Sarasota Landscapes: Right Plant, Right Place, Right Checklist

Sarasota landscape renovations don’t have to be intimidating if you have the right checklist handy. ArtisTree Landscape Designer Clinton Lak’s checklist leaves no stone unturned.

“Get the vision phase right and you’ll have a good roadmap to follow throughout your renovation.”

Clinton Lak, ArtisTree Degreed Landscape Designer

“Too often I’ve heard of homeowners having to deal with multiple surprises during the renovation process,” says Lak. “Having a structured list results is a more positive experience for all. Get the vision phase right and you’ll have a good roadmap to follow.”

ArtisTree Landscape Designer Clinton Lak incorporated boulders into his own landscape for visual impact.

Landscape Checklist:

Landscape Renovation: Vision Phase

  • What is your vision?
  • What are your objectives?
  • Timeline: When are you interested in doing the work?
  • What areas do you want renovated?
  • Will the renovation be split into phases?
  • Is there any painting, roofing or tree work that needs to take place first?  
  • Set a budget.
  • What are your ARC requirements and review processes?
  • Will mitigation be required for tree and palm removal?
  • Gather permits as needed for tree removal.
  • Research qualified landscape companies.

Items to consider before Design Phase

  • Obtain state, municipal and community tree requirements/approvals as necessary.
  • Determine time of year for project installation.
  • Will your house be occupied?
  • What is the water source for irrigation and determine salinity.
  • Do downspouts need to be connected to underground drainage system?
  • Evaluate site drainage.
  • Consider lifestyle requirements. Do you like to entertain outside? Need a play area for the kids or have pets?
  • What level of maintenance are you comfortable with?
  • Make certain someone is present 2-3 months after installation.
  • Will there be machine accessibility for installation and maintenance?
  • Determine your soil type.
  • Evaluate sunlight exposures and microclimates.
  • What are your outdoor lighting requirements?

Design Components

  • Establish color palette first.
  • Frame architecture with specimens. Be mindful that architectural style extended into a landscape better integrates house and property.
  • Design for year ’round interest.
  • Plant massing has a more powerful visual effect for Sarasota landscapes vs. using a low quantity of different varieties.
  • Group plantings with same water and sunlight requirements.
  • Select pairings that complement each other.
  • Incorporate land form to introduce dimension.
  • Include boulders to retain grades and create greater visual interest.

Color Components

  • Use contrasting foliage colors (silver with dark green, etc.).
  • Darker colors will recede into the landscape while lighter colors are more prominent.
  • Warm colors (red, yellow, orange) grab attention.
  • Cool colors (blue, purple, pink) make a space look larger.
Sarasota landscape renovations
Framing architecture with plant specimens adds instant curb appeal.

The overriding principle in the landscape world is “right plant, right place.” Add the right checklist and you’ll have an even more successful outcome for all your Sarasota landscape renovations.

ArtisTree Landscape

Contact ArtisTree 941.488.8897

Serving Sarasota, Manatee & Charlotte counties since 1990.


If you live in Sarasota, Manatee or Charlotte counties, contact Jenni Lassen at ArtisTree and let’s get your dream landscape project started. ArtisTree also provides complete landscape maintenance services for HOA communities throughout SW Florida. Contact Michael Casper at 941.488.8897 for your custom proposal.  

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