Privacy Screens for Your Cincinnati Landscaping

As you spend more time in your outdoor living spaces, the issue of privacy might be coming up. Maybe you don’t want the neighbors seeing or hearing every minute of your next cookout. Or your deck might look out on a view that’s less than picturesque. Whatever your circumstances, using plants or trees to create privacy screens is an effective option. 

Some shrubs or trees make perfect privacy screens because they grow quickly in height or width. Other plants, such as vines, are a welcome addition to an outdoor structure like a fence or pergola. By covering the structure during warm weather months, these climbing plants increase privacy, offer shade and add beauty. Some even provide colorful and fragrant flowers.

For inspiration, take a look at these plants and trees for privacy suggested by HGTV. 

HGTV photo

HGTV photo


Wall to Wall Privacy Screens

Formal gardens have traditionally used boxwoods or privets to bring definition to an outdoor space with living “walls.” You can use the dense growth of these plants to help block sightlines or strong winds in your landscaping, too. Keep in mind that hedges like these require regular pruning to maintain a crisp look and uniform shape. 

Better Homes & Gardens suggests these shrubs and vines for hedges

Better Homes & Gardens photo

Better Homes & Gardens photo

When you’re ready to make changes to your landscaping for privacy (or any other reason) we’d be honored to help. We specialize in landscape design and install the highest quality plants and trees that are proven to thrive in our Cincinnati climate. 


Contact us today and we can schedule a meeting at our office or right in your backyard. 




With Hardscaping, a Yard Makeover Is Easy

Every landscaping project has two parts: living elements (or plant life) and non-living (or structural) elements. Hardscaping includes things like paver patios, stone walls, walkways, pergolas, pool surrounds and firepits. 

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Although hardscaping may not seem as flashy and colorful as flowers and trees, it plays an important role. If your yard’s plant life is healthy and beautiful, but you have hardscaping that’s crumbling, unattractive or not functional, it can hurt your home’s curb appeal. 


Here are a few things to know about hardscaping: 


Hardscaping Is a Solid Investment

A good rule of thumb is to invest about 10 to 15 percent of your home’s value in its landscaping. Durable, well-built hardscaping is a sound investment that will serve you now and well into the future. 


The best way to start a hardscaping re-do is with a comprehensive plan. Before we begin drawing up designs, we would ask how you would like to use your outdoor spaces. Is cooking and dining outdoors a priority? Would new walkways or paths make better use of your existing space? Would you like to add a pool or hot tub? 


Photos are always helpful tools in sharing ideas and possible options. We can show you photos of our previous work and take inspiration from photos you share about hardscaping you like.  

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There are many benefits to upgrading your landscape. For instance, hardscaping can:  

  • Define spaces for seating or dining.

  • Create an outdoor kitchen with a built-in look.

  • Increase your home’s curb appeal.

  • Create places to sit.  

  • Replace less durable surfaces like wood decking. 


Hardscape Installation

When we’ve developed a landscape plan that meets your approval, we begin installation, which might involve removal of existing elements. How long installation takes depends on the complexity and scope of your project. Hardscaping is installed first, then plant life is added. 


Once your landscaping is complete, we provide instructions for watering and plant care. Typically, hardscaping is very low-maintenance. You’ll be enjoying a beautiful new yard right away and for many years to come.   

Thinking About A Patio, Walkway or Other Project?

Contact us to speak with our design pros.


Seeing Red: Fall Foliage in Cincinnati Landscaping

For hard-core leaf-peepers, it’s never too early to think about fall’s gorgeous colors. Here’s how to add shades of red, orange, yellow and more to your yard.

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Pick the Right Trees

Maples might be the first trees that come to mind for autumn color. We recommend the Red Sunset maple cultivar for its brilliant orange-red leaves. The leaves of the lacebark elm turn yellow to reddish purple in the fall. Autumn color is one of the many reasons to love all kinds of Japanese maples. Weeping redbud is a favorite for its pinkish purple spring flowers, but the tree’s leaves take on a pretty yellow hue in fall, too. 

Growing healthy trees is a matter of proper planting and choosing the right location. We love to help our clients add year-round beauty to their landscaping with trees.

Shrubs In All Shades

It’s not just trees that show off at this time of year. Burning bush is a deciduous shrub that people love for its bright red leaves. Cranberry bush is another shrub with beautiful autumn color. Cutleaf sumacs are popular both for their flowers and colored foliage. 

Other options include oakleaf hydrangea, ninebark and Juddi viburnum. 

Be sure to pay attention to growth patterns for these shrubs. Some are known to get very large over time. 

Late Bloomers 

Asters and mums are reliable fall flowers that can bring a punch of color just when the rest of the garden is waning. While it isn’t a flower, switch grass offers autumn red and gold leaves. 


Make It Pop! 

If you’d like to add more fall color to your landscape, contact us. We’d love to discuss your options during a free consultation.

Make Your Yard a Vacation Destination

Could anything be better than summer vacation? Maybe getting that resort feel right at home--no packing, airports or long drives required.

Here’s how to bring home the five things everyone loves about vacation:  

1. Time at the Pool

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Whether you enjoy splashing around with the kids or just chilling with a drink and a good book, a backyard pool can remind you to relax. Consider your pool style first: Look online for inspiration photos, then think about what amenities you’d like your pool to include.  

When you’re ready for a pool of your own, we can help you design it, oversee the installation, add a beautiful pool deck and plan for gorgeous plantings all around.  

2. Being Pampered

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For some, no vacation is complete without time at a spa. The peaceful murmur of a fountain and the fragrance of luxurious oils and lotions help create a complete retreat from responsibilities. 

How to duplicate all that at your place? Start with a water feature in your yard with a bubbling fountain. Add wind chimes for gentle music. Choose fragrant plants  like lavender, roses, lilacs and magnolia. Include a spot for deeply cushioned patio furniture where you can nap or daydream in comfort. 

3. Communing with Nature

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Do all your vacation photos include shots of flowers, birds and wildlife? You can find all that flora and fauna at home, too. Design a backyard with living things in mind. You can attract butterflies, pollinators and birds with well-stocked feeders and the right plants. 

And, while pets aren’t exactly wildlife, we can help you create a backyard that’s perfect for them, too. Staycations mean you don’t have to board the dog: It’s a win-win! 

 4. Dining al Fresco

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New restaurants, regional delicacies and eating under the stars can be vacation highlights. With an outdoor kitchen, one or two dining areas and the right landscape lighting design, we can help you create all the atmosphere of a quaint outdoor cafe or hip rooftop bar. 

Add a freestanding pizza oven, built-in smoker or tricked-out grill to inspire new recipes. Invite friends and family and your backyard could feel like a trendy restaurant. 

5. A Room with a View 

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There’s something exciting about that first look from your hotel room out onto a new place. If the view from your favorite room is not so exciting, you can plan for new plantings, garden beds or other landscape features to punch up the visual appeal. 

Another option is to create a secret garden room by building a space screened by plants, a pergola or low walls. It can become your own sweet retreat from daily life. 

No Reservations Needed

Interested in making the most of your yard? We’d love to hear all about your vacation-inspired vision. Call us today to schedule a free consultation. 







Before and After: From Boring Backyard to Outdoor Oasis

The Barlows’ backyard was large and lovely…but wasn’t living up to its potential. Then they called us for a re-do.

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“Because we had used Seiler’s in the past for our front yard, we knew we were in excellent hands,” Rick Barlow said. “The backyard was lot more challenging, though.”

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We first assessed the Barlows’ existing yard. It was a blank slate with plenty of room for improvement. To make the sloping yard into an oasis for fun and relaxation, we designed a multi-level deck, water features, a sculpture garden and a screened and heated gazebo. A paver patio with sitting walls, flagstone walkways and a dry creek bed would be highlights of the hardscaping.

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Our plan for the landscaping included many of our favorite trees, like Japanese maples, Norway spruce and river birch. Flowering trees included lilac on standard and dogwood varieties. We specified low-maintenance plantings like fountain grass, hydrangea and spirea.

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After a month of construction and plant installation, the Barlows were ready to enjoy outdoor living and the luxurious backyard that their home truly deserved. They were pleased to report that the finished product far exceeded their expectations.

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Are you ready to transform your outdoor living space? We’d love to discuss all your options! Contact us for a free consultation today.

Pro Spotlight: Hensley Custom Building Group and New Construction Landscaping

A brand new house is exciting for everyone. Working on new construction landscaping gives us the unique opportunity to get it right, right from the start. It’s one reason we enjoy working with custom home builder Hensley Custom Building Group of Loveland, Ohio. 

Photo courtesy of Hensley Custom Building Group

Photo courtesy of Hensley Custom Building Group

In business since 1985, the company builds one-of-a-kind homes for clients throughout the Cincinnati area. We spoke with owners Tim and John Hensley about their company’s work. 

What makes a custom home special? 

Photo courtesy of Hensley Custom Building Group

Photo courtesy of Hensley Custom Building Group

Tim Hensley: “We never build the same home twice. Our clients work with a designer to meet their individual needs. Each home is designed with the clients and their specific property in mind. Clients also work closely with Laura Trapp, our selections coordinator, to choose every element of their home--from tile to flooring to cabinetry to lighting and so on.”

Who is on your team? 

Tim Hensley: “We have a dedicated staff and we use a team of the best craftspeople and subcontractors, like Seiler’s Landscaping, on every job. Our clients choose us because we have a reputation for superior quality, so we only use suppliers and contractors who can live up to that standard. When we build a home, we create a lifetime relationship with that client.” 

Where do you build? 

Tim Hensley: “You’ll find our homes in the top developments and communities around Cincinnati. We’ve built more than 50 homes in Indian Hill alone, and we’re excited about The Meadows at Peterloon, a new development in Indian Hill. Long Cove, Twin Fences, Rivercrest and River’s Bend are some of the communities where we have active projects now. We’ve been part of Homearama for years, and have been honored with dozens of Homearama awards.” 

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Why choose Seiler’s for new construction landscaping? 

Tim Hensley: “Like us, Will Seiler, his manager Greg and the crew at Seiler’s provides clients with the highest quality materials and always aims to make the homeowner happy. We can count on them to take a rough construction site and transform it with beautiful landscaping. We also appreciate their skill with hardscaping elements like patios and pool decks.”

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Where can we see your custom home work? 

Tim Hensley: “We have photo galleries on our website with interior and exterior pictures. You can also see our homes on Houzz. We’re always happy to give people who are interested in building a custom home a personal tour of our homes.” 

To see more, go to www.hensleyhomes.com, or call John Hensley at 513-509-5010.


5 Ways to Refresh Your Summer Landscaping in Cincinnati

Cincinnati is smothering under heat and humidity right now. If the dog days have your garden and landscaping looking a bit tired, here are some tips to try:

Container Reboot

Take a close look at your window boxes, hanging baskets and potted plants and flowers. Deadhead or remove any plants that are spent. You can fill in gaps and inject fresh color with annuals like coleus. Or, with weeks of heat ahead, consider switching to succulents in your containers. You can find a wide variety of sizes and leaf shapes in these plants that thrive in hot, dry conditions. Succulents grow in subtle shades of green, blue, pink and purple that mix and match beautifully. Be careful not to overwater. 

Plant Tough

It’s not too late to plant perennials, just be sure to look for those that are drought-tolerant and heat-tolerant. Coreopsis, black-eyed Susan, daylily and coneflower are good candidates for Cincinnati landscaping. Water them regularly and they’ll reward you with a return engagement year after year. 


Saved by Salvia 

At Seiler’s Landscaping, salvia is one of our workhorse perennials. It can rebloom if snipped back and is somewhat tolerant of dry conditions. The tall spiky flowers make beautiful borders. You can choose annual or perennial salvia. Deep purple is a well-loved classic, but cultivars of salvia are also available in a range of colors. 

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Add Mulch  

You can keep weeds at bay, conserve moisture and keep soil cooler with mulch. While you don’t want too thick a layer of mulch (2 to 3 inches is good), adding a bit more can give your landscaping back some of its crisp edge. Remember to avoid piling mulch up around trees. You don’t want to create a mulch “volcano” around the trunk. Instead create a “donut” shape, leaving space around the trunk.

Cut with Caution 

While many plants do best with late winter or spring pruning, you can continue to cut back unruly non-flowering shrubs in the summer. If you shear or shape hedges in your yard, it’s best to stop approximately six weeks before the average first frost. In Cincinnati, you should hang up the hedge clippers around September 1. 


Last Gasps  

Don’t blame a sad-looking yard on the season--it could be your landscaping is ready for a facelift. Most landscaping has about a 12-year lifespan. Dated yards will show their age with overgrown shrubs or other tell-tale signs. If you’d like to discuss options for a new look, contact us for a free consultation.  


Watering Protects Your Landscaping Investment

If your landscaping could talk right now, it would croak out a weak “Water, please?”

Late summer is brutal on Cincinnati landscaping. “The best way to protect your investment is to water,” says Will Seiler, “and do it early and often.”

All plants, but especially newly installed plantings, need adequate moisture now in order to grow, thrive and survive through the winter. And while cold weather may seem far off, once the ground freezes, plants can’t absorb any moisture. The time is now to serve up the drinks your plants desperately need.

How Much and How Often?

Large shade and flowering trees require plenty of water to saturate the root ball and surrounding soil. Water each tree by placing a slow running hose at the base of the trunk. We recommend 15 minutes of slow running water every other day for the first 10 to 15 days after planting. Repeat every fourth or fifth day after that, depending on rainfall.

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Water evergreen trees individually with a slow running hose for about 10 minutes each. Evergreen shrubs need about 3 minutes of slow running water from a hose to saturate their root balls and the surrounding soil. Check the soil around each tree or shrub every day or so—if it crumbles, it’s time water.

Flowering trees and shrubs need frequent, lighter watering. Use a slow running hose at the base of each plant for about 3 minutes and repeat every other day.

Water grasses and perennials individually with a slow running hose for about 1 minute daily.

Ask for Help

If you plan to go out of town this summer, be sure someone takes over your watering tasks. New construction landscaping is especially vulnerable to neglect. Even if you haven’t moved in yet, you need to be vigilant about proper watering of new trees, shrubs and perennials.

If you have questions about watering this summer, call us.




7 Ways to Convince Your Spouse You Need a Fire Pit This Summer

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Picture a warm and welcoming fire pit in your backyard: Cozy evenings with friends and family gathered around or maybe quiet nights with just you and your spouse snuggled up to the rosy glow.

You can see it: The only problem now is convincing your spouse that this is the year to make that fire pit happen. Oftentimes, one spouse has the vision and the other needs to be persuaded. We’ve got you covered.

Patio fire pits can burn wood or be fueled with gas. For newer homes in areas without a lot of old-growth trees that drop branches, a gas fire pit is a wonderful option that gives you flames with just the flip of a switch. For yards with old larger trees, having a place to burn twigs can be ideal.

Get Him or Her On Board

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Here are seven reasons to share with your spouse about why a fire pit project should be the hottest thing on this summer’s “must have” list:

  1. Wood burning fire pits can be used for cooking. Fire pit cooking has several advantages. The cooked food is usually more flavorful because it has been cooked over a real fire. Also, if the fire pit is large, you can use it to cook for many people at one time.

  2. You owe it to the children to teach them about real s’mores. Sure you can make s’mores in the microwave. But what summer is truly complete without marshmallows toasted over an open flame? A fire pit will give you an excuse to gather the kids and keep this tradition of summer alive and thriving.

  3. If you build it they will come. The neighbors that is. A fire pit is an open invitation to neighbors to stop by and say hello. Or toss on a log, send a few texts and it’s an instant party. A fire pit is also a conversation starter and encourages people to stick around and visit.

  4. You will get greater return on your backyard investment by extending the seasons. As the weather turns crisp, a fire pit allows you to still enjoy the outdoors.

  5. Instant ambiance. Nothing makes a backyard look more inviting than the warm glow of an outdoor fire surrounded by welcoming chairs. Elements such as seating need to be taken into consideration. Built-in seating or a group of matching Adirondack chairs provide the right environment for snuggling up and enjoying the relaxing warmth.

  6. You only get 18 summers with your children. Life is short. If a fire pit can get the kids to put down the electronics even for one night and talk, it’s worth the investment.

  7. Sitting by a fire is romantic. Need we say more?

Plan Your Fire Pit Now

We specialize in the design and project management of complete backyard fire pit projects and surrounding landscapes. We can help you choose the right location and the right option for your unique lifestyle. Contact us today and get your fire pit party started!

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Cincinnati Landscape Lighting Guide

Here’s our guide to landscape lighting in Cincinnati. A great landscape lighting design can highlight your beautiful yard and extend your enjoyment into the evening hours. Using a variety of techniques brings your home into a whole “new light.” Here’s our Cincinnati Guide to Landscape Lighting.

With landscape lighting, the play of light and shadow on walls creates a beautiful visual appeal.  There are multiple techniques that can help create the effects you desire.

Landscape Lighting for Walls

Photo courtesy of Kichler Lighting

WALL-WASH LIGHTING
This landscape lighting technique directs the eye to the textures, shapes and height differences of items in plant beds, adding depth and style.

GRAZING
Add depth and dimension to stucco, brick, stonework or architectural features of a home or building with the grazing technique. .

IN-GROUND LIGHTING
In-ground lighting delivers light to permanent and semi-permanent installations such as sidewalks, large mature trees, walls and flagpoles.

SHADOWING
The shadowing technique directs the eye to the textures, shapes and height differences of items in plant beds, adding depth and ambiance.

SILHOUETTE LIGHTING
This landscape lighting technique draws attention to an interesting shape by lighting a vertical surface behind the object to accent that unique shape.

HARDSCAPE LIGHTING
With this technique, you can highlight stone features, retaining walls, outdoor kitchens, steps, handrails, benches and more.


Landscape Lighting for Pathways and Walkways


Lighting up pathways, walkways and garden edges is both functional and helps make walking safer and beautiful.
  Depending on your application, you may need different techniques.

Landscape lighting courtesy of supplier Kichler



XERISCAPE LIGHTING
We find that accent plants like Cacti, grasses and the stone used in xeriscape designs benefit from lower lumen illumination than traditional landscaping.

PATH & SPREAD LIGHTING
With path lighting techniques you can Illuminate sidewalks, stone paths and lawn walkways while adding a hint of intrigue to boulders and plant beds.

DECK & PATIO LIGHTING
You can also highlight the beauty and details of decks, patios, outdoor kitchens, steps, handrails and other vertical features.


Additional Landscape Lighting Effects


With landscape lighting, you can create beautiful effects with the play of light through leaves or water. 
 These techniques can bring a sense of calm and magical wonder to your yard.

Landscape lighting images courtesy of Kichler

Landscape lighting images courtesy of Kichler


MIRROR LIGHTING
Strategically lighting background areas around bodies of water that then reflect the landscape off the water creates mirror landscape lighting.

MOON LIGHTING
By pacing a fixture high in a tree, the light catches the details of branches and emulating the look of moonlight.

UNDERWATER LIGHTING
By enhance and highlight flowing water in waterfalls, streams and fountains, it creates a magical mirroring effect on still waters.

Watch this helpful video from Kichler on landscape lighting to learn more.

 

Light the Night Cincinnati Landscape Lighting Sale Extended to July 15!

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Save 15% Off Landscape Lighting

Offer Ends: July 15, 2019

Love the drama and beauty of outdoor landscape lighting? Looking for added safety or simply the aesthetics of lighting a wall, fountain or walkway? Cincinnati homeowners are turning on the power of landscape lighting to add evening hours to their landscape enjoyment. We specialize in complete project management from design to installation to final check in. For a limited time, get 15% off your entire project with signed contract before July 15, 2019.