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How to step up your Dallas landscaping this summer

July 26th, 2017

As a homeowner, you know you’re facing a long summer of watering and mowing the lawn. That’s all well and good, but there are other things you can do to step up your game this summer in terms of landscaping. Once you’ve got the lawn down pat, make your yard realize its potential with a few structural additions, stone pathways, gardens, and other visual pops of interest that are sure to add value and curb appeal. We can help you be the envy of your neighborhood with these tips.

Make a Path

Whether meandering or streamlined, pathways add a clearly defined structure to your yard. It doesn’t have to lead to anywhere special. It could guide guests to your front door or maybe to a side-yard garden area with bench. Or maybe down to a babbling brook in your backyard. It could even lead to a patio area or hammock for restful summer reading. Country Living suggests lining your pathways with lavender, which is virtually indestructible, is available in several beautiful shades, and is resistant to the curiosity of nature’s creatures such as deer.

Another way to welcome people to your home is to add a white picket fence with country garden gate. Go one step further and add fragrant star jasmine over the top as a climbing vine. A rustic looking patio off to the side completes the look. Add thyme in between irregularly shaped stones for a cottage country look. Boxwood hedges add even more charm to your pathways, whether you want them rounded, squared off, or snaked through other types of borders.

Add Accessories

Even a lush green lawn needs something to help it stand out against the expanse of your yard. Arbors, pavilions and pergolas are a perfect way to complement your yard and add visual interest. It’s easy to dress up your home and outdoor living space with these items while expressing your personal style. Add value to your property as well as curb appeal with a custom-built arbor structure, pavilion or pergola. They all provide some degree of shade. Which one you choose will depend on your lifestyle. If you want partial shade, a pergola or arbor is wise; if you want full shade, go with a pavilion. A pavilion offers you more entertaining space because of the shade provided, so it’s perfect for adding a full patio set, outdoor furniture or picnic table under. As such, pavilions are more functional.

On the other hand, an arbor or pergola offers more of a visual appeal that doesn’t provide much recreational space but can certainly make for beautiful pictures. Intertwine vines and flowers around these structures for a charming way to welcome people to your garden, small sitting area, bench or pathway.

Gazebos are another option to consider. Best for larger spaces, gazebos are the ultimate destination for family photos through all seasons. From circular to pentagon, you can choose one with a roof and open or screened-in sides. Make it your personal retreat at night to have a glass of wine and socialize with the neighbors.

Contact Outdoor Home Living in Dallas

Want help sprucing up your outdoor landscape this summer? Contact us at 214-328-5296 to learn how Outdoor Home Living can help propel your Dallas landscape to the top of the neighborhood’s trendy list.

Kick your grilling game up a notch with outdoor kitchens

June 9th, 2017

Outdoor Kitchen

With summer just about here, you’re probably spending more and more time outside near your pool and patio. If you’re lucky enough to have the space, it’s time to invest in an outdoor kitchen. If you entertain a lot, you likely get tired of cooking inside, missing all the good conversation, and carrying all the food and condiments outside to the patio area — then do it all again in reverse when everyone’s done. By the time you get to the party, everyone’s ready to leave!

Keep up with all the action when you put an outdoor kitchen in your backyard. Prep, grill, serve and enjoy all in one spot with your family and guests. Check out these cool ideas to kick your grilling game up a notch this summer.

Pool, Pergola and Pizza

A wood fired grill partially shaded by a beautifully crafted pergola, backdropped by your crystal clear pool makes the perfect backyard scene. Incorporate an authentic wood-fired pizza oven that gives you the power to make your hand-made pizza just the way you like it. In fact, it’s the perfect excuse to have a pizza party with friends. They can add their cheese and toppings, you can place it in the oven, then serve up the cheesy goodness as you enjoy the view of your pool.

Go with the Flow

The trend right now is to extend the living room or family room into the backyard, with a flowing transitional concept that ties indoor and outdoor spaces together as part of a seamless atmosphere, says the LA Times. And, advances in technology allow you to keep things cold outside so you don’t have to run back and forth for ice or other cold items. Refrigeration units that would fail five years ago if the temperature got above 90 are now able to thrive in 115-degree conditions.

Year-Round Comfort

For those chilly nights where a sweatshirt is in order, no need to head inside if you have built-in heaters overhead or even in the floors. For even heat distribution, you can’t go wrong with luxuries in heating so that no night is off limits outside when Mother Nature doesn’t want to cooperate.

Versatile Grilling Options

Sometimes you just want to try a different way of grilling. For that, incorporate a cast-iron flat-topped grill that mimics the ease of a teppanyaki grill. Nothing falls through the cracks and you get an even grilling surface every time. When you want to get back to basics, do it with a modern twist. Invest in a wi-fi smart grill so you can control your cooking while you sit and enjoy a drink with friends. Not only can you fire up the grill remotely, you can also check the temperature, keep track of time, and monitor sensors — all with an app from your smart phone.

Consider layout of your outdoor kitchen, too. You want to incorporate areas where you can sit and enjoy the food you cook, as well as rest a drink or plate while you socialize. What good is it if you have a grill, pizza oven, and beer on tap if you have nowhere to set things?

Contact Outdoor Home Living in Dallas

For convenience and comfort, choose Outdoor Home Living as your premier provider of comprehensive outdoor kitchens that truly complement your life. Contact us at 214-328-5296 to learn how we can make your backyard kitchen ideas come to life.

It’s Spring: Prep Your Yard for the Season

May 17th, 2017

Sprinkler water spray watering green grass lawn

Spring is a busy time of year for your yard, and there’s no better time to spruce it up than now. From landscaping to exterior maintenance, here are some tips on how to prep your yard for spring.

Inspect Your Tool Shed and Plant Window Boxes

If you’re like many homeowners, your shed is decorative in nature, perhaps mimicking the color and style of your home. If you have window boxes, add soil and plant colorful blooms. Clean out your tool shed at this time to get everything organized, get rid of any nests that have cropped up over the winter, and make any necessary repairs. Check the status of your gas- and battery-powered lawn equipment, sharpen all tool blades, clean off the equipment, and stock up on gas for your mower.

Clean the Gutters

You may not see it from the ground, but from the street level, overstuffed gutters are unsightly and can detract from your curb appeal. Worse than that, debris such as leaves, acorns, and twigs can easily clog your gutters. With nowhere to go, water run off will accumulate around your foundation and leak into your basement. All that standing water can be a breeding ground for mosquitoes, too. Use a cup or scoop to get out the debris. While up there, check for a secure attachment on the gutters to your home. Then, check that the downspouts are pointing in the right direction, well away from the foundation so erosion or flooding doesn’t occur.

Take Care of Your Lawn

Remember, the three basics of lawn care are sun, water and fertilizer. Take it step by step, as a beautifully landscaped lawn is a careful balance of all the right ingredients.

  • Test the Soil: Pick up a test from the store to indicate the pH level of your soil. You could also send your soil out for testing by your state or local college’s agricultural department. Always strive for an even balance of acidity and alkalinity.
  • Regular Watering: With spring’s mild temperatures, water just once a week until the lawn is established. HGTV says you should “water deep” once summer hits, meaning give it a weekly soaking that will encourage roots to dig deeper into the soil. Thatching can result if you water lightly on a frequent basis. If your lawn is newly-seeded, water it daily for five minutes; once grass has sprouted to about a half inch, increase to 15 minutes.
  • Feed Your Lawn: Spring is the perfect time to fertilize. Use one with micronutrients like sulfur, copper and iron. Every third year, add dolomitic lime to restore the pH and add calcium and magnesium — minerals your lawn thrives on.
  • Aerate: High-traffic areas can compact your grass, which in turn stifles the roots. Give those roots air to breathe by aerating your lawn in the spring.

Contact Outdoor Home Living

If you need assistance with lawn care, come to Outdoor Home Living. You need an advanced horticultural approach to residential landscape maintenance and management in order to keep your landscape groomed throughout the entire year, but particularly in spring. Our experts make weekly visits and maintain annual maintenance procedures. Book an appointment now for spring clean-up in Dallas at 214-328-5296. From pruning back shrubs to planning out the season’s landscaping, it’s time to get going!

Fire and Water: Features That Enhance Your Backyard

April 13th, 2017


From fire pits to waterfalls, there’s no better way to incorporate two opposing yet complementary elements in your yard. When looking to enhance the comfort, aesthetics and functionality of your backyard, not to mention the relaxation factor, you may want to consider adding water features and fire features to your property. Merge the elements of fire and water to create a backyard paradise that your whole family and all your guests will enjoy year after year.

Fire Features

From sunken fire pits to traditional custom stone work, you’re sure to boost the satisfaction of your outdoor entertainment needs with a fire feature. Take this natural stone fire pit on HGTV that features a fire brick interior capped in bluestone. The wide nature of the fire pit rim allows for additional  seating. Speaking of stone, here at Outdoor Home Living, we can create custom stonework to contain your fire feature, whether you’re looking for a fire bowl, table, or insert. The material you use to harness the power of your fire is important for safety reasons. That’s why stone works so well.

Whether you use your fire feature for grilling food in the warm months or you just want to create some ambience, the type of fire feature you choose says a lot about your lifestyle. Recessed fire pits are great for modern patios, preferably with no children running about. A stacked stone fireplace is a rustic, kid-friendly addition to any patio, or perhaps even a table-top four-unit pit that shows off your contemporary image.

Water Features

From waterfalls to decorative ponds, water features are a welcome addition to any backyard because they’re relaxing and calming. Not only do they look great, they sound even better, adding to the tranquil nature of the space. Depending on how extensive you want to get, water features provide a focal point and can even attract wildlife in the case of ponds. Your water feature can even go beyond the functional and double as an art piece, like this stacked stone wall. You can get really intricate with a water feature that features varying levels of water spilling over a brick wall, encircling the patio, flowing underneath a decorative bridge and emptying into a fish pond.

Just for a few examples, take a look at what Outdoor Home Living can do with water features:

  • Swim-up bars
  • Built-ins
  • Pool Finishes
  • Decking and Coping
  • Water Features (fountains, waterfalls, jets, etc.)
  • Lighting
  • Hot tubs
  • Spillways
  • Water troughs
  • Bird baths
  • Garden streams
  • Bubblers
  • Add-ons (slides, diving boards, etc.)

Blending the Two

Fire and water: two opposing elements yet complementary in so many ways. How do you bring them both together aesthetically, functionally and safely? Try a combined fire put and waterfall in one. A circular stone fire pit surrounding a large basin of overflowing water featuring a fire in the center is an amazing sight to behold. Or, try something grand like this with a modern horizontal waterfall flanked on both sides by giant tiki torches set in stone bowls. The key behind blending the two features is to hire a professional skilled in water and fire feature design.

Contact Outdoor Home Living in Dallas TX

If any of these ideas sounds good to you, call us so we can come up with a unique plan for your yard. Contact us now at 214-328-5296. We are based in Mesquite TX but serve all surrounding areas of Dallas.

5 Decluttering Tips for Making Your Yard More Serene

March 19th, 2017

While the inside of your home may be neat and organized, the outside may be another matter entirely. It’s easy to let those tools pile up, let the garden overgrow, and let stuff (think bikes, sports equipment and the like) stay scattered throughout the yard. It’s time to declutter your yard and bring a serenity it may not have seen in years. It’s more than just picking up stray items; it’s about organization and balance in your landscape design. Here are five tips:

1. Make a commitment:

Anything worth doing is worth doing right. Commit a day or weekend to your tidying project. Your modus operandi may be to tackle a little bit each day, but that’s actually counter-productive. Getting it all done in one or two sessions is more conducive to successfully finishing. By doing small tasks every day over several days or weeks, you run the risk of failing to finish because you run out of steam. Start with the deck, then move to the garden then to the shed and so on. Bring trash bags and tools with you as you move from task to task.

2. Think about your ideal yard: More than that…think about your ideal yard as it fits in with your REAL life. What’s your outdoor lifestyle? Do you love to garden, or are you the neighborhood BBQ king? Do you enjoy watching the sunset from your back patio? Come up with realistic goals and follow through. Doesn’t have to be anything fancy. Could be as simple as making room in the garage for your car (finally!). Work with your lifestyle to avoid overshooting and setting yourself up for failure later.

3. Space over category: Tackle your decluttering project in a logical, reasonable order. Think about your pain points and solve those first. You may hate how hard it is to get your bike down from the wall rack when you want to take a ride, or maybe you get frustrated with the fact that you can never seem to find that perfect small screwdriver or hammer that you always need. Or maybe the way your patio furniture is currently set up blocks the natural flow of traffic. Whatever the case, create the space you want rather than make piles of the things you don’t. And always remember: go easy on the yard décor. It shouldn’t take over a lawn, but it should add to it, says Home Advisor.

4. Find the wow factor: You know the one…when you finally look at the space you’ve created and you realize it all comes together. What joy does your space bring you? Have you achieved it, and if so, how can you apply that approach to other areas of the yard? Maybe this means you finally cleaned up the weeds around the pergola, gave it a fresh coat of paint, added some flowers, and put a cute little sitting bench nearby. Maybe you cleaned up the shed so that it finally created that open concept you’ve been going for — so you can actually get some work done in there!

5. Know your limits: Whether it’s space or your budget that’s keeping things on the small side, remember that you’re not necessarily looking to create the perfect space in the ideal yard in your dream neighborhood. It’s important to be grateful for what you already have and enhance it with things that fit your life. The goal isn’t to cram all the arbors, firepits and water features you can find into one space. Rather, it should be to pick and choose which elements bring you happiness and convenience, and use them to your advantage.

Contact Outdoor Home Living

Here at Outdoor Home Living, we love helping Dallas homeowners realize a serene outdoor space that truly works for them. Contact us at 214-328-5296 for more inspirational advice.

Benefits of Having a Well-Maintained, Landscaped Property

February 1st, 2017

Everyone wants to have a nice, manicured lawn and beautiful landscape so they can stand out in the neighborhood. Sure, it looks aesthetically pleasing, but what other benefits does it have? From increased curb appeal to prevention of water run-off, check out these many benefits of a well-maintained, landscaped yard. And by well-maintained, we mean free of weeds, with lawn that’s been clipped to the proper height and that’s received all the right nutrients. We also mean non-green elements of your landscape, as well, such as neat walkways, attractive arbors and proper lighting.

Water Run-Off Prevention

When you have a nice, thick carpet of turf, rain water is absorbed quickly. That water feeds your lawn and brings it the nutrients it needs to sustain life. The best kind is properly seeded dense turf grass, which leaves no room for weeds to grow. This type of lush grass will hold in all the moisture and retain it best without wasting nutrients.
Image result for beautiful landscape front

Cleaner Atmosphere

A healthy lawn traps all that dust and dirt that fills the atmosphere, which incidentally contains a lot of toxins that are bad for our health, specifically hydrogen fluoride, peroxylacetyl nitrate and sulphur dioxide. Not only are they bad for our health, they deplete the ozone layer.

Healthy Family

A healthy lawn equals a healthy family. When your yard is inviting, safe and comfortable to play and entertain in, you will find yourselves outdoors more. Having plenty of open space encourages kids to get out and play, reducing their risk for obesity and increasing their heart health. Getting exercise every single day can reduce the chance for circulatory diseases as well as weight gain. Breathing outdoor air gives us a mood boost and keeps us healthier overall.

Increased Curb Appeal

About 71% of home buyers say curb appeal is a major factor when choosing a new house. Even if you don’t plan on selling soon or at all, curb appeal is something you have to consider in order to maintain a respectful presence in your neighborhood. Don’t forget: how your property looks will affect how well your neighbors’ properties look. You don’t want to be the one to bring down the entire neighborhood, do you? Landscaping happens to be a big part of curb appeal, along with permanent fixtures such as arbors, walkways, gardens, landscape lighting, fences, water features and pergolas.

Image result for beautiful landscape front

Higher Property Value

While landscaping adds a certain aesthetic appeal to your home that can’t be denied, hardscaping (those permanent elements mentioned above, such as paved patios, pavilions and fire pits) can actually add value to your property. It’s true: adding an outdoor living space provides you with a tangible asset on your property, thereby increasing its value. Upgraded landscaping can boost the value of your property by up to 15%! Of course, you have to make the initial investment. For that, turn to Outdoor Home Living.

g an outdoor living space complete with a paved patio, fire pit, pergola, pavilion or gazebo gives you a tangible asset on your property and increases the value of that property. – See more at: http://hitchingpostsfl.com/hardscape-landscape-increase-homes-value/#sthash.tq2Fqxpz.dpuf

Contact Outdoor Home Living in Dallas TX

Looking to upgrade your landscape? We have the experienced professionals who can help you achieve the yard of your dreams. Contact us at 214- 328-5296 or fill out our convenient online form for more information.

well-maintained landscape, back or front yard adds an aesthetic value to your home that can be difficult to put a dollar value on.

Adding an outdoor living space complete with a paved patio, fire pit, pergola, pavilion or gazebo gives you a tangible asset on your property and increases the value of that property.

– See more at: http://hitchingpostsfl.com/hardscape-landscape-increase-homes-value/#sthash.tq2Fqxpz.dpuf

well-maintained landscape, back or front yard adds an aesthetic value to your home that can be difficult to put a dollar value on.

Adding an outdoor living space complete with a paved patio, fire pit, pergola, pavilion or gazebo gives you a tangible asset on your property and increases the value of that property.

– See more at: http://hitchingpostsfl.com/hardscape-landscape-increase-homes-value/#sthash.tq2Fqxpz.dpuf

Decorating Your Yard For Fall

October 27th, 2016

Autumn is a beautiful time spent outdoors. The weather is cooler, signaling the end of summer. The blooms are fading, replaced by hay bales, scare crows, pumpkins and mums. Think bright yellows, oranges, and reds to complement the symbols of the season, from Halloween to Thanksgiving. Get creative with some of these proven ideas that are sure to make your home stand out in seasonal brilliance.

Create a Focal Point

For some homes, this is the front porch; for others, it’s a walkway or garden out front. Whatever your focal point is, make it stand out in fall colors. Got an old wagon, wheelbarrow or bushel basket sitting around in the shed? Haul it out, stock it with different colored mums and Indian corn, with various sizes of pumpkins and gourds arranged in front as seen here in DIY Network. Stagger the height of your display with hay bales. Add a touch of color to orange pumpkins by painting them and adding gauzy bows to the tops. You don’t need a colorful display to make a statement, though. Stick to one color, such as white, to get an unexpected reaction. Add pine cones, cinnamon sticks and acorns around them and you have a versatile display that will make its way into winter.

A pumpkin planter is another alternative, taking its rightful place at the top stair of your front porch. Try this terrarium comprised of a bell jar and a shallow terra-cotta bulb dish that creates a fall-inspired terrarium highlighting your favorite natural elements like miniature pumpkins, pine cones, Spanish moss and leaves.  

decorate for fall

Backyard Getaway

If you love to spend time in your backyard in fall, deck out your patio in warm autumn colors and decor. Pepper it with seasonal flowers that fit your color scheme, matching your patio furniture and throw pillows for a cohesive look. Add a permanent fixture that will last through all seasons, such as a pergola, that gives shade yet offers a beautiful accent to any backyard. Dark wicker furniture with rusty orange padding works great for the fall season. What about a string of outdoor lights in fall colors to accent your porch? Those little twinkling lights aren’t just for winter! They can illuminate your backyard space and give it a touch of whimsy at the same time.

Outdoor Living

 

Add a Custom Firepit

There’s no better way to spend a crisp evening in the backyard than sitting around a crackling fire pit bundled up in sweatshirts and telling stories. Incorporating a custom stonework fire pit surrounded by cozy chairs can help you boost the character and atmosphere of your outdoor living space. But why stop there? Pair it with a full outdoor kitchen so you can entertain and cook for friends and family without missing out on the conversation. The designers at Outdoor Home Living can help you create a design plan that works with your yard, existing outdoor living space, budget and lifestyle.

New Fire Pit Installed in Dallas

Contact Outdoor Home Living in Dallas

Based in Mesquite Texas, Outdoor Home Living offers a wide variety of landscaping, landscape design and lawn care services in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex to bring your home to the next level. Please contact us at 214-328-5296 for more fall decorating ideas and estimates on our services, or fill out our online contact form today.

Flipping Houses? Don’t Forget the Outside!

October 17th, 2016

We’ve all seen the home improvement shows on TV…you know, the ones where they buy a run-down home for cheap and completely renovate to sell for a profit. Well, if you do this in real life, or if you’re thinking of doing this for a living, you know the exterior is just as important as the interior when flipping houses.

Curb Appeal Starts with the Outside

Studies show that curb appeal is most benefited by certain outdoor features, such as a fresh coat of paint on the front door, a new garage (which can take up to 40% of the front of the home), and a refreshing landscape that doesn’t just include mowing of the lawn but the addition of unique water features, flowers and mulching.

Check out the following tips to spruce up the exterior of any home you flip in order to attract buyers and entice them to go inside.

Warm up the Welcome

Better Homes and Gardens suggests painting the exterior of the home a warm white with khaki shutters just a few shades darker flanked by blue slate steps and stacked stone risers. This carves a clear path to the entry way, inviting guests to your door with a portico that continues to define the entry and offer a transitional space. Of course, what you do with the space depends on the style of the home. To breathe life into a Gothic Revival-style home without sacrificing its historical significance, for example, paint it a subtle gray-blue offset by cream-color trim highlighted by quaint benches and planters to welcome guests.

lawn-landscape-maintenance-tampa1

Liven up the Landscape

Colorful flowers are a great way to achieve classic curb appeal. Line your manicured lawn with a white picket fence reminiscent of yesteryear, covered with roses or vines for a classy look that adds a pop of color to a lush green background. If your entryway isn’t clearly defined, make it stand out with a simple stone or brick path to add charm, suggests DIY Network. Take that charm a step further and add some texture by incorporating various plants, bushes and small trees for variation. Strategically placed landscape lighting will ensure safety come night fall plus illuminate your home and any paths leading to it.

Incorporate Customer Features

For the most impact, it’s wise to have something unique in your landscape, something that stands out above all else, something that no one else has. Custom pools and water features can really transform the look and feel of a home and fetch a higher price. Some features that certainly fit the bill:

  • Custom Water Features
  • Outdoor Kitchens
  • Putting Greens
  • Landscaping
  • Fire Pits
  • Swim Up Bars
  • Lighting Effects

The goal of water features in particular is to pull the whole backyard landscape together with unique finishing touches, such as:

  • Water Features such as fountains, waterfalls and jets
  • Pool Finishes
  • Hot tubs
  • Decking and Coping
  • Lighting
  • Spillways
  • Water troughs
  • Bubblers
  • Bird baths
  • Garden streams
  • Add-ons such as slides and diving boardsoutdoor-pool

The purpose of flipping houses is to make money, but the only way you can make even more money is to spend money!

Contact Outdoor Home Living

Contact us if the above ideas sound good to you. Outdoor Home Living is based in Mesquite, TX, designs, installs and maintains one-of-a-kind outdoor living spaces with specialty landscape design and installation services backed by a team of skilled architects, stonemasons, craftsmen and gardeners.

Combining Creativity and Nature for Stunning Landscape Design

June 29th, 2016

Combining Creativity and Nature for Stunning Landscape Design

From manicured hedges in intricate patterns to pops of colors, enhancing the overall appeal of your home is made easy with visually pleasing designs. If you’ve been thinking of bringing color and life to your front yard, it’s time to ditch the ho-hum and go big! Landscape design is a combination of creativity and nature, so it stands to reason that blending them in one seamless design is a great way to spruce up your curb appeal. Let’s take a look underneath it all and see what goes into great landscape design.

Large Garden

Considerations

Before even putting pencil to paper to form your ideas, it’s important to go over the basics. The shape or structure of a plant or object is its form, and which form you use will depend on the landscape design theme, says the Landscaping Network. If you’re looking to go with a formal garden, your forms should be tailored, featuring clipped hedges and sculptured topiaries. If it’s an informal garden you’re after, you can go with more of a natural, flowing form.

Scale

Next up, consider the scale of your plan. This basically refers to the size relationship between elements within the garden and the yard around it. Making appropriate size choices that are in perspective with the setting will give you a good scale from which to start. When considering which plants and structures to incorporate, take into account the size of the yard as well as the size of the home. You don’t want a large gazebo in a tiny yard, which will overwhelm the space, or a small trellis in a huge yard which will quickly get lost.

Texture

Texture is also important. Texture is a big part of plants, to be sure, but it’s also a big part of hardscape materials. When you think of texture, you think of how smooth, rough or coarse something is, which is why you should take into consideration the texture of your plants, from branches to leaves to bark, when designing your landscape. A variety of textures provides a variety of visual elements that can really pull the whole look together.

Color

Don’t forget that pop of color! Bright reds, yellows, oranges and greens create dimension and interest. When used in conjunction with paving, walls or fences, you can use colors to craft harmony or contrast, depending on the look you’re going for. Color is perfect within a landscape to draw the eye to important features like sculptures or fountains, complement your home, and even attract wildlife such as deer and birds.

Natural Flow

Shrubbery and plants are two important elements of incorporating natural flow in your designs, as they not only hide imperfections, but also add a green and flowery element. Take great care in planning your trees, shrubs and ground covers, planting them in stages and selecting materials that work in harmony with the rest of the landscape. Use mulch and ground cover to define your boundaries, making them undulate or achieve crisp lines: your choice. Water features are another way you can embrace nature within your landscape designs. If you have a small lake or pond on your property, use cobblestone pavers to create an irregular-shaped patio, with a rustic stone pathway that meanders to the water feature.

Traditional Patio

Contact Outdoor Home Living in Dallas, TX

For more ideas of inspiration when it comes to blending nature and landscape design, contact us at 214-328-5296.

Importance of Fertilizer Ratio for Growing Lush Green Lawns

June 24th, 2016

For many homeowners, an important component of building a beautiful outdoor living area is to have a lush, green lawn. Not only do lawns add aesthetic appeal to homes, they also provide a number of other benefits, including soil stability, air cooling, and noise pollution reduction. For homeowners who are new to lawn care and maintenance, it’s important to note that it takes a fair amount of planning and effort to reach such a point. One area of lawn care that many tend to overlook is the nutritional balance in the soil. Like any other plant, grass needs a number of different nutrients to thrive and grow. The next time you pick up some lawn fertilizer, one of the immediate things you will notice on the packaging label is the percentage of nutrients the fertilizer contains. Typically, the focus is on the following nutrients: nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Each of these nutrients plays an important role in the development of lawns and, when combined, they are referred to as the N-P-K ratio. In the below infographic, you can learn more about the role each nutrient plays and some basic rules to follow on the application of different types of lawn fertilizer.

NPK Ratio Lawn Fertilizer Infographic

Role of N-P-K

Each nutrient plays a specific role during the lawn development process. The first nutrient in the ratio is nitrogen (N). One of the primary roles of nitrogen is to stimulate shoot growth. At the same time, nitrogen plays a part in the production of chlorophyll, which is needed for photosynthesis to take place. Phosphorus, on the other hand, is focused more on the downward growth. Phosphorus is there to aid the development of roots and the application of this particular nutrient is most effective before the grass seeds are planted. Last but not least, the role of potassium is to help the turf grass build resistance and prevent the grass shoots from becoming stunted and yellowed. As you can see, each of these nutrients plays an important role so it is important to know the right amount of nutrients to apply for specific stages of the lawn cycle.

Basic Rules

Prior to applying any lawn fertilizer into the soil, the first thing you should do is to conduct a soil test. Generally, it is best to consult with a lawn care professional but you can also conduct this test using a DIY kit. The results should give you a general idea of whether the existing soil is lacking any of the important nutrients of the NPK ratio. Once you have the results, consider the following rules.

If you are establishing a new lawn from the very start then the emphasis should be on root development and resistance. Therefore, it would make the most sense to apply fertilizer that contains a higher amount of phosphorus and potassium. If your lawn is already established then consider applying fertilizer that contains a higher volume of nitrogen and potassium, and less of phosphorus.

Having basic knowledge of the NPK ratio goes beyond lawn development. When you plan and build your outdoor living area, the application of different fertilizers may also apply to other plants you anticipate on growing in the backyard or patio. If you have any questions then feel free to reach out to us for more information on lawn maintenance and related services.