more visual depth and water movement.

There are plenty of spectacular water additions that look incredible yet require little maintenance. There are lots of contained water structures made to highlight a backyard patio, deck or pool. Some homeowners have even mixed warming fire features like outdoor patio fire pits or fireplaces with cooling water effects. This type of feature can even be used in yards that don’t have much grass or homes with smaller outdoor patio sites. These come in cascading waterfall-like designs over brick walls, smaller trickling water spout options and even walkways with sprays of overhead water arcs.

Mesmerizing Outdoor Water Fountain Options

Water fountains have always been a popular addition to a backyard landscape. These easy-to-maintain water features come in a wide variety of sizes, designs and colors. Some are elaborate with multiple jet sprays that are motion-activated. Others are less fancy, yet remain eternally elegant in their simplicity. These make outstanding additions to patios, side yards, flower gardens or just about anywhere. Many of the newer models have water saving features, solar powered lights and come in a large variety of design, material and color choices.

Features to Highlight your Pool

Water Features

If you have a beautifully-crafted pool in your backyard, there are many features that you can add to highlight it. You can incorporate waterfalls that flow into your pool, which also serve as a fun place to play in for kids! You can add jets that squirt arcs of water into the air around your pool. Or, your landscaper can create a unique poolside fountain that adds drama to your backyard. Give it some extra flair by adding fiber-optic lighting to help it pop at night!

Water features help you create an outdoor oasis that inspires peace, relaxation, and good conversation. Imagine having a tranquil outdoor spot with a comfortable bench or chair to unwind after a stressful day. Having your own tranquil spot helps you find a refuge from indoor noise and chaos. Adding unique water features can also enhance the appearance of your outdoor living spaces and add intrigue to your present landscape or hardscape design. You may want to consider adding an outdoor kitchen area, warming fireplace, pool, or fire pit, too, if you don’t have them already. Discover the benefits of adding visual beauty and relaxing water sounds to any outdoor space by browsing our design gallery! Or, call us today to discuss your vision and get started on your next landscaping project!

 

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Landscaping Ideas for Smaller Yards 4/18/2018

In most parts of the country, Spring is either here, or just around the corner. It is the perfect time to start thinking about sprucing up your yard. Spring is the time for planting flowers, buying birdbaths, and creating a space for outdoor living.

You don’t have to have a huge yard, though, to have a beautiful one. Today, we will be taking a look at some of the different types of landscaping you can do even in smaller yards, that will give you that beautiful backyard oasis you have always wanted.

Gardens

When people think about beautifying their backyard (or front yard) the first things that come to mind are beautiful flowers. Whether you have a green thumb or just wish you did, gardening is the best way to start landscaping.

Gardening can be a bit difficult, though, for houses or business with a smaller yard. You want the flowers, sure, but where can you put them? One way to pack in more flowers is to split them up. Feel free to choose between one large garden or several smaller flower beds around the yard. You can have some tulips along the foundation of the house, and a patch of marigolds surrounding the birdbath.

Alternatively, you could create moveable gardens, by planting seeds or adult plants in planters. You can buy these at any hardware store, and place them anywhere you want in your yard.

Walkways

Another great way to dress up a small yard is to add a walkway. These paths can lead from the house to the street or lead visitors through the beautiful garden you created. These paths can be made of stone, brick, or other sturdy materials, and can be quickly put in by landscaping experts or even someone with extensive DIY skills. A beautiful walkway has the capability of making a yard look less like just a green space, and more like a sophisticated, well-kept place to commune with nature. walkways

Patios

A patio is an excellent addition to any backyard. Even if you don’t have a lot of space, patios can give you, your family, and your guests a place to sit and enjoy the outdoors. Landscapers can create patios in nearly any shape or size imaginable, which will assure you that it will fit into your aesthetic plans.

Patios can be made out of stone, brick, wood, or similar materials, and are perfect for setting up a picnic table or lounge chairs. Your family can eat out on the patio on warm summer nights, or they can sit and enjoy the smells of fall later in the year when the leaves begin to change.

You could even incorporate flowers and plants into your patio scheme. You could place potted flowers all around, so you are immersed in the sights and scents of nature.

Fire Pits

Another great addition to a smaller yard is a fire pit. These pits can be built into the ground, or you can buy a smaller, bowl-like fire pit made of metal. Fire pits are a wonderful way to bring the family together, because they bring to mind a camping trip, without ever having to leave the city. You and your children can roast marshmallows on sticks over the flames, and add them to chocolate and graham crackers to make some gooey, delicious s’mores.

Fire pits are worthwhile additions to smaller yards because you can get them in nearly any size imaginable. If you have some extra space, you can have a landscape professional install a large, oven-like, and permanent fire pit. If you have less space to work with, you can get a smaller fire pit. These are usually moveable, so you can transport them around the yard or to a new one if necessary.

Ponds

pond landscaping

Smaller yards don’t always have the space for a pond, but sometimes even a small pond is a possibility for your backyard oasis. Ponds are a great feature for all ages, and they encourage wildlife to visit your yard.

You can plant flowers around the pond, or you can even find plants that grow exclusively under water. Your family will love to watch the fish, and some frogs may come and make your pond their home!

If you would like to add a pond to your yard, be sure to check your city’s regulations. Also, it may be best to leave this one to the professionals. Digging a deep hole in your yard could be risky for someone who hasn’t done it before!

If you have a smaller yard and would like to try one of these ideas, contact us today, and we can help you get started.

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Will Late Frost Kill My Spring Landscaping? 3/16/2018

As soon as Spring is here, plant-lovers can hardly wait to tend to their flowers or plant new ones. Ohioans are familiar with mild Spring weather with temperatures ranging from the 50s to the low 60s. However, a few times during spring these ideal temperatures are subject to seasonal disorder, and frost ensues. For plant-lovers looking forward to seeing their spring landscaping in bloom, this is frightening news. Necessary measures are needed to ensure your plants aren’t caught off-guard when Ohio weather brings late spring frost.

Will Late Spring Frost Kill Spring Blooms?

It is possible for plants to become damaged or even killed as a result of spring frost. These factors depend on the type of plants, time period of frost, age and the varying levels of frost, which range from mild to severe.

spring flowers

When frost occurs in fall or winter, plants have a higher chance of survival because they have become acclimated to colder temperatures. However, in the case of late spring frost, plants that have already gotten used to the warmer weather are thrown a curveball when they are hit with frost.

A light frost may cause minimal damage while a severe frost may kill plants. Young, vulnerable plants are much more susceptible to a light freeze, which occurs when temperatures are 29 to 32 degrees Fahrenheit, while mature plants may only suffer from short-term effects.

Temperatures from 25 to 28 degrees Fahrenheit constitute a moderate freeze and can damage even some plants that are resilient. Lastly, a severe freeze occurs when temperatures dip below 24 degrees and can cause the most damage to all types of plants. Freezing is even more dangerous when the soil has a high moisture content.

When plants are hit with frost, varying types of damage can occur. Leaves may have discoloration and holes, and sometimes buds may die. You may also notice signs of dieback, the process of a plant beginning to die in one area like the roots. Death spreads from one area to others. However, sometimes a plant can recover from dieback, depending on length and type of frost and its ability to bounce back.

Which Flowers Are the Most Resilient to Frost?

To reduce the chances of your flowers undergoing trauma due to spring frost, you can choose to plant flowers that have better resistance to cold weather. Perennial plants are popular when it comes to landscaping as they are resilient. These flowers don’t die during the winter; they have roots that become dormant in the winter and then begin to regrow in spring. They’re also easy to care for.

Below are some of the hardiest perennial flowers for Ohio weather:

  • Daylily: This flowering plant is named accordingly since when it blooms, it’s only for a day. However, the daylily produces an abundance of scapes, so it still has enough blooms to last from late spring until fall. These perennials are super hardy, and after winter they reemerge to continue the one-day blooming process. Opt for the Lady Scarlet or Stella de Oro for even longer blooming time.
  • Peony: This aromatic beauty will bring a bright and colorful presence to your landscape. They come in rose, white, purple, yellow, red, coral and pink and have vibrant green leaves.
  • Penstemon: This one comes in a variety of colors and can be found in deciduous or evergreen varieties. The penstemon produces long tube-like flowers that attract hummingbirds.
  • Ajuga: This small evergreen perennial shows its rich burgundy foliage year-round. It’s one of the hardiest flowers you could plant. Also known as bugleweed, the ajuga plant only needs a half day or sun and doesn’t need to be cut back due to its small stature.
  • Echinacea Purpurea: Also known as coneflower, this flower is native to the midwest. Commonly known as a natural cold remedy, this herbaceous plant can add purple delight to your garden. Even more, they attract butterflies, tolerate drought and resist deer.

How Can I Protect Flowers From Damage?

If you have flowers that are not perennials or certain perennials, especially sprouts and younger plants, that need protection, you can use the following tips to protect them from frost:

  • If it’s feasible, bring plants indoors.
  • Water before the frost to prevent desiccation. The water will also act as a barrier from the frost.
  • Cover plants with old sheets, plastic, tarps or blankets. Be sure to hang your choice of cover over stakes or some other frame so that the material is not touching the plants.
  • You can also use warming lights to add just enough heat to prevent them from frost damage.

Final Thoughts

Spring landscaping can be easier and yield healthier plants when you carefully consider how they will fair during cold weather. Certain types of perennials (not limited to those listed above)are hardier than others. Non-perennials should receive the most care since they are more vulnerable to frost damage. By following the above tips, you are on your way to an aesthetically pleasing garden come frost or sun.

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How Can I Use the Vision Planner to Start My Landscaping Project? 3/12/2018

Most homeowners know that their property could use a little sprucing up, but the job can seem so complex that you don’t know where to begin. Don’t worry, The Ohio Valley Group can help! We are a landscaping company that specializes in designing and executing landscaping for residential and commercial properties.

What is the Vision Planner?

We know how hard it can be to put landscaping ideas into words, so we came up with the convenient Vision Planner that provides us with the information we need to help you. The Vision Planner is essentially an online form with questions that help you think about what you want to do with your space. Most of the questions are open-ended, enabling you to type in exactly what you want. There are also a few multiple-choice questions when the range of possible answers is finite, such as whether or not you currently have an irrigation system. 

vision planner

The Vision Planner also asks for your contact information, so we can discuss anything the questions didn’t address.

How Will You Use Your Landscape?

Next up is a series of questions that basically amount to “How will you use it?” If you regularly entertain a large number of people at once, we need to take that into consideration when making design choices. Likewise, any special events you have coming up may dictate what you want to be done and when you need it completed.

What are the Important Features for Your Landscape?

After that, the Vision Planner asks questions intended to help us determine important features. For example, what areas would you like us to focus on? Does your property have any special maintenance needs we should know about? These questions help us visualize your property and see what would work best for it from a design perspective.

Then, we ask questions pertaining to your likes and dislikes. We need to know if you love a particular color or material so that we can include it in your final design. We also need to know if you dislike any specific colors and materials so that we know to avoid them. The Vision Planner also inquires about your tastes in plants, including whether or not you are interested in the gardening on your own to maintain certain species.

What is Your Budget for Your Landscaping Project?

Finally, the Vision Planner addresses a few business things. For instance, we need to know your budget and how you came up with it. This helps us determine what we can do for you without exceeding your financial means. We also ask if you have any master plans, floor layouts, experience working with designers, and pictures of designs or features you like to get to know you and your property a little bit better.

It may seem like a lot of work, but most of our clients have fun filling out the Vision Planner. It helps them visualize what they want while opening their minds to new possibilities. Once you submit the form, we will contact you to discuss the design and determine how to move forward.

The Vision Planner helps us learn about your needs, desires, and personal style before we touch your property. We are committed to exceeding your expectations, and the Vision Planner is a great way to start off strong!

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Landscaping CRM Software: One of the Tools We Use to Delight Customers 1/31/2018

There are many elements that go into making a company great. This includes responsiveness, customer engagement, provision of accurate timelines, and other aspects of excellent customer service.

It’s often the inner workings of a business that determine how they respond and interact with their customers. In other words, if a company has good systems in place, it allows them to be better for their customers, and to get more done in an efficient way.

landscaping CRM software

But how do you know if they do?

We know that it’s not exactly easy to understand what’s going on behind the scenes at any given company. You want to feel confident that the landscape company you’ve chosen has systems in place. You also want to know that they are using these tools in order to keep you in the loop. But you’re not exactly sure how to know if they’re doing just that.

That’s why we’re peeling back the curtain and giving you a peek at the gears of our company. We’re giving you a look at some of the tools we have implemented to make us run better—and in turn to provide you with better customer service.

At The Ohio Valley Group, we’re always looking for ways that we can improve our operations in order to provide the best possible customer service. Here are a few ways we do just that.

Using Landscaping CRM Software for Better Customer Service

An essential tool in our toolbox is landscaping CRM software. We have implemented a comprehensive software system that helps us to run the business. This is a tool that you don’t see, but that makes a big difference in how our daily operations run. You may have heard of CRM software, or “customer relationship management” software, which covers a vast range of applications and is designed to help manage customer data, among other functions.

So, why exactly does any of that matter to you?

Well, landscaping CRM software helps us in many ways that directly impact you. Let’s look at a few of them.

Tracking Jobs

CRM for landscapers helps us stay on top of jobs, ensuring that everything remains on track and the job gets done on time. It also helps us ensure that we always have necessary materials in stock so that we never run out of a needed material in the midst of a job.

By keeping such a close tab on jobs, we are also able to answer any questions that our customers might have, in real time. If you call the office and inquire about something on your job, we can look up your information immediately and know exactly where things stand.

Future Service Suggestions

Landscaping CRM software also helps us to provide a comprehensive summary of the work you’ve had done and to suggest services that you may not have had done but might want in the future. We’re able to keep close track of our customers’ needs so that we can do a better job serving you. If you mention a service you might be interested in later, we can make a note of it and check back with you in the future. Your wants and needs are never forgotten as we are closely managing them in our database at all times. This is more efficient than the company that scratches a few notes down and forgets about them.

An Accurate Timeline

Landscaping CRM software also helps us to provide clients with an accurate timeline. That’s because we can tell you exactly how long it will be until we can get to your job. There’s nothing worse than being told “we’ll start in two weeks” when it’s really more like “two months.” But some companies truly do not have a good sense of their timeline because they aren’t using software to plan out and track their jobs. That’s something that we are completely on top of.

Continually Improving for You

Though you may not be able to see exactly what’s going on behind the scenes of a company, strong systems show through when customer service is at its best. That’s exactly what we aim for.

These examples are just a few ways that our company is using behind the scenes tools to better serve customers like you. As a company, we believe that it is our duty to continually find ways that we can improve our business to better meet your needs. Technology has been one such solution. CRM for landscapers has helped us to streamline our business and to become more responsive to customer needs. The more in touch we can be with our clients, the better we feel we can serve them.

At the end of the day, that’s really what we’re all about—top-notch customer service. We’ll continue to find ways we can offer it by improving existing systems and striving to be better.

The choice is yours. You could choose a company that doesn’t have good systems in place, and pay the price with a lack of customer service. Your project could grind to a halt because materials were not accurately accounted for. The company could also forget specific requests that you had about your landscape or future services that you might require since they aren’t keeping close tabs on their accounts.

You’ll likely find it’s simply not worth the risk. Choosing a company with a landscaping CRM software will benefit you with the excellent customer service that you receive.

Find out how we can over-deliver on our promises! Feel free to contact us to discuss how we can help you achieve and maintain a beautiful property!

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New Trends in Landscape Design in 2018 1/12/2018

The landscape design trends for 2018 are all set to emphasize the notion of using gardens to provide homeowners with remarkable pleasure.  This includes growing foods, providing wildlife with a place of refuge, or creating a place to relax and share meals with family and friends. outdoor dining

The New Outdoor Dining

For quite a while, outdoor dining rooms have been conveniently positioned right off the house and close to the kitchen. However, more contemporary dining spaces are often pushed out further into the garden. Although the distance between the new dining space and the kitchen will be farther apart, it is well worth the extra steps.  

The convenience of designing an outdoor dining space right off the kitchen is undeniable.  However, creating a modern, all-inclusive destination inside the landscape will immerse individuals in the ambiance of their surroundings.  This provides a more lavish experience and guests will get to take in more of your beautiful garden.

Below are 3 tips for creating the ultimate destination for outdoor dining:

  • Use special lighting, flooring, and furniture to transform your dining area into a spectacular sanctuary
  • For a lush feeling, surround your outdoor dining space with container and in-ground plants
  • Include a nearby pool, fire pit or other spaces in the landscaping design for pre-dinner and post-dinner entertainment

Making the Most of Your Small Garden

Landscape design specialists love to create function and visual appeal even out of the smallest gardens.  By no means are small gardens a modern phenomenon but remarkable advances have been made in how these spaces are designed.  Recent design trends lend credence to the “less is more” concept.

It is important for everything in a small garden to have numerous uses.  For example, a concrete fire feature would create a bold element running through the space.  It can serve as curb edging for the deck.  Additionally, it can be a planter and collect downspouts of water from the house.  It can provide seating and, of course, it transforms into a fire feature when necessary.

Restoring the Natural Habitat

It is common knowledge in the landscaping industry that the population of bees and butterflies are dwindling.  However, not as many know that frogs, birds, and turtles are also experiencing lost habitats.  Much of the declining habitat has become sprawling suburbs and expanding cities.  These spaces were designed for aesthetics and convenience, without giving much thought to local wildlife.

There is every reason to create beautiful, convenient landscapes that satisfy the requirements of many wildlife creatures.  As such, many homeowners are redesigning their gardens and changing their plant selections to provide better support for local wildlife.  Below are some wonderful ways to create a home habitat:

  • Stop or restrict the use of insecticides
  • Grow both berry-bearing and seed-producing plants
  • Consider replacing your lawn or at least a portion of it

These are just some of the landscape design trends that can be used to add pleasure to your life this year. Contact us or use our Vision Planner to start your new year landscape design project today.

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Tips for Upping Winter Curb Appeal 12/15/2017

winter club appeal

It may seem difficult to keep your yard looking great when plants die and damp snow creates mud puddles. But, it is still possible to do some upkeep during the winter season. If you pride yourself on having impeccable throughout all four seasons of the year, these guidelines will help upkeep your winter curb appeal.

Manage Snow and Ice

It is essential to ensure that both guests and household members can make it to the front door without encountering any mishaps or suffering any injury.  Slips can be prevented by laying down salt and shoveling regularly to manage ice and snow and clear the walkways, driveway, and stairs of leaves and other debris. This also makes your home and yard look nice and well-kept.

Keep the Lawn Tidy

Even though the grass may have lost its vibrant color, the lawn can still be kept looking neat. Periodically raking and getting rid of leaves and other debris will ensure the lawn is much more aesthetically appealing.

Spruce Up with a Fresh Coat of Paint

Trees are typically bare during the cold months of winter, so the fall and winter seasons provide a clearer view of your property than during the spring and summer. This could more readily reveal chipped or faded paint. As such, giving the exterior of your home a fresh coat of paint can go a long way in significantly enhancing your winter curb appeal.

While painting is possible in the winter, make sure the temperature is above 35° and you choose the correct type of paint.

Clean the Gutters

During the fall, rain gutters are usually subjected to the accumulation of leaves. Therefore, it is important to clean out the gutters so they do not detract from the appeal of your property. This is a great opportunity to show that you are on top of exterior home maintenance.  Additionally, cleaning out the gutters will also ensure they function optimally.

Winter Decorations

Whether it is a strategically placed inflatable Santa Claus, elaborate nativity scene, or subtle wintry decorations, you can bring out the beauty of your landscape with some festive decor.  You could also hang a simple wreath on the front door, string small lights around the shrubbery, or neatly stack a pile of firewood against a wall.

Outdoor Lighting

Daylight becomes shorter and shorter during the long, cold months of winter.  Because of this, having suitable outdoor lighting will ensure your home is safer and more visually appealing. Consider using a series of path lights or luminaries to light up the way to the front door. You could also flank the door with decorative and functional lanterns or sconces.

Add Visual Appeal with Seasonal Plants

Evergreen trees are available year-round and are available in more than just shades of green. You can use the Dwarf Blue Spruce and Dwarf Gold Thread Cypress to bring bursts of blue and yellow to the landscape. Pansies, witch hazel, and other cold-resistant plants can also do a great deal to liven up any drab landscape.

These guidelines will help you to ensure your curb appeal does not become frozen in the blistering cold of the winter season. If you have any questions or want a professional for the job, contact us today.

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Cleveland Wedding Venue: Sapphire Creek Winery & Gardens 11/21/2017

The process of planning your big day can be stressful. We understand this and want to help make every detail perfect—including the venue. Ideal lighting, eye-catching decor, splendid landscape, and mouthwatering food. At Sapphire Creek Winery & Gardens, the goal is to provide you with an experience that will dazzle your friends and family and bring your wedding dreams to life. We have meticulously designed and landscaped the venues to ensure your wedding is perfect and will be a memorable experience for all the years to come.

Cleveland Wedding Venue

The Possibilities Are Endless

Sapphire Creek Winery & Gardens entreats you to say “I do” in the captivating backdrop of blossoming roses and lush, green vegetation. The many comforts of our self-contained venues are without limit. You and your guests will be surrounded by our stunning landscapes, gardens, and fine architectural expressions. Also, we offer a full bar, delicious food selections by Hungry Bee Catering, flexible alternatives for small functions, and a groomsmen lounge and bridal suite. Ask about our exceptional seasonal discounts!

The Backdrop

When it comes to taking pictures, you’ll be absolutely spoiled by choice. One of our venues is set with the wonderful backdrop of a rustic oak woodland through which a perennial stream flows unhindered. And, that is only one example—each of our venues offers a unique experience. The creative craftsmanship and “out of this world” landscape designs leave little to the imagination. We have 5 tranquil featured gardens:

  1. The Topiary Garden
  2. The Great Lawn
  3. The Main Terrace
  4. The Bocce Court Garden
  5. The Farm Gardens Collection

Schedule a Tour Today!

We invite you to visit us and tour our facilities. Scheduling a tour is simple— just contact us via phone at 440-543-7777 or complete the inquiry form on our website. Upon arrival, you will be received by one of our dedicated professionals who will then take you on a full site tour. For us, this is a welcome opportunity for us to get an understanding of how you envision your wedding day.

Please be aware that Sapphire Creek is currently under construction, but will be completed next month (December 2017)! You also have the ability to take a virtual tour here.

Pricing and Booking

Pricing is dependent upon on the venue you choose, the number of people who will be in attendance, and the time of the year. That being said, it is important to book a venue early so you can secure the one you want and begin working out a budget.

Sapphire Creek Winery & Gardens is the perfect place to begin the rest of your lives as a married couple. Visit us in Chagrin Falls, OH to start planning your big day.

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