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:

Forms
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
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.

Types
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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