SAT Landscaping
SAT Landscaping

How to decorate your landscape for Halloween (without ruining your yard)

How to decorate your landscape for Halloween (Without ruining your yard)

Halloween is the official start of the holiday decorating season and with so many great options, it’s difficult to decide what to decorate with. Should you just put out some pumpkins? Throw up a few giant inflatables? Go all out and make an entire haunted graveyard? Whatever your plans are, it’s a good idea to think about how your holiday decorating might affect your landscaping. Luckily, there are plenty of easy ways to decorate for Halloween without impacting your lawn and garden.

Lighting

Lights can be bright and cheery, or they can be creepy and haunted. Hang string lights in purple and orange to create a Halloween ambiance. Specialty lights, like giant spider webs, are available commercially as well. Use up-lighting on the exterior of your home to project silhouettes of creepy monsters and ghosts. Not only does hanging lights keep decorations out of your yard but also, as you take them down, you can come right along behind and hang your December holiday lights.

Natural Black Accents

Black is the primary color of Halloween and is featured in everything from costume makeup to holiday treats to decorations. Add some natural black accents to your exterior decorating with naturally black plants. Black pansies, petunias, roses, and mondo grass are all good choices for hanging baskets, flower beds, and planters.

Walkways

If you’re trying to decorate without disturbing your yard, then using your walkway instead is a great idea. Not only does it keep decorations off the grass, but it can also help guide trick-or-treaters to your door, so kids aren’t trampling across your lawn. Light the way with carved pumpkins or cut-out paper sacks filled with battery-operated candles.

Lawn Ornaments

If you want to put decorations up in the yard, make sure they don’t stay in one place too long. Large inflatables, though filled with air, are heavy and will smother grass from sun and rain. Eventually, these will leave brown spots underneath. The same goes for straw bales, fake graves, or anything else that stays put too long. Either wait until closer to Halloween to put up decorations or move them around occasionally to avoid lawn damage.

Trees

If you have trees in your yard, then you have the perfect place to decorate. Hanging ghostly shapes from the branches or wrapping the tree in fake cobwebs can make for a fun decoration that doesn’t even touch your grass. Avoid using paper products that can deteriorate and litter your yard if it rains or they are blown off.

Flower Beds

Right now, your flower beds are probably dormant. Instead of poking holes in your yard to put up a scary scarecrow, stake down into your mulch and dirt instead. If you’ve planted bulbs for spring, this may not be the idea for you, but it’s still a good spot to place objects on the ground where they won’t smother and cause brown spots in your grass.

Porch/Driveway

Just like your walkway, there is plenty of space on your porch or in your driveway to set up decorations. Add bales of hay or straw to create a seating area for parents out trick-or-treating with their kids on Halloween night. Set up a haunted graveyard that must be navigated to reach the candy at the front door. Whatever you decide to decorate with, it will be well away from damaging your lawn.

Halloween is a great time of year that just screams “decorate!” But if you want to protect your lawn and garden this season, be smart with your holiday embellishments. Use your home, porch, driveway, flower beds, and trees as alternatives to your lawn.

 

SAT Landscaping
SAT Landscaping

How to Enhance Your Landscaping In the Fall

It’s fall and for many people, this means ignoring their landscaping until spring comes around again. But there are plenty of things you can do to your landscaping in fall to enhance both aesthetics and functionality.

Leaves

Fall leaves are a majestic sight to behold…while they’re on the trees. Fallen leaves only become a nuisance to rake and bag. But this is a necessary step to fall lawn care that shouldn’t be skipped. Leaves left on the lawn over winter will rot, killing your lawn and inviting pests. Rake your leaves weekly to keep your yard beautiful and functional throughout the fall season.

Grass

Your grass will continue to grow in the fall, meaning you need to keep that mower running a little longer. Never mow before raking leaves as they could be hiding sticks, rocks, or toys that could damage the mower or cause you injury.

Trim & Prep

Don’t let plants grow unchecked during the fall. Trim back shrubs, pull out weeds, and prepare flower beds for the winter. Now is also the time to plant spring bulbs. While this may not add color or excitement to your landscape, it will add a sense of order and tidiness that will benefit you come spring.

Potted Plants

A great way to enhance your fall landscape when your flowerbeds are dormant is to add potted plants and window boxes to your home. Mums are a popular fall flower that comes in every color imaginable. Opt for hardier varieties that can withstand an unexpected frost or two.

Holiday & Seasonal Décor

Don’t stop with just the regular fall landscaping. Take things up a notch with seasonal and holiday decorations. For October, try pumpkins, hay bales, and scary decorations. For November, add gourds, Indian corn, and cornucopias. Even a new doormat can add to the cheerfulness of the season.

Fire Pit

As the temperatures cool down, you may find yourself spending less and less time outdoors enjoying your yard. Add a decorative fire pit to your patio or yard and surround with hay bales or lawn chairs. Not only does it add function for those cool Ohio nights, but it also creates a beautiful featured gathering space in your backyard.

Lights

Just as the cold may be keeping you from enjoying your landscaping in the fall, so too might the lack of sunlight. With the sun setting sooner, a great way to enhance your fall landscape is to add outdoor lighting. Outdoor wiring differs significantly from indoor, so call a professional for design and installation of any permanent lighting features. You can also use hanging lights, lanterns, and even holiday lights to add brightness to your fall landscape.

Furniture

Fall is the time to score great deals on outdoor furniture and accessories. Take advantage of the season and invest in new patio furniture. Add a fun element to your yard by opting for a porch swing. Or brighten your landscape with a flashy new pattern for your cushions.

There are hundreds of things you can do to enhance your landscaping in the fall. From lights to holiday decorations to a fresh mow, take care of your yard this fall to ensure a full season of fun and enjoyment.

SAT Landscaping
SAT Landscaping

How Curb Appeal Impacts The Resale Value of Your Home

Are you looking to sell your home? Do you want to sell your home for the highest price possible? If so, landscaping and curb renovations may be just the thing for you! In the real estate, first impressions mean everything. Not only does style and location impact the value of a home, but curb appeal may be just the thing to attract or disregard potential buyers.

You may ask yourself “what exactly is curb appeal?” According to Investopedia, curb appeal is a term used to describe the general attractiveness of a house or other piece of property from the sidewalk to a prospective buyer. Or in other words, how appealing a home looks from the street curb. Here are a few reasons how curb appeal impacts the selling of your home!

Lasting impressions

Whether it’s neighbors walking buy or a potential home buyer, property owners always want positive impressions of their home’s curb appeal. Every aspect of a home’s exterior should be well designed and kept up if you want to impress home buyers. Simple landscaping maintenance also shows that homeowners care about the overall condition of their home, which is a huge turn on for potential buyers!

Property Value

The resale value of your home is always on the top of your mind because it will play a direct role in how much it’ll hit the market for. The listing price of your home depends on many factors, but one of those factors is indeed curb appeal. If a buyer sees poor landscaping compared to others in the neighborhood, then the offering price will be lower. However, if your home has stunning curb appeal, you may be able to increase your asking price.

In any case, enhancing a home’s curb appeal will only improve the chance for getting the asking price. As well as giving bragging rights for best-looking house on the block!

If still not convinced by the magic of curb appeal, check out Remodeling Impact Report: Outdoor Features from the National Association of REALTORS®. The report has some interesting data on landscaping and home value especially those with lots of curb appeal!

Tips for Making Your Backyard Party Ready

Planning an outdoor party can be fun yet stressful when you’re deciding on what to include and not to include. You want to make memories that will last a lifetime and shows the appreciation for the people in your life. By following these seven simple steps, you will be on the path towards having a successful outdoor party for all of your guests to enjoy.

Set the Scene

All outdoor spaces, no matter what they look like, give the first impression to people when they visit. Set your outdoor scene with paper lanterns, table linens, and fresh flowers. Place a beverage station so guests can help themselves along with adding cushions or pillows to make chairs comfy. By including these simple touches, your guests will happily stay around longer in conversation.

Pick a Palette

The same rule of three primary colors towards selecting an indoor color scheme outdoors as well. Pick three colors that you would think pair well with your surroundings and couple with accessories like napkins, place cards, paper pom-poms, and pennants or balloons.

Make a Splash

If you have a pool, then use it at your next outdoor party! It’s a great way to cool off on a hot summer day. Guests can tend to forget to bring pool necessities like sunscreen, goggles, towels, and ear plugs so it’s best to have several of these items on hand. It doesn’t hurt to throw in ice-cold beverages like lemonade (perhaps pink if you’re a daredevil) or water or both.

Have Enough Seats

First, assess your indoor furniture and decide which chairs you can bring outside if needed. The best chairs for the outdoors are wooden and metal chairs because they are more forgivable with weather circumstances.

Second, if you realize you don’t have enough chairs or the right type of furniture to bring outdoors, your next best option would be to rent chairs. It ’s more cost-efficient than buying chairs that you may never use again. Folding chairs start as low as $2 a piece, and many vendors will even drop off and pick up.

Build a DIY Buffet

Everyone loves buffets so why not have one at your next outdoor party? Buffets are an easy way to serve your guests’ food, and they can come and go as they please. The best part is your guests can help themselves. According to Brian Flynn, if your short on tabletops try this trick: lay a hollow-core door or thick piece of plywood over evenly-spaced sawhorses, cover with fabric and there you go! This one trick can be the building foundation towards creating a beautiful buffet table with plenty of space to serve guests.

Light Up Your Nights

Continue your party into the night with strings of light encircling an umbrella, wound around tree trunks or suspended over cables hanging over your guests’ heads. Candle-filled or solar lanterns can be alternative options if your home doesn’t have outdoor light sockets.

Creating a fun yet functioning outdoor scene for guests to gather can be time-consuming and stressful but in the end rewarding. Following these seven simple steps can lead to a successful outdoor party for everyone to enjoy and build meaningful memories to hold onto for years to come.

Early Summer Lawn Care Tips

 

Did you know that most people spend an average of 70 hours each year caring for their lawn? Have you found yourself stuck with not knowing what to do with your yard during the early months of summer? Well, look no further as we have some early summer lawn care tips that will help keep your lawn looking fresh and green!

Fertilizer is Your Lawns Friend

It’s essential to start fertilizing your lawn in May or June. Beginning this process of feeding your lawn will allow it to get lots of nutrients that it will need to stay healthy all summer long. Make sure you check your grass type to make sure that you are giving it the proper type of fertilizer as well as the correct amount. While you want to fertilize in the spring, it is also essential to fertilize your lawn in the fall as well to make sure it stays healthy throughout the winter months as well.

Mow High

A lot of people make the mistake of over-mowing their grass. It is important to only cut about ⅓ off the length of the blades of grass each time you mow. While this might require more frequent mowing, it will decrease the number of grass cuttings that will be lying on top of your newly cut grass. While excess clippings can be damaging to your lawn, it is beneficial to the health of your yard when the extra clippings are redistributed across your lawn. You should also sharpen your mower blades at the beginning of each season to allow for proper, clean cutting of your lawn.

Water Correctly

It’s important to make sure your lawn is getting the proper amount of water; which means not too little and not too much. The majority of people over-water their lawns and water them at the wrong time of day. You want to water your grass in the early morning to allow it time to dry so that it doesn’t sit overnight and risk the chance of developing a fungus. Make sure that your lawn is getting an inch of water in total each week.

We hope that these tips will help you get started on some early summer lawn care so you can keep your lawn looking beautiful all year long.

Why You Should Hire A Professional Landscaper

 

Gardening is one of America’s favorite past times, but even if you rival the green thumb of mother nature herself, there are a lot of advantages to hiring a professional landscaper for a big change. Perhaps you just moved into a new house and want to make the yard a reflection of your style or maybe you are ready for a revamp of the current layout. There are a lot of reasons to hire a professional landscaper for these projects.

Design

Think of a landscaper as an exterior designer. Their creativity and knowledge will show you possibilities beyond your DIY aspirations and result in a space the whole family can enjoy. Landscapers also work with contractors and builders to coordinate lawn and garden design with exterior home changes, remodels, and additions.

Inspections

No matter how you might want to redo your yard, a site inspection is key. A professional landscaper will evaluate the soils, drainage, existing tree placement, and other any special needs to ensure that your carefully placed bed of flowers won’t flood during the first rainstorm. Proper placement of yard features can increase efficiency and sustainability.

Local Knowledge

Your local landscaper knows exactly what works in your area. From which plants thrive in your zone to when to plant them to how to take care of them, a professional landscaper knows how to custom mold your garden to fit the local conditions.

Legal

If you’re doing anything more than weeding and planting, there’s a chance you will need a permit for your work. A professional landscaper can help you draw up and submit plans to the city or your homeowner’s association. You don’t want your DIY yard makeover to be halted by a lack of permission or a fine.

Process

There’s a lot to do when you take on a landscaping project. A pro will know what to do first, second, third… all the way up to the last detail. This ensures an efficient process that gets done faster with no chance that previous work will have to be redone due to poor planning.

Budget

There are a lot of things that can affect the budget for your landscaping project. A professional landscaper will keep you on track by planning within your budget. Their experience with common landscaping pitfalls and issues will help you avoid wasted time and money down the road.

Tools

Remodeling your yard could necessitate some heavy machinery. Change often requires removing trees or bushes, pulling up walkways and decks, or taking down garden walls and other existing features. A professional landscaper not only has the right tools for these jobs, but they also have the expertise to complete the job right.

Electrical

Lighting is a vital aspect of any landscape design, but it could mean some additional wiring. Even those with some DIY electrical experience will want to call in the professionals since outdoor wiring needs to resist the elements and stay safe from rodents and pests. A landscaper will bring your ideas to life with the proper lighting.

Plumbing

Pools, spas, ponds, and fountains will require extra planning, excavating, and materials to be properly installed. A professional landscaper will know how to deal with these additional considerations and make sure your water feature is a main focus of your yard, not the main pain. Landscapers are also great for helping with irrigation and watering systems to help conserve water and make lawn care a breeze.

Time

Tasks tend to go faster when you are confident in the skill you are performing. Professional landscapers save you the time and hassle of doing the job yourself in the only spare time you have between work, family, and friends. Their knowledge and experience will get you to your ideal yard faster than you can imagine.

While there are many reasons to hire a professional, only you can decide what your yard really needs. Think of what your outdoor oasis would look like if you had unlimited time, money, and skill then call your local landscapers to help bring your dream to reality!

The great outdoors doesn’t stop being great the moment the sun goes down, but if your landscape is lacking in lighting, you could be forced inside as night falls. Make your yard a 24-hour hotspot with the right mixture of functional and decorative lights.

HANGING LIGHTS

One of the most popular options for brightening an outdoor space is hanging lights. Strings of vintage bulbs featuring artistic bare filaments give a feeling of nostalgia for the good old days. Paper lanterns offer a more subdued brightness and come in many shapes, sizes, and colors to match your backyard theme. For lots of illumination, try rope lights. They come in rolls 100+ feet long so you can line the roof of your pergola or gazebo or gracefully drape them across open spaces. Yes, Christmas lights are included in this category, and it’s totally fine to leave them up all year long, but don’t be surprised if you get a couple of weird looks from your neighbors.

PATHWAYS

When it comes to functional lighting, it’s imperative that pathways, steps, and other hazards are well marked. Small solar powered lights take almost no installation and can be used to line front or back walkways. Many of these options aren’t bright enough to stand on their own, so use these in conjunction with brighter illumination such as front door sconces. Rope lights are another great option here too! They provide a continuous line of light for the full length of the pathway, the edges of your deck, and any steps or tripping hazards. Wrap them around patio railings to outline your party space and try them in different colors to set the mood.

CANDLES/OIL LAMPS

While candles and oil lamps are inefficient as primary light sources, they can add much-needed character and ambiance to your space. Place them on tables or in decorative hanging lanterns. Taller torches are perfect for further out in the yard, just be sure to keep any open flames away from plants, cushions, or anything else flammable. To eliminate this hazard, opt for battery powered candles.

SPECIAL FEATURES

You work hard to make sure your yard is the best on the block, maybe even the best in the world! So if there’s something that makes your landscape unique, draw focus to it with special accent lights. Bring attention to your pool with colored LED floating spheres. They even make moving light shows to project on the bottom of your pool. Hang softly glowing orbs from your favorite tree or pick some uplighting for your garden fountain. Whatever your favorite part of your yard is, be sure to highlight it.

Every landscape is different and choosing a lighting design that works for a particular homeowner means looking at all different aspects—from mood to brightness to access for electrical outlets. Call us today to help create a design that will make your backyard a nighttime paradise.

Why is Spring the Best Time to Redo Landscape

Spring has sprung! Or at least it will very soon, which is why you should have started thinking about your lawn and garden months ago. Don’t worry; it’s not too late. Spring is actually the perfect time to redo your landscape design, and there are a few reasons why.

Summer is Short

There can never be enough sunny days. For the ones you do have, you’ll want to enjoy them relaxing in your stunning new backyard, not pulling weeds when it’s 90 degrees out. Set your season off to a good start with a fresh design so you can sit back and put your feet up while taking in the scenery.

Check for Survivors

Winter is brutal and unpredictable. There’s a chance that the garden you’ve come to know and love didn’t pull through the harsh conditions the way you hoped. If there isn’t a speck of green in your flowerbeds, it’s definitely time to redecorate. This time around, pick plants hearty enough to survive the cold so in the future your garden will rise the moment spring arrives.

What Winter Taught You

Use what you learned about your yard during winter to fuel your plan for spring. Did you notice a spot where water wasn’t draining from your yard? Did your favorite garden decoration become an unwelcome interference to your snowball fight? Did your lack of evergreen trees leave your house exposed to the whole neighborhood? Now you know to address these concerns in your new design. A landscape should be planned for all seasons.

Supply & Demand

Summer is the busiest time for landscaping companies. Get your project started earlier in the spring to be first in line for all the newest design ideas. Plus, since you planned ahead, your yard takes priority and will be finished sooner than the neighbor who waited until June. Getting started earlier is also a good idea if your new project involves any large builds.

Slow Introductions

Plants love mild temperatures and must be slowly acclimatized to the blazing sun and humid air of summer. Planting your garden early allows your plants to root to your soil and be well adjusted by the time you are turning the A/C on inside. If you do plant when it’s hot, you’ll need to give some extra attention and lots of regular watering.

Little Changes = Big Difference

Even if you aren’t planning an entire landscape makeover, a spring cleanup is imperative to keep your yard green all summer long. Garden beds will need tending, edging, weeding, and mulching. Dead branches or plants will need to be cut away. Gutters should be cleaned and any leaves hiding under the melted snow should be raked away to give your grass room to breathe and soak up the sun. This can be a lot of work, but a landscape company can help with this too.

There has never been a better time to redo your landscape than right now. Spring brings the perfect conditions for planting, now let us bring the perfect landscape to go with it. Call our design team and schedule an appointment today to get started!

Growing Indoor Plants

The first thing you should know when considering bringing your potted plants indoors for winter is that not all plants can be grown indoors. When a plant goes from a warm, sunny, breezy environment to a dim, dry, stagnant one like the atmosphere inside your home, it can suffer from various forms of shock. This can quickly kill a healthy plant. Luckily there are some good tips for bringing plants indoors and keeping them healthy through winter.

To avoid the sudden shock of an environment change, you need to slowly acclimatize your plants to the house. Start by moving them to more shaded areas so they can get used to lower sunlight. Plants should generally be brought inside when the overnight temperature reaches 45 degrees or below. Some plants are hardy enough to survive a light frost, but it’s better to bring them in earlier.

Now comes the fun part; trying to keep them alive and flowering exactly as they were outside. You need to find ways of working within the space of your house and take advantage of the features it already has. Make room for plants on surfaces that get the most natural light through the windows. Speaking of windows—clean them! Believe it or not, they might be dirty, and every little ounce of sunlight counts when it comes to wintering plants indoors.

Before you bring them in, check for pests and disease. Aphids, mealybugs, and spider mites love the indoor environment and will quickly spread from plant to plant in the confined space of your home. One popular home remedy is to dunk plants (pot and all) into a large bucket of soapy water, killing existing bugs and keeping plants protected. If a plant is infected, you may have to bite the bullet and let it die this year. Better to keep the plants who are doing well safe than risk one diseased plant amongst their midsts.

If you love all your plants, but some are too large to house indoors over the wintertime, consider taking cuttings from these plants and cultivating them inside. They take up less space this way and there’s no shock from moving indoors. With proper care, these plants can root well in winter and be ready for the patio come spring.

Two additional areas of consideration are humidity and watering. Inside it tends to be dry and the lack of humidity can lead to yellowing and wilting leaves. Add a humidifier to the space where most of your plants are or make your own humidifier trays with pebbles and water. Speaking of water, plants naturally need less of it in winter. Even if you bring them indoors. Many plants go into a sort of hibernation in the winter and overwatering them can throw off this natural cycle. Only add water when the top two inches of soil are dry and be sure to add it in moderate amounts.

Geraniums, fuchsia, begonias, and passion flower are the plants most likely to flourish indoors. Many vegetables and spices can transition indoors too. Tomato plants will keep producing if brought indoors and cared for over winter.

You don’t have to say goodbye to your plants when winter rolls around. Follow the proper guidelines and you can successfully enjoy your plants both indoors and outdoors for seasons to come.

Quick Steps to a Brighter Winter Landscape

The winter Blah’s are a real thing. The short hours of sunlight mean less vitamin D which can contribute to Seasonal Affective Disorder – basically, weather-related depression. Not only does the lack of sunshine add to this, but your snow-covered landscape doesn’t inspire much joy either. If you’re a dedicated gardener, you can keep your garden green all winter. Okay, not green exactly, but certainly a few shades of pink, red, purple, and white. Plants such as Helleborus orientalis (better known as Lenten Rose), winter pansies, and bushes such as holly and winterberry are all great cold-weather plants. The only downside to this plan is that these flowers need to be planted before wintertime in order to bloom. So let’s look at some things you can add right now to brighten the view from your window.

Art/Sculpture

Snowmen were so last year. If you want to decorate your winter landscape, you have plenty of other options. If there’s enough snow, pick a fun shape and go out and sculpt it! It’s a great way to spend time with family and friends, stay active when most people are cooped up in their houses, and it will give you something fun to see through your frost covered windows for a few days. If you want something more permanent, look into yard sculptures or tree art. Yard sculptures come in a wide variety, from welded metal animals to poured concrete gnomes. Pick one or create a whole menagerie! If you want something more subtle, look for some tree art. Think of a Mr. Potato Head kit, but the pieces stick into your trees instead of a potato. You can get happy faces, scary faces, even a Bigfoot peaking out from behind the tree. Use your imagination and find whatever makes you happy when you look at it.

Color

Everyone loves fall because of the beautiful colors of the changing leaves and everyone loves spring because of the beautiful colors of the flowers, but winter tends to be a stark white landscape that doesn’t inspire much joy. You can quickly change that with a few yard accessories. One of the easiest (and least expensive) ways to add color to your winter landscape is with homemade ice balls. Get some sturdy balloons and fill them with water. Now add a few drops of food coloring, tie the balloon, and shake gently. Now all you have to do is freeze them. If the temperature outside happens to be 32 degrees or less, just place them gently on your lawn and wait. If not, just put them in your freezer. Once they seem stable, pop the balloon and you’ve got large colorful marbles to place around the yard or your gardens. Bonus to this plan, when they melt, there’s no cleanup! Other options for adding color include painting murals on your fence, add some small colored solar lights, or just hang up some holiday lights and enjoy.

Sound

Brightening up a winter landscape involves appealing to ALL of our senses. If the deadening snow is just too peaceful for you, add a bit of ambiance with a wind chime. Chimes can be made of wood, metal, or anything in between. You can even buy them with specific tones if you prefer higher or lower pitches. Again, this is one of those things you can turn into a family activity. Go to the craft store and get some good reliable string, pick something for the center of your chime and find objects that make pleasant sounds when they strike it or each other. Try alternative items like metal spoons, shells, or glass beads. There’s no limit to what you can use as long as it sounds good and when you hear it chime you won’t only have a pleasant sound, you’ll also have a happy memory to think on.

There’s no reason to settle for a white winter wonderland if you don’t want to. Be the talk of the block and add some fun features to your garden this winter.