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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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.  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....

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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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Tips for Upping Winter Curb Appeal

12/15/2017

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....

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