Hot Spot Makeover

Spring 2020

Wide open and exposed to the North, South, East and West, this front yard was uninviting, full of weeds, hot, and bare. Tumbleweeds were having a party on this site!

A beautiful Florida-friendly landscape yard with native plants.

In need of some relief from the sun and the elements, trees with canopy and reasonable growth rates were needed in this plan. The fast growing Tulip Tree (Liriodendron tulipifera) planted on the south end of the property will soon provide high canopy and shade.

A closeup of a tulip tree, Liriodendron tulipifera

Each year, its large leaves will show yellow fall color before dropping to the ground as leaf litter, soon eliminating the need for mulch. An added bonus with this beautiful deciduous and flowering tree is that it is a host plant for the eastern swallowtail butterfly.

A beautiful Florida-friendly landscape yard with native plants.

A shorter player in this plan is the Green Ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica), a wonderful urban tree because of its soft and far-reaching low canopy. Also deciduous with yellow fall color, the Green Ash is a great tree for birds seeking nesting sites. Near the front door, placed off the sidewalk, a Loquat (Eriobotrya japonica) will welcome guests in a few years with cozy shade and subtle wafts of summer fragrance.

A beautiful Florida-friendly landscape yard with native plants.

Additional plantings on the ground plane bring in diversity, provide for wildlife, and protect the earth; allowing this space to come alive and recouperate from previous harsh conditions. Consideration for the transition from short-term to long-term growth was important for this project. Selections planted today have to endure the reality of current conditions while retaining the ability to thrive after the canopy develops and provides relief.

Before: an image of the client site before work began.

Installation Contractor: Bella Vista Landscaping

Liriodendron tulipifera Image: wikimedia commons