2016 Landscaping & Outdoor Design Trends

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The landscape and outdoor design trends for 2016 reflect the lifestyle trends that are taking place all around us. A longing for a softer, more romantic time and a sense of home are driving these trends as we move into a new season.

Growers are offering many new varieties that have changed the color palette, reimagined the outdoor space, and taken homeowners back to a time when life seemed a little slower. Getting in touch with our environment and making choices that lessen our impact on the earth continue and grow, as does our desire to bring a little less dependency on commercial products.

Our desire to connect with others and expand our social circles has taken hold in a big way in our outdoor spaces. It is going to be an exciting year in our industry and we cannot wait to help it unfold.

Trend 1: Grow • Share • Feed

It happens every year. You plant your backyard garden, planning to down size and keep it small for just your family and yet, you still have way more food than you can eat. Great gardens produce a bounty of delicious and nutritious goodies well beyond what your family can consume.
You are not alone!

Thanks to today’s technology age, the world is smaller and your “neighbors” have multiplied. Avid gardeners and hobbyists alike have been turning to sites like AmpleHarvest.org and Nextdoor.com to spread the wealth. These types of sites have taken the community garden concept to the next level – creating fun interactions, new friendships, and great food! Many are finding new and exciting ways to help one another, share what they have learned, and truly enjoy all that the earth gives us.

Trend 2: White Makes It Right

This year’s hot “color” – White! It’s classic, cool, and it’s elegant. From a stark, bright white to an old English “dirty” white, nursery buyers cannot get enough. As many homeowners look to settle in and plan to stay where they are, they are turning to white to create relaxing, harmonious spaces to relax and entertain. There has been a trend in interior paint colors towards white and that is making its way into our outdoor spaces. Clean, crisp, and fresh, white is white hot!

Trend 3: Retro Is Cool Again

Life is cyclical – so is your landscape. There has been a major drive in the floral market towards locally grown products incorporating edibles and old-fashioned flowers mixed with romantic florals. Begonias, peonies, Hostas, and even Pachysandra are moving fast and furious out of the garden center as people look to soften the feel of their outdoor spaces and take it back to a more romantic, elegant feel.

Trend 4: Light It Up

The landscape lighting industry is evolving at the speed of light. The days of old inefficient, maintenance intensive outdoor lighting system are gone. Today’s systems not only offer a lower light bill but also the ability to expand your outdoor space by expanding your system and best of all, there is an app for that! Many of today’s best companies offer the ability to adjust and control your lighting system from your cell phone giving you complete control of your outdoor environment in the palm of your hand.

The array of fixtures, lighting tones, and customizable features allow you to create a custom outdoor space that will change the way you experience your outdoor space. The best part, though the initial upfront cost may be a bit higher, you do get the lower energy cost and most importantly, a lot less maintenance and hassle! Upgrading your old system is easy and expanding to highlight specimen plants and unique structures brings a new feel to an old layout.

Trend 5: Going Big by Going Small

Many consumers are using Pinterest and other social media sites to find great ways to make a big impact in a small space. The use of pots, containers, and small space gardens can make any space your own private retreat. Creative use of annuals, edibles, and dwarf varieties of boxwoods, ninebark, and Weigela are bringing the big garden feel into easy to manage small spaces. Keep your eye towards new and more compact shrub roses and hydrangeas as this trends catches fire.

Trend 6: Gather Round the Fire

Speaking of catching fire – Fire pits! The hottest trend in the industry is truly hot. As people rethink their outdoor spaces, the fire pit is all the rage. Fire pits, fire tables, fire pots, all create great places for kids to entertain their friends in the safety of their homes and for parents to spend some great family time outside. Simple designs are affordable and functional, while elaborate pieces create a living statement that can truly alter the feel of your relaxing hideaway.

Trend 7: Plants to Watch

We consulted the local experts to make sure that the recommendations provided would perform well right here in the Dayton area.

Mark Houston of Natorp Landscape Supply & Natorp’s Nursery
The tried and true plants such as, Sedum, Coreopsis, Heuchera and Dianthus are in high demand with new colors coming out every year. Grass-like plants like Hakonechloa (good for the shade) and Sedges (lower growing) have become more popular for homeowners who find it difficult to grow grass in some areas. Physocarpus (Ninebark) are plants that have interest in the winter (peeling bark) and during the growing season with a multiple choice of colorful leaves and sizes.

Anne Fisk of Studebaker Nurseries
We are growing a new Hydrangea called Bloomstruck. Very similar to Endless Summer but is has reddish stems.  I watched it grow in the pots last year and I really liked it.

Sarah Albrecht, our resident Garden Designer suggests
Shady Pot Combinations that Pop: The amazing Whopper Begonia, Rex Begonias, and Maiden Hair Ferns.

  • Rex Begonias offer striking foliage. There are many eye-catching varieties that play nicely with other flowers and foliage.
  • Maiden Hair Ferns offer softness and whimsy.
  • Creeping Jenny does well in full sun and shade. It adds brightness and offers contrast within a texturally diverse combination pot.

It’s going to be an exciting season and you can be a part of it.  Let our experts help you find the trend-setting advantage – contact us today at 937.433.5915.

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Kris McKee
Country Club Landscaping


To learn more about :


Welcome, Sarah Albrecht!

sarah-albrecht-headshotWe are thrilled to announce that Sarah Albrecht has joined the Country Club Landscaping team.

At 16, Sarah began planting annual and perennial gardens. That love of the earth transitioned into a career as a Garden Designer & Consultant – where she excelled in designing and installing award-winning annual and perennial gardens. For nearly 20-years, she has created and maintained beautiful flower gardens throughout Ohio.

Gardens add so much to our lives – beauty, tranquility, and even a boost to our property value. A well-designed, professionally installed garden can provide all of these more efficiently, cost effectively and leaving you with more time to enjoy it.

Garden Designers help you to –

  • Re-imagine your space (home, lawn, garden and neighborhood),
  • Design smooth transitions between each area,
  • Design for both the functional and decorative spaces on your property,
  • Camouflage the unsightly and highlight the magnificent,
  • Add color, texture, scale and movement,
  • Create mood, mystery and an environment of beauty.

If you’ve tried designing, installing and maintaining a garden alone only to find frustration with little reward – perhaps it’s time to try a professional.  Here’s a list of garden and outdoor spaces where Sarah can help.

  • Annual & Perennial Gardens,
  • Flower Pots & Container Gardens,
  • Habitat & Children’s Gardens,
  • Small-Space Vegetable & Herb Gardens,
  • Outdoor Meditation Spaces,
  • Bulb Plantings,
  • Seasonal Displays & Holiday Decorating,
  • Interior Plant Design & Maintenance.

We invite you to contact us today and book your consultation with Sarah at 937.433.5915.


Kris McKee
Country Club Landscaping


The Mosquito and the Zika Virus

The-Mosquito-and-ZikaThe Zika Virus, a disease transmitted by mosquitoes through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito while, the Aedes albopictus has also been identified as a potential threat.

As Spring arrives, temperatures will rise and bring blooming flowers.  Along with this beauty comes an invader, a pest that has been declared as the deadliest animal – the mosquito.

A mosquito lands and bites you. It’s the female that seeks blood from her host by detecting carbon dioxide and octenol that are produced in breathe and sweat. She needs the protein from blood to develop her eggs. You can swat, light candles and she’ll still find a way to get you. She will not be deterred.

For some, a mosquito bite may be more than a few days of itching. It can cause an allergic reaction or, you may receive an illness transmitted from the bite.

The three most common mosquito-borne diseases that cause human illness are arboviruses called Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE), La Crosse Encephalitis (LAC) and West Nile Virus (WNV). Illness usually begins with sudden onset headache, high fever, chills and vomiting. The illness may become more serious and involve disorientation, seizures or coma, significant brain damage or even death. There is no specific cure for arboviral illnesses; therapy is limited to treating the symptoms.

  • Eastern Equine Encephalitis is also a bird disease. It’s associated with mosquitoes that live in freshwater swamps and bite birds. Cases are most severe in children and people over 50.
  • La Crosse Encephalitis is maintained in small mammals such as squirrels and is transmitted by mosquitoes that breed in tree holes or small containers that hold water. LAC is most likely to occur in children under the age of 14.
  • West Nile Virus arrived in the USA in 1999 and has spread across the country. Carried by birds, the disease is spread when a mosquito bites an infected bird and then bites a person or an animal such as a horse. WNV cases are seen most frequently in people over 40 years old (75% of cases from 2003-2012).

The latest disease is the Zika Virus.

  • The National Institutes of Health estimate that 200 million Americans reside in areas that might be conducive to the spread of the Zika virus during the warmer months. Areas including the East and West Coast and much of the Midwest. Another 22.7 million people live in subtropical parts of the country that might support the spread of Zika all year around – including Florida and southern Texas.


  • Common symptoms of infection are fever, rash, joint pain and red, itchy eyes. Symptoms are usually mild and last several days to a week. Zika has also been linked to a steep increase in the number of babies born with microcephaly, a very serious condition characterized by a small head and brain. Currently, there is no treatment or vaccine for Zika although researchers are working on it.

So what can we do about these deadly creatures?

Eliminate possible breeding sites.
Good cultural practices are key to preventing insect issues. Mosquitoes can breed in as little as one inch of standing water. So remove empty containers like buckets and toys that can collect water. Clean out your gutters – another great place for water to stand if clogged with debris. If a pet dish must be left outdoors – be sure to change the water daily. A full evaluation of all the little hiding places is the first step to control.

Remove a comfortable resting place.
Properly trimming your shrubs and grass eliminates hideouts for Mosquitoes during the day. Mow your grass and trim your shrubs.

One thing you cannot control are the neighbors. Here’s where a professional, like Country Club Landscaping can help –

  • Our programs provide protection beginning in May and ending in September with (7) Applications.
  • Beginning with a full site inspection and recommendations for how to best protect your property.
  • Mosquito Program 1: Synthetic – An FDA approved application that’s safe for people and pets. Keep application area clear of people & pets for 2 hrs following application. Please note: Times of heavy sustained rainfall may require additional applications to maintain an effective barrier.
  • Mosquito Program 2: Organic – An all organic application that’s environmentally safe for people and pets; using a combination of Peppermint, Cedar oil and natural mosquito deterrents. Please note: Times of heavy sustained rainfall may require additional applications to maintain an effective barrier.
  • Our professional team will treat ALL areas of your property including the tree lines, shrubs and even under decks.  Not just the perimeter like some of our competitors.
  • One simple contract can protect your family and friends from mosquitoes all season long.
  • Special Event & Party Treatments are available.

Have our professional staff perform an inspection of your property and develop a safe and effective protection plan – contact us at 937.433.5915 or complete our web form by clicking here.


Kris McKee
Country Club Landscaping


To learn more about the Zika Virus and Mosquitoes visit the following links –

The Centers for Disease Control – Zika
The National Institutes of Health – Zika Virus an Emerging Health Threat

The Washington Post – Why the United States is Vulnerable to Spread of Zika Virus
The Mosquito – the Most Lethal Animal

What’s Your Snow Plan?

Snow Removal-smThe flurries earlier this week were a gentle reminder that it’s time to get our snow plan in place.

Government agencies have their winter weather response plan ready to keep our highways and major thoroughfares clear of snow and ice. It’s our responsibility as residents and business owners to have a plan that will keep our property safe as well.

These days business will not wait for old man Winter to relent. Make sure your staff and clients can arrive safely by plowing your lots and clearing your sidewalks. The same goes for homeowners, give your family and guests a safe path for arrival and departure.

If you want to do it yourself – okay! Please keep in mind that the American Heart Association warns “that some people may be at increased risk of a heart attack during snow shoveling.” For example, people with existing heart conditions like heart failure, high blood pressure or cholesterol, the increased workload on the heart from activities such as shoveling of heavy snow, can put them at higher risk for heart attack. So be safe and check with your doctor before proceeding.

Some tips for heart-safe shoveling:

  • Take frequent breaks to avoid over stressing your heart. Pay attention to how your body feels during those breaks.
  • Don’t eat a big meal before or soon after shoveling. Eating a large meal can put an extra load on your heart.
  • Use a small shovel or a snow thrower. Lifting heavy snow can raise blood pressure. It is safer to lift smaller amounts. When possible, simply push the snow.
  • Learn the heart attack warning signs and listen to your body. Even if you’re not sure it’s a heart attack, have it checked out. Carry your cell phone and call 911 immediately if you experience any signs of a heart attack.
  • Do not drink alcohol before or immediately after shoveling. Alcohol can increase a person’s sensation of warmth and may cause you to underestimate the extra strain your body is under in the cold.
  • Consult a doctor ahead of time. Before you start shoveling, talk with your doctor if you have a medical condition, do not exercise on a regular basis or are middle-aged or older.

For those who want professional help – consider Country Club Landscaping. Our snow removal plans will eliminate the worry and keep you safe all winter long.

We offer residential and commercial snow removal services, including:

  • Snow Plowing
  • Parking Lot Deicing Services
  • Sidewalk Clearing + Deicing
  • Deicers are designed to be safer for concrete and more Environmentally Friendly.

For nearly every type of space, including:

  • Office Buildings
  • Retail Stores
  • Apartment Complexes
  • Condominium Complexes
  • Shopping Centers
  • Clubhouses
  • Residential Homes
  • Residential Neighborhoods

If you need a snow removal plan for your property – contact us today for a free estimate at 937.433.5915.


Kris McKee
Country Club Landscaping

Outdoor Lighting

Outdoor-Lighting  Outdoor-lighting

It’s undeniable – when guests arrive the exterior of your home is the first thing they see. So let’s make sure yours leaves a good first impression.

Work with a professional who will consider the architectural and landscaping elements of your home – one who will add different sources of light at varying heights to bring your exterior to life in the night air.

Exterior lighting should provide a well-lit space so people can feel safe as they enter and exit your home. It should be attractive and operate efficiently while setting a mood and atmosphere that is consistent with your unique personality. Using the lit shapes and textures on the exterior as an extension of your interior home.

As you plan your lighting design, remember a few well-placed path and accent lights can have a big impact on well-manicured landscape. Consider the patios and those areas immediately outside your house. Think about lighting tree trunks and branches or, perhaps vine wrap trellises in far corners of your yard. Create your own oasis – one that invites your guests outdoors, creates magical settings for entertaining as well as relaxation.

Today, there’s a wide selection of decorative landscape lighting fixtures. Selecting the best combination for form and function in your locale is important. It’s easier than ever to add color and interest with different glass variations, unique castings, architectural elements and nature inspired shapes.

Now is a great time to upgrade from an incandescent system to LED technology – thanks to a longer lasting product and dramatically reduced energy consumption, using low-voltage LED lighting will save you money in the long run and reduce your carbon footprint.

Let our experts help you find the right styles and materials that will make your outdoor environment come of life for your family and guests to enjoy. You can reach us at 937.433.5915.


Kris McKee
Country Club Landscaping