There is truly nothing quite as pleasing as a beautifully landscaped house. Choosing to landscape your yard is a great decision and adds value to your home. However, landscaping in Central Florida presents its own unique challenges. You might be asking yourself some of the following questions:
- How does the climate and weather in Florida affect my yard?
- What will grow here in Central Florida?
- What plants are budget friendly?
- Where do I even begin?
Natural green thumb or not, you can create a front yard in Central Florida that is both beautiful and sustainable. Here is a list of ideas to get you started.
How Climate and Weather Affect your Florida Landscaping
Central Florida is known for its tropical climate. Florida’s weather is always changing. There is a distinct rainy season (Summer), hurricane season (Summer and Fall) and a distinct dry season (Winter and Spring). It can be extremely dry and hot one day and the next, rainy with a chance of humidity. Except for a few months in Winter, it is usually humid. So, it is crucial to build a strong foundation with plants that thrive in a humid subtropical climate.
Soil in the Central Florida Yard
Central Florida is unique in that it is very sandy compared to other parts of Florida. The sand here has its own name: Myakka. It is very poor at holding water and nutrients. You will need to enrich the soil around your house. Soil amendments will provide the organic, nutrient-filled materials that will help your garden grow. Compost is a great choice. It is essentially decaying plant or animal matter that acts as a soil fertilizer. It can be layered with mulch to prevent the growth of weeds. Speaking of mulch…pine straw works really well as a mulch in Central Florida.
Florida Trees, Plants and Shrubs: What to buy
Budget-friendly landscaping options should always include perennials. Perennials are plants that flourish long-term. Florida native perennials that are good for the residential landscaper include the Florida boxwood shrub, yellow elder flower, silver buttonwood hedge, firebush shrub, Dwarf Podocarpus, bay cedar shrub, and the Live Oak tree. These are all affordable plants that would thrive in the Florida sun.
Other affordable plants that are extremely hardy and perfect for the Central Florida weather include Rosemary, Loropetalum, and an Indian Hawthorne shrub. The Indian Hawthorne is a very popular shrub for the Florida landscaper that requires little to no gardening experience. These plants are very low maintenance and can be planted anywhere in your yard. Flowers that will last in the hot Florida sun include: Pentas, Coreopsis, Bush Daisy, Mexican Heather, and Hibiscus. These flowers are fantastic additions for your front yard because of their vibrant color and low cost. Again, visit your local garden center to see what they have on hand.
Low Care, Low Cost Front Yard Design
You may be struggling to decide whether you want low care plants that are cost-friendly or beautiful flowers that flourish in the Florida heat. You can have both.
Go Grass Free: The first way to minimize expenses for your landscaping, is to go grass free. Although the thought of having artificial grass seems a bit out of the norm there are many pros to turf installation. Artificial turf is basically a surface of synthetic fibers that look like natural grass. The many pros of this include:
- low-cost overtime
- no need for fertilizer or mowing equipment
- environmentally friendly.
However, if synthetic grass is not your taste there are other options.
Rocks: Another great way to landscape your yard is with rocks. Rocks are inexpensive and require no maintenance. They make great beds for flowers and add definition to your front yard.
Entrance Path and Driveway Design: Another simple and easy way to bring your front yard alive could be with a flower-lined path to your focus point: The Front Door. When visitors enter your front yard, you want it to feel inviting. What better way than to install a pathway. Line the pathway to your house with mulch, shrubs and bushes. Add flowers or seasonal annuals from your nearby garden center for some pop of color. Additionally, another great idea is to line your driveway with mulch and colorful foliage plants like Crotons. This is a wonderful option because it is budget-friendly and a fan favorite in Florida. Crotons are easy-care and feature a variety of colors like red, gold, orange, and green.
Small Yard Design
One of the best ways to design a small yard is to omit the lawn entirely. No more lawn mowing. This can be done through landscaping flower beds. Flower beds add great texture and depth to your front yard. They are also great for reducing surface area. The issue for many front yards, is the constant need for upkeep and maintenance. By making the decision to garden a large part of your yard, you are saving yourself money and upkeep down the line. Using the space in your yard to fill with beautiful plants and flowers will have your lawn mower thanking you for giving it a break! Flower beds will transform your front yard from being an ordinary plot of green land to a land full of color. That’s why it’s very important to pick the right plants that would work for your yard. Some flowers that will flourish in Central Florida include: Lantanas, Tickseed, Petunia, Buttercup, and Blue Daze. These are great flowers to choose from because of their hardiness and ability to bloom year round. They are also very durable and Florida-friendly.
Keep it Simple, Keep it Easy
Simple, easy landscaping designed to enhance your Central Florida yard should be just that…simple and easy! First, amend the sandy soil. Consider synthetic grass. It will save you loads of money, and it is both low maintenance and eco-friendly. Choose Native trees, plants, and shrubs that are ideal for the climate. Your plants stay alive longer and flourish year-round. Use locally grown plants. Buying local not only supports your local business neighbor, it is budget-friendly. And, because the plants are already acclimated to the area, they will more likely thrive in your yard.
Aventura Nursery is your local go-to garden center for the perfect trees and plants for your Hernando County home. Call us at 352-799-3200 for more information. And don’t forget to Follow our Pinterest where we post our latest specials and garden projects to try at home.