Tulsa Outdoor Living Trends – Water Features and Japanese Gardens

The calming sounds of water flowing are always a soothing feature of an outdoor living space in Tulsa. Many people are thus choosing to build stunning and sometimes distinctive water features in their outdoor environments. Not only adding a relaxing character to the outdoor living area, water features also can become the focal point of the space and can entice colorful birds that help to invigorate the space even more. japanese gardens

Especially if your landscape has a slope or disparities in its topography, a flowing stream and waterfall are perfect embellishments to your garden. Line the stream with vibrant native plants to provide more eye-catching interest and you create a beautiful path through your outdoor living space. As Better Homes and Gardens (BHG) noted, “Run your stream over different materials and at varying depths to create a variety of delightful gurgles.”

Water features and gardens with an Asian theme are becoming more prevalent as homeowners want a more tranquil tone in their outdoor space. Whether simply for pondering by the water or a space for entertaining, Asian-style watetulsa outdoor livingr gardens offer an exclusive, Zen-like atmosphere. Using bamboo, arbors, wooden teahouses and bridges, winding paths, and reflecting pools, you can bring your Japanese garden to life.

Adding Tulsa hardscapes around your water feature can really enrich your outdoor living experience. Building a pergola and seating area can help afford a place to relax and contemplate life while watching your water garden, which may be teaming with fish or surrounded by birds that flock to the colorful foliage nearby the water feature. An artful bridge offers an additional focal point across a stream or pond. A deck adjacent to a pond or other water feature provides a great place to unwind or entertain. Using various pavers and hardscapes in a variety of textures and shapes can create more appeal and charm in your water garden.

If you would like to start small, BHG recommended placing a water feature in a planting bed or even using a bowl filled with a miniature water lily to serve as an outdoor dining centerpiece.

Whether you would like a more formal water garden or something with a more relaxed, even country feel, the Tulsa landscape designers at Oklahoma Landscape can create the perfect outdoor living area for your lifestyle and home.

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Tips on Creating a Pet-Friendly Tulsa Landscape Design

People love their pets. Often, they become like family. So as we spend more time outside during the warmer months, we want our pets similarly to enjoy their own outdoor environment as we do. But how can you create a more pet-friendly Tulsa landscape design?

Now many people often refer to “dogscaping,” or landscaping with your dog in mind. As we know, dogs love to play and run, so to help them get more exercise (and to prevent them from creating their own path), you can build a dog run path beside the perimeter of your property along a fence or even through your property using materials like wood chips, wood planks, pavers, or decomposed granite. It’s good to use materials that will not get too hot for your dog’s paws. dogscaping tulsa

Some plants can actually be harmful to animals including aloe, daisies, daffodils, and gardenias. Check with the ASPCA, your veterinarian, or your local Cooperative Extension for a complete list plants that are dangerous to animals. It’s good to avoid using plants with thorns or stickers. Also, be careful with pesticides and other chemicals that are harmful to animals. Some types of mulch, like cocoa mulch, can be toxic to dogs if eaten, so check with your local veterinarian before picking out a mulch.

Especially in the heat of summer, dogs will need a place to cool off and relax from the heat. A dog house of course provides a nice shelter, but strategically-placed trees and shrubs can also provide a comfortable area for shade. A nice arbor or pergola can be the shade both you and your pet need to stay out of direct sunlight. A small pond or other water feature designed especially for your pet can be a fun and relaxing way for him to cool off and stay hydrated. However, make sure they can easily get out of the water feature or pond.

Planting ornamental grasses and hardy shrubs around the edge of your garden along with a border of rocks can help to prevent rowdy animals from ruining a garden or flower bed. Using a raised garden bed can also be helpful to keep out playful pets. Creating a designated “digging area” for your canine frilandscape design for petsend can prevent him from digging holes all throughout your landscape. You can fill this area with soft soil and sand or cedar or wood chips for them to dig in.

A fence is usually a must with dogs and many other pets. Make sure the fence is tall enough so that your dog doesn’t get out and that the space between the slats doesn’t allow room for your dog to get his head stuck in. Planting shrubs and flowers along your fence line can help to decorate the fence and help it complement your landscape.

These are just a few of the many ways you can create a more pet-friendly backyard. Talk with the Tulsa landscape designers at Oklahoma Landscape for more ideas on pet-friendly landscape design or dogscaping. And always talk with your pet’s veterinarian before planting, using mulch, or using chemicals in your outdoor environment to make sure you know exactly what is safe for your animals.

Tulsa Landscaping Company Building ‘Living Classroom’ for Jenks Schools

jenks schools projectA unique project is currently in progress for Jenks Public Schools. A “living classroom” including Chimney Swift towers, butterfly gardens, rain barrels, and other landscaping features is being built near the Freshman Academy in Jenks, Okla. This interactive outdoor living space will serve as a fascinating way for students to learn about nature.

The school and 9th grade biology/ornithology teacher Todd Humphrey approached Tulsa landscaping company Oklahoma Landscape in Spring 2013 with the idea for a living classroom. Our licensed landscape architect Paul Strickland then got to work creating 3D concept models of how the finished classroom would look.

“We are excited to see this continue to grow each week,” Oklahoma Landscape President Aaron Wiltshire said. “Ultimately, this will be an incredible and unique space.”

As a Tulsa-area landscaping company, we can see the sweeping benefits a project like this could have. In thinking about the project, we felt this was a very unique school concept that could spread across the Tulsa area into other school systems, allowing kids the opportunity to learn more about landscaping, plants, caring for gardens, etc.butterfly garden tulsa landscaping

We’re also excited that many of the Jenks families we’ve done landscaping for have children who attend Jenks Schools, so they’ll get to enjoy this natural space.  And the site for the project is actually just a mile or so from the Oklahoma Landscape office, so it really feels like it’s in our own “backyard.”

When the “Flycatcher Trail” classroom is completed, students will be able to plant vegetables, perennials, feed birds, and study insects. Students will also be responsible for the ongoing maintenance of the gardens, trails, and water feature.

“This project can help students in many ways. It can teach them how to do things outside. We all know how electronics can dominate the time of our youth. This project helps kids to get their hands dirty, into the soil, so to speak. It helps them take pride in caring and nurturing plants and gardens,” Aaron Wiltshire said. “There’s a lot of pride that comes from nurturing living things and benefiting from the beauty that is created.”

tulsa landscapingAs a landscaping company, we know the benefits that come from working with nature and the creativity that can be awakened in the process, and we hope this project will continue to foster that sense of creativity in our children…and it could even inspire a future Tulsa landscape designer.

“Some of our youth will become aspiring designers, architects, etc., and there are little opportunities we can make available to help put something in front of them that may guide them one way or the other,” Aaron Wiltshire added.

What are some of the features this distinctive classroom will have?

Entry structure with rain barrels and a pergola pass-through.

Water feature with streams and a stone bridge.

Compost bins

Butterfly garden

Upright Chimney Swift towers

Native landscape plants and trees

Fully automatic sprinkler system

Cedar split rail fencing

Extensive decomposed granite trails

While Oklahoma Landscape is spearheading the project, there are many others who have donated time, labor, and materials to make this happen. We felt like we could pull off this huge undertaking because of our reliable team of professionals and with the valuable help of our trusted sub-contractors and suppliers.

“Tulsa and the surrounding towns have made Oklahoma Landscape what it is today, and this project is a great opportunity for us to give back to the community we all share!” Aaron Wiltshire noted.

The Flycatcher Trail, located in a lot east of the 9th grade center, is estimated to be completed in March or early April. Stay tuned for more information on how the work is progressing and the various features of the living classroom…