Here is a before and after story of a property in the Audubon Park subdivision of Orlando. Ann Berendzen was the landscape consultant for the renovation and there are some creative and sustainable features to the new landscape. She submitted the article which follows. This home was on the Audubon Park Retro-Modern House Tour two months ago, and it was a very popular stop among the 5 homes. Her contact information is at the end of the article.
The first photos are the before pictures. Pretty obvious. It was a bank-owned property in pretty bad shape inside and out. The pool in the back was green. All kinds of invasive volunteer trees growing in the back yard. A dying laurel oak in the front yard.
After my clients renovated the inside of the house, they started to tackle the outside. The dying oak in the front was removed. The sloping yard down to the road was leveled close to the house to create a patio and stepped walkway leading to the front door. In the back, the pool was cleaned and volunteer trees were removed. They also uncovered all kinds of buried trash (tires, concrete slabs, junk.)
My clients wanted a low maintenance, Florida-friendly, very sustainable front and back garden. They wanted to situate raised vegetable beds in the back, reducing carbon footprint of consuming fresh vegetables. Trees had to either produce something edible for consumption, or invite wildlife such as birds, butterflies and bees. They did not want to install an irrigation system; this was a challenge for them right after installation of all of the plants because they had to move around sprinklers attached to garden hoses to supply water. But I knew after establishment that the very drought tolerant plants could survive on natural rainfall with an occasional hose/sprinkler supplement a couple of times a year.
The clients wanted small turf areas for their small dogs. Knowing they did not want an automatic irrigation system I convinced them to have artificial turf in small sections of the front and back gardens. They were very pleased with the resulting look after installation.
With the front garden (See picture at top of article) I designed Asiatic jasmine (Trachelospermum asiaticum) along the edge of the front yard to hold soil from creeping on to the sidewalk after rainfall events. In the parkway rolls of perennial peanut (Arachis glabrata) were installed, as well as one side of the driveway.
The back garden contains the butterfly host plants and nectar plants, the raised vegetable garden beds, cover for birds with Walter’s viburnum (Viburnum obovatum) and added hardscape features such as a custom shed, custom privacy fence, outdoor living/dining/fire pit and hot tub.
My clients were extremely happy with the results of the design, and enjoy gardening and entertaining year round.
While Ann is a landscape designer, she is also a realtor, contact her to discuss your landscape project: Ann Berendzen, Coldwell Banker Realtor 400 Park Ave. South, Suite 210, Winter Park, FL 32789 Cell: 407-489-9625