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Sustainable, ecological, and natural methods are concepts that are included in the idea of Florida friendly landscape design.  In fact sustainability is really the core concept in this style of landscaping.  However, local permaculture enthusiasts are taking the idea of sustainability to a whole new level, and I have to give them props:

  • When it comes to understanding sustainability, there is no substitute for the study of permaculture
  • There is a local group you can connect with them here:

Otherwise we integrate this concept into our designs wherever we can.  Please browse the drop menus for more on how we integrate these concepts into residential landscaping.

Gardening & Landscape Management


This is an incredibly popular and relevant topic in horticulture.  It is very possible that we are standing on the precipice of a great opportunity to start guiding our landscapes toward more sustainable practices.  We posess the knowledge, plants, and materials to realistically achieve this goal.

Native plants, Florida friendly design, and edible landscapes offer the highest potential for the idea of sustainability in the landscape.

We offer custom raised bed vegetable and herb gardens.  We can include a dedicated irrigation system and even build a workstation for the garden.

Beyond that, the selection of plants and the right design combine to offer the largest potential to acheive a sustainable residential landscape.

Some things to consider:

  • Landscapes in general are currently consumptive. 
  • As I understand it, a sustainable landscape is designed to reduce consumption. 
  • As a goal, we could try to reach a break even point where the landscape matures to a point where it needs minimum or no water, chemicals, fertilizer, and maintenance. 
  • No landscape is maintenance free, but one that is properly installed and cared for requires less attention over time.

So how do we take these ideas and put them into action?

What can you do in the landscape right now?

You could start by reusing waste generated by your landscape:

Do some research on the web:

  • There is a wealth of information and products available to facilitate composting
  • Composting can be done by piles, compost bins, or roller bins
  • Make sure to add kitchen scraps, egg shells, top with some dirt
  • Attractive bins or a homemade pile out of sight in the back of garden bed or behind a shed

Composting has many benefits:

  • Composting reduces stress on landfills
  • Reduced carbon emission involved in running the truck
  • Landfills are overburdened, trucks must use fuel, emit CO2 to transport waste
  • Reduce need for fertilizer
  • Easier and more convenient than bagging or wrapping and hauling to the curb

Use the resources your plants and trees provide for you:

  • Rake leaves and add to mulch beds, gardens, etc
  • In Florida, clippings stay on the lawn, mulched by the mower, bagging wastes a natural source of nitrogen
  • Recycle yard waste back into soil

©Copyright Earthwise Horticultural Services



Landscape Design video walkthrough Xeriscape for Florida Landscapes

This plan is for an interactive backyard filled with edibles, Xeriscape influence.

Case 092 design features:

  • Raised bed edible garden
  • Water Feature for pleasant sound
  • Outdoor family dining table
  • Fire pit for evening atmosphere
  • Pergola to escape the sun
  • Hammock for those lazy days
  • Edible trees and ornamentals
  • Wildlife plants for butterflies and birds
  • Golden Goddess bamboo for privacy
  • Outdoor shower to cool off
  • No lawn to mow

What is your ideal backyard?

This plan is for a Key West tropical paradise

Case 088 design features:

  • Poolside living area
  • Rock beds extend off pool deck
  • Fire pit area in rock bed
  • Loose pebble path out to shade seating
  • Clear view of sunset through the palms
  • Plant selections to give a tropical feel
  • Flowers throughout the year
  • Foliage plants for contrast
  • Efficient irrigation system adapted to the design
  • No lawn to mow

What is your dream landscape?