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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Planning Your Yard for the New Year

12/21/2018

You’ve probably heard the saying “new year, new you”, but have you thought about the saying “new year, new yard”? The new year is a great time to take on new projects and to better yourself and space around you. Here are some steps for planning your new yard: Gather Some Ideas The first step to planning your new yard is to get a good idea of what you want for your space. You can do this by looking around for inspiration. Start with your friends and family; has anyone you know done any lawn makeovers recently? Was there anything specific that you liked or wanted to include in your space? You can also go online to look for inspiration. Look at websites, like Pinterest, and galleries of landscaping companies to pick ideas that you want to include in your space. It is a good idea to keep a compilation of your thoughts and photos or links to things that you may want to add. The more organized you are with this part of the process, the better off you will be when it comes to executing your landscaping. Evaluate Your Wants and Needs There are certain things that need to be included in your landscape- space for pets and children to play, adequate lighting, safe walkways, etc. There are also things that you want to be included in your space such as pools, water features, and gazebos. Write a list of all of your needs and a list of all of your reasonable wants, and start planning on what you can reasonably fit into your space. It is important to be practical and to understand that not everything will fit into your yard. You will need to prioritize what you think will most benefit you, your yard, and your family. Once you have a concrete list of what you do and do not want to be included, you can start planning. Look into Local Landscapers Once you have an idea of what you want for your yard and the different aspects that you want to include, it is time to look for a good landscaper. To do this, it is important to ask around for recommendations and to read online reviews. Reviews are a great way to get...

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How to Decorate Your Landscape for the Holidays

11/9/2018

The holidays are coming up fast, and with Thanksgiving just around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about holiday decorations. Many people focus solely on decorating within the home and completely forget sprucing up their yards for the season. Here are some fun and easy ways to decorate your landscape for the holidays: Lights, Lights, Lights One of the most prominent decorations for the holidays is extra lights. This can take on a wide variety of forms. Add Christmas lights to your trees, bushes, deck, and around your home. Put some extra lighting fixtures in the front walkway to account for the days ending early and less natural light that comes with the time change. You can get lights in the shape of icicles for winter and different color lights for each different holidays. Start with orange and yellow for Thanksgiving and swap them out for green and red as Christmas gets closer. Adding additional lighting will not only make your home pop and add to your overall curb appeal, but it will also create a welcoming environment for your guests. Wreaths and Planters Festive wreaths are a tell-tale sign that the holidays are here. You can buy wreaths for basically any occasion or even better, make them yourself. Add leaves and pinecones for Thanksgiving and swap them out for plastic berries, ribbons, and candles for Christmas. You can even make a New Year’s wreath by adding silver and gold. Additionally, invest in holiday planters to hang around your deck. These can give a nice little “pop” of color, which can be very refreshing as all of the vegetation around starts to wither away for winter. Do some research on which planter plants do best in cold climates. Add a Scarecrow While you realistically don’t need a functioning scarecrow to scare birds away from your crops, a decorative scarecrow can be a fun addition to your landscape. Scarecrows can range from creepy for Halloween to friendly for Thanksgiving. Pick out a happy looking one that won’t scare away the neighborhood kids and drive a stake into the ground to prop him up against. Your scarecrow will be a fun addition to your yard for many Thanksgivings to come. Pick Out Some Pumpkins One of the absolute easiest ways...

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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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