Blessed with a bounty of sun and rain, your Florida home can be a pleasing example of an abundantly verdant landscape. With an almost unlimited array of choices in the Orlando area, there is nothing like a generous display of greenery for so many reasons—being surrounded with beauty, color, scent, style and, of course, as an introduction to your home. Visit this page If you would like to learn more about landscape designs typical in Orlando.
Reorganize the table by clicking on the each column header to sort by characteristic. Read explainations of each type of plant below this table.
|Plant||Primary Use||Secondary Use||Flowering||Color|
|African Iris||Groundcover||Accent, Specimin||Yes||White|
|Agapanthus||Groundcover||Accent, Specimin||Yes||Blue, White|
|Alamanda Dwarf Shrub||Shrub||Yes||Yellow|
|Bird of Paradise||Specimen||Shrub||Yes||Orange|
|Giant Bird of Paradise||Specimen Tree||Yes||White|
|Burordi Hollies||Shrub||Hedge||No||Red Berries|
|Camellia||Shrub||Hedges||Yes||Red, White, Pink|
|Carissa Holly||Shrub||Yes||White in the spring|
|Cast Iron Plant||Accent||Specimen||No|
|Coleus||Accent Plant||Shrub||No||Brightly colored leaves|
|Cordyline||Accent||Specimen||No||Deep red, purple leaves|
|Crepe Myrtle||Specimen Tree||Yes||Red, Pink, Whites|
|Crotons||Accent Plant||Shrubs||No||Bright Colored Leaves|
|Crown of Thorns|
|Drift Rose||Groundcover||Yes||Red, Pink|
|East Palatka Holly||Specimen Tree||Red Berries|
|Green Fountain Grass||Ornamental Grass||Groundcover||No|
|Geraniums||Accent Flower||Specimen||Yes||Red, Pink, White|
|Ginger||Shrub||Hedge||Yes||Varigated Yellow Green|
|Hibiscus||Shrub||Accent||Yes||Red, Yellow, Various|
|Imapatiens||Accent Flower||Yes||Pink Red|
|Indian Hawthorn||Groundcover||Yes||Light Pink|
|Jasmine Minima||Groundcover||Vine||No||Dark Green or Variegated Leaf|
|Duranta Saphire Jasmine||Shrub||Yes||Purple|
|Ligustrum||Specimen Tree||Shrub, Hedge||No|
|Liriope Super Blue||Groundcover||Inconspicuous||Purple|
|Oleander||Shrub||Specimen Tree||Yes||Many Colors, Reds, Pinks, White|
|Orchids||Accent Flower||Groundcover, Specimen||Yes||Bright Colors|
|Pansy||Accent Flower||Yes||Purple, Yellow|
|Parsoni Juniper||Groundcover||Yes||Blue-Green Leaves|
|Pentas||Accent Flower||Yes||Red, Pink, White|
|Petunia||Accent Flower||Groundcover||Yes||Purple, Pink|
|Pittosporum, Dwarf||Shrub||Groundcover||Yes||Variegated green & white leaves|
|Purple Queen||Groundcover||No||Purple Leaf|
|Snapdragon||Accent||Specimen||Yes||Red, Pink, Yellow|
|Sweet Potato Vine||Groundcover||No|
|Sweet Viburnum||Hedge||Screen, Shrub||No|
|Weeping Yaupon Holly||Accent Tree||No|
|Yellow African Iris||Groundcover||Accent||Yes||Yellow|
Not the first word we think of when considering what we want to do with the area around our home, it’s really a good word to think about as you begin to plan what you want to assemble as, let’s call it an orchestration of “events.” Specimen is defined as an “item typical of a group or whole,” i.e. trees, ground cover, plants, etc. Now you can begin to make decisions, based on the specimens you prefer to use. A discussion of several may help you to form a picture of what a well-rounded setting might include.
A boon to the person assigned to mow the lawn, ground cover can be placed anywhere—lovely when it’s shaped organically—with most types being very hardy and not requiring special care. It can be used on areas that are difficult to mow, such as embankments or swales. You’ll just have to keep the edges neat with a weed-eater and perhaps the occasional “hair-cut” with the hedge clippers, if it threatens to grow higher than you prefer. The tiny leaf colors vary from a medium to a dark green. Confederate Jasmine flowers have the most intoxicating scent.
These specimens are so useful—and come in a variety of types. Azaleas love the southern weather and with their colorful display in front of a wall, or massed on a hill, they literally charge the air with color when they bloom. Non-blooming shrubs can become the centerpiece, for a flowerbed, that gradually layers down from tall to small. They can also start the blooming season, then become a quiet backdrop as smaller plants begin to bloom in front of them.
You may enjoy having them as a privacy border for your property, or using them to define
certain areas set aside for a specific purpose, such as a swimming pool or game court. They do require a bit of looking after with hedge clippers, depending on how tall you want them to be.
(Regular pruning will keep them from getting too “leggy.”) Other than that, once well rooted, they won’t require a lot of your time. They can border your front-door walkway nicely or enhance the wall of a front porch.
If you’re knowledgeable with the pruning hook and hedge clippers, you can train certain shrubs into pleasing shapes, such as round balls, on a single stem. It definitely takes some artistry, and if you don’t have this particular talent or knowledge you can buy them ready-made, with a certain resolve to help them keep their shape. Wonderful as an introduction to your walkway or front door, they lend a somewhat formal note to your residence. Investigate this charming garden inhabitant, and you’re likely to find other uses for them as you develop your plan.
Some plants are so special and of a certain size that they need to be a feature in the landscape. Look for these types, such as a Weeping Youpon Holly, which maintains it’s diminutive size and contributes a graceful note or a Giant Bird of Paradise that stands out as a colorful accent to enhance an area that might otherwise be a lonely corner.
When you look at this collection of specimens, spend some time considering how you can orchestrate them to make your home a pleasure to approach and especially to enjoy when the weather encourages outdoor activities.