Inspired landscape design can take any Florida property from dull to dreamlike with the right help. If you are looking to redesign your St. Petersburg, FL, landscape, work with From The Ground Up Landscape Design for outstanding results you're sure to love.
Comprehensive Landscape Design Guide—St. Petersburg, FL
Transforming a landscape can be an extremely satisfying project. There are so many pieces you can combine into a gorgeous and cohesive final look.
Understandably, the transformation happens more easily with professionals to simplify the process in St. Petersburg, FL, and nearby areas like Seminole and Largo. Landscape designers see the big picture, effortlessly creating beautiful designs that tick all the right boxes. However, for homeowners who want to go it alone, there are landscaping aspects that need careful consideration.
In this guide, the team at From The Ground Up Landscape Design covers the details about what Florida’s homeowners need to know before they begin redesigning a landscape.
How to Design the Perfect Landscape: Expert Tips
Landscape designs include the installation, modification, and arrangement of features in an outdoor space, including softscapes (vegetation) and hardscapes (patios, walls, and paths). It makes any space more functional while meeting the homeowner's preferences. However, every successful design project adheres to the following major landscaping concepts:
- Unity. Great design combines different elements but conveys one specific theme.
- Balance. Every segment of the landscape must complement others, not compete.
- Proportion. The size of the individual elements should comfortably fit the landscape's broader appearance and framework.
- Transition. The landscaping elements should seamlessly flow into each other for soothing visual and textural cohesion.
Do you want to design the perfect landscape around your Florida home? Here are a few steps to help you get going:
Begin With an Accurate Plan of Your Entire Property
Designing a landscape will not work unless you are keenly aware of the home’s layout. Whether you’re in St. Petersburg, Seminole, Largo, or elsewhere in Florida, your plan needs to cover every inch of your outdoor living space, including the front and back yards.
- Denote the manmade features such as driveways, stonewalls, fences, and buildings.
- Capture all the utility lines, the septic system, and any well on the property.
All hardscaping elements will combine with the large shrubs and trees around your property to form the skeleton of your landscaping plan. You should also take careful note of sunny and shady spots.
Draw Up a Wishlist of What You Want Your Florida Landscaping to Showcase
What do you already have on hand? Are there still things you want to add? Make a detailed list of elements or features you might like to see when you survey your outdoor areas.
How do you want the space to look or feel? There are thousands of inspirational sources to work with. However, before you dig into creative feeds and conventional wisdom, answer the big question: Why are you redesigning the landscape in the first place?
Are you trying to beautify your home, make it more functional for outdoor use, or increase its potential value before a listing? The answer will help you decide what to include in your landscaping plans. Knowing what you want will also help you take advantage of what you already have, like the existing flower beds with already-thriving plants.
After that, you can think about the following additions:
- Foliage types
- Other features (like fountains or rock gardens)
Working out these details is also important before plant shopping. For example, if your mid-July garden becomes dull, why not focus on late-season bloomers instead of early-spring bloomers?
Choose Your Style As A Natural Extension of Your Home
Your landscaping should flawlessly complement your home's architectural style. Think of landscape design in the same way as decorating. However, instead of paint, furniture, or fabrics, it relies on pops of color, textural variance, size, shape, and plant placement to create an ambiance.
Florida homeowners typically go with one of the following three options:
- Natural. As a low-maintenance landscape style, it takes advantage of the existing surroundings.
- Formal. This style requires elegant focal points, such as fountains and statues, hemmed in by straight lines and symmetry. It will not work if you cannot maintain pruned hedges and manicured lawns.
- Informal. As the most popular design choice, informal landscapes combine formal and natural styles for a more balanced approach.
Pay Attention to Your Needs and Lifestyle
Do you have small children, pets, or elderly residents wanting to enjoy the landscape? This might influence whether you incorporate designated play areas, steps, and other features into the design. For instance, play areas will need non-toxic, high-tolerance plants that can withstand some trampling.
Would you like a gorgeous entryway that brings guests to your door? You will need to plan paths and straight lines. Similarly, if you want a getaway spot, consider a little collection of ornamental grasses and larger plants to wall off a specific area.
Complete Your Hardscaping and Install These Features Well Before Planting Anything
It's tempting to immediately start your landscape design with the softscape. However, professional landscape designers generally agree that the hardscape should come first. It is hard work, but it creates a nice outline for easily filling in the gaps with shrubs, trees, perennials, groundcovers, and succulents.
Once everything is in place, turn to larger shrubs and trees before considering the following:
- Direction. Begin your planting from the house and work your way outward.
- Maturity. Plan for the shrubs and trees' maturity in this early stage. Will they get too big for the space you've mapped out?
- Seasons. Pick a good mix of evergreens for a tropical landscaping look. However, don't forget your winter bloomers if you want to keep your outdoor living space attractive all year.
- Edges. Gentle curves have a better aesthetic appeal for flower beds. However, be sure to define the edges where your flower garden meets your lawn. We recommend a physical barrier of brick, granite, vinyl, or metal, with foreground plants spilling over the barrier to soften its appearance.
Are you combining plants? Carefully match the shape, size, leaf texture, leaf color, visual weight, and flower color. We also recommend layering plants according to their height.
Landscaping Becomes Exciting As You See The Design Emerging, So Stick to Your Budget
Professionals understand that landscaping requires planning, hard work, and investment. However, you should also expect to start enjoying yourself as you see the outdoor spaces taking shape after your hard work starts to pay off. Last-minute changes can be cost-intensive, so stick to your original budget for this major home improvement project.
The key to proper budgeting for landscape installation is to cover the "must-haves" before moving on to any of the "nice-to-haves."
Expert Help For Landscaping Design in St. Petersburg, FL
The comprehensive landscaping design guide above is an excellent start. However, there’s always room for professional expertise when creating a space you want to enjoy for decades to come. You can gradually bring your vision to life with incremental improvements following your plan, but you might also want to hand it over to a professional team so that you can watch magic unfurl.
From The Ground Up Landscape Design can handle the entire process of designing the perfect landscape and transferring it from paper to your property. Our local designers and installers have extensive experience in transforming residential and commercial properties across St. Petersburg, FL, including Seminole and Largo. We are also experts at landscape renovation.