Shows like Extreme Makeover have ruined our perception of what simple Miami landscaping entails. One has grown used to the big van parking in front of the nearly destroyed home of a family in need and within three days the entire home has been transformed into a palatial estate that is actually so over the top it could easily be confused with Buckingham palace. What many don’t fully realize is that they are actually tackling very complex landscaping scenarios with the benefit of an experienced crew of 60+ people. So, how can the average Joe tackle simple Miami landscaping that still has that wow factor?
1. A Garden is a living thing
This is an important factor many landscaping beginners forget. In the wise words of John Lennon: “Life is what happens while you’re making other plans”. You can plan the landscaping, the preferred fauna and flaura of the garden and any other added extras to enhance ideas, but at the end of the day, a garden is a living organism. The flowers you least expected, might demand the most attention and trimming. Other species will simply not flourish as well as they are supposed to, even when they are in their perfect environment. And that little added design extra you were so proud of, might suddenly be your biggest regret. You have to accept that this project will be a constant experiment of what works and what doesn’t – you will need to be able to adapt to whatever nature throws your way.
2. Ever heard the joke about the man who didn’t want to ask for directions?
Well, there are a few landscaping lessons one can take from this stereotypical scenario. Firstly; do your research properly, ask the experts and be open to advice – just ensure that your sources are reliable. Don’t take on the first shortcut so-and-so recommends on social media without any reliable proof that it actually works. These shortcuts can come back to bite you in the backside and end up taking much more time than it would’ve if you had just stuck to the original and trusted plan. The end result will be sloppy and demotivating.
3. What grabs your attention
There will always be something in your garden that attracts attention immediately and draws you to it. This is what is referred to as the focal point of your garden. No design can truly be successful without incorporating the focal point, and this is a very easy principle to remember as a beginner starting out on your landscaping journey. A focal point could be anything from an impressive plant, a magnificent tree or even a series of shrubs. The ultimate goal is to draw your eye towards the focal point and then create a flow in which your eyes are forced to move throughout the landscape.
4. Keep to scale
Forget impressive designs and features unless they are kept within scale. A giant statue of cupid, surrounded by mere ground covering here and there will not make a good impression. Keeping the correct scales and space between placing in mind, you can achieve a very well pulled-together look in your yard. Another trick to a pulled-together look is to avoid being monotonous and have some variations in size, shape and colors. Tall plants against buildings or at the back of well-planned flower beds are perfect examples of the perfect pulled-together look.
5. What’s the use of having a mind if you can’t change it?
What might have been one of your favorite features yesterday may be totally revolting to you tomorrow. People change and you need to be open to that kind of mindshift. It is not a big deal if you fall out of love with one of your landscaping ideas. Just ensure that it remains relatively simple to take certain design elements out when the need arises. For instance; large landscaping features such as trees are very hard to move.
6. Geometric Patterns
By creating geometric patterns using ground cover and pavers you have tapped into some creative, inexpensive landscaping ideas with impressive results. This is also an excellent solution to covering up unused space or bare earth. To further cut back on your expenditures, you can use old recycled or broken pavers to create a kind of mosaic effect, and by planting moss between the seams you will have a beautiful contrasting combination that saves you money on both materials. Another alternative to the moss is herbs such as lemon thyme. Best part is; it doesn’t require any maintenance in order to survive.
7. Just ask
You will be surprised at how expensive some of these fauna and flora can be when purchasing them from your local nursery. But there is a simpler and less costly solution. A lot of plants can grow fairly easily by cutting a small piece of it off. If you are uncertain of which ones grow very well from clippings, get some advice from the experts.
8. Let’s get bold
The newest must-haves in Miami landscaping is alternative planters. You can easily get most of these for free. This includes things such as wine crates, barrels, tires or old pallets. If you still prefer the pottery version, why not jazz it up a bit by painting it in a bold color such as red? But there is a trick to terra-cotta painting: you have to soak them in water for at least an hour before you start painting and always use water based paint.
These tips should go a long way in simplifying your landscaping and sprucing up your designs.