Making Your Tulsa Landscape Design More Sustainable

We all search for more ways to help the environment, and one of the ways we can go “green” is by having a more sustainable Tulsa landscape design.  There are many things we can do to use fewer natural resources and reduce waste.

Conserve. One of the main principles of sustainable Tulsa landscape design is to conserve resources already in the drip_irrigationlandscape. Taking steps to conserve water is also very important.

Make sure your Tulsa irrigation system is working properly and is the right type of irrigation system for your soil. This will help  to reduce water usage. Drip irrigation can be used with soil that drains quickly. Drip irrigation generally uses 30-70% less water than an overhead irrigation system, and plants grow to maturity about twice as fast.

Another key to water conservation is to group plants according to their watering needs. Grouping plants together that need watered more often can help reduce water usage. You can also harvest

rainwater with a rain barrel to help conserve water and prevent storm water runoff.

Keep your soil healthy. That is another way to conserve water.  Compacted soil often leads to water runoff.

outdoor garden“Compacted soil leads to problems such as restricted plant growth, erosion, runoff and flooding,” the Landscaping Network noted. “Runoff caused by compacted soils is one of the main sources of water pollution.”

Lawn aeration or removing small core patches of soil and dead grass can help to relieve compacted soil and provide enough room for oxygen and water to reach the root system. The Tulsa landscape design experts at Oklahoma Landscape can aerate your lawn and overseed it so that the soil and lawn are both healthy and sustainable.

Adding mulch to your garden or flowerbed can also do a great deal to conserve water and nutrients while making your landscape look even more attractive.

Choosing plants. Which plants you choose for your landscape design can have an effect on the environment. Plants, shrubs, and trees that are native to your area tend to do better and also require less water. As the Landscaping Network noted, often homeowners want to remove many of the existing plants in their landscape, but this can lead to a disruption in the natural processes in the environment. Thus, preserving existing plants and choosing to add others that are native to the local environment can conserve resources while often reducing the time and energy required for maintenance and care.

Hardscape considerations. Another aspect of sustainable Tulsa landscape design is being thoughtful when choosing hardscape materials. Of course, using recycled hardscape materials is ideal when trying to reduce waste, but you can also use more locally sourced materials as well as those that allow for better water conservation. Permeable pavers are hardscape materials that help to conserve water. These pavers allow water to pass through to the soil reducing runoff and pollution. These hardscapes are available in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors to add a decorative effect to your patio, walkway, or driveway while allowing for sustainability.

The landscape design experts at Oklahoma Landscape can create a design plan for your outdoor space that creates a gorgeous oasis for your home while conserving the earth’s natural resources and allowing you to “find yourself outside.”

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Tulsa Landscape Design – What to Do and What Not to Do

Everyone wants their landscape to look inviting, unique, and beautiful, but landscape design in Tulsa can be tricky. Before you revamp your landscape, remember these landscaping guidelines to ensure your outdoor living space looks its best.

Landscaping Do’s . . .

Do carefully create a landscape design plan before you begin, even if you plan to do different aspects of your plan in different landscape design tulsastages. While you may not need to plan out every single plant to include, you do need to plan where the main hardscape features and various groups of trees and plants will go.

Do use local plants, that grow well together naturally in your area, and that match the architecture or style of your home and outdoor environment. Native plants will be more resistant to disease and often may require less watering. Grouping plants together that have similar watering or sunlight requirements will make maintenance easier.

Do use interesting pavers or stone to add texture and color to your landscape when building your walkway instead of just concrete.

Do consider how your family will want to use your landscape in the years to come. Do you kids like to play ball in the yard? If your family has a dog, consider how your dog will interact or be affected by the various plants or landscape designs.

Do consider and plan for how trees and plants will mature over time. Research how big trees, shrubs, and plants will grow when they are fully mature. Will they block out sunlight or be too close to your house when they are full-grown?

Do plant to add winter interest. Plan out which trees and plants will bloom at different times during the year and plant these so that when one group stops flowering, you’ll still have color and interest in your landscape. When choosing flowering plants, pick mostly perennials instead of annuals so that you don’t have to buy them again next year.

tulsa landscapersDo make it easy for guests to find your front door. Sometimes homeowners may want to make several paths or walkways through their yard, but make sure visitors can easily navigate and clearly see where they should go.

Do make sure to think about proportions in your landscape. You’ll want to keep all the landscape elements in proportion, not only with your home, but also with each other so that the elements don’t seem haphazardly placed.

Landscaping Don’ts . . . 

Don’t plant trees too close to buildings, or plant shrubs or other plants too close to walkways. Research how large the tree or plant will grow when it’s mature so that it doesn’t overtake your home, interfere with the foundation, prevent you from easily passing by on your walkway, or make your home look smaller than it is.

Don’t forget about the maintenance required for each plant or shrub. Consider whether you will have time to regularly trim shrubs and trees. This is especially true with ivy growing on your house. Will you be able to keep the ivy pruned so that it doesn’t overtake your home?

Don’t try to plant too many varieties. While you need enough variety to create interest throughout the year, too many varieties of mplants will take out the “design” look of your landscape and make it look disorganized. A simple landscape design with just a few varieties and even a main color theme can create a modern look and feel.

Don’t get caught up in using a landscaping fad, especially for hardscapes. There may be bold new color or design trends in hardscape materials, but especially with these permanent features of your landscape, you’ll want to use materials that won’t soon become outdated.

While you can use these few guidelines to create a great landscape design with interest and balance, having a landscape design professional help will take much of the stress and work out of the project.

The Tulsa landscape designers at Oklahoma Landscape can design the best plan for your landscape using these and many other landscape design techniques to create an engaging outdoor space. Let us help you build the perfect landscape and outdoor environment for your particular home and lifestyle.

A Custom Tulsa Patio Creates an At-Home Outdoor Living Retreat

Custom patios for Tulsa homes can be so much more than a simple spot outside to grill or place a few lawn chairs. Today, patios act as the foundation for purposeful and functional outdoor living areas that are the hub of activity for the family.  patios tulsa

These custom Tulsa patio areas serve as an extension of your indoor living space, and offer the perfect area for outdoor dining, relaxing, entertaining, and much more. Thus, not only do they provide more functional living space, but they can significantly increase the value of your home and property.

Although many people view patios as mere concrete slabs, patios in Tulsa can be custom designed using a variety of attractive materials including pavers, flagstone, brick, stamped concrete, and cobblestone. These patio materials can be chosen to match the architecture and style of your home.

While the patio can be built as a direct extension of your home, it can also be built away from the home as a completely separate area in order to create a focal point in the landscape. Also, instead of one large patio area, you could separate the patio designers tulsapatio into multiple outdoor living spaces based on how you want to use your outdoor living area.

Patios become the foundation for a world of outdoor entertaining. They become the basis of a luxury outdoor kitchen or outdoor fireplace.  The design of the patio sets the tone for the outdoor environment, and the materials used can determine what theme the outdoor living space will have – whether modern, Mediterranean, Old World, Tuscan, etc.

Outdoor kitchens and fireplaces have really become popular in Tulsa as places to gather, relax, and entertain friends. There are a variety of different styles of patios and outdoor living areas to choose from depending on their function. The Landscaping Network lists the four most popular patio styles as dining patios, bistro patios, living room patios, and sundeck patios. Whether you implement one style and function or incorporate all of them into your outdoor environment, good planning is key to an effective and inspiring outdoor retreat.

Thus, having a Tulsa landscape designer help with the planning and building of the patio and outdoor living space can really prevent problems and create the most durable and most valuable outdoor environment. The landscape designers at Tulsa’s Oklahoma Landscape can design a patio to match your home, your landscape, and how you want to use the space. Thus, a well-planned patio and outdoor environment can considerably enhance your home and help you get the most use from your backyard area.

Call Oklahoma Landscape in Tulsa today to see how we can help you create the perfect outdoor living space – starting with a well-designed patio area.

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 Outdoor Living Trends 2014 – Outdoor Environments a Must

What do many homeowners want in 2014 landscape design? A great outdoor living space for entertaining. Like many Tulsa homeowners, people across the nation still want “attractively designed” outdoor environments to create more space for entertaining and relaxation. outdoor environments tulsa

The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) recently published its 2014 Residential Landscape Architecture Trends Survey, which reports on the latest demands in landscape design. In rating the expected popularity of various outdoor design elements, residential landscape architects from across the country ranked the category of gardens and landscaped spaces as most popular with a 94.2 percent rating, closely followed by outdoor living spaces like kitchens and entertainment spaces with a 92 percent rating.

“Homeowners know that designed landscapes add value to their lives as well as their property values,” ASLA executive vice president and CEO Nancy Somerville said. “They’re interested in livable, open spaces that are both stylish and earth-friendly.”

According to the ASLA, having a landscape architect skillfully design your outdoor elements and landscaping is one the best investments for your home and can add as much as 15 percent to its value over comparable homes. And, the ASLA noted, the home value literally grows over time while you enjoy your outdoor living space.

What is in popular demand for 2014 among outdoor living features? Outdoor lighting was rated first by 98.3 percent of respondents, followed by seating and dining areas with 97.7 percent, fire pits and fireplaces with 95.4 percent, grills with 94.3 percent and installed seating with 89.6 percent.

fire pits tulsaWhat do these results tell us about Tulsa outdoor environment trends for 2014? Outdoor living spaces that are ideal for entertaining are in high demand. Many homeowners would like to spend even more time entertaining or relaxing in their outdoor environment in Tulsa, and they can with the right outdoor lighting design.

Sustainability and low maintenance landscapes were again also in high demand as popular landscape and garden elements for 2014. Native plants were high on the list of eco-friendly design elements along with fountains and ornamental water features as popular landscaping and garden elements. Many are also favoring food and vegetable gardens including orchards and vineyards.

“Decorative water elements – including waterfalls, ornamental pools, and splash pools – were predicted to be in demand for home landscapes (86.1 percent). Spas (76.4 percent) and swimming pools (73.8 percent) are also expected to be popular,” ASLA reported.

Patios, terraces, and decks are high on the list for outdoor structures as are fencing and pergolas. These additions can really become an extension of your home and living space. More and more functionality and customization are being added to these outdoor environments in Tulsa.

Elegant and practical outdoor living spaces will continue to be popular home additions. For more landscape design and outdoor living space ideas, contact the Tulsa landscape architects at Oklahoma Landscape.

Importance of Design Plans in a Tulsa Outdoor Environment

tulsa outdoor environmentsWhen creating their Tulsa outdoor environment, many people may begin by buying simply a patio grill or porch swing. They may add things to their outdoor living space as they find them at home improvement stores or change things about their landscape as they discover ideas.

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with starting small and finding new things as you go to add to a garden, but without a particular theme or design in mind for the landscape, a backyard could become a jumble of mixed-matched styles and items. This could leave the homeowner feeling a little disheveled, like there was always something missing in their outdoor space, and then they’re on a never-ending search for what will complete their landscape.

Having a definite design style in mind when creating an outdoor environment will help to keep your landscaping projects focused and make your outdoor space a work of art. You can have a theme for your outdoor environment such as Mediterranean, Tuscan, or Asian-inspired. Choosing one of these themes not only will help you to have a more unified look, but will give you direction and purpose in your landscaping.

It’s good to put your landscape design ideas down on paper. This will help you carefully plan out how best to divide your space, where to plant shrubs and trees, and help you anticipate any problems to your landscape plan. To help save water and maintenance, try to group shrubbery together by their watering and sunlight needs. Also, plan for the future in deciding where to plant foliage by determining how big trees and plants will grow when they mature. Will they block a view from window, or will their root systems have to struggle against other plants’ roots for nutrients as they grow?outdoor environments tulsa

Determining how you will most often use your Tulsa outdoor environment will help you to better use the space you have. You may not be able to include every outdoor feature you would like in your space, so by drawing or writing out your plan, you can better see the amount of unfilled space and prioritize what you’ll include accordingly. Do you want an outdoor kitchen space or a fire pit? Would you like to have an outdoor dining area? Is a swimming pool a must? Knowing what you must have in your outdoor living space will help you know where to start when you begin building.

Professional Tulsa landscape architects can help you to design and build your entire outdoor environment and can assist you in choosing a theme that will best match the architecture of your home and how you want to utilize your outdoor space. These professionals also understand how to use retaining walls and other hardscapes to prevent erosion and how to effectively divide your outdoor space into ‘rooms’ that mimic all the comforts of home.

So before you dive into renovating your backyard this spring, think about how you want to use your space and carefully design a landscape plan and theme that will create a one-of-a-kind outdoor oasis.