10 Landscape Ideas for your South Florida front yard
1. Mediterranean Garden
Mediterranean Garden Design
Meandering brick paths accented with juniper, topiary balls, Italian cypress and Greek statues.
2. Tropical Paradise
Tropical Landscape Design
Beautiful fuschia colored bougainvillea, foxtail palms and decorative pots atop keystone columns.
3. Gaurdian Cats
Pialeah ferns line this brick walkway along with walking iris, imperialis bromeliads and black bamboo.
4. Exotic waterfall
Exotic flowering plants like giant shrimp, congo roho and water ferns flank this gorgeous waterfall.
5. Eclectic and colorful
Look at those wild colors
Firey crotons, flaming bromeliads and cairn markers spark interest at this South Florida home.
6. Incredibly edible
Tropical bamboo and butterfly flora surround these raised bed gardens.
6. French formal with sensual curves
French formal garden
Sculpted paisley hedges of Ilex and Gold Mound, mondo grass and Japanese blueberry.
7. Bamboo garden
Baby blue bamboo with pink Belinda’s dream roses, purple ruellia and red pentas
8. Tropical joy
Joy perfume tree and black bamboo
Joy perfume tree, black bamboo, podacarpus hedge and gold mound
9. Sanctuary garden
Exotic black and blue bamboo with pinwheel jasmine, fragrant stemmadenia trees and gold mound
10. Hummingbird and butterfly haven
Beautiful butterfly garden
Orange chrysanthis, bean pole tipi, red and pink pentas
Need help organizing your landscape ideas?
We don’t always have the right ideas to beautify our properties and if we do, sometimes were not sure how to organize them. Landscape designer Brent Knoll of Knoll Landscape Design has been beautifying Miami for over 20 years. Our reviews on Houzz and Yelp reflect our commitment to good customer service and excellent quality of work. Call Brent at 3054965155 to schedule a professional one-on-one consultation and get the beautiful landscape design you’ve always wanted.
Return of the Victory Garden
The Victory Garden movement of WWI & II, and The Great Depression encouraged nearly 20 million Americans to plant fruits and vegetables in backyard gardens, empty lots, on roof tops, in neighborhood parks, and on other public land including 800 gardens in the Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. Also called war gardens, these food spaces were promoted because of necessary food rationing, to reduce strain on the short-handed labor and transport industries, and to promote patriotism and boost low public morale. The American government encouraged citizens to plant, including USDA distribution of gardening booklets and videos. Neighbors pooled resources, planted different crops, formed coops, and made it happen. The result? During WWII alone, 9,000,000 – 10,000,000 short tons of produce were grown in urban spaces, equaling then-current commercial production of fresh veggies! Good job local organic urban America!!!
victory garden woman stands with vegetable basket and hoe
As I began to read about victory gardens, I was thrilled to find the above statistics. Brent and I began talking about how the concept of The Victory Garden applies today. What has changed? What still rings true? I continued to read, and one tidbit of info stuck out like a sore thumb. Here it is… “Although at first the Department of Agriculture objected to Eleanor Roosevelt‘s institution of a victory garden on the White House grounds, fearing that such a movement would hurt the food industry…” What?! Wait a minute! Morale is soaring! People are empowered! In a matter of a couple of years, “average citizens” are producing the same amount of fresh vegetables as commercial farming! It seems like a no brainer! Why did we ever STOP doing this? Why are we where we are today when it comes to food, health, and gardening?
uncle sam in victory garden with vegetables and herbs
I have a lot of smart friends. I hear many of them talking about things like US poverty, inflation, big agriculture, big food, and big pharma buying out our politicians, the high cost of healthy food vs the low cost of junk food, and the even higher cost of healthcare and prescription drugs, and while I don’t tend to go on political rants (yuck), I do know how to connect the dots. So I’ve decided the modern Urban Victory Garden just may be the solution to a huge portion of our political, social, and environmental woes! What’d she say??!! You heard me. How?
victory garden easy edible landscapes
Just google “big ag big pharma”, and you’ll find more reading than you want on the fact that our government gives subsidies to big commodity (corn and soy) producers while withholding the same funding for fruit and veggie farmers (making unhealthy foods cheap and healthy foods expensive), allows large food corporations to pump out these cheap, high calorie/low nutrient foods with merciless advertising often aimed at children, and then also caters to the pharmeceutical and health insurance giants who happen to reap the greatest benefit from a nation in which 75% of it’s citizens are overweight (a condition linked closely to diseases like diabetes, cancer, and heart disease and CAUSED by the inferior food being sold). There it is in one sentence. Need I say more? (And please, all you grammar geeks, give me a free pass on this one!)
look at all those veggies!
And if the problem lies at the core of our political and economic system, what can we do? Plant a veggie bed, and if you have some spunk, plant one in your front yard. Why? Because it’s the very best way to not only stick it to “the man” (who is this man??), but it’s ground zero for taking the power back as well. Grow only the best, save your money, eat it fresher than ever, get your kids away from the tv and teach them the right way to eat for great health, recover from your chronic illnesses, feel the amazing “alive and enlightened” feeling of clean eating, and Go Be Well. Is it that easy to change the world? I really do think so.
We’re ready to help you “take the power back” and plant your New Urban Victory Garden. There are many ways to grow your own food. Here in Miami, South Florida, raised bed gardens are very popular as the soil is very rocky. Others want to rid themselves of the high maintenance that comes with grass by installing an edible landscape, or edible forest, a permaculture approach to landscaping. Give Landscape Designer Brent Knoll a call today at 3054965155 to help you get started growing your own food.
Join the organic gardening revolution today!!!
Brent Knoll and Sarah Reimer with the kids
A Healing Garden is more than a landscape, it is a spiritual oasis that can directly affect what we bring into our lives. Our Healing Garden is the anchor to our truth of who we are and what we want to feel. The Healing Garden is the highest guru and has the power to reshape the essence of our human experience.
As much as we enjoy socializing and spending time in community, we really need to value and honor our need for solitude and personal space. When we go out into the world we consciously and unconsciously interact with so many different energies that can alter our mood and affect our thought patterns. Sometimes, among all the various energies, we can become confused and mistake what we are feeling for the energies of others around us. This confusion is more common than we realize and if we don’t allow ourselves to take time in solitude amongst our own sacred space we can lose touch with the personal essence that brings us our peace of mind.
A Healing Garden provides an ideal energetic sanctuary for us to relax and contemplate what really matters in our lives. Within the boundaries of a Healing Garden we can sort through our thoughts and feelings while being supported by the pure nourishing energies of the living plants all around us. Those plants and their natural energies provide an energetic reference with which we can calibrate our own energy field and identify any discordant energies that we may have picked up out in the world. The more time we spend in our healing garden space, the more familiar we become with the pure energies of nature, and the more familiar we become with those pure energies of serenity and life the easier it will be for us to move towards that type of energy wherever we are.
Consider, in this context, the law of attraction. The energetic vibration that you are projecting attracts thoughts, feelings, people, and objects that match or resonate with that vibration. When we are feeling angry, tense, hopeless or depressed our vibration is very low and so we attract unproductive and unharmonious situations. When we are feeling joyful, positive, relaxed, and grateful, our vibration is very high and we attract situations that are beneficial, serendipitous and fruitful. That being said it is wisest to always keep your vibration high, but of course that is much easier said than done.
Healing garden design
No matter how much time we spend in contemplation, practicing relaxation, or in meditation we still do not have control over the vibrations and energies that are brought into our field of experience by those around us. The people that we encounter in our lives have unpredictable moods and vibrations that, despite how much we may care for them, affect the way we feel and therefore what we attract into our lives. Friends, family and strangers alike embody inconsistent and erratic energetic patterns that can make it difficult for us to remain grounded in our experience of peaceful consciousness.
On the other hand, the plants, flowers, butterflies, bees, trees and all beautiful life in our healing garden embodies a steady and reliable vibration of graceful vitality and joyful abundance. The more time we spend in that presence the more we will align our own energetic vibration with it. As we begin to identify more and more with the energy of the healing garden it becomes easier and easier to maintain that vibration out in the world. As this vibration becomes an effortless constant projection we will begin to attract circumstances into our lives that reflect the abundance, prosperity, vitality, and joy of the healing garden energies. You will invariably discover that the new people and opportunities that come into your life are also embodying this very high vibration of prosperous joy and abundance.
Healing garden design
Building a Healing Garden is, in itself, an energetic declaration of personal reformation. When you take the time and effort to build this sanctuary for yourself you are putting the universe on notice that you are ready and able to be filled with lively joy and abundance. You are taking responsibility for your self in a way that is energetically, ecologically, and economically sustainable. You are opening yourself up to a sacred healing partnership with the earth and accepting the grace and providence of nature. When you identify with the high vibration of the Healing Garden you are beginning to realize that, like the earth, you have all the power to heal, and to provide safe energetic space for yourself and others.
Landscape Designer Brent Knoll of Knoll Landscape Design specializes in Healing Garden Design. Call Brent today at 3054965155 to schedule a consultation and experience for yourself the Healing Power of the Garden.
Raised Bed Garden-The Edible Paradise
Image Courtesy M. Evelina Galang
Landscape Designer Brent Knoll of Knoll Landscape Design Miami and Easy Edible Landscapes, regularly installs raised bed gardens for his South Florida clients. Why? These raised bed gardens are a highly effective method of planting herbs, fruits and vegetables for people and families that live in an urban to suburban community.
What is a Raised Bed Garden?
Raised bed gardens offer great function and flexibility to the urban/suburban gardener in both utility and aesthetics. A raised bed garden is when you build a wooden frame and fill that frame with organic soil in which you plant your fruits, vegetables and flowers. By providing an 8-10 inch layer of rich composted soil, your fruits, vegetables, and flowers are given the healthiest start to prolific growth. Brent Knoll makes his own organic super soil, btw it’s Amazing!!! Clients are often astounded by just how much they get to harvest from their compact garden space. A fertile and well planted raised bed garden will produce great yields through every growing season which not only provides you with the most nourishing and delicious high quality produce, but it also saves a fortune in grocery bills.
What is the ideal location for a Raised Bed Garden?
The raised bed garden is ideal for urban and suburban settings such as condos, townhomes and home owners. The attractive wooden frame contains the rich soil to provide a neat and organized look in most any location. This is perfect for situations in which more traditional and intensive methods of gardening may appear intrusive to your landlord or too radical for your neighbors and HOA’s. In special situations Brent builds the raised bed frames from red cedar or other such decorative woods to provide a more glamorous garden when desired.
What can be grown in a Raised Bed Garden?
Despite what some may believe, growing in a raised bed doesn’t limit your gardening options. We may think of a raised bed garden as just an overgrown planter box for growing lettuce and herbs; however Brent Knoll of Easy Edible Landscapes has found a way to grow pretty much anything in a raised bed. He uses tipi structures to grow beans, cucumbers, and peas. Brent and his crew have even built custom trellis boxes to really maximize the vertical growing space for those happy climbers. Even tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants, are more than happy to grow in a compact raised bed kitchen garden.
Raised Bed Gardening and Compost
Although most people have come to know this method as “raised bed” gardening, there is another common term in the world of permaculture called “compost bombing”. We tend to think of this method as a way to obtain a neat and discreet gardening solution in a suburban setting, yet in the fields of horticultural sustainability and permaculture compost bombing has been developed as a way to create a fertile and root friendly planting area without tilling the soil.
The essential idea of any “no-till” gardening technique is to create a healthy layer of fertile topsoil on top of the surface of the ground. This is done to avoid the damage and disruption that takes place when we dig into the ground. If we till the ground, and essentially dig it up, we wreak havoc on the very complex micro-environment that exists in the root layer of the ground. Not only does this create an imbalance and deficiency in the soil, but every time we dig into the ground we are releasing more carbon into the atmosphere. This is just another of many examples of how aesthetics can overlap with ecological integration.
If you want a quick and easy garden that will give you an untold abundance of fresh delicious organic food all year then you want a raised bed garden. Raised bed gardens are attractive, easy to maintain and even relatively portable. Contact Edible Landscape Designer Brent Knoll for an in person consultation or go to their website http://www.easyediblelandscapes.com to order your raised bed today!!!
The Wisdom of Native Plants, South Florida and Miami
In the great scheme of nature, all living species spend many generations co-evolving with their surrounding eco-systems to become perfectly suited for their role in their environment. They not only develop the defenses and resources needed to survive, but they also develop particular traits that contribute something unique to the life around them. As an ecosystem forms and evolves, all the interwoven qualities and contributions of every organism become essential to the survival and growth of all other organisms within that shared ecosystem.
Where plants are concerned, all the plants in a particular ecosystem share common ground, quite literally. The condition and constituency of the communal soil is determined by the life processes of all the plants who share that space. In this respect, it is easy to see how the effects that one plant has on the soil, directly affects every other plant.
Most of the time when we are planting ornamental or edible plants in our garden, we choose the plant according to our aesthetic or culinary preferences. Our planting choices are rarely based upon the geographical and cultural heritage of the plant species. However, Brent Knoll of Knoll Landscape Design in Miami, wants to tell you that it certainly should be.
An ecosystem can only thrive when the resident organisms are strong healthy and mutually compatible with the environmental conditions. When a plant is a native to a particular environment it has been conditioned from its inception to fit perfectly into the system in which it was brought up. Native plants have strong relationships with not only other plants but also with local insects, bacteria, and fungi. Through the long process of evolution the plants that have become a permanent resident in their ecological community have developed the means to peacefully and beneficially coexist with their neighbors.
When a plant is taken out of their native setting they become disoriented to their surroundings. They do not fully understand the customs or even the “language” of their new environment. When plants and other organisms evolve together they use biological communication to develop a mutually beneficial relationship. They ingeniously establish a means to feed each other while preserving their own life and vitality. They also develop a multi dimensional means of communication, and through a language of taste, color, aroma, and so forth, they will relate the details of this symbiotic dance to their neighbors. When a new plant enters this system without that vital means of communication it is vulnerable and its chances of survival are greatly reduced.
In a properly functioning ecosystem, the insects, bacteria, and fungi that feed on plant matter have created an agreement with their source of nourishment that will allow both parties to thrive. For example, when an insect feeds on the tissue of a plant, it would not be in that insects best interest if their feeding process interfered with the life processes and reproductive cycle of that plant. If that plant was not able to thrive and replicate, then that insect would lose a vitally important source of nourishment and/or shelter. For this reason, the insect has learned how much of the plants tissue can be consumed before affecting the vital processes of the plant. The plant communicates with those insects through its carefully designed and multi faceted language to let them know when enough is enough and, for their own sake, the insects respect the signals.
When a foreign plant is introduces to a new environment it lacks the understanding of the new ecological dynamics. It doesn’t know how to explain its boundaries and needs to the surrounding life and will in most cases be consumed by the surrounding environment. We see this all the time in our gardening practices. Why is it that we must habitually disperse pesticides and fungicides on our domestic plants for the sake of their survival, when in nature these plants thrive on their own amongst the presence of countless more potential “threats” than in our backyards?
By introducing foreign plants to the ecological domain that we inhabit, we are interfering with the harmonious evolution that has been taking place their long before we came on the scene. When our garden is subjected to pests and dis-ease we may view the situation as interference from nature, however the more accurate conclusion is that our botanical choices are creating resistance to a force that has long been in place and functioning perfectly. When we learn to adapt ourselves to these ecological conditions and relationships our lives and gardening chores become much simpler.
When we choose native plants for our gardens and landscapes then we are bringing strength and solidarity into our backyard environments. As we begin to choose more and more native plants our soil quality will improve and we will begin to host a balanced system of beneficial organisms to help pollinate and protect our plant life.
It is not necessarily a requirement to include only native plants in our gardens especially when our aim is to grow our own food all year. However, by always consciously choosing the native option when possible we can exponentially improve the quality and compatibility of our gardens. Brent loves to plant native butterfly plants in his South Florida organic gardens, edible landscapes and ornamental landscape designs. Corky stem passion vines, firespike, milkweed, and lantana are just a few of the gorgeous native flowers that become an attractant and/or larval plant for the many beautiful native butterfly species here in the Miami area.
Even where edible plants are concerned there are native options that will always contain that inherent wisdom which will bring them vitality and you, abundance. The everglades cherry tomato plant is native tomato of South Florida. The Everglades tomato has adapted to the hot summer sun and will produce fruit even in our sweltering summers when no other tomato can take the heat.
Native plants are wise beyond any of our botanical or horticultural sciences. They possess a wisdom that, if we learn to listen, can teach us a great deal not just about plants, but about all the mysteries of life. When we use native plants we are going beyond the preservation of our soil and into the preservation of natural heritage. Planting natives is just one more way to simplify our lives and find more sustainability by stepping into the flow of nature.
Would you like to establish a natural habitat in your back yard? Knoll Landscape Design specializes in Certified Wildlife Habitats. Give Landscape Designer Brent Knoll a call today 3054965155 for a consultation or landscape design.