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.

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Tulsa Landscaping Company Offers Home Security Tips for Winter

Fewer daylight hours during winter can mean an increased security risk for your home and family. What can you do to stay safe this winter?

Keep your landscape well-maintained. Burglars often look for signs that homeowners are away, so keeping your landscape maintained, even when you’re away on vacation perhaps with help from a Tulsa landscape maintenance company, can help make sure your home looks occupied.  Also, make sure any trees or shrubs near your home do not become overgrown, home security providing a good place for burglars to hide or block visibility to your front door. Shrubs that have thorns planted next to the home act as a great deterrent for thieves.

Make sure all your doors and windows are locked. Many of us like to open our windows or patio doors this time of year when it starts getting cooler outside. When opening these windows or doors, be sure to place dowel rods or locking pins in the tracks to prevent someone from easily opening them further. And lock your front door, even if you’re just in the backyard or will just be away momentarily.

Make sure your home is well-lit. Landscape lighting not only allows you to utilize your outdoor living space more but can also help to deter thieves. Outdoor lighting for walkways and paths also help to keep guests safer as they walk up to your home after dark. Outdoor lighting systems connected to motion sensors and surveillance systems can also help to keep your home more secure at night. Lights and various electronics inside your home can be set on timers so that your home looks occupied throughout the day.

Always be mindful of your surroundings. With shorter daylight hours, many residents may not return home until after dark. Thus, it’s good to always pay attention to what is going on around you as you walk to your car or home and not be distracted by looking down at a cell phone. With school in session again, many teens may walk home from school or be out late with after school activities. Remind teenagers to always walk with a group if possible in well-lit areas and on well-known streets, avoiding short-cuts in alleys, etc. Make sure they know how important it is to have a safety routine when they get home, immediately locking the door and calling to check-in if they’re home alone.

Make sure valuables are out of sight. Can a burglar easily see your big screen television in your living room? Although large windows or glass doors are elegant and a nice home design, these easy-to-see-through home elements can attract the wrong crowd if they’re not covered. Thus, it’s good to walk around the outside of your home and make sure expensive items are not visible from outside.

Don’t tell burglars you’re not home. That may seem obvious, but often residents can unknowingly tell burglars they’re not home by announcing their vacation plans on social media sites and changing their message on their answering message to include their vacation plans. Burglars can also see many of these sites, and then one simple status update can let them know your home will be unoccupied for a week. Also, although it may seem convenient if you’re expecting someone and in a hurry, don’t leave notes on your door when you’re not at home.

Keep in mind these security tips to keep your family safe this season. And for help with your landscape design or outdoor lighting, call us today at 918.296.9679.  Oklahoma Landscape can take care of all your Tulsa landscape maintenance or landscape lighting needs.

Landscape Design Makeover Ideas for Older Homes

Over time your landscape will need little renovations or even a complete ‘remodel’ so that it doesn’t look outdated. In fact, giving your landscape a makeover can help to make your home look more contemporary as well. So, what can you do to make sure your landscape and home look their best – even as they age?

Landscaping maintenance is key. 

If you don’t have time right now to give your landscape a complete overhaul, you can simply spruce it up a little with some landscape designdetailed landscaping maintenance. Trimming overgrown trees and shrubs can do a lot to refresh a yard and prevent the entire home from looking older or even vacant. Simply planting new plants along the edge of your flowerbed, walkway, or as a container garden will add new life to your landscape and home. Putting new mulch in your garden or around trees is an easy way to spruce up your yard and make things look new. Also, adding a walkway made of pavers or a border for your garden using pavers can bring new decorative interest and dimension to your landscape.

Add an outdoor living space. 

To give your landscape a real makeover you could add a complete Tulsa outdoor environment to your landscape. These outdoor living spaces can be as extravagant or as simple as you would like. You could add a patio or deck to your backyard or go all out and build a custom outdoor kitchen, outdoor fireplace, custom pool, or all of the above.

pool designNot only do these outdoor environments make you home and landscape look more contemporary and add incredible functionality to your space, but they can also significantly increase the value of your home and property. Often, as with any building project, it’s wise to seek the advice of a professional before you embark on such a project. Our Tulsa landscape designers and landscape architects can help create the perfect outdoor living space for your home. We can design the Tulsa outdoor environment to match the architecture and style of your home and create an outdoor space that’s not only beautiful but also practical for your lifestyle.

Use low-maintenance landscape designs. 

Many older homes may still have landscapes that were designed when the home was first built. Often, these landscape designs may not have utilized techniques that are now more readily available to conserve water or make the landscape more resistant to tulsa pool designdrought.

Low-maintenance landscaping can be used to help conserve water, time, and energy in maintain the landscape. Native plants and drought-resistant plants can be used that are more adaptable to our local environment. Plants that use similar amounts of water and need similar amounts of sunlight can also be grouped together to reduce maintenance. Some older homes may have had juniper trees planted close to them, which are very combustible. There are many plants and shrubs that are more fire-resistant. Some trees can be used around various parts of your home to shade your home or serve as a windbreak and even reduce air conditioning and heating costs.

Give your home and landscape a fresh look with a landscape design makeover!

Outdoor Living Ideas for Small Tulsa Outdoor Living Spaces

tulsa outdoor living spacesMany Tulsa homeowners with smaller backyards may think that there’s not a whole lot they can do with their outdoor space. But the Tulsa landscape designers at Oklahoma Landscape would say otherwise. Outdoor living spaces do not need to be huge to be interesting, practical, and filled with awesome beauty. Notice these tips for creating functional Tulsa outdoor environments in even not-so-big landscapes.

Plan Things Out

Tulsa homeowners may want to dive in and start tearing out plants and hardscapes to renovate your outdoor space, but careful planning is worth the wait.

Think about how you would most like to use your Tulsa outdoor living area. Do you enjoy entertaining or cooking out? Would you use the space mostly to relax, read, and get away from the world? Do you love water and would like to have a spa or a decorative water feature? How you plan to use your landscape will shape what features comprise the space, and with thoughtful design you can add more features.

Know what your central points will be and then you can design other things around those main features.

When you’re working with a smaller space, it’s important to have things planned out so that every portion of the space is utilized to get the most function from the area. The sky’s the limit – although you may have less ground space, you can create more vertical space for gardens and additional storage.outdoor living space ideas

Our Tulsa landscape designers can assist you with planning the most practical design for your outdoor space.

Create Different Outdoor Living ‘Rooms’

To make the most of your small outdoor space, create distinct outdoor living areas in the same space by artfully dividing the space depending on its intended use.

For instance, you can have a dining area on a small patio area and cover it with an arbor or small pergola that will visually separate the space. Create a ‘living room’ area with an L-shaped sectional sofa made of indoor-outdoor materials, an area rug and even a coffee table that will effectively divide the space. A fire pit can also be a focal point for a seating area and can form a comfy atmosphere for entertaining.

You can use raised flowerbeds as edging, foliage such as vines or bamboo to separate and add privacy, or use different pavers and hardscape materials to differentiate the spaces. Although you want these areas to be slightly divided visually, you will also want them to connect or seamlessly flow from one to another so that it does have the feel of one complete outdoor environment. Walkways or stone paths can help accomplish this.

Enlarge the Space with Color and Texture

Color makes the world seem livelier. Texture can add dimension and personality to a space. Adding these to your outdoor living space will create more depth and interest in your yard. Colorful container gardens filled with plants of varying textures are very practical.

Pavers and other hardscape materials come in an array of colors, sizes, shapes, and textures. These can often add more charm and are easier to replace or repair than concrete.

Bright, coordinated colors and attention-grabbing fabrics for rugs, throw pillows, and seating areas can make the space more inviting. Using reclaimed, distressed, or antique pieces can tastefully be used in your outdoor space to add character and sometimes even a pop of color.

With a little planning and creativity, any size outdoor space can be the setting for a gorgeous Tulsa outdoor environment. As your premier Tulsa landscaping company, Oklahoma Landscape can help you design the most practical and most engaging outdoor living space.

 

What is Landscape Architecture and How Can It Benefit Your Tulsa Landscape?

outdoor fireplace tulsaThe effects of architecture are all around us; they are often diverse and intriguing. Although mainly known for producing buildings and other physical structures, architecture’s most attractive works of art are perhaps found in the fascinating sceneries created by landscape architects. New York’s Central Park is one example. In fact, the term “landscape architecture” only became common after 1863 when Fredrick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux designed Central Park, the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) noted.

But what is involved in landscape architecture and how can it benefit your Tulsa home or business?

Landscape architects design the balance between the built and natural environment,” ASLA noted. So landscape architecture goes beyond traditional gardening or lawn care to include the careful analysis, planning, design, and management of an outdoor space. These architects design and manage the land of outdoor public areas like public squares, cemeteries, parks, waterfront developments, transportation facilities, and zoos, as well as campuses, office and retail parks, commercial property, hospitals, hotel resorts, golf courses, and residential areas such as your backyard.

They work with engineers and city planners to ‘meet human needs by making wise use of our environmental resources,’ ASLA noted. Using environmental science, these architects help to promote public health and conservation by encouraging the effective use of nature and the built environment – such as tree-lined streets, green roofs, and healing gardens at hospitals. Landscape architects are often involved in restoring damaged natural places like wetlands, mined areas, and polluted sites.

Thus, they must have a diverse set of skills that not only include landscaping but also environmental psychology, geology, site design, horticulture, drainage, grading and more.  To be a landscape architect, a license is required to practice landscape architecture in all 50 states, ASLA noted.  tulsa landscape design

So, much careful planning is involved in a Tulsa landscape architect’s job. They figure out how the homeowner, property manager, or city planner wants to use the landscape and designs an outdoor environment best fit for those needs so the landscape is not only beautiful but practical and engaging. But this also includes site analysis to know how best to care for the landscape and protect its long-term well-being. With artistic style and science, a landscape architect can help your outdoor living space reach its full potential even by adding hardscape features like an outdoor fireplace or kitchen.

With this careful design comes detailed drawing and often 3D modeling of how the outdoor space will look, what features it will include, and where to plant trees, shrubs, etc. to best use the landscape and help conserve energy. By strategic placement of trees and shrubs, landscape architects can even lower a home’s heating and cooling costs.

After initial planning and design, landscape architects continue to oversee the landscape development throughout the construction process to ensure the project is done right. They may continue to oversee the care of the landscape after project competition, providing direction for how to best care for the landscape.

Thus, when you hire a Tulsa landscape architect, you get a wealth of knowledge and well-thought out planning that far exceeds simple lawn care. A licensed landscape architect can help you create a balanced, practical, and artful outdoor environment for your backyard or commercial property. They can help you ‘find yourself outside’ by utilizing nature and the built environment to create a captivating architectural environment.

Tulsa Tree Care – Pruning in Winter is the Best Time

home pruning treesYou may be thinking that there’s not a lot of landscaping to try to do for your Tulsa home in the winter; however, this season is truly a great time for pruning several species of trees and shrubs.

Trees and shrubs that are pruned and well-maintained produce more fruit and flowers and are typically healthier. Once the dead, diseased, or overgrown branches are removed, the tree can grow stronger and healthier and be more immune to disease and insects. Trees pruned in the winter will be able to grow quicker and more vibrant in the spring. Thus, sensible pruning really helps to promote the long-term health and strength of the tree.

Why is late winter a perfect time for pruning in Tulsa?

Many deciduous trees are dormant throughout the winter, which may reduce the damage done to the tree. This dormancy stops the trees from bleeding sticky sap when they are cut. These winter cuts won’t expose the dormant tree to as much chance of disease or insect damage because these are also dormant throughout the winter.

On a sensible note, with the leaves gone, you’ll be able to see the structure of the tree more. This could enable you to more clearly see where there are broken or dead branches that need to be removed.

When should you begin pruning trees and shrubs?

Late winter or once the coldest part of winter has passed is generally said to be the most effective time to prune most trees. There are some species, though, that should not be cropped during winter. Talk with the horticulturists at Oklahoma Landscape to find out specifically when your landscape’s trees should be pruned.

“A good rule to follow is to prune the latest blooming trees first and therefore the earliest blooming last,” North Carolina Cooperative Extension noted.

Prune trees on a dry, mild day to prevent the spread of disease by water. Cut off dead, damaged, or diseased branches with sharp pruning tools. When there are diseased limbs, cut well below the diseased part of the branch. Branches rubbing together can cause wounds that increase the chances of disease and insect damage. Removing one of the rubbing or crossing branches to help the tree remain strong.

Pruning trees and shrubs in Tulsa during the winter not only helps them to look better but can do much to keep them healthy and prepared for spring.

Liven Up Your Tulsa Landscape Design this Winter – Hollies and Dogwoods

hollies - tulsa landscape designHave you wondered if there’s any way to liven up your Tulsa landscape design during winter? Actually, there are ways to bring color and life to your outdoor environment in Tulsa even when the weather is less than perfect.

Many plants have colorful and interesting bark and shapes that stand out amid the dreary winter weather. Dogwoods have yellow, red, and green stems that can bring a jolt of color to your landscape throughout the winter. Redosier and Yellow-twig Dogwood have a nice, showy bark that are good for Oklahoma landscapes.

Harry Lauder’s Walkingstick has unusual branches that make an interesting landscape piece for the winter. Other plants with interesting branches perfect for a snowy winterland include Euonymus and Japanese Kerria.

Shrubs that produce berries can add a lot color to the landscape during the winter while they also attract birds to watch from the comfort of your Tulsa home. Berry shrubs include a wide array of holly plants like American Holly, Blue Holly, and Yaupon Holly, as well as other shrubs like the red chokeberry with its vivid red fruit that stands out beautifully against the contrast of evergreens. Evergreen plants of course provide nice background foliage for winter.

Flowering plants that look great during the Oklahoma winters include Camellias that have white and pink blooms, as well as Forsythia, Witch Hazel, and Jasmine.cameillia winter interest plant

But if you want a quicker way to dress up your landscape this winter, planting miniature conifers in container gardens in different areas of your outdoor space as well as other potted plants like poinsettias can quickly spice up your landscape. Carefully-planned landscape lighting can also brighten up the winter months and creates an inviting atmosphere to guests.

Oklahoma Landscape’s horticulturists and Tulsa landscape designers can help you choose the best plants and shrubs to help brighten up your Tulsa landscape and keep it healthy all winter.