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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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 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....

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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.  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...

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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. 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...

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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.  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...

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