Do you have particular local problems and confusion at nurseries and home improvement stores? I can help you.
Planning a design for your home’s landscape can be a daunting task with our sub-tropical Florida climate. Which plants need full sun? Which need shade? Most landscape books do not address the unique needs and conditions of West Central Florida, like high heat and humidity. What may grow well in St. Petersburg will freeze in Brooksville.
Some important things to keep in mind.
- To provide a more natural look, curve the planting beds and stagger the heights of some of the plantings.
- A mix of plant materials at the foundation creates interest.
- Use color to draw your attention to areas you seek to emphasize.
- Camouflage unsightly areas with a climbing vine or trellis.
- Repeat colors and plants from one area to another for unity and conformity.
- Make a pathway special by using stone or pavers in a curvilinear fashion.
- Create visual impact by adding a water feature, garden sculpture, or colorful potted plants.
- When planting a hedge or plants in front of a window, consider the window height to avoid constant trimming.
- Stand inside your house looking out the window to visualize a focal point outside.
- Consider the mature height and canopy of big trees. Plant potentially large trees a distance away from the house, garage, or driveway to avoid root or branching problems. A basic formula is to divide the mature height by 2 to get the measured planting distance.
- For a noise and/or a privacy screen of trees or shrubs, do not plant in a line. A staggered line will offer more density.
- In general, plants that are variegated (different colored leaves or with a pattern) are more interesting. After planting, is the most critical period for the establishment for your new plants. Water frequently to reduce plant stress and establish a strong, extensive root system. Water your new plants daily for the first couple of weeks, and then two or three times a week for the first 60 days.
- The maintenance of new and young plants usually involves the application of balanced fertilizer three times a year — March or April, June or July, and September or October.