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Measure your health by your sympathy with morning and spring.  If there is no response in you to the awakening of Nature -- if the prospect of an early morning walk does not banish sleep, if the warble of the first bluebird does not thrill you -- know that the morning and spring of your life are past.  Thus may you feel your pulse

Hendry David Thoreau


Tropical Landscapes

click pics to enlarge

The bad news

Most visitors to South Florida marvel at our exotic plants and beautiful Atlantic Ocean seaside settings.  We agree and that's what this web site is all about; showing exciting tropical plants and flowers

Residential home and commercial landscapes are another story. Every wonderful landscape design requires proper maintenance. That is why we see few quality landscapes that endure the test of time. Sadly, most every landscape goes "down hill" fast after a few years of neglect or improper care. This is the rule, not the exception

Over the past 30 years a new environmental and landscape issue has occurred with the explosive growth of our new western cities (Broward County has the biggest problem). Tens of thousands of new homes have been built on ultra-narrow minimum sized lots, so the opportunity to design a beautiful and comfortable outdoor environment has been drastically curtailed. In most cases, it's impossible to do more than create a minimal cosmetic look

In these western suburbs, backyards are also very small, often with pools, leaving almost no space for trees, palms or other foundation plantings. Front yards are dominated by lawn grass studded with two or three 'cheap' trees or palms, most often selected to meet code requirements, or from a homeowners' association list of approved plantings

The good news

Quality landscapes should serve to enhance and promote the experience of being outdoors in South Florida. That can be the visual appeal of well-selected plantings which are maintained to improve as every year passes. Real estate people will tell you that poor landscapes are a major deterrent to home sales and finely landscaped homes sell for a hefty premium over like properties

landscaping with bromeliads, click pic

We believe residential landscapes can (should) be primarily for the enjoyment of the people who own them. Providing shade against the sun, flowers for beauty, fruit for freshness and quality, these are all good reasons to invest in a quality landscape

You might also want to read this article

1 A nice open, inviting look with palms and minimal shrubbery
2 Extremely minimal, and formal, could use more plantings, but...
3 Jungle look with water
4 Fairly dense, palms are the main theme, the wall helps divide the look
5 A big investment in rocks (expensive - sold by the pound)
with one main live oak tree and one large Senegal date cluster
6 Three trees are the foundation (one not seen far right) with minimum
lawn grass. Just a few shrub materials and a few ground covers
7 Clean look with designated beds for seasonal flowers. Foliage
shows proper fertilization and proper maintenance
8 Important trees dominate. Extensive use of quality hedge
materials using the two best,  ilex and podocarpus
9 Perhaps too green, but certainly neat with deep green foliage color
10 Extremely colorful using hundreds of impatiens in formal planned flower
beds in the cool months and summer flowers the remainder of the year
11 About as much as can be done in this small area
12 Front jungle shields the home but colorful flowers invite
13 Extra clean and neat using high value palms, color in planned beds
14 Very well maintained using palms and seasonal flowers
15 A Bismarck palm, two foxtail palms, but then nothing else adds
16 Two lonely Christmas palms, lots of lawn grass and a ficus hedge, yuck
17 Get rid of the lawn grass, add some rocks and color then these
three nice coconuts would be much happier
18 Not much space in this parking area, but a good palm choice
19 Nice foxtail palms with a baby silver Bismarck, but the hedge
and miles of lawn don't make sense. Needs color too.
20 One small space, one large cluster palm, nothing else to do
21 To mark the entrance, a healthy spindle palm says 'hello' to all
22 Nice triangle palms, but the understory is cluttered, unplanned
23 In a small front island, a single quality tree is just fine
24 Small park, but incredible dracaena draco as anchor, another look
25 Even one quality accent like this tree fern gives a big boost overall
26 Using natives like this prickly pear cactus look great & easy to maintain
27 This ginger is in the shade where it belongs with palms and flowers
28 If you have a big tree, decorate it with jungle vines and big leaf plants
29 We like this commercial landscape and xeroscape plants
30 Got shade? Want color? Plant something that works, here's how
31 Topiary is famous at Disney World. Locally, many homeowners like them too. Pics #1  #2  #3  #4  #5  #6  #7  #8  #9  #10  #11
32 The ol' "Lone Palm" look