University of Florida

The Neighborhood Gardener:
Personalizing Your Florida-Friendly Landscape

What Does a Florida-Friendly Landscape Look Like?

Florida-Friendly Landscapes are all based on the same Nine Principles. But Florida-Friendly Landscaping encourages individual expression of beauty. As long as you apply the principles described in the FYN Handbook (PDF), your landscape can be Florida-Friendly and as individual as you want.

How Do I Personalize My Florida-Friendly Landscape?

Just as your home is unique, your garden and landscape can be as well. When planning your Florida-Friendly Landscape, consider the following tools to set your yard apart:

Every garden has a form. Form refers to the shape of a garden's spaces and design elements. They can be geometric, such as square, circular, or angular; or naturalistic, using organic forms. A landscape with a square theme will often have square or rectangular patios, walkways, and turf areas. In naturalistic landscapes, the designer uses less structured, more irregular forms and elements.

Styles are identified by a combination of forms, plants, materials, and ornaments. These can be cultural, as in a Japanese garden; historic, as with an English manor; regional, based on the climate and visual characteristics of the garden's location in the United States; or designed with the local ecosystem in mind.

Landscape types are based on specific functions: water harvesting, energy efficiency, safety (such as fire-wise design), or "Florida-Friendliness." Florida-Friendly Landscapes tend toward a regional style and naturalistic form, in that they look more natural to Florida's environment. But they also have a specific function: to help conserve and protect Florida's water resources and keep Florida's environment healthy. Natural waterways and plants that thrive in Florida's soils and climates may compose parts of Florida-Friendly Landscapes.

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