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Planning a Low-Maintenance Garden

Curb Appeal by Landscape Designer in Sarasota

It is not uncommon, especially in a sun-drenched, hot-climate state like Florida for many homeowners to want to have a low-maintenance garden to tend throughout the year. There is no real garden—as opposed to artificial—that is no maintenance at all, but there are ways to plan to have gardening chores take up less time in your daily life. You can also work with the experienced landscape designer in Sarasota at Troy’s Tropics when you have little time to invest in hoeing, raking, weeding, and amending the soil. Following are some tips on how to have a low-maintenance garden that still adds value and curb appeal to your home:

  • Plant Perennials & Shrubs

Choosing hardy perennials (those that come back year after year) that can withstand summer heat and even a bit of drought means you have fewer weeds and not as much watering to do. Also, while shrubs like azaleas bloom profusely in the spring, they don’t require much pruning. You can also use certain kinds of ornamental grasses the only need cutting back once a year.

  • Native Plantings

Florida’s native plants are drought-tolerant and hearty. A native plant is one that has flourished in the weather and soil of an area. For example, some of the most used native plants, shrubs, and trees in Florida include the beautyberry shrub, muhly grass, coontie, and Southern magnolia.

What Is a Cottage Garden?

Garden Landscaping in Sarasota

If you want a colorful, but strictly informal, garden style, a cottage garden may be just right for your landscape. It is the opposite of a structured, more formal type of garden yet it can be designed with all manner of plants. Whatever plantings you choose, keep in mind they are not planted in a straight line if you want to achieve the look of a cottage garden. Cottage gardens flowers may overlap each other or even flow together with no boundaries to keep them apart. More freewheeling than formal, cottage gardens can seem a bit wild, with vines crawling up posts, roses entwined over arbors, and undefined flower beds. A cottage garden can add charm to any style of home or property. Some of the more traditional cottage plants include:

  • Hollyhocks
  • Irises
  • Hydrangeas
  • Pinks
  • Delphiniums

While cottage gardens don’t look as if they’ve been designed, it does take the services of a team that excels at garden landscaping in Sarasota like the ones at Troy’s Tropics. Professional landscapers know how to ensure a cottage garden looks exuberant, free-flowering, and much less restrained than other garden designs. Quite simply, a cottage garden looks simple, charming, and appears to be a natural landscape design that is sure to enhance the appearance of any home.

 

Add Curb Appeal to a Home for Sale

Florida Landscape by Landscape Designer in Sarasota

First impressions matter a great deal particularly when it’s time to sell your home. Adding curb appeal to your home is essential to determining whether or not a potential buyer wants to come inside for a real showing. Because sellers now list their homes online, curb appeal must grab that favorable first impression.  Instead of driving by your home, a potential buyer scrolls through images of the outside of your property before he or she has even stepped inside. So, you risk the chance that buyers will never even drive by if they don’t like what they see online.

The fact is that most potential homebuyers want to tour the inside of a home if it looks inviting on the outside. Unless you are selling your home as a fixer-upper, you want to catch the eye of every homebuyer who see the pictures of your home. While it’s certainly wise to clean the gutters and power wash the exterior, you want to ensure the landscape adds the curb appeal you need to get the buyer to the next level of interest in your home. When you have replaced overgrown or unsightly bushes with colorful shrubs, added mulch, and planted brightly colored flowers, you stand a much better chance of getting your home’s selling price.

Contact Troy’s Tropics, a leading landscape designer in Sarasota, when you are thinking about selling your home and aren’t sure where to start on improving the curb appeal of your property.

 

Native Trees That Can Withstand Florida Storms

Landscaping by Native Plant Nursery in Sarasota

Not many trees are strong enough to sustain hurricane-force winds, but there are some trees that may last through the summer storms in Florida.  A recent study showed that the strongest trees to withstand storms are Florida natives. The natives held up best under high winds and were not as likely to break apart or fall. Also, they tended to be salt-tolerant, drought-tolerant and required little maintenance. The following native trees and palms had the least accounts of losing branches or falling over during the peak storm season in Florida:

  • Live Oak: The live oak shade tree grows up to 60 feet high with a canopy of up to about 40 feet. It provides a lot of shade and grows at a medium rate.
  • Gumbo Limbo: This adaptable shade tree is known for its twisting branches and is also called “the tourist tree” because its peeling red bark resembles a sunburn. It is a fast grower that can reach a height up to 40 feet.
  • Geiger Tree: This small tree provides orange-red flowers to the landscape and blooms all year. It takes its name from a wreck salvager in Key West. It grows up to 25 feet at a slow-to-medium growth rate.
  • Sabal Palm: The sabal palm is the state tree of Florida, and it’s also called the cabbage palm. It grows up to 40 feet high at a slow rate. Mature
  • Silver Palm: This palm tree has silver fronds and produces fruit that attracts It grows up to 10 feet at a slow rate.

Find native trees at Troy’s Tropics, a leading native plant nursery in Sarasota

Florida Native Plant Gardens Are Sustainable

There are a number of positive reasons to creative a native Florida plant garden. You have countless beautiful plants from which to choose. With so many attractive native plants, you get a wide variety of colors, shapes, and sizes to design your garden. You will find many Florida plants at Troy’s Tropics, a leading native plant nursery in Sarasota, located on five acres of land. Native plans are easy to maintain because they quickly adapt to Florida soil and often need less fertilization. Many of them are also excellent at tolerating drought.

After your initial design and planting you can enjoy a native plant garden for years to come. They attract butterflies, bees, and other beneficial insects. They can also serve as good sources of wildlife food. You can find native plants in the form of shrubs, trees, vines, and groundcovers when you are ready to plan your native garden. Just a small number of the most popular Florida native plants, not including trees, include the following:

  • Yarrow
  • Leather Fern
  • Milkweed
  • Buttonwood
  • Heliotrope
  • Lupine
  • Royal Palm
  • Swamp Rose
  • Coneflower
  • Goldenrod
  • Sea Oats

Visit TroysTropics.com to find out about the natives they have that best suit the conditions in your landscape. Call (941) 923-3756 to find out more about our nursery and landscaping services.

The Benefits of a Butterfly Garden

Monarch ButterflyButterflies are beautiful and add a variety of outstanding colors to a garden. They are attracted to bright colors and fragrant flowers; they feed on nectar produced by the flowers. As a butterfly travels from one flower to another, it pollinates the plants, which results in further development of that plant species. There are a number of plants that rely on pollinators like butterflies for reproduction. Butterflies add beauty to any garden. Their rich colors are built into each species for the purposes of camouflage against their predators, attraction to mates, and to give off warning signals.

In Florida, butterflies prefer native plants, which are those plants that easily adapt to the environment. Native plants are easy to maintain and more hardy than non-native plants. Using native plants is good for the environment because landscaping with them is a sustainable practice. As they are better adapted to their climate, they require fewer resources in general to grow and thrive. In addition, Florida native plants are a natural host to butterflies, so they are attractive to many gardeners.

For a wide selection of native Florida plants, visit Troy’s Tropics, a leading provider of garden landscaping in Sarasota. We design and plant butterfly gardens of any size or shape. Visit our family-owned garden center to see the myriad of plants we have, which are spread over five acres.