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.


Seiler's Now a Certified Drainage Contractor

Do you have water, water everywhere?

Drainage problems can show up in a variety of ways around a home. You might notice standing water in your yard, a persistent puddle in your driveway or water lapping in your basement or crawl space.

None of these scenarios is a good thing. Fortunately, there’s help.

NDS Certified

Four members of the Seiler’s Landscaping staff have attended an in-person training course and passed an evaluation to become certified drainage contractors. As part of the training, we studied drainage fundamentals, common drainage problems and solutions and drainage system design.

With this background and our landscaping experience, we can design drain systems to whisk water away from your yard, driveway, walkways, pool or patio area, or even basements or crawl spaces. The solution to your particular issue might involve installation of a French drain, dry well tank or drain grate.

Problem Solved

Don’t live with excess water or poor drainage around your house any longer. Contact us today. We’ll take a look at your yard and talk about your options.

3 Things that Are Making Your Landscape Look Dated

Are these problem areas aging your house visibly?

If you haven’t replaced your landscaping since 2004, it’s most likely time for a facelift. Not sure? Take a long look around your house: Do you see any of these three telltale signs of age?

1. Monster Shrubs

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These guys start out as sweet little accents around your home’s foundation. Pretty soon, they’re taller than you are and overstaying their welcome. Even with pruning, the interiors of shrubs can become a mass of bare branches that don’t do anything for your home’s good looks. Bushes growing right up against your house can trap moisture and attract insects, too.

2. Rowdy Roots

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Notice any lumps or swelling in your driveway or sidewalks? Roots from overly ambitious shrubs and trees may be to blame. Like bad neighbors, these roots will keep disturbing the peace in your pavement until you evict them.



3. Galloping Ground Cover

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There’s nothing wrong with low plants that fill in spaces in your garden beds--until they overstep their boundaries. If you can’t figure out where a bed begins or ends, you may need to call in the border patrol. And, if you look closely, do you find that patches of ground cover have started welcoming weeds, too?

Turn Back the Clock

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Most landscaping has about a 12- to 15-year lifespan. Even with regular trimming, pruning and weeding, shrubs, trees and plantings can become too large or suffer damage from weather, insects or wildlife.

At Seiler’s we give landscaping a fresh start with a multi-step approach:

  1. We walk around your house, assessing the health of existing plantings.

  2. We work with you and your budget to suggest ways to replace any items that have reached the end of their lifespan or are just too large for your space.

  3. Depending on your preference, we can remove and replace old plant life all at once or through a multi-year phased approach.

  4. We provide easy instructions for maintaining new plantings for you to enjoy for years to come.

Look Younger!

Ready to take years off your home? Call us today to talk about your options.


LEED Certified Landscaping for Your Cincinnati Home

Whether you’re interested in a city of Cincinnati tax abated residential project or just want to create an environmentally friendly home, consider the residential LEED program. LEED-certified homes meet certain criteria set out by the US Green Building Council. The right kind of landscaping can help your project reach LEED goals.

“The overarching goal of LEED landscaping is to manage water on the property,” Will Seiler of Seiler’s Landscaping explains. “Rainwater harvesting, irrigation and choosing plants that are non-invasive are some of the elements.”

Landscaping and Hardscaping

When designing for a LEED project, the staff at Seiler’s ensures that every detail is taken into consideration. Trees are located where their shade will provide summer cooling for the home. We choose native plants that thrive without extra fertilization or care. The designs limit hard surfaces, like concrete, because they tend to collect and store excess heat. “For hardscapes, like patios and walkways, we choose materials that are permeable,” Will says. Allowing water to seep down into permeable pavers, for instance, means less runoff flowing into and burdening storm sewers.

Rainwater harvesting can be an important part of a LEED home. Beyond rain barrels that catch water running off a roof, these systems include large tanks that are buried during home construction. Then, the landscape’s irrigation system can pull water from the tanks when conditions require watering. Tanks are easier to install as part of construction of a new home, but they can be set in place if a homeowner is doing a major landscaping overhaul.

Your LEED Landscaping Partner

Depending on the range of “green” elements included in a project, a home can achieve one of four LEED levels: certified, silver, gold or platinum. The more elements you include, the more LEED points you earn.

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As a competent, experienced LEED partner, Seiler’s Landscaping has managed large LEED projects. We’ve helped homeowners receive the most points available in terms of landscaping, and contributed to platinum level home projects.

Interested in saving money and saving the planet with your home? Contact us today to discuss your project.





Save 15% On Cincinnati Landscape Lighting Projects

Light the Night Cincinnati Sale

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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 June 15, 2019.

Offer Ends: June 15, 2019

Book an Appointment today  


Landscape Lighting Pro Tips and Trends From Kichler

Landscape lighting works hard bringing you safety, return on investment and great curb appeal. To make the most of these benefits, pair a professional lighting plan with high-quality light fixtures.

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At Seiler’s Landscaping, when we create a plan for lighting, we specify Kichler fixtures. Nick Allen, our Kichler representative, explains why it’s a solid choice. “Kichler offers one of the strongest warranties, coupled with excellent customer service,” Nick says. “The failure rate on these fixtures is less than .5 percent and Kichler firmly stands behind all of their lights.”

Location, Location, Location

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Yes, you can go to a big box store and buy a handful of exterior lights. The trick is knowing what type of fixtures you need, how many to install and where to put them. Going with a lighting plan designed by an experienced professional is what Nick recommends. “Your landscape contractor is ultimately the expert on the outside of your house,” Nick says. “Let them feature and embellish your outdoor space.” 

With a professional’s approach to landscape lighting,  certain features of a property or outdoor living space can be enhanced and enjoyed after the sun goes down. Those extra hours of enjoyment are a great return on the investment homeowners make to their outdoor living spaces. “Seiler’s long history and experience makes them an excellent choice in a professional and artistic lighting display,” Nick says.  

What’s New With Landscape Lighting

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LED lighting was introduced to landscaping within the last five years. This type of lighting is the most energy efficient. “Kichler has worked to perfect the new technology and continues to introduce new features,” Nick says. While LED lighting has a higher upfront cost, it uses less energy over the long run and features bulbs with long lifespans.

Nick offers another suggestion for kicking your curb appeal up a notch. “Don’t be limited to a 10- to 12-light package,” he says. With the extra investment, you can add more fixtures, or backlight or shadow a feature in your yard. The lighting will set you apart from your neighbors and create a welcoming glow when you come home each night.

Kichler and Seiler’s Landscaping Team Up 

Nick, who has spent 20 years in the landscape industry understands how to make homes look great. We’re humbled that he’s quick to recommend our services. “Seiler’s brings professionalism, ethical business practices, and expert horticulture knowledge to the table,” Nick says. He calls our team (Will, Jim, Darren and Anna) responsive and in tune with clients’ needs. “They build a customer base but they also build a relationship and work to make it a long-lasting one,” he says.

To see more of Kichler’s lineup of exterior (and interior) lighting, go to www.kichler.com.

Limited Time Offer: Save 15% On Lighting Projects

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 June 15, 2019. (Offer Ends: June 15, 2019)