Florida Landscapes Look Less Crammed with Simple Groupings

Florida landscapes pop with begonias and coconut palms
Simple design goes a long way, as shown in this stunning waterfront property graced with begonias and coconut palms. Designed by Venice-based ArtisTree Landscape.

Florida landscapes look better less crammed, and that’s putting it mildly if you listen to ArtisTree Landscape Designer Clinton Lak.

“Florida newcomers enamored with our tropical plantings often want to throw in a bit of everything to create a lush natural look,” says Lak. “Months later they’re looking at a jungle casserole that doesn’t have a bit of taste to it. You can’t just stir everything together and assume it will turn out right.”

Mixing it up isn’t always the best solution.

Lak is referring to understory plants placed under palms and other large tree species. He remembers one Sarasota client who thought more was less. “She wanted a couple of flax lilies, a dwarf bougainvillea, some white fountain grass and a plumbago shrub all planted under foxtail palm,” said Lak. Instead, they agreed to encircle her palm with stunning Petite Ixora in a breathtaking coral shade.

“She was thrilled with the vibrant color and the simplicity of design,” Lak remembers. “It was also very easy to maintain since we weren’t mixing plants with different water requirements.”

To avoid a scattered look of “onsies-twosies,” Lak recommends larger groupings that make strong statements. For instance, imagine a frothy mass of Confedrate Jasmine spilling over boulders under a large ligustrum. Or how about a ring of sunny dwarf firebush to invite butterflies under your Caranday palm? Even a landscape that focuses on just one or two color palettes has unique potential versus a hodgepodge of shades. Above all, remember to narrow down your selections and keep it simple.

ArtisTree Landscape Design areca palms
Xanadu philodendron fringe massive Areca palms for a sleek and simple artistic look.

Need assistance with creating a look you’ll love? ArtisTree has been bringing Florida landscapes to life in Sarasota, Manatee and Charlotte counties since 1990. Choose the landscaper that luxury builders use by calling Jenni Lassen at 941.488.8897. Or visit artistree.com. For community-wide HOA landscape maintenance services, contact Michael Casper and we’ll get your proposal started. 

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