Best landscape design options for South Florida
Choosing the best landscape design for your Miami, South Florida home can sometimes be tricky. There are many design elements and variables to sort through, so it's easy to see how you could get confused when trying to decide on the bet option for you.
You want a landscape that's not only beautiful, but fits your personal needs as well. For example, having a tree that provides great shade and fruit, like a mango or avocado tree. Perhaps you can't decide between a Mediterranean look or a tropical design. There are many design choices with numerous landscape elements to consider. Your design should flow with the architecture of your home, inside and out.
We're here to help! Brent has over 20 years of designing gardens in South Florida and has put together his top ten landscape designs for beautifying your outdoor space.
1. Mediterranean landscape design
Mediterranean gardens are best known for their casual elegance. The inspiration for these gardens comes from the coastal areas of Spain, Italy, and France. This landscape style combines relaxed materials and plants with formal accents and designs. Imagine spiral topiaries, lavender, cypress trees, and ornamentals, combined with terracotta pots, tiered fountains, Roman columns, and Greek statues. That's a pretty picture!
2. Tropical landscape design
Tropical landscapes in Miami are as slam dunk as South Florida is tropical. Imagaine a landscape full of hummingbirds and butterflies, exotic flowering bat plants whose whiskery flowers are 20 inches long, fragrant trumpet flowers perfuming the night air, and the creaking sound of bamboo as it sways in the wind.
Small waterfalls flowing into ponds filled with papyrus, lotus flowers, and koi fish. The icing on the cake is lying in a hammock between two coconut trees as you sip cold ginger tea and listen to the birds sing. That's paradise...! Tropical is the best landscape design in Miami and South Florida when it comes to lushness, rapid growth, and plant variety.
3. Edible landscape design
Edible landscaping is an infusion of herbs, fruits, and vegetable plants combined with hummingbird and butterfly flora, ornamentals, nectar plants to attract pollinators, fruit trees, and shrubs. The object of an edible landscape design is to create a beautiful, yet practical organic garden, one that provides for your basic needs of aesthetics, privacy and shade, but can be eaten from as well.
This is a great way to say goodbye to all that lawn grass and expensive upkeep by planting lots of crisp lettuce, fresh herbs, and vegetables. Your shade tree becomes a delicious mango tree. Your privacy hedge becomes a passion flowering vine on a fence, giving you fruit all year long. In my opinion, edible landscapes are a great way to become empowered about growing your own food, be sustainable, and set an example for the community.
4. Certified wildlife habitat
These gardens hold a special place in my heart, as they're all about connecting with nature. With the continued development of Metropolitan properties, more of the natural environment is removed, including the soil, to be replaced with huge homes, concrete, and small lawns. In my line of work as a landscape designer, I'm digging all day long in construction fill, bottles, concrete, and whatever else is left over from the site.
The first step for creating balance is to take care of the soil by rejuvenating it with organic material. Then we plant the prettiest of native trees, shrubs, flowering vines, butterfly and bird attracting plants, grasses, and ground covers. The result is an outdoor space full of song birds, butterflies fluttering about, frogs singing at night, and a place for all to find solace; a natural sanctuary. This is the best landscape design hands down for attracting wildlife to your Miami home.
5. Butterfly and hummingbird haven
The name says it all! The one consistent element in all my gardens are the butterflies. I can't help it, they're so much fun to be around! Always fluttering, chasing and nectaring; so tranquil and elegant. It's easy to attract butterflies in our temperate climate. In one Miami garden alone, I attracted over 30 native species. It was butterflies gone wild!
The great thing about butterfly plants is that they also bring in the hummingbirds. Plants like ruby red pentas, firebush, and firespike are great for nectaring, while corky stem passion vine, milkweed, and cassia serve as the larval plants. Combine those elements and you've got a buffet line for our little friends and entertainment for hours. The butterfly and hummingbird haven is the best landscape design for attracting these winged beauties.
6. Healing garden design
If there's a garden I'd prefer to install the most, it would be the healing garden. In our fast-paced, chaotic world, it’s easy to feel the effects of stress and become unbalanced or even ill. If you’re looking for an incredible way to bring healing and meditative calm to your space, then you’ve met your future garden. With restoration of the body, mind, and spirit at its heart, it's infused with many divine and delightful elements.
We use things like sacred geometry, scent, color, sound therapy, water features, herbal and medicinal plants, meditation and prayer niches, edibles, and various wildlife attractants among others. Imagine being greeted with the fragrance of a joy perfume tree each time you come home from work, or relaxing on a bench near a fountain listening to song birds. Butterflies always in chase; hummingbirds nectaring on native flowers. If you want a sanctuary or a place of solace, healing gardens are the best landscape design in Miami for finding balance and peace of mind.
7. Sacred sanctuary design and labyrinths
With our days typically filled with work, home life, social life, hobbies, etc., we can lose sight of the sacred. And yet this part of our life is (for many of us) the most crucial and central need we have. Imagine having a garden truly set apart as a holy place for meditation, prayer, and worship, and as a reminder of all that's divine in your life.
We encourage the use of things like sacred geometry, crystals, prayer flags, meditation benches, and other sacred symbols as templates for these designs. Wildlife attracting plants, like firebush for the butterflies and surnam cherry for the birds, will bring balance to any space, encouraging sanctuary and peace for all.
8. Raised bed gardening
Imagine having an organic marketplace in your own back yard! Raised bed gardens are the classic approach to growing herbs and vegetables, they're neatly contained and easy to work. This simple design offers everything you need to begin growing healthy herbs, fruits, and vegetables you and your family deserve.
Raised bed garden frames can be made with wood, metal, stone, or plastic. Wooden frames are built with 2-inch pine, cedar, cypress, or teak, are normally 2 to 4 feet wide, 4 to 10 feet long, and 10 inches deep. They're filled with organic soil, seasonally planted with seeds and starter plants, and fertilized organically. These little raised garden beds are the best landscape design approach for beginners to grow their own food.
9. Bamboo retreat
Adding bamboo to your landscape can be perfect for many situations. Let's say you've got a building next to your property that you'd rather not be able to see, or you don't want your neighbor to see you skinny dipping in your pool; bamboo as a privacy hedge is ideal due to its fast growing nature and non-invasiveness (we only install clumping, non-running bamboo at Knoll Landscape Design).
The bamboo retreat designs we create are lush, tropical, exotic, and elegant, each unique in presentation and impact. Imagine a small bamboo forest surrounding a clear water limestone pool with koi fish, water lilies, orchids, and flowering bromeliads – a true vacation getaway in your back yard!
10. Edible forest design
If you're tired of throwing money away for costly yard upkeep, and want to make the most of your property by growing your own food, then the edible forest is the landscape design for you. This sustainable 'green' design combines concepts like permaculture and companion planting. This self-sustaining microclimate involves the layering of plants and fruit trees according to height, sun tolerance, and growth habits, creating tiny forests that mimic nature and work in beautiful harmony to produce a constant yield of fresh, organic deliciousness!
Replace your lawn grass with crisp lettuce, fresh herbs, nutritious vegetables, and fruits. Tear out that whitefly destroyed ficus hedge and grow a super sweet surnam cherry hedge. Remove that invasive schefflera tree and plant a mango tree, surrounded by papayas and sweet potatoes. With this new style of landscaping, you'll grow enough food for your family and even have leftovers to give friends. Edible forests are the best landscape design for making the most of your organic gardening space.
Need a consultation or design?
Whether it's a Mediterranean style landscape with tiered Italian fountains, a tropical paradise with exotic orchids and waterfalls, or just showing off your prize lemon tree in your edible forest, you have many choices for landscaping your South Florida property.
Need some direction on where to start? A consultation will shed light on what style of landscape best suits your architecture. Or, have the ideas and just need a landscape design? We're ready to help you get started. Get in touch to get your property looking fantastic!