Great Ideas For Landscaping Slopes On Your Tulsa Property

Are you frustrated because you can’t figure out what to do with the slope in your Tulsa landscape? Numerous Tulsa residents find themselves with this type of landscape design issue because so many Tulsa homes were built on the area’s lovely hillsides. These steep hillside slopes can be ratherretaining walls tulsa tricky to garden, but it’s important to landscape these areas to prevent costly and possibly even dangerous erosion and drainage complications. What are some ways to landscape slopes to prevent these kinds of issues?

Make some walls.

Erosion ensues as surface runoff moves downhill taking with it loose soil. The faster the water flows down a slope, the more soil it likely will take with it. Thus, to effectively control erosion, the rate at which water flows downhill must be decreased, and yet still allow for drainage. Carefully constructed retaining walls and terraces can be very adept at preventing soil erosion and flooding. Retaining walls can be constructed using a variety of decorative hardscape materials such as natural stones, interlocking blocks, concrete, wood, brick, or cinder blocks. Because of their decorative appearance, retaining walls can add dimension and character to your landscape. They can be textured and aged or smooth and symmetrical, adding a decorative structure and organization to the landscape while holding back an embankment and creating level areas of land.

However, retaining walls must be properly built so they can withstand the pressure of weather, time, and other elements. These retaining walls must also complement your property’s drainage and irrigation system to be effective. Several shorter terraces are often more effective than one or two larger segments because the more gradual the slope, the less chances there are for runoff.

Put nature to work.

Woody shrubs and trees that have a deep network of roots can help bind the various layers of soil together. Over time or through construction, these soil layers can become weak and less compact. Thus, plants with a strong root system can help keep the soil layers intact and slow water runoff. Hardy, drought-resistant plants like succulents, groundcovers, and native plants that flourish in Oklahoma will help reduce erosion and even help combat weeds. These plants are also usually more low-maintenance plants, providing easy upkeep for you landscape.

Rocks and boulders provide another decorative means of slowing the flow of water down a slope. Add native plants or shrubs behind these stone hardscapes and you’ll create a beautifully natural landscape. Make sure boulders are packed securely into the soil.

Steps that stabilize.

Meandering steps can be used to guide guests up what would otherwise be a difficult slope. You could make a series of steps in a winding or zigzag pattern that adds personality and charm to the hillside. Plant colorful shrubs or groundcover alongside the curving stairway to create even more interest and help prevent surface runoff.

Use Water to the Full

While surface runoff can cause much erosion damage, you can work with the water by diverting it through a stream, waterfall, or other water feature along a shallow slope. Fill in the stream with rocks and you have a natural creek bed. Thus, your babbling brook can safely allow water to flow downstream and form another visual interest piece for your landscape.

Because of the delicate nature of slopes, soil, and their proper drainage patterns, it’s often good to seek the advice of professional landscape designers before making any major adjustments to your slope or hillside. The Tulsa landscape designers at Oklahoma Landscape will be glad to help you correct or prevent drainage and erosion issues by properly landscaping your hillside or slope.

We offer a complete range of landscape architecture, drainage, irrigation, and hardscape services to help you ‘find yourself outside’ in your beautiful and engaging landscape.



Keeping Rabbits and Deer Out of Your Tulsa Landscape

We may love to watch beautiful deer and rabbits in the wild, but they’re not always so pretty when seen destroying the flowers and vegetables in our backyard. Are rabbits and deer constantly nibbling away at your garden? What can you do to keep these creatures away?

One way to ward off rabbits and deer is to plant foliage that actually repels these animals. You may try planting some aromatic perennials that rabbits and deer don’t favor. Here are few: Echinacea, chives, lavender, garlic, yarrow, peony, catnip plants, and columbine or honeysuckle. Although humans may like the smell of many of these perennials, wildlife like deer and rabbits can actually be repelled by the powerful scent of these plants. You can plant these perennials around the border of your garden or property to help repel these animals.

Along with plants that have repelling smells to certain wildlife, many fragrant soaps can act as repellents. You can hang these bars of deodorant soap, preferably wet, on trees or plants around your landscape to repel pests.

Some gardeners also make natural deer and rabbit repellents combining ingredients like red pepper, hot sauce, garlic powder, eggs, etc. and making them into a mix that these animals do not like and applying it to various plants in the garden.

Along with deer and rabbit repellent plants, many gardeners also use deer or rabbit-resistant plants. These are trees, shrubs, and plants that animals do not like to eat so they don’t bother with your garden in the first place. Deer-resistant plants, trees, and shrubs include juniper, birch, blue spruce, boxwoods, iris, daffodil, lilac, barberry, and holly. Plants that are rabbit-resistant are a little harder to tell but some include birch, hydrangea, elderberry, lilac, daffodils, sedum, and yucca. Planting shrubs that have thorns, fuzzy leaves, or thistles is also a good deterrent.

 A good fence around your garden is one of the most effective ways of keeping these animals out. To keep rabbits out, you’ll need to have a fine mesh fencing around the lower 2 feet. Fences will need to be around 8 feet high to keep out whitetail deer, or they can be slightly lower (around 6 feet) but be slanted. Solid wooden fences will of course be the best deterrent for deer so that they can’t spot what’s on the other side.

Your much-loved dog or cat may also be one of the best deterrents for deer and rabbits.  Other tactics include scaring the animals away with scarecrows, radios, loud wind chimes, and motion-sensitive floodlights.

Visit with the Tulsa landscape design specialists at Oklahoma Landscape for more tips on how to protect your garden from deer, rabbits, and insects.


Invigorate Your Tulsa Landscape By Adding Color This Fall

Soon it will be fall. Leaves will change colors and the cool fall air will brush through the Tulsa landscape. People adore the fall season for the display of colors that can be seen across Oklahoma. For an even more colorful fall season, many homeowners plant shrubs, trees, and perennials that are known for their amazing colors in the fall. fall landscape design

The Virginia Sweetspire is a dazzling shrub with great ornamental fall colors. Growing in either shade or sun, the Virginia Sweetspire will showcase small white flowers in the summer, and then its green leaves will turn to a bright red, yellow, orange, or even rich burgundy color during fall.

A hardy deciduous shrub that creates an outstanding display of fall color with orange-red fall foliage is the Chokeberry. This shrub thrives in open sunlight or can tolerate partial shade. The Amur Maple offers nice red color during the fall and can act either as shrub or a small tree depending on how it’s pruned and cared for. Also, different varieties of Sumac including the Tiger Eyes Sumac provide stunning displays of fall color with yellow, scarlet, orange and foliage. These Sumacs are hardy shrubs that thrive in full sun and shouldn’t be confused with their poison sumac cousin.

Naturally, Maple trees will add a rich display of color to your Tulsa landscape this fall. From the widespread Red Maple to the Japanese Maple, these trees are known for their crimson colors and elegant, unique shapes. The Autumn Purple Ash tree is another fall favorite with reddish-purple leaves that change sooner in the season than other trees. Dogwoods afford great color during any season with white and pink flowers in the spring and purplish-red leaves in the fall.

Sedums are a vibrant perennial for fall color as are Helenium, Fall Crocus, Asters and the brilliant Colchicum. These are all great perennials that bloom in the fall and can bring an increase of color to your garden late in the season. For a little contrast, the Russian Sage is a perennial that offers a collection of purple-blue flowers from mid-summer to fall.

Beautify your Tulsa landscape this fall with some of these brilliant late season trees and shrubs.

For more ideas on how to add a splash of amazing color to your fall landscape, contact the Tulsa landscape design specialists at Oklahoma Landscape. We can create a unique color palate for your Tulsa home and garden and create brilliant interest in your landscape throughout the year.




Using Low-Maintenance Plants In Tulsa Landscape Design

It’s easy for us understand drought in Tulsa, and really all of Oklahoma. We know first-hand how tough it can be for plants, wildlife, and even us to survive the heat of summer here. To combat the effects of a long drought and overall help with the global conservation of water and resources, many Tulsa landscape designers are using low-maintenance landscaping techniques.

This kind of Tulsa landscape design makes use of native plants that are already better suited for the Oklahoma weather and also drought-resistant plants. Native plants are also more resistant to local disease and insects. Using these types of plants can often lessen your landscape’s need for irrigation and maintenance. Succulents like aloe, cacti, and sedum are usually very tolerant of dry weather, although do need more water during their growing season and do best in soil that drains well.

Ornamental grasses such as blue oat grass, feather reedgrass, and purple fountain grass are another type of decorative foliage that can, withstand conditions with less water. Some groundcover plants and shrubs can also do well in dry conditions. Groundcover can also be used on slopes to replace lawn areas that are difficult to mow.

Using low-maintenance or xeriscaping techniques can also include grouping plants together with similar watering and sunlight needs so that less water is wasted when caring for these. This form of landscape design also groups together plants that tend to require the same amount of maintenance, which in turn will make landscaping and lawn work overall easier.

Hardscapes are also used in low-maintenance landscaping to cut down on the resources and energy used for landscape upkeep. A stone walkway or paver pathway can reduce the amount of regular maintenance while also creating an stylish dimension to your landscape.

Another part of low-maintenance landscape design in Tulsa is preparing the soil well for native plants and shrubs. Making sure the soil is healthy with regular lawn fertilization will help reduce its need for water. Using a good mulch or compost can also help your soil retain water better in addition to preventing weeds and erosion.

The Tulsa landscape design architects at Oklahoma Landscape would be glad to help you create a low-maintenance landscape design plan that’s geared to your particular landscape with the perfect plants, shrubs, and hardscapes to complement your home and lifestyle.


Tulsa Landscape Design Tips: Plants for Edging

Often in landscape design we find nature combined with artistic expression. Using a variety of plant colors and textures makes a landscape look like a living work of art and generates the peaceful ambiance where friends and family can relax and have fun. One aspect of Tulsa landscape design is creating definition to a space with edging. Many different plants and materials can be used to edge a landscape or separate one space the other. Sometimes hardscapes such as brick, stones, or pavers are used as edging around a flower bed or along a pathway. But there are a number of plants that work great for landscape edging.

Better Homes and Gardens highlighted several flowers and plants that are perfect for edging. Here are a few of their picks for best garden borders:

Alyssum, they noted, is a nice annual edging plant. With its compact design and dense spray of tiny pink, white, or lavender flowers, the alyssum makes quite a colorful bouquet of edging for your flower bed.

Japanese forestgrass is a terrific fit for the shade, it thrives in it and creates “compact mounds of gracefully arching foliage” that makes a nice accent along borders. Lady’s Mantle is great for “softening the edge of a shaded path or creating a groundcover” with its groups of chartreuse flowers and scalloped leaves.

Known as “nearly the perfect plants” by Better Homes and Gardens, sedums look great from the day they sprout with different varieties hosting red, pink, orange, and white flowers. Varieties such as Matrona, they noted, create a cool edge with taller plants behind them. These plants are also very drought-tolerant and need little care.

“Covering itself with adorable bobbing pink flowers,” the thrift plant makes a delightful edging plant or groundcover. This perennial has grassy foliage combined with little clusters of colorful flowers.

Some herbs like English lavender, sage, and thyme can also make great edging plants. Other edible plants for edges and borders include strawberries and rhubarb.

The Tulsa landscape design professionals at Oklahoma Landscape can help you design the perfect garden for your home. We can help you choose the edging plants that are right for your pathway or border to create a crisp, polished look for your Tulsa landscape.

Tagged under

Using Landscape Lighting in Tulsa to Make Beautiful Backyards

Why not extend the enjoyment of your backyard past just daylight hours? Landscape lighting for your Tulsa outdoor environment can create an enchanting area to entertain or relax in, well into the evening hours. Here are some Tulsa landscape lighting tips to get you started.

First, decide what you want your outdoor lighting to do. That might sound simple…just create more light for nighttime usage, right? Well, to have an effective Tulsa outdoor lighting arrangement, you’ll want to consider different areas of your backyard and what lighting effects are needed for them or what aspects of your landscape you want to enhance.

For instance, do you need pathway lighting to help your guests safely navigate to the backyard? Do you want to showcase a focal point in your landscape lightinglandscape like a fountain, pond, or statue? Does your deck or patio need accent lighting to outline the area? What tone or mood do you want your lighting to create for your whole outdoor living space?

Each of these different facets of your landscape can be borne with different types of lighting or different lighting arrangements. Focal points like a statue or fountain may need a spotlight. Pathway lighting will of course call for several smaller lights arranged in a row.

Accent lighting needs to be set-up so that it highlights but doesn’t overshadow the outdoor living space. This requires a balance of light between the landscape, different hardscape features, and the home itself. Pathway lighting can easily be overdone and begin to look like a runway, so lighting placement is vital.

Tulsa landscape lighting also needs to work well with natural or man-made changes that could occur to the landscape over the course of time like growth of foliage, hardscape additions, and seasonal changes. Outdoor lighting can look very different and out-of-place when these things start to happen if changes were not accounted for in the initial lighting design.

Low voltage lighting can be used, for instance to shape pathways, that is safe, cost-effective, and environmentally-friendly.

For more outdoor lighting design tips, call the Tulsa landscape lighting specialists at Oklahoma Landscape. Our outdoor lighting experts can help you get the right tone and style for your particular landscape and home architecture, creating a custom outdoor lighting system that will help you ‘find yourself outside’ and fully enjoy your outdoor living space both during the day and at night.

We came across some very nice, well-balanced lighting designs as can be seen in these photos from our fellow lighting designers. The first photo is from London-based designers My Landscapes. The second photo is via Portland, Oregon designers: Beautiful Bones and Purple Stones.

Your Tulsa Garden – How to Select Hydrangeas

One of the most popular landscape shrubs are hydrangeas and for good reason. These beautiful, blooming shrubs are known for producing ball-shaped clusters of small flowers in a variety of colors like pink, blue, purple, and white. Gardeners in Tulsa often love them for their abundant, rich blooms that seem to whelm a garden with color.

But with the sometimes extreme and often inconsistent Oklahoma weather, life can be difficult for hydrangeas here. They often need a great deal of care to survive the intense Oklahoma heat. So, which varieties of these gorgeous shrubs seem do best in Oklahoma?

There is a reblooming kind hydrangea that blossoms every few weeks in the summer and fall; known as The Endless Summer hydrangea, it can endure the winter weather in Oklahoma better than other varieties and can bloom on both new and old wood. These do best in a partly-shaded area that gets morning sun and afternoon shade. These hydrangeas, like other varieties, need moist, rich soil that drains well. While they need a lot of water, they don’t do well in soggy or constantly wet areas.

Another kind of hydrangea known as, The Annabelle hydrangea is said to be one of the hardiest with some of the longest blooms. reported, “With adequate moisture, ‘Annabelle’ laughs at the Oklahoma summertime,” “Further, because ‘Annabelle’ flowers on new growth, she is never badly hurt by late freezes.”

These beautiful landscape shrubs bloom to a bright white before they turn to light green again. Annabelles generally bloom from early June through September in Oklahoma. The Annabelle is said to be more drought-tolerant than others and has great disease resistance.

The Oakleaf hydrangeas is also said to be an easier hydrangea to cultivate. Instead of the ball-shaped or “mophead” flower type, the Oakleaf boasts unique cone-shaped clusters of white flowers and oak-like leaves that turn a beautiful reddish-purple in the fall.

Because all of these hydrangeas require moist, rich soil, recommended adding fertilizer to them during summer while they’re growing. And the vast majority, if not all hydrangeas, will do better planted in the shade or partial-shade, out of the hot afternoon sun.

For more help in landscaping your garden, please get in touch with the Tulsa landscape design specialists at Oklahoma Landscape. We can design and build a landscape with the perfect flowers and shrubs for your home’s architecture and that will thrive in the Oklahoma climate.