University of Florida

The Neighborhood Gardener:
Personalizing Your Florida-Friendly Landscape

Continued from page one

What if I Live in a Planned Community?

Unfortunately, many developments' codes, covenants, and ordinances discourage the innovation and expression of Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ principles. In some communities, homeowners are limited to a narrow selection of landscape designs. The most typical is the Planned Unit Development, often called the PUD style. This usually features a wide swath of turf, impervious driveways and patios, a few shrubs or trees planted close to the house walls, and minimal mulch. Very little water is conserved in such landscapes, pesticides and fertilizers may be used inappropriately, and wildlife is not attracted.

Floridians who want to enjoy the natural wonders of this state shouldn't be forced to leave their own backyards to do so. If you live in a community with CCRs that restrict the implementation of Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ principles, encourage your neighbors and homeowners association to adopt Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ methods. Describe the water, time, and cost savings of applying the Nine Principles to existing landscaped areas. You might also mention that some developers are now using Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ principles in their communities' initial designs.

Making Your Garden Your Own

When you design a Florida-Friendly Landscape, think of how you can make it entirely unique. Consider the shape of spaces and objects in your garden. See if you prefer a certain cultural or historic style. Look at the natural environment and learn about the ecosystems surrounding your yard. Keep the Nine Principles in mind and strive for something that fits your needs and taste while benefiting Florida's environment. You'll be sure to come up with something beautiful, cost-efficient, and easy to maintain that still reflects your personal style!

 

For more information, contact Georgia Gelmis, Senior Information Specialist, Florida-Friendly Landscaping Program, calicoj@ufl.edu.

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