Landscaping Ideas

Updated on July 16, 2009
S.C. asks from Saint Johns, FL
14 answers

since our move to our home some of our landscape flowers have withered away. so the front of our house is lacking color and pizazz. i don't want to spend money on someone to do my landscaping which is only about a 2 foot x 20 foot area that really needs to be planted. does anyone have any experience with knockout roses or gardenias?

or maybe you can suggest a good nursery that could offer a lot of information since i don't have a great green thumb!!

hope to hear from you soon!

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answers from Boca Raton on

I want to second the idea for getting Pamela Crawford's books. Her books are geared for the South Florida region but I can't imagine St. johns area is that much different. Her books give suggestions on very very low maintenance gardens and tips on the successful care of each plant.

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answers from Naples on

email me ~~ I am a landscaper and will give you some "free" healpful hints!
[email protected]

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Tampa on

We went to Brandon Garden Center (I think that's the name) on Bloomingdale. We took a picture of our house and my hubby drew a picture of the layout. Then we took it to them and they designed our landscape. It was free of charge then we ordered the plants we wanted that they suggested. We had them deliver the plants, it was free since we are local. They placed them where they needed to be planted and my husband and I did that part to save money. Not sure but in this economy you might get a great deal. Good luck!



answers from Boca Raton on

Hi S.,

I do most of the landscaping at our house and it's probably one of the nicest looking on the block. I try to keep it full of color, planting flowers for summer and then different ones for winter, unless you just want to do perennials (they last for years). I personally like changing out the flowers every 6 months. See link here (our house is on the market).

I also highly recommend Pamela Crawford's books. I use them all the time especially Easy Gardens for South Florida and Best Garden Color for Florida.

First, you have to determine if you need something for sun or shade and then go from there. In Pamela Crawford's books, she tells you how much sun and water plants need and what pests to watch out for. They're also great because they give you companion plants that look good together.

Good luck!



answers from Tampa on

Hi S.,
The University of South Florida has an extention program which you can find online to gain some ideas. There are also some groups that focus on native plants in the area, which I hope you can find online too, since native plants are most capable of enduring the heat and lack of water!



answers from Tampa on


I don't have any experience with knockout roses. I want a gardenia bush but I hear they are hard to cultivate in some cases due to the poor florida soil. I have a black thumb myself.

I just planted some lantana & they are blooming & doing well. I don't recommend if you have dogs because they are toxic if ingested.

I recommend UF's Ag Dept-

They have a link for gardening.

I also recommend a subscription for Florida Gardening.

The subscription is $20/year. You can get back issues. I don't know if your local library would have back issues for you to look at or not.

They really stress- xeriscaping- FL friendly gardening.

Now that the states laws have changed (as of July 1st) you can't be forced to have grass lawn, by homeowners associations!!!

Your county extension service maybe of some help as well.

USF has a botanical gardens. Watch in the newspaper for gardening events- they will sometimes have a seminar &/or goodies, plant swaps.

Check &/ or craigs list to see if some one is giving for selling cheap FL plants that they have propagated. I was given 2 lovely plumeria last year by a co-worker. One of them just won't quit blooming!!!

Good Luck!!



answers from Miami on

nuturf on dixie just n of copans - bring in a pic of the area and they'll get u going



answers from Tampa on

Honestly in this heat there really isn't much of anything growing well. Roses take a lot of time and care. If you are ready to fertilize, keep them pruned roses are ok. Gardenias take a lot of care too. It all depends on how much you want to spend on what you do. I know a lot of people just buy the real pretty fake flowers in the dollar store and put them in the flower bed along with some green plants. They actually look really good. I myself love four o'clocks. They start blooming early spring and bloom until late fall. You just mow them down and they come back up and you have beautiful flowers in the winter too. They bloom early morning until it gets hot out and then again in the evening
Sun flowers are very pretty and don't take any care at all. You actually have seeds for the birds later on. Go to a nursery and talk to the person in charge. They are great at working with what would be best for you and it's free advice.



answers from Tampa on

I'm not sure where you live, but my husband has been in the industry for a long time. He uses Pine Lake nursery for all of his plants and trees. They are located on Dale Mabry - I think it is just north of Lutz Lake Fern Rd. They are a family owned business and are very informative. They are also good at exchanging plants that don't make it - whether it was your fault or the plants fault.



answers from Miami on

Home Deot and Lowes have great varieties and also a return policy if the plants don't make it.
They also have employees who can give you advice as far as where the plants will be located, irrigation needs and nutrients to sustain them.

Thank god you have a wonderful husband...



answers from Tampa on

You really can't go wrong with Knock Out Roses as long as they get direct sunlight. I have tons of them in my front yard and I plan on replacing all of my dead plants with them too. They are beautiful, bloom year round and require little to no care. I used to get them at Kirby's Nursery in Brandon/Seffner, but since money is tight these days I get them from Wal-Mart and they are just as hardy.

Gardenia's are great too. They smell wonderful, but I think they tend to prefer less sun.


answers from Jacksonville on

What is your space like? We have some mini/dwarf gardenias in our front bed. They bloom about 2x a year and smell wonderful (there are a few odd blooms on them right now). They prefer a bit of shade, but not shade only. Knock-out roses are roses, so they need lots of sun. I've never had any in my own yard, but they are in the front of our neighborhood, and they look decent year round. But again, they are roses, so they won't be in bloom in the winter months, and when they are not in bloom, I don't think the foliage is all that attractive - just my opinion of course. I think they tend to run about $16-25 a plant at Lowe's or Home Depot.

Have you considered Indian Hawthorne? They bloom and have dark colored berries, are sun and drought resistant and also deer resistant. We had some at our first house, and they were great.



answers from Miami on

Hi S.! I highly recommend Living Color on Griffin Rd. in Dania. The place is huge and has a wide variety of landscaping plants and flowers that will do well in your yard. Our home is certified by the National Wildlife Foundation and I get a lot of our butterfly plants there. Their people are usually very knowledgeable & helpful. Their address is 3691 Griffin Road and they can be reached at ###-###-####. Good luck!



answers from Sarasota on

Great that a mom is willing to give free advice on landscaping. That's terrific! Libraries are also a great resource. I have combed the Manatee County libraries for hours looking for ideas. HGTV is also a good source to see how things look. Sending digital pics. of the areas helps with planning with your friend. Indian Hawthorne was a good suggestion. If you like color Crotens (spelling?) are good. I just love Pentas! We have a gardenia bush in the back and when it blooms it's nice. Be careful of things that just take off. The long growing season is a killer for us (trimming). Know nothing about roses but my neighbor in Virginia grows roses under her pine trees and they do very well, much to the confusion of the entire neighborhood! The Southern Living Garden Book is a good resource. Also Wyman's Gardening Encyclopedia has everything but the kitchen sink in it. Don't buy it (library). Mine was mother's and I looked inside and it was 65.00 when she bought it which had to be 8 or 9 years ago when she was still mobile. Good luck. Let us know how it goes and include pics. You will have fun! I just love to garden! Hate the Florida heat however!

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