Beautiful young woman and her cute son planting seedlings in bed in the domestic garden at summer day. Garden tools, gloves and watering can outdoors. Gardening activity with little kid and family
Beautiful young woman and her cute son planting seedlings in bed in the domestic garden at summer day. Garden tools, gloves and watering can outdoors. Gardening activity with little kid and family

Gardening Basics for the Black Thumb Gardener

Whether you’re trying to make an entire garden flourish or you just want to grow one stinkin’ cactus, if you have a black thumb, you probably find gardening difficult or near impossible. For those of us who just can’t seem to keep a plant alive, there is hope. Use these tips and tricks to turn your black thumb green.

  1. Plant Choice

It all starts with the plants. If you already struggle with gardening, why fight Mother Nature? Certain plants and even specific varieties of plants are easier to take care of than others. Start by exploring a UDA Hardiness Zone Map. These handy guides will show you your “zone” (Ohio spans zones 5 and 6) which tells you the type of plants that can grow easily in the temperatures and conditions of your area.

Look for species and varieties with extra hardiness and low care requirements. Cacti, bamboo, ZZ plants (a succulent that looks more like a fern), aloe vera, and shamrocks are some of the easiest plants to grow. Chives, mint, parsley, and basil are great for the first-time herb gardener. Carrots, radishes, and lettuce are some of the easiest veggies. Ask your local gardening store for help or call in a professional team for landscape design to set yourself up for success.

  • Location

Plants can only thrive when they are in the right place. This means several things. Certain plants are more suited to indoor living and need steady temperatures and low humidity to thrive. These plants also tend to be air purifiers which makes them the perfect addition to your home. Outdoor plants are subjected to the seasons and many will die off in the winter and bloom again in the spring.

Putting plants in the right location also means knowing how much sunlight they will get. Start by viewing your backyard during different times of day and drawing out a basic map of which areas get the most sun and during which hours. Do the same for the sunlight coming into your home through your windows. Now pay careful attention to the plant care instructions. Some plants prefer shade and will wilt in the sun, others need as much sunlight as they can get. A professional landscape designer can help with this task.

  • Water & Food

Humans need nourishment in the form of water and food to survive. Plants are the same way. How much to water has to do with the care instructions for each plant and the weather patterns in your area. Keep the tag that comes with the plant. This usually explains how to judge the right amount of watering.

Plants also need nutrients to continue growing. Nutrients from regular soil are often not sufficient for full bloom which is why fertilizers and specialty soils are recommended. This is particularly true of potted plants which have limited soil that they quickly drain the nutrients from. Consider starting a compost pile to add to your garden for nourishment.

  • Hardscaping

Of course, if you just can’t seem to turn that black thumb to green, you could consider getting rid of the situation altogether. Hardscaping a backyard is a great way to avoid the hassle of filling the space with flowers or grass. Paver patios coupled with interesting water features, fire pits, and more can turn your backyard into an oasis—free from the maintenance of plants.

The truth is, the amazing gardener you know probably has a long list of dead plants from the past haunting them. If you have a black thumb, there is hope yet! Keep trying, and call SAT Landscape for all your landscaping needs.

A country house with a beautiful backyard behind the house, landscape design
A country house with a beautiful backyard behind the house, landscape design

Unique Landscapes to Suit Any Home Style

Your home is your sanctuary. From Craftsman to Victorian to Colonial and beyond, every home has a unique style and feel. If you want to try something new to set your house apart, consider these unique landscaping options sure to complement any home style.

 

Water Features

Many people focus on the plants when it comes to landscaping, but an added water feature can create a whole new atmosphere for your yard or garden. Ponds and fountains are popular options and come in a variety of options to suit any architectural style. For a truly special design, forget the greenery entirely. Create an oasis with a waterfall leading to a series of cascading pools spanning the entire backyard. Or impress the neighbors and add a pleasant sound and sight to the front of your property with a large fountain. The possibilities are endless.

 

Exotic Plants

When it comes to plant choices, it’s important first to choose ones that are adaptable to your particular climate. But that doesn’t mean they have to be native to your area. Exotic plants from matching climates across the globe can make a big impact on your garden. Try a Canna Tropicanna for a bold punch of color. Or opt for winter-hardy bamboo or banana trees. All of these will grow in the Columbus, Ohio climate.

 

Hedge Maze

While this may seem like a feature reserved for elaborate castle gardens or sprawling acreages, a scaled-down version could be just what your home needs. Create a pathway or maze in the backyard leading to a secret sitting area. Use hedges and trees in the front to create privacy. You can even sculpt them into interesting shapes to match your tastes, the seasons, or your home style.

 

Sculpture Garden

Speaking of sculpting things, why not add a few sculptures to your garden? Beautiful art can make a major impact. Modern and contemporary houses are the perfect backdrop for abstract and unique pieces. Traditional homes can opt for subtler statues and designs. Try small statues flanking the walkway or front door. Or sprinkle art throughout a sprawling garden for an eye-catching surprise for visitors.

 

Hanging Garden

Who says plants have to be on the ground? Not us! A hanging garden is the perfect unique feature to add to any style home. Use trellises and archways along with climbing plants like bougainvillea or wisteria to make a fairy tale entryway. Plant climbing ivy to cover one side of the house for a natural look. Hang baskets from pergolas and gazebos in the backyard. A hanging garden suits any style home.

 

Field of Flowers

Forget the lush green lawn and opt for a landscape filled with nothing but flowers. Extend flowerbeds to cover large areas and pack those flowerbeds with plants. Flowers, ferns, shrubs, and trees of every sort can be planted to match any home style. Whole-yard gardens create a landscape that changes with the seasons, matching your home to any occasion.

 

Whether you live in a ranch home, bungalow, modern, or Mediterranean home, there are plenty of options to create a unique landscape to suit any architectural style. Call SAT Landscape to create your home plan today!

 

Preparing your lawn for spring in Columbus

Spring is a great time to sell your home, but this often means a flood of houses hit the market each spring. To stand out from the crowd, you need to get your house ready for the spring market. Start with the big-picture items on your list and then move to the more detailed steps, such as cleaning. Here are five ways you can get your home ready for the spring market.

1)    Maintenance

You know that little leak that began during winter? Get it fixed. New homeowners want a turn-key home that doesn’t require any major or even minor renovations or repairs. This includes regular preventative maintenance necessary such as cleaning or replacing air filters and oiling garage door hinges. Even something as simple as cleaning out your gutters can have an impact on how buyers see your home. The more you can complete, the higher their bids may be.

2)    Inspections

Anything that you don’t maintain yourself should have a thorough inspection from a licensed professional. Pipes can sustain damage over the winter and should be inspected, cleaned, or fixed as necessary. HVAC units have been working hard in the cold. An inspection will reveal if anything needs fixed and even give estimates on the remaining life of a product (water heater, garage door, etc.). New homeowners will love to hear that the inspector expects the roof to last another 10-15 years without maintenance. This can certainly help sell your home.

3)    Curb Appeal

Spring is a time to remove the drab white and grey overcoat of winter and let your landscape shine with color once again. A brown, dead yard and bare flowerbeds will not inspire homeowners to see the beauty of your home. As soon as the weather is nice, get outdoors and start working on your curb appeal. Ensure your lawn is green and lush. Prep flowerbeds with new mulch and plant colorful flowers or bulbs. Trim trees and bushes that have grown untamed. First impressions are important, so make sure your curb appeal screams springtime.

4)    Decorating

There are plenty of easy ways to make an impact inside your home as well. Decorations and staging help potential buyers see themselves living there. A fresh coat of paint in a bright, spring color can do wonders for lightening a space and creating a cheery atmosphere. Simple swaps such as new couch pillows or floor coverings can give your space that extra pop home buyers are looking for.

5)    Cleaning

It wouldn’t be spring if there weren’t some cleaning involved. Potential homeowners will be looking at more than the floor and countertops. Take the time to complete a deep clean before you put your home on the market. Wipe down fans, moldings, doorjambs, shelves, and anywhere else dust might have settled. Give your windows a healthy shine and go the extra step by polishing floors and spit-shining fixtures. A clean home feels fresher and newer for potential buyers.

Spring is a great time to put your home on the market, but you shouldn’t just throw up a listing and be done with it. By performing maintenance, getting inspections, taking care of your curb appeal, and decorating and cleaning the inside, your home will increase in value to potential buyers and stand out amongst the other houses for sale.

Striking Plants for Winter Color

 

You might have guessed from the name, but this are you tired of a grey winter landscape? Do you want to wow your neighbors with the color sprouting from your winter garden? There are a lot of options for adding striking color to a stark winter yard. Try a variety of these winter and spring-flowering plants:

Japanese Quince

These delicate red flowers can make a major impact in your garden this winter. Japanese Quince is a deciduous, thorny shrub that blooms in winter and early spring.

Heather

Mix color and texture when you plant heather this winter. Perfect for pots and window boxes, flowers bloom in brilliant pinks, whites, and purples.

Pansies

You can’t go wrong choosing from the multitude of colors of winter-flowering pansies. Fill flower beds with blankets of color or plant in window boxes for a glimpse of color from indoor.

Christmas Rose

Blooming in midwinter, these flowers offer white, dark red, and even green petals. Search for Hellebores Orientalis as they are the most robust in colder climates.

Mahonia

Make a large and sunny impact when you plant Mahonia in your garden. These evergreen shrubs, also known as barberry, are topped by cones of yellow flowers.

Snowdrop

These delicate white flowers have been gracing winter gardens for centuries. Often the first flower to bloom in the new year, they grow well even under shrubs and trees.

Winter Jasmine

Create waterfalls of yellow flowers when you plant winter jasmine over your trellis, gate, archway, or portico. Called Yingchun, “the flower that welcomes spring,” the blossoms open right after winter ends.

Daffodils

If you want to have the first daffodils in your neighborhood, choose the Narcissus ‘Rijnveld’s Early Sensation’ variety. This award-winning flower blooms best in January. Follow it with a second blooming of ‘February Gold’ bulbs.

Glory-of-the-Snow

by flower pushes through the ground and snow to grace your garden with color. White centers radiate into blue, purple, and pink petal tips.

English Primrose

Good things come to those who wait… for their English primroses, that is. Solid or multi-colored, these spring and summer flowering plants provide a blast of color to your yard.

Holly Bushes

A symbol of winter and Christmas, the holly plant is a species of flowering evergreen that can hedge your garden in bright green and red. They flower all winter and grow best in temperate zones.

Preparing and planting during winter and spring can be difficult. From landscape maintenance to landscape design, SAT Landscape has your needs covered. Call us today at 614.457.8257 to discuss your winter and spring garden needs.

Ultimate Guide to Holiday Landscape Illumination

The holidays are upon us and nothing screams “Tis the Season” like an elaborate light display covering your house and yard. Whether you’re looking to have the brightest house on the block or you’re just putting up a few lights, this is the way to do it.

The key to illuminating your landscape like a pro is to make a plan. Start by envisioning your design. Try choosing a focal point to concentrate your lighting scheme around. You can hang lights anywhere—rooflines, eaves, bushes, trees, pillars, railings, windows, doors, pathways, window boxes, and more.

If you have some lights already, bring these out and test them to see what works and what you need to replace. Be wary of mixing new and older lights as color and distance between bulbs can vary by brand and throw off the continuity of your design.

Next, measure your windows, doors, roof eaves, tree branches, and anywhere else you plan on hanging lights. For trees, 100 to 200 lights per 1.5 feet of tree branch will result in a medium to heavy lighting design. Dense trees, such as evergreens, require more lights or larger lights to create a similar impact.

Don’t forget to mark where your outlets are compared to your intended lighting zone. You may need battery-operated lights or additional extension cords to make your design work. Also, note the different surfaces you’ll need hangers for—wood door jams, plastic gutters, brick exterior, etc. Knowing what you need ahead of time can streamline the landscape lighting process.

Now, you’re ready to purchase your lights and accessories. Pay attention to whether the lights were designed for indoor or outdoor use. Using them incorrectly will create a fire hazard or result in damage and light failure. LED lights are initially a bit more expensive than conventional lights, but they burn cooler, use less electricity, and last much longer, making them worth the investment. Use of an automatic timer will also help conserve energy and lower your electricity bill.

Mixing various styles of lights can create a dramatic impact. Large bulbs (C5, C7, and C9) give a lot of light and a slightly retro feel. Animated lights have pre-set or customizable color-changing patterns to add visual interest to your design. Net lights come pre-assembled and are perfect for lining roofs or tossing over bushes for full coverage. Icicle lights are a classic holiday shape and can create an eye-catching feature. Rope lights are beneficial for lining walkways, windows, and doors or creating your own shapes. Projection spotlights are becoming increasingly popular with their ease of installation.

No matter what you choose to use, setting up your wintery wonderland can be a tricky business and should only be attempted during daylight hours and good weather. Ice, snow, and cold temperatures can make climbing ladders dangerous. You should never hang lights or use a ladder alone. Work slowly and purposefully and don’t get impatient or overreach.

It’s easy to create eye-catching illuminations in your landscape when you make a plan, buy the right lights, and spend a day putting it all together.

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.