Get Away Without Taking Off

6/14/2019

Designing a Summertime Backyard Summertime is busy—between camps, sports practice, birthday parties, and work, it’s hard to find the time and money to get away. But we’re here to tell you that finding summertime rest and relaxation doesn’t have to mean planning an extravagant trip with planes, trains, and automobiles. There’s a private oasis right in your backyard that Ohio Valley Group will help you discover. Learn about how we can help develop a summertime backyard. The first step toward attaining your almost-tropical summertime backyard is sitting down with our experts at Ohio Valley Group and telling us about your dream backyard in great detail to make sure we don’t miss a beat. You can also fill out our convenient Vision Planner, which asks questions that help us get to know you and your inspiration on a deeper level. Once we understand your vision, we’ll work with our construction team to deliver a seamless transformation from start to finish. Whether you want a water feature to bring the ocean closer, or a patio or deck to act as a perfect landing place for your grill, the possibilities are endless and we will make sure they’re affordable. Upon request, we will give you a full estimate before any work begins so we can be sure our plans are in sync. We’ll do whatever we can to give you the at-home retreat you’ve always wanted at a budget that works for you. One of the best ways to define your space is by laying a stone patio or a stamped concrete surface. Stamped concrete is designed to resemble brick, slate, flagstone, cobblestone, and many other patterns, so we use it as an alternative to natural pavers such as asphalt, natural stone, and precast pavers. These surfaces create differentiation from your yard and other landscaping elements to add visual interest and a landing pad for grills, tables, lounge chairs, and more. No matter which surface you choose, a patio can designate dining, grilling, swimming, or lounging space while keeping the surrounding areas lush and green. Stone patios are also the perfect home for a fireplace or fire pit. You can match the heat of the summer and the soft glow of the sunset by enhancing your patio with warmth from a beautiful...

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Start Your New Yard With Our Vision Planner

1/18/2019

Most people look at the new year as a fresh start. It is a time to commit to bettering themselves and their lifestyles and to spearhead projects that they’ve been putting off. At Ohio Valley Group, we think that one of the best ways to kick off the new year is to start planning your projects for 2019. It is never too early to start making your dreams a reality. Here’s how you can start crafting your dream yard, beginning with our very own vision planner. What is a vision planner? First things first, what is a vision planner? A vision planner is a tool that we have on our website, you can find it at www.ohiovalleygroup.com/vision-planner. We created the vision planner to better understand your wants, needs, and goals for any project that we take on. We are passionate about making your goals a reality, and the vision planner tool helps us to better understand just how to do that. How does the vision planner work? The vision planner starts with the basics; your contact info and location so that we can get in touch with you and see where your project will be. Next, you will answer a series of questions. For instance, how do you typically entertain, and how many people does this usually include? What hobbies do you and your family enjoy? Are there special circumstances about your property that we should be aware of? All of these questions help us to not only understand the technical aspect of your renovation project but also what the feel and atmosphere of your space should be. The more we know about your family’s likes and dislikes, as well as any parameters that your project may have, the better off we will be to help make your design plan. We will also ask you specific questions such as your time frame for your project, any features that you are interested in adding, and specific colors or materials that you want to include or avoid. The more specific you can be with your answers, the better we will be able to exactly match your vision. What is included in the vision planner? What does the vision planner cover, you ask? Well, in a word, everything. The vision planner runs...

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What Is Hardscaping?

10/5/2018

For many people, buying a home is a huge life milestone. Owning a space to make your own for years or even generations is something that many people spend years working towards. That being said, maintaining a home can be a huge undertaking. There is a lot of time and money involved in home maintenance, especially when it comes to your backyard. When it comes to maintaining your backyard, you have to focus on two key things: hardscaping and softscaping. Softscaping refers to the living elements of your space; the trees, grass, and flowers in your space. Any maintenance involving plants or horticulture in your area can be categorized as softscaping. What is Hardscaping? Hardscaping, on the other hand, is the design of the hard parts around the outside of your home. This can include rocks, cement, mulch, wood, metal, the lay of the land that is man-made to stand the tests of time. Sidewalks, driveways, fencing, walls, and outdoor lighting are all parts of your hardscape. When you add features such as a patio, deck, pool or fire pit to your home, you are hardscaping. Statues, pergolas, terraces, outdoor stairs, and outdoor kitchens are also included in hardscaping. Hardscaping adds value and visual to your home and acts as a foundation for your landscape. What Are The Benefits of Hardscaping? Hardscaping comes with a wide variety of benefits. First and foremost, it acts as somewhat of an anchor to keep your softscaping in place. Hardscaping can be strategically placed to counteract the effects of erosion and elements such as wind and rain to keep your plants safe, steady, and in place. Hardscaping can also act as a deterrent for pests and can be built to keep animals away from any of your greenery. The materials used in hardscaping are carefully selected. For instance, if you want your space to soak up as much water as possible, you will hardscape with features made of non-porous material that will avoid taking any water from your plants. Utilizing hardscaping techniques may also give you better use of your space. You can create walkways, gazebos, porches, and patios to better enjoy your backyard. Hardscaping can help the overall organization and cohesiveness of your area. Another benefit of hardscaping is the time it...

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Preparing Your Landscape for Winter

9/6/2018

The transition from summer to winter can be a tough one. The days are shorter, the air is colder, and you’ll probably be spending a lot of time indoors. Unfortunately, not only are you affected by the seasons changing, so is your landscaping. You need to start taking steps now to prepare for the new season. Here are our top landscaping tips for the changing seasons. First Things First: Focus On Your Lawn Your lawn is the largest part of your landscape, meaning that it requires the most care and attention. As with most trees, shrubs and other plants, your grass won’t actually grow during the winter. Because of this, many people tend to ignore their lawns until spring. After all, there’s not much you can do for your lawn once the grass starts to die, right? Wrong. Late summer to early fall is actually the most important time for taking care of your lawn. This includes taking important measures to ensure your grass is as healthy and full as it can be once spring returns. One of the absolute best things you can do to improve the overall look and health of your lawn is to have it aerated once a year, and the best time to aerate is in fall while the grass is still green. Aeration provides a number of benefits that will both improve its health and ensure it is able to better fare the cold winter months. Aerating involves removing small plugs of lawn and soil or poking holes deep into the lawn, which makes it easier for water and nutrients to penetrate deep into the roots. The process also helps to break up compacted soil that will otherwise seriously impact the overall quality of your lawn. It’s best to perform aeration in tandem with fertilization since it ensures that the fertilizer can much more easily reach the roots. If your lawn has any bare spots, fall is also the ideal time for spreading grass seed. This way, all of those seeds should germinate as soon as the warm spring weather hits to ensure your lawn looks fuller and healthier before next summer. Still, seeding in any bare spots won’t just improve the look of your lawn, but it can also help to make...

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What are Ecoscapes?

8/9/2018

Gardening is a popular pastime for many homeowners. This outdoor activity allows you to connect with nature and beautify your home. Gardening is also an easy way to do your part to help the environment. In recent years, sustainability has continued to be an influential factor in ornamental landscaping. Most homeowners are now looking for ways to create environmentally friendly landscapes. This new method of gardening incorporates drought and disease resistant plants that need fewer chemical sprays. This shift has made gardening easier and less time-consuming. It has also resulted in more natural-looking and sustainable landscapes. This new approach is called “ecoscaping.” What are Ecoscapes? Ecoscapes integrate the disciplines of landscape architecture with environmental science to create nature-friendly, sustainable designs. This innovation combines healthy soil with perennial and native plants, shrubs, high-yielding vegetables, and fruit trees to create water-efficient and aesthetically pleasing landscapes. Ecoscapes also aims to take existing areas and structures (cities, backyards, campuses among others) and add greenery and ecological balance. Ecoscaping takes a holistic approach towards sustainable land use. Whether your goal is to save money, water, or time, ecoscaping gives you many options to choose from. It also helps to attract bees, butterflies, and other pollinators to your yard. The Process Ecological balance and nature conservation are the core fundamentals of ecoscapes. Since ecoscaping promotes wildlife habitat and biodiversity, you need to apply a variety of techniques to transform your space to be eco-friendly. You can choose to ecoscape your yard gradually over time or all at once. The process involves taking the best solutions available to improve the look of your home while making a positive impact on the surrounding environment. Focus on the following strategies: Use natural products rather than artificial decorations. Add trees that require less use of artificial fertilizers and pesticides. For visual appeal, select plants that flourish in different seasons. Try to group plants by light and water needs for ease of maintenance. Also, protect your new plants from wind, heat, and weeds. Create trellises and decks that best fit with the land. Add soil barriers that keep ground soil intact so as to reduce erosion, runoff, and leaching. Utilize hardscaping. Use neutral pavers and detail tiles to construct paths to explore, beautiful place for patios to rest on, and...

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