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.

 

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Tulsa Landscape Design – Delicious Edible Landscaping Ideas

We all desire a beautiful landscape to complement our home. Elegant landscape design creates a peaceful place where we can unwind on the weekends, enjoy summer evenings with family, or hospitality entertain friends. But more homeowners are opting for, not just beautiful landscapes, but delicious, edible landscapes as well.

With the trend toward organic gardening, homeowners are seeing the many benefits of Tulsa landscape design that includes blueberry bushedible plants, which are as pretty as they are scrumptious. Edible landscaping is not just about planting a garden in your backyard, but more about integrating a variety of edible trees, plants, and shrubs throughout your landscape to provide cost-effective, healthy food right at home.

In fact, Better Homes and Gardens (BHG) wrote an article online about how to include edible plants in your landscaping. Here are some of the tips they gave:

A pretty plant that fits well in the flower bed or along the border is Rhubarb, especially when paired with purple-leaved Ajuga or a similar low-growing groundcover. Strawberries are another good groundcover or edging plant for a flowerbed or even planted on a sunny slope as a groundcover.

Currant bushes and blueberry make great decorative (and delicious) shrubs. Miniature and dwarf fruit trees are available that grow about 4 or 5 feet tall and even grow well in pots. These are great for use in smaller yards. Raspberries, the article noted, do great in light to medium shade, making them easy to grow at home.

Instead of traditional vines to grow over an arbor or trellis, the article suggested grapevines or short vining-type vegetables like cucumbers, zucchini, and melons. Gorgeous grapevines will grow well over an arbor, plus you can use the leaves for decoration on platters or to top cheeses and salads, BHG said.

strawberries - edible landscapingVegetables often do well in containers, the article added. Lettuces come in a variety of colors, making them ideal for window boxes and along edges of flower beds. Hot peppers also add rich color to the landscape, especially when paired with marigolds and vinca. Swiss chard is another vegetable that comes in a “rainbow of colors” that can be paired with other vibrant flowers to create a beautiful Tulsa landscape design.

For more great edible gardening tips, check out the Edible Landscaping article on BHG. If you’d like help to incorporate more edible plants into your landscape, call the Tulsa gardening and landscape design/build experts at Oklahoma Landscape.

 

Add Resale Value to Your Home with Tulsa Outdoor Living Improvements

Perhaps you’ve been considering adding a pool, outdoor kitchen, or outdoor fireplace to your home in Tulsa, besides the obvious, there’s good reason to do so – the added resale value that these additions can bring. Even if you’re not thinking of selling your home right now, making it more “sellable” is always a good thing, just in case you want to sell in the future.

How do outdoor living improvements add value to your home? Two general principles come to mind…1. The more liveable space you give to your home, the more the value of your home increases. 2. The greater your curb appeal, the faster you’ll sell or greater your value.

Liveable Space. Everyone could use more space, so if you add areas where people can entertain and enjoy themselves more fully, then you outdoor kitchenshave a champion. But you may think, “Shouldn’t I just covert my garage into a room?” And true, converting a garage may afford more space, but then you also don’t have a garage, which many homeowners want.

Whereas, adding a deck, patio, or outdoor kitchen extends the confines of your home, creating additional living space that’s even more useful. For instance, if you have an outdoor kitchen and decide to put your house up for sale in the spring, buyers can envision themselves having their own cookouts. Or if you added a deck or patio to your Tulsa home, prospective homeowners will imagine a variety of different entertaining ideas and nights enjoyed with family.

Interior and garden designer in Southern California, Sandy Koepke, was quoted in the New York Times as saying that there’s many reasons for building an outdoor kitchen. “You’re getting a lot of bang for your buck because you’re basically creating a very usable room for a lot less money than if you were adding on to the house,” she said in the article.

The idea is to make livable space that’s flexible, something not too personal, but something buyers can see themselves using like their Tulsa outdoor environment.

Curb Appeal. Consider this, if you’ve made major renovations inside, buyers may never see them if their first impression of the house causes them to lose all interest.

“If I were going to spend money on a property, I would really work on making sure the curb appeal was strong” realtor Ron Phipps told HGTV in an article. “You really want to convey a sense of welcome. If all your remodeling is on the inside but the outside of the house is challenging, you’ll never have a chance to even show the inside,” he said.

Don’t underestimate how landscape maintenance can add resale value to your home by increasing its curb appeal. Having a professional landscape design and maintenance plan can greatly increase the curb appeal of your home while taking away the hassle of regular lawn care while you live there. Also you might consider putting in a walkway to the front door or a path to the side of the house to add interest.

Regular landscaping and lawn care can update the look of your home and keep it looking beutiful and well-cared for overall.

So if you are wanting to make your home more enjoyable for your own family while at the same time add much resale value to your property, the Tulsa landscaping contractors at Oklahoma Landscape can help you in every way.

2013 Outdoor Living Trends – Outdoor Environments in Tulsa Still in Demand

outdoor environments tulsaOutdoor environments are increasing in demand, not only in Tulsa, but nationally according to a survey done by the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA).

“American homeowners are increasingly drawn to adding outdoor rooms for entertaining and recreation on their properties,” ASLA reported. “The category of outdoor living spaces, defined as kitchens and entertainment spaces, received a 94.5 percent rating as somewhat or very popular.”

In the Outdoor Living Features category, outdoor fire pits and fireplaces ranked the most popular additions, followed by grills and seating/dining areas. With so many options and features in outdoor environments, it’s no wonder that these have become major aspects of home improvement in recent years. Today, outdoor fireplaces can be custom-designed using a variety of beautiful materials to complement a home, and they can have installed and ornate seating to perfectly enjoy entertaining guests by the fire during the fall and winter months.

Outdoor kitchens in Tulsa can be customized to fit your cooking and entertaining lifestyle with stainless still grills and other appliances like pizza ovens, refrigerators, and more. Many outdoor kitchens have marble countertop bar areas for guests to have additional seating and allow the cook or host to be near guests while watching the grill.

Why are outdoor living spaces becoming so popular?

“In this uncertain economy, homeowners want to get more enjoyment out of their yards,” ASLA Executive Vice President and CEO Nancy Somerville, Hon. ASLA said. “They want attractive outdoor spaces that are both easy to take care of and sustainable.”

Yes, staycations have become an ideal way to relax and have family fun without the stress and expense of traveling. Many homeowners are adding movie theaters, televisions, and WiFi to their outdoor living space so that they don’t miss a minute of the game or can watch a movie while swimming in their custom pool. These areas are great for children’s parties, business events, or just a weekend with friends.outdoor kitchens tulsa

Decorative water elements like waterfalls, grottos, ornamental pools, and splash pools were also in high demand for home landscapes, ASLA noted, followed by spa features and swimming pools in the Outdoor Recreation Amenities category. Terraces, patios, and decks ranked high as popular Outdoor Structures. The practical and aesthetic value of these structures is evident when you think of entertaining or just relaxing in your backyard. They also add significant value to your home and property, making them a great investment.

Among the trends in outdoor living for 2013 were sustainable and low-maintenance design as the nation continues to increase its awareness on green living. “Americans still prefer such practical yet striking design elements for their gardens as low-maintenance landscapes (93.9 percent),” ASLA said.

Landscaping with sustainable design can include using native or drought-tolerant plants, drip irrigation, permeable paving, reduced lawns, xeriscaping, rooftop gardens, organic gardens, and more. Many people are opting to add vegetable and food gardens including orchards and vineyards to their landscape to help keep their family eating healthy.

As Americans continue to see the need to ‘find yourself outside’ and reconnect with the serenity and beauty of nature, as well as to get the most from their home and landscape, the demand for complete outdoor environments and sustainable living will increase.

Learn more about the Outdoor Living Trends for 2013 at http://www.asla.org/NewsReleaseDetails.aspx?id=38451.

For more information on landscape design including outdoor environments like outdoor kitchens, fireplaces, pools, and patios for your Tulsa home, visit http://www.oklahomalandscape.com.