by John Lay, General Manager, Landscape Design

A great landscape design should be a personal experience that excites your senses in unexpected ways. So think outside the bag of mulch and decide on a design that makes you instantly feel good every time you step outside. Wish your landscape looked more like the tropical destinations you visit every year? Miss your northern digs and yearn for evergreens? These are important considerations, and if your landscape designer dismisses them at your initial consultation, find another.

Then insist on the right plant at the right place. Behind every color and style preference — and literally under every leaf — is science whispering in our ears. For instance:

– If a plant or tree is placed in the wrong location in relation to the sun, the resulting stress can cause all kinds of problems leading to pests, disease and death.

– Poor choices in growth characteristics can also be a problem. If you’ve requested a low-maintenance landscape, and fast-growing shrubs are installed, be ready to deal with unpleasant labor and cost issues.

– Soil conditions, drought tolerance, Florida native and fertility requirements are also crucial factors to consider when selecting trees and plants for your yard.

So get creative. Pick your landscape designer carefully. Most of all, talk art AND science.