Why ArtisTree landscape design projects are like reality TV cooking shows.

Like chefs on reality TV, ArtisTree designers are restricted by what plants they can use.

If you’ve watched TV cooking competitions, you know that some shows require chefs to prepare meals based on ingredients provided to them (think sweet and sour gummies, pork and purple spinach). Similarly, ArtisTree landscape designers must often work within certain restrictions dictated to them by HOA requirements, customers and nature. Just like TV chefs, the design process is exhilarating but not without its challenges.

Challenge #1: When an HOA requires trees that a homeowner doesn’t want

ArtisTree Landscape Designer Brian Clouser explains. “It’s tough when a homeowner has strong preferences that don’t line up with community requirements because of a restrictive neighborhood plant palette,” he said. “But it’s great when we’re able to find the missing piece for a challenging design that makes the plan come together.”

Clouser recalls a time when a homeowner wanted all tropical plants and palms. “They said they didn’t want anything similar to what they had at their previous home up north. The community and county required some hardwood trees to get approval on the design.  We were looking through the list of approved plants and they saw ‘blueberry.’ I didn’t think they would go for it because it has a northern look, but when I showed them photos, they liked it.  We were able to make a couple of other changes after this that made the plan conform to community requirements while still keeping a very tropical feel to their landscape.”

Challenge #2: How to make 360 shrubs and 15 trees work in a minimalist design

ArtisTree Designer Clinton Lak had a client who wanted a “less-than-more” landscape for a contemporary home they were building. But community guidelines required they plant 360-plus shrubs and 15 trees. “This was issue since the property only had about 7,000 sq. ft. of impervious land,” said Lak. “But knowing that the homeowners needed to install a community-approved landscape prior to obtaining a certificate of occupancy, I was up for the challenge.”

Lak selected compact specimens along with certain varieties not generally thought of as shrubs but technically are. Self-grooming foxtail and bottle palms met palm requirements. Compact Eagleston Holly and Ligustrum trees provided screening. Shady Lady Black Olive trees framed the structure. Podocarpus Maki grounded the foundation. Stokes Holly and Green Island Ficus bordered the driveway and walkways, even defining planting beds. Blue Daze provided low-sculpted color impact. Most important, topiary plants, agave and screw pines were used to drive home a clean, structured architectural look that married the home and garden.

Clouser and Lak agree that constraints can make the design process easier by specifying what can and can’t be used. They also stimulate creative thinking. But clients can get frustrated when the list of restrictions is long:

  • Community/HOA requirements and restrictions
  • Client preferences (color, textures, lifestyle)
  • Temperature zones
  • Water source (well, potable, reclaimed)
  • Local wildlife (deer, rabbits, etc. damaging plants)
  • Local climate affecting wind patterns or soil type (beachfront, inland or way inland)

Bottom line: For a dinner entrée to be made of gummies, pork and spinach is a remarkable achievement. And so is a landscape renovation created to meet all project demands. It’s a challenge that ArtisTree meets best when there’s a mutual understanding of what’s possible and what’s not.

Contact ArtisTree Landscape Maintenance & Design.

Ready to get your dream landscape off the ground? We encourage you to complete ArtisTree’s landscape design questionnaire and then give us a call at 941.488.8897, ext. 312, to meet with one of our award-winning landscape designers. ArtisTree proudly serves Sarasota, Manatee and Charlotte counties.

ArtisTree Landscape

ArtisTree also provides landscape maintenance services for HOA communities . Contact Michael Casper at 941.488.8897 for your proposal. Our services include irrigation/water management, turf/ornamental maintenance, mulching and seasonal color.  

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