The Traveling Steve's

Landscaping the Yard: WOW!

Our home remodeling projects continues now with the actual yard landscaping. Now that the bushes have been removed and the house re-painted, it’s time to fill in those loose spaces with some first-rate landscaping, lights, and sprinklers and transform our existing space into an attractive (if not showy)  house with that ‘curbside appeal’!

We again used “The Best Choice” landscaping company for this project (after they had recently cleared away the overgrown shrubbery), and owner Jerry and team did an outstanding job from planning to implementation and follow-up. Jerry advised us on plant types, locations, watering, sunlight etc, and developed a truly tropical-looking and attractive exterior look to our home and pool area.

In addition to the landscaping work, Jerry repaired and updated our outdoor sprinkler system, which hadn’t been used in years due to a leak in it, and having the grass grown over the sprinkler heads etc. I thought Jerry would have to totally re-install a new system, but he was able to re-use most of the existing piping, replacing the main four zone controller unit, some sprinkler heads, and a minimal amount of piping. As there were so many new plants and bushes installed, it was imperative to get these watered daily, at least initially, and now we have a fully functional sprinkler system!

The landscaping itself was a full-yard project, basically made up of four different sections of plants and shrubs. All of the existing shrubs had been removed recently, and Jerry replaced these shrubs with a combination of green shrubs and a lower level of purple-like shrubs for color and contrast.

Red “knock-out” roses were installed in the front of the house which provided a beautiful and low maintenance addition to the house entryway.

Two spiral topiaries and one large “Christmas-like tree/bus” were also set in the front of the house, and highlighted at night along with the pathway lighting that Jerry also installed.

The new low-lying bushes extended all the way across the front of the house, and are much more petite and attractive compared to the older overgrown shrubbery that was formerly in its place.

The large and sole palm tree in the front yard that’s been there since I moved in over 20 years ago, was trimmed up nicely by Jerry. Even though I was concerned the tree was slanted, he assured me it is firmly rooted in place, and it’s a very hearty and attractive (and pricey) palm tree.

The large bushes on the side of the yard aligning my property with my neighbor Harry’s were replaced with the same type of bushes in the front, but were mature six foot tall versions instead.

While the shrubs still need to fill in and branch out, with the Florida summer rains, they should grow quite quickly here. Jerry’ team of The Best Choice Landscaping (know in the rest of the post as TBC) also installed sod on the side yard and mulched the shrub area (as well as the rest of the new plantings) giving the area a fresh and open look from what it was before.

Also on the side yard but facing the street, TBC planted a mix of hydrangeas and bordered by a low-lying hedge of Oleander plants. The Oleander’s will provide a lower level border where we can still converse with our neighbors, while the taller shrubs in the back provide privacy across the yard by the pool.

The hydrangeas are still ‘finding their way’; that is getting used to the hot Florida sun, and take lots of water initially, but will be quite beautiful and “happy” once they get established.

In the front yard closer to the street, we have a huge gardenia bush, which TBC mulched for us. As we had some extra space there were we had a tree stump removed, DOS planted a small herb garden we can experiment with. Our tiny herb garden has one plant each of rosemary, basil, purple basil, mint, and pineapple sage. If it takes ok, we may add more herbs, and/or plant some in the back yard as well.

The pool area garden was re-planted with a couple different types of hibiscus plants, filling in the areas next to the small palm trees, crotons, and Hawaiian purple plants that were already planted there. The plants are located on the outside of the pool cage as it keeps the pool area clean, while still providing a tropical view.

One of our next projects is to get the entire pool cage re-screened, but as there is a bit of a back-log getting this done, we went ahead and had the landscapers install the plants by the pool, knowing the screen guys will have to work around the plants when the do their work.

The rear of the pool (where the retaining wall had been rebuilt) was set on a small hill, and was covered with some 150 small jasmine plants that will serve as a ground cover for this area, while keeping the soil from eroding there.

A new bed of New Guinean Impatiences was also planted just outside the pool cage, offering another garden of color. Jerry said the impatiences will grow together rapidly, and provide a colorful accent by the pool. Now nearly two weeks later, they are well on their way to filling in the planter!

On the other side of the house, Jerry installed some sod and a foot-wide perimeter of red mulch, preventing the soil from washing up along the house which had happened pre-landscaping.

And finally it was time for some finishing touches by myself and DOS. We went shopping a couple places to get some yard/pool decorations, and ordered some solar Tiki torches, butterflies, flowers, and balls online to provide some daytime color, and night time lighting effects.

Here are a couple photos of the house with the finished landscaping in the daytime, and colorfully lit up at night with the tiki and other solar lights. Aloha from Florida!

Thank you Jerry and Team from The Best Choice Landscaping for giving our house and yard a total make-over! We look forward to our ongoing monthly maintenance relationship now and in the future.

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