How To Take Care Of Your Trees And Shrubs This Spring

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No matter the weather you’re currently facing this spring you’re going to want to pay some special attention to your trees and shrubs. Since it’s early on in the spring getting a head start on your lawn care program will go a long way.

One of the best ways to ensure the long-term health of your plants is through preventative care. This means stopping any insect infestations and other diseases before they have a chance to start. We’re going to examine some of the most important things you can do to ensure the health of your trees and shrubs this year.

Take Proactive Steps

Every plant in your garden needs to be tended to proactively before disease, insects, mites and other common landscaping problems start to take hold. Most people wait for their plants to start looking horrible before they make a change.

Since it’s early in the season a lot of plants won’t have their leaves yet, so most people assume they’ll wait until the plants bloom. However, the treatments below will help your plants get a head start this time of year.

 1. Oil Sprays

Horticultural oil sprays really help to reduce pest populations. Throughout the winter months pests will usually hatch eggs and other larva on your plants. Once the eggs hatch they will begin feasting on your precious plants.

A great way to get rid of them is to spray them down with oil, which will smother the pests and stop them from thriving into the spring. This will also help to kill any insects or termites that might be lurking in the bark as well.

2. Liquid and Granular Fertilizer

In some landscapes the winter months may have done a little damage and they’re going to need a little help to get back to their pristine state. This is where using fertilizer can come in handy.

By applying liquid and granular fertilizers you’ll essentially be giving these plants a nutritional head start, by providing them with a solid foundation to work from.

3. Utilizing Insecticide

Other ways to help deal with potential pests can be using an insecticide that’s injected into the soil. This will help so your trees and shrubs can uptake the nutrients into the root system, which will spread into the rest of the tree.

Speaking with a landscape professional will help you determine whether this treatment is needed or not. Overall, laying the foundation for healthy trees and shrubs will be different depending on the type of trees you have decorating your yard.

If you don’t have the time to set your own landscape up for success why don’t you consider hiring a professional. They’ll be able to restore your landscape to perfection for the upcoming spring, summer and fall seasons.

Simple Home Landscape Projects You Can Do Yourself

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When it comes to your yard and landscape there are a lot of projects you can do yourself. If your don’t currently have the funds to hire a landscaper, or you want to get your hands a little dirty a simple home landscape project will usually do the trick. Besides having a little fun you can increase the club appeal of your home, and do something you can be proud of.

In this post we’re going to showcase our favorite easy home landscape projects you can do yourself. Most of these projects can be completed in a single weekend.

Install Flower Bed Edging

Flower bed edging will help to separate your lawn from the garden and give a more refined look to your backyard. This entire project will only take a few hours of your time from start to finish. You can purchase flower bed edges at any hardware store.

To get this project underway first lay your garden hose in a smooth curve between your lawn and garden. This will act as the line you follow when installing the edging. You’ll want it to be a smooth curve, instead of using intense angles.

Then you’ll want to use a spade to cut away the sod so you can make an incision for the edging to slip into. Once the incision is made you’ll tap the edging into place using a rubber mallet or a similar tool.

Build A Raised Wall Around Your Garden

A raised wall takes a little more work, but it will bring a certain old world feel to your landscape. When you’re choosing the stones you’ll want to pick stones that have a consistent thickness as this will make it easier to stack and balance. Some good choices include shale, sandstone and limestone.

Before you start stacking the first layer of stones make sure you have a base of sand. This will help to ensure the wall is level and will build a solid base to work from. When you begin stacking the stones make sure you stagger them so the wall is secure. Usually you’ll only need to stack two or three layers to form a beautiful wall.

Fill In Lawn Patches

This one isn’t as crafty as the others, but a lawn with patches will bring down the appeal of your entire landscape, so it’s important enough to include. Although you won’t be able to fix your lawn over the weekend you will be making sure that it’s good to go in a few months.

The process of seeding the bare spots is pretty simple. You’ll start with sprinkling the seed on the bare spot. Next you’ll cover the sod with fertilizer and keep the area moist for the next few days. After a few weeks the seeds will start to germinate and the grass will start to grow.

Doing these simple projects can transform the appearance of your lawn and make you feel better about your entire home. If you have any questions about these projects, or would like to tackle a larger landscaping project then get in touch with our team today.

How Properly To Plant A Palm Tree

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Palm trees bring with them feelings of deep peace and relaxation. Imagine staring up at your very own palm tree, as you invoke feelings of lounging on the beach. Palm trees also have the benefit of providing shade and are resistant to storm winds. They’re a very resilient tree and can add the perfect amount of beach feel to your outdoor landscape setup.

In this post we’re going to look at the benefits of planting a palm tree as well as a few steps to get you started.

What Are The Benefits Of Planting A Palm Tree

Palm tress have the unique benefit of transforming any bland landscape into a tropical oasis. They’re very easy to maintain once they’ve been planted and require very little work. Most trees have foliage that requires raking once the seasons change, luckily palm tress don’t have foliage that drops every fall.

Beyond their easy to maintain exterior they are relatively storm proof and hold up in high winds. For those who don’t have a green-thumb palm trees are relatively fool proof.

How To Plant A Palm Tree

Palm trees are a very popular landscaping choice across the nation. If the above benefits entice you, then get going with the planting steps below.

Selecting The Right Variety Palm Tree

There are a wide range of palms for you to choose from. Usually, the main differences involve the overall size, the amount of sunlight they require and the amount of cold each species can handle.

You’ll want to get this right, because you’d hate to get a palm tree that can handle your local climate.

Choose The Right Location

When you’re planting a palm tree you’re going to require heavy equipment. This is because large palm trees are going to be very heavy and hard to move. This means you’ll want to choose an area of your landscape that’s very accessible and has a low slope.

Dig The Hole

When you’re planting the tree make sure you get the tree as close to the hole as possible when you’re digging the whole. This will help you get the size of hold correct.

Keep in mind that you measure from the root ball, and that’s the size of the hole you’re going to need to dig.

Plant The Palm Tree

When you’re in the process of planting the tree you’ll need to remove the bag that’s covering the root ball. Make sure you’re careful during this step as you don’t want to damage the roots.

After the root ball is placed into the ground make sure the tree is straight. This can be a little difficult at the trunks are often not entirely straight.

Apply The Finishing Effects

Most palm trees must have a temporary brace, since they don’t have deep tap roots that help it to have a stable base. Once it’s planted make sure you water the tree thoroughly. However, you’ll want to hold off on the fertilizing the free for at least another six weeks.

If your outdoor landscape requires a dash of tropical wonder, then consider planting a palm tree. We hope the steps above will get you started with planting your very own. If you require a little more guidance, then don’t hesitate to get in touch.

5 Simple Ways To Improve The Curb Appeal For Your Home

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If you let your landscape pile up or leaves clutter your yard, it won’t take very long for your home to start to lose some of its curb appeal. If you don’t take the time to maintain your lawn your lawn will regrow very quickly and start to resemble its wild, unmaintained state.

Having an unruly landscape will start to have a very detrimental impact on the appearance of your home. In this post we’re going to look at five simple ways you can improve the curb appeal of your home and start to restore a bit of order to your property.

1. Take time to clean up all leaves and debris

Even if you took the time to landscape your yard during the fall, the wintertime is usually pretty harsh on your lawn and landscape. A lot of times if your neighbors didn’t take the time to keep up their yards, a lot of their leaves and debris could actually end up in your yard.

Come springtime you’re going to have a little cleanup work to do regardless. Starting with basic leave and debris pickup is a great place to start, so you can envision other projects to come.

2. Trim all shrubs

Shrubbery grows naturally over time and will start to resume its natural shape over a couple of months. This means that after the winter is over you’re going to need to trim back any shrubs or bushes that have gotten out of control and lost their refined lines.

Most landscape arrangements are made to look uniform; even though it’s not the same shape the plants will have in the wild. The plants and shrubs do look better when they’re being displayed next to your home.

Some shrubs actually grow at different rates than others, so you can do research before hand to make sure that your shrubs grow relatively at the same rate and you’ll find yourself doing less trimming.

3. Make sure you have cleanly defined lines

Having clean lines between your trees and lawn will help you lawn seem more elegant and completely under control. Having crisp beds between your lawn and you turf can be done by layering the mulch until a clean line is formed.

The color of the mulch you decide to use will influence the feeling your lawn gives off, as dark colored mulch is more subtle and relaxing, while light colored mulch is warmer and more vibrant.

4. Employ the use of color

Color can be a very powerful tool if used wisely. When planting flowers in your garden make sure you choose your flowers based upon color, but also the time of season they’re in bloom. You’d hate to have a garden where only half the plants are in bloom at a given time.

When you’re thinking about color combinations it’s also important that you take the color of your home into the equation. You want everything that can be seen from the curb to be complimentary.

5. Use fertilizers and other nutrients

By using a good amount of fertilizer you’ll be able to bring your lawn up to a beautiful vibrant green. By providing your lawn and garden with the right nutrients you’ll allow it to be healthy and fully blossom. Sometimes, the simple addition of a fertilizer can restore your lawn to its original luster and allow it to be the envy of all your neighbors.

Overall, landscape improvements that will increase your curb appeal don’t have to be difficult. However, if you don’t want to make these improvements yourself it can be wise to hire a landscape professional to transform your lawn and garden.

The Top Benefits Of Landscape Lighting

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If done right landscape lighting can be extremely beneficial for your home in many ways. Plants are often the main focus when it comes to landscaping, however, landscape lighting can help to beautify your home as well as make it safer.

The style of lighting you choose depends upon the rest of your backyard setup. For instance, there are solar lighting setups, wall-mounted lights, and much more. By understanding the benefits of a landscape lighting setup you’ll be able to choose the best lights for your needs.

Improved Appearance

One of the most obvious enhancements that lighting brings to you home is an improved appearance. Increased lighting will help to showcase you beautiful landscape even after the dark sets in. Lighting will increase your ability to showcase your favorite favorite whether it’s night or dark.

Landscape lighting can also help to make more elegant elements of your home stand out as well. As another bonus landscape lighting can even increase the curb appeal of your home, as it will look more inviting during the night.

Making Your Landscape More Functional

No longer do you have to go inside once the fun sets. Outdoor landscape lighting will allow you to use the spaces where you have outdoor lighting well after dark. You could even have something as simple as floodlights attached to your outdoor patio.

Imagine hosting late night parties and summer BBQs once the sun sets. This will not only make your home more appealing, but it just might make you fall in love with your home a little bit more.

Increasing Your Homes Security

When the outside of your home is illuminated it makes it less likely for your home to be a target of a burglary. Someone who’s thinking about breaking into your home will have fewer hiding spots to approach your home, if your exterior is well lit. If you’re placing lights throughout your outdoor landscape for the primary motivation of making your home safer, make sure you light all of the darkest points of your home’s exterior.

Adding A Greater Sense Of Personal Safety

Exteriors of your home can be potentially dangerous places. For instance, there are all kinds of hazards like pools, landscape features, gardens, and tripping hazards. To help your guests, family, or even yourself safely get to your home in the night you should consider installing landscape lights.

When you’re planning your landscape lightning setup consider installing lights that will illuminate your porch, all walkways your driveway and even the numbers of your home for people trying to find your address.

I hope you’ve found this article helpful and have a greater understanding of the benefits a lighting setup can bring to the rest of your landscape. Often, a landscape professional will be able to give you a good recommendation.

How To Prep Your Yard For The Fast Approaching Winter

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For many of us fall is already here, however, before the transition continues into winter there are a few things you can do to ensure your yard is protected. You’re probably not depending much time thinking about your lawn, but with cooler temperatures and the occasional wetter weather the fall can be a very great time to prep your yard for next spring.

In this article we’re going to take a look at the steps you’ll need to take to ensure your yard remains in tip top shape come springtime.

Keep On Mowing

You should continue to mow and water your lawn throughout the fall. As the fall draws to a close and winter begins you should lower the blade on the mower to the lower setting. Then, run one or two cuts on the lawn.

This will help to ensure the grass gets enough sunlight before the winter begins.

Consider Aerating The Soil

Aerating your lawn is a great decision. Aeration can help oxygen, water and any fertilizer reach the roots of your lawn. You can purchase an aerator fairly cheaply, however, if you have a very large yard, or don’t feel like doing it yourself you should consider hiring a professional.

Rake The Leaves

Raking all of the leaves off your yard doesn’t sound like a fun weekend activity in anyone’s book, however if you want to have a healthy lawn, then it’s a step you don’t want to miss.

Make sure you rake the leaves as soon as they fall. If you wait too long the leaves will morph into an almost impenetrable wall of matter. This can turn your lawn into a breeding ground for disease.

Fertilize For The Future

If you’re going to fertilize your lawn at any point make sure you fertilize during the fall. During the fall the grass leaves slow their growth, but the roots still continue to grow at a steady rate.

As a result, applying fertilizer in the fall will go straight to the roots and help to lie a solid foundation come spring.

Fix Bald Spots

The fall is a perfect time to fill in any of the gaps or holes in your lawn. The easiest way to do this is with a  lawn repair mixture. You can find this at most gardening and home repair stores. Of course, if you don’t want to handle this on your own you can always outsource the task to a lawn care professional.

Utilize The Power Of Weed Control

If annoying weeds such as dandelions have taken over your home it’s time to fight back. During the fall weeds are in an energy absorbing mode, like most plants. This means that if you apply a ween killing agent during the fall your lawn will be weed free come spring.

I hope this article has been helpful and you have a better understanding of what you’ll need to do in order to prep your lawn for winter, and ensure it remains healthy until spring.

5 Crucial Signs Your Yard Needs Landscaping

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5 Crucial Signs Your Yard Needs Landscaping

Face it, everyone loves to have a beautiful lawn. Even if you’re the type of person who takes a minimalist approach to landscaping there’s still seasonal maintenance work that needs to be done. The changing seasons also bring with them a host of new landscaping challenges.

In this article we’re going to explore the elements you’ll want to keep an eye out for. When your landscape checks one or more of the following elements off the list it may be time to call a landscaping professional. Often, it can be hard to tell if your lawn is in need of a serious makeover, or can be fixed with a few simple tweaks.

1. You Know Your Landscape Is Ugly

Now ugly might be a strong word, however sometimes it’s the only word we can use when describing our yards. When it reaches this point you know in your heart that it’s time to call a landscaper.

Some yards simply are more unruly than others, however the characteristics below usually suggest a yard that could use a little work.

  • Overgrown onto pathways
  • Weeds everywhere
  • A lack of plant symmetry
  • Dead and/or dying plants
  • A lack of general well-being when present in your yard

It’s more of an experiential question, but the way you feel standing in your yard can be a big indicator of the work that needs to be done. If you feel overwhelmed and stressed when standing in your yard it could be in need of a fix.

2. You Haven’t Taken Care Of Your Yard For Years

If you’ve been neglecting your yard for years, or even multiple seasons it could use a little love and care. The seasons can be tough on your yard, even if you have local landscaping. Often, your plants can be in need of pruning, or your lawn could use a little spruce up.

If it’s been a while since you’ve put your own hands in the soil, or hired a professional then make this year the year you nurture your lawn back to health.

3. You Have Pots Scattered All Over Your Deck

If you’re trying to bring color into your dead landscape by stuffing your deck with endless amounts of potted plants, just know there is a better way. Sure, your lawn, patio and deck will be more colorful, but will it actually be more beautiful?

A landscaper can help to refresh your outdated pots and plants, or even give you recommendations of plants that will better suit your home. Sometimes, this can even be subtle things like picking out a plant that will compliment the color scheme of your home.

4. Your Yard Is Simply An Extended Storage Space

Some people spend endless hours arranging their homes and making sure every element is in place and makes sense. However, this amount of attention to detail doesn’t always extend into the front or back landscapes.

Your front yard can be a whole lot more than a patch of brownish-green grass. Having a complete and beautiful yard will also give people a sense of beauty and appreciation before they even set foot in your home.

5. Too Much Of The Same

If you’ve done any of your own landscaping there’s a good chance you drew inspiration from your neighbors yards. There’s nothing wrong with this, however there is such a thing as having too much of the same. From a financial standpoint it can actually decrease the curb appeal of your home if your landscape is too similar to your neighbor’s.

I hope you’ve found this article valuable and have a deeper understanding of how to keep track of your lawn, and ensure it’s always in good health.

Water Conservation and Landscape Gardening in Florida

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Water is arguably one of the world’s most finite resources. While water can be efficiently accumulated, stored, and recycled through the use of numerous technologies, the dramatic increase in the world’s population and the impact of climate change among other factors have made water a scarce resource in many countries. Thus, the supply of water needs to be rationally distributed among its users in society, which include agriculture, industry, recreation, and the general public. Governments have evolved effective systems and infrastructures to scientifically and effectively monitor water supply and consumption. These institutions today actively campaign and propagate water-wise technologies towards the popularization of water conservation practices (www.saveourH2O.org ).

Florida, a Showcase for Water Conservation

The State of Florida’s water conservation program or “waterwise” is moored in the existence of complex demographic and resource-based realities. The state’s increasing population of 17.9 million (as of 2005) the fourth largest in the United States, the volume of 86 million tourist visitors reported by Orlando Business Journal in 2006, the largest production of citrus in the country and one of the largest net farm incomes (www.pubs.usgs.gov/fs) are imperatives for the efficient management of its water resources.

While sources of water abound in the state from rivers, streams, wetlands, freshwater lakes, springs and other underlying aquifers, saline sources and recycling augment the supply of this resource (www.pubs.usgs.gov/fs). Water withdrawal statistics show that drinking water   and power generation account for larger quantities of water consumption (www.pubs.usgs.gov/fs ). In fact, the use of water is classified officially into different categories:  “the public supply, domestic self-supplied, commercial-industrial-mining self-supplied, agricultural irrigation, recreational irrigation, and power generation (www.pubs.usgs.gov/fs )”

Use of water for landscaping falls within the category of water used for recreational purposes which includes water used to maintain golf courses, turfs, and lawns for aesthetic and recreational purposes (www.usgs.gov/fs). Water used for recreational irrigation comes from ground water, surface water, and reclaimed water (www.usgs.gov/fs). One variable that strategically determines the volume of water consumed by this category is the increase of golf acreage (www.usgs.gov/fs).

The Use of Water for Landscaping in Florida

Waterwise as a resource conservation measure does not focus on water alone but also on environmental conservation through the choice of the appropriate site for the location of specific plants thus minimizing the use of inputs like fertilizers, pesticides and water (www.saveourH2O.org; www.sjrwmd.com ). These water wise search tools are found in websites which guide choices for plants germane to Florida or Florida-friendly vis-à-vis their ideal sites and location (www.sjrwmd.com) . Florida’s water management infrastructure divides the state into districts which monitor and supervise and manage water supply and consumption (www.sjrwmd.com; www.pubs.usgs.gov/fs).  In these districts, conservation measures are strictly applied and practiced to ensure the availability of a steady supply to cover people’s water needs. Florida, in fact, has the Florida Water Star Program and websites designed to guide landscaping and minimize water irrigation for landscaping purposes (www.sjrwmd.com). These landscaping websites address homeowners, professionals, communities, property managers and their concerns (www.sjrwmd.com ).

Research on water use, the weather, topography and botany is extensive in Florida with the cooperation of the science departments of Florida’s universities, various environmental and conservation organizations, the water management districts, and the counterpart government institutions. The shared awareness among these sectors that Florida’s weather ranges from extreme dry to wet with periodic exposure to strong winds and hurricanes has guided the identification of sturdy plants that can withstand these climactic changes (www.sjrwmd.com) . Furthermore, zoning the landscapes into natural, drought-tolerant, and oasis (www.sjrwmd.com) provides guidance for the public interested in helping maintain the lush greenery of the state by choosing the right specie of plant to use and minimize unnecessary use of water. The landscaping practices guided by popularized results of scientific research in Florida and in many other states ensure lush plant growth with the minimum use of water and inputs like fertilizers and pesticides which might pollute the water systems and the environment.

Technologies of Water use and Conservation

Concern for the minimum possible utilization of water has also inspired numerous inventions that scientifically manage water use particularly for landscaping purposes. At the core of these water wisdom systems is a set of watering guidelines for landscapes which takes into account the seasons of the year, the intervals of watering, the types of plants within the landscape (ie. trees, shrubs,  groundcovers and vines, cacti and succulents, annuals, warm season grass, and cool  season grass), and quantities of water required for growth and maintenance (www.wateruseitwisely.com) .

One technology that is effectively used by commercial plant growers and nurseries is drip irrigation which slowly waters plants at a level that maintains their moisture level. This done through the use customized regulated emitters located near the roots of plants (www.saveourH2O.com). Another gadget is the smart controller, a weather-sensitive mechanism that is programmed to control the output of water sprinklers in landscaped areas depending on climatic changes.

These technologies complement the research-based applications that ensure the effectiveness of water conservation practices for landscapes and recreation facilities in Florida and in other areas in the United States.

References

Water-Wise Landscaping Basics (n.d.) Available from: http: //www.saveourH2O.org (Accessed on 11 August 2014)

Landscape Watering by the Numbers (n.d.) Available from: http://wateruseitwisely.com (Accessed on 11 August 2014)

Marella, Richard L.  Water Use in Florida 2005and Trends 1950-2005 (n.d.) Available from: http://pubs.usgs.gov/fs  (Accessed on 11 August2014)

Waterwise landscaping helps save water resources (n.d.) Available from: http://sjrwmd.com  (Accessed on 11 August 2014)

Landscape Lighting For Orlando, Florida – Step-By-Step Guide

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If you’re looking for a brief and to the point guide for installing additional landscape lighting in Orlando, Florida, this simple, step-by-step instruction will get you going in the right direction:

Determine The Why’s And Make A Sketch

Before you draw out your wallet and invest in any landscape lighting for your Orlando home, determine first why you want extra illumination for your outdoor area. Is it to create a laidback, romantic mood at nigt? Maybe there are harsh blindspots and shadows in your bench or garden? Perhaps you have several outdoor features you want to highlight?

Whatever the reasons, you want to create a sketch of your yard. This sketch should include your exisiting lighting fixtures; outdoor features like benches, fountain, etc; trees, shrubs, and everything else in between. This sketch should help you in the next step.

Where Should You Install The Fixtures?

After you’ve defined your reasons for additional lighting and made a sketch of your yard, you should match the fixtures’ instllation location with your purpose. Do you want to light up the bench sitting on the side of your pathway? Place a lamp behind it. Do you want to evoke that relaxed mood? Place landscape lighting under your shrubs. Want to eliminate harsh shadows in your pathways and create that feeling of security? You may need a series of short stake lights installed along the border.

Decide On How Much Time And Money You’re Willing To Spend

Not all lighting fixtures are created equal.

Take 120-volt lighting fixtures as an example. These usually require the greatest installation effort. For starters, their wiring has to be buried at a depth 18 inches or kept enclosed to protect it from water. In Orlando, Florida, you’d need the services of a licensed electrician to get this installation job done, which is an added expense you must consider.

On the other hand, there are low-voltage landscape lighting options that only need a receptable and transformer to work. The latter converts the 120v of electricity from the line to 12v to power the lights.

If you want to keep your time and money investment at a minimum, go for solar lighting. Solar-powered outdoor lighting fixtures have no cords and are the easiest to install. You can position it in such a way that the PV cells get enough sunlight during the day so it can light up your landscape at night.

Install The Lighting Fixtures

If you want to highlight several attractions or spots in your home’s landscape (ex.: statue, fountain, etc), you should go for just a few low-intensity lighting fixtures, and install them at various angles and distances. Don’t make the mistake of directly lighting the object as that will create shadows.

Aside from lighting up certain highlights in your outdoor setting, landscape lights can also create soft spot of lights that can gently illuminate your pathways. To add that ‘lit by the moonlight’ mood, go for blue-tinted lights for your outdoor or garden landscape.

Landscape Design: Nature Meets Art In Orlando

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From just a few carefully selected planters to a major architectural overhaul, landscape design can drastically alter the aesthetic and ambience of any outdoor space. Be it a private garden or commercial space, the right design can achieve anything from deeper relaxation to increased productivity and even improved health. In Orlando, Florida, we’re lucky enough to experience year-round warm temperatures and, on average, spend much more time outside than residents of many other US states. As a result, landscape design is often considered to be of even greater importance to us Sunshine State-dwellers. Here’s how you can put some of the principles of great design to work in your outdoor space.

What Is Landscape Design?

In general, the field of landscape design spans a number of areas but is primarily concerned with the layout and structure of outdoor spaces. These spaces can be gardens, city parks, courtyards, outdoor seating areas, public walkways and hotels. The visual impact of landscape designs are usually given preference, but the discipline is far more scientific than many people realize; a very detailed understanding of horticulture, engineering, climates, geography and topography are required in order to be an expert in the field. A competent designer or design team will be equipped to create structures that are simultaneously functional, visually attractive and fit for purpose.

Florida-Friendly Design

Creating a beautiful garden or open space in Florida might seem like a job for any international landscape designer; in reality, there are many special considerations to understand when designing for a specific location. Florida, for example, is known for its low rainfall. While that is one of the state’s more attractive qualities, plants are not so impressed with the lack of frequent rainwater. As a result, designers will use plants that are tolerant to low water environments, or fit an efficient and cost-effective irrigation system to accommodate different plants. Similarly, coastal areas will require plants that can withstand salt and higher wind levels. The natural soil type in your area will dictate the types of plants that can thrive without extensive intervention. An experienced landscape designer will take soil samples to determine its quality and suitability before finalizing a planting scheme.

Low-Maintenance Landscaping

Creating a stunning outdoor space is only part of the concern for a landscape designer; the rest of the job is focused on maintenance. Most of the homeowners, business owners and local governments that use landscape designers prefer to have an end result that can be easily maintained without expensive routine work or highly skilled procedures. Simple principles can help to keep gardens hassle-free. For example, plants are generally crowded tightly together to stop weeds growing in gaps. Trees that have smaller leaves (like Florida favorites the Marlberry and Groundsel Trees) don’t require frequent raking in the fall. Similarly, slow-growing varieties like the Paurotis Palm and Scrub Palmetto, often seen in Orlando, can be dispersed between faster-growing species such as Honeysuckle and American Wisteria.

More Than Just Plants

Modern landscape design is not just about planting. Designers must now fuse together different building materials, like wood and cast iron, with ground coverings such as decking or paving slabs. Many designs will also feature running water which, if fitted correctly, will recycle its water supply and negate the need for an expensive water bill. Extra features like bird tables and statues can add further focal points and functionality. Outdoor seating is also fundamental to good design and must be carefully placed in relation to the movement of the sun and surrounding plants or features. For example, a seating area intended for lunchtime use will work best when placed under larger trees (for shade) and aromatic plants that will be in flower during the peak season. The viewpoint from outdoor seating areas is also important to landscape designers, giving garden users the best aspect from which to enjoy the design.

Whether you plan to hire a professional or take on your own project, learning the basic principles of good Florida landscape design is essential in order to create a functional, attractive and evolving outdoor space.