7 Ways to Love Your Landscape
1) Invest in Design
Choose a team with expertise in space planning, plants, and construction. All of these skills are important for a successful project. A beautiful and practical landscape increases the value of your property and shouldn’t be left in the hands of the yard guy.
2) Eat, Play, Relax
There is a reason that you live in South Florida rather than South Dakota. What features would allow you to spend time enjoying your garden. Pools, Outdoor dining, cooking, entertaining and relaxing areas help you spend more time outdoors. Include a mix of play areas, patios, areas shaded by trees or trellises, sunny areas, and privacy hedgerows.
3) Go Native
Our climate is perfect for growing hundreds of plants from North America and the Caribbean. With so many beautiful plants evolved to thrive here, there is no need to landscape with plants that are kept on life support with chemicals and irrigation. The key is choosing a designer who knows native plants and will spend the time to select the right plants for your yard.
4) Change is good
A successful landscape is a growing and ever-changing place. The smells, colors and sounds of your garden should be different throughout the year. If your plants are constantly trimmed your garden will lack the flowers, and fruits that mark the seasons and bring birds and butterflies to your yard. If a plant needs to be constantly trimmed to keep it in its place it is not the right plant.
5) Make it produce
Your yard can provide food for you and for birds and butterflies. Many fruit trees are highly productive and exceptionally easy to grow in South Florida. An herb or vegetable garden is easily incorporated in most landscapes. Your privacy hedge or flowerbeds can provide berries, nectar and nesting opportunities for bluejays and butterflies. Every garden is more interesting when it is full of life!
6) Diversify your investment
When a single plant is used extensively it is vulnerable (think Ficus hedges and white flies). Using many species and forms of plants helps maintain a natural balance where birds and beneficial insects play their role. Spraying poison in a residential landscape simply is not an option.
7) Get references
Get references from the people that have used your designer & contractor. Websites like www.guildquality.com or www.houzz.com can be great sources for verified reviews of a companies work. Spending this time making sure they check out and their clients are happy with their past performance will save you a lot of grief down the road.