Monday, December 26, 2011
Sunday, December 25, 2011
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Today we will go to Vero Beach to make a series of drawings and photographs for a garden across the street from the waterfront home of Willy, Emily and Glenn Tremml. They recently purchased the half acre lot for the purpose of turning it into an elaborately landscaped garden. We're just beginning the design process, but one of my ideas is to construct a ruin- perhaps Maya inspired with shades of Machu Pichu and Angor Wat. We'll see what comes of that over time. This will give our readers a chance to experience how a really grand project evolves through the interaction of clients and how the progression of projects themselves begin to define the process. There is so much that goes into the something like this. I feel confident it will be spectacular. Our first project in Maitland was featured in Great Gardens by the Orlando Sentinel.
Sunday, December 18, 2011
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
A couple of weeks ago, we had the pleasure of doing another travertine paver project in Celebration. The color chosen is known as "Glacier" and it is a very clean white hue. Once we created this great space, it became painfully apparent that the view of the neighbors house was less than inviting, so we applied for (and just last night received) permission for some eight foot trellises flanked by podocarpus and trimmed out with some boxwood, flax lily and minima jasmine. A chinese fan palm and 2 queen palms will provide additional screening and greenery. The landscape will have both a lush and manicured, neat appearance and should provide a perfect backdrop for outdoor living.
Monday, December 12, 2011
Sunday, December 11, 2011
We have learned to love certain plants for Orlando. Some because they give a tropical look yet have proven they can withstand our occaisional frosts. Portea Bromeliads fill that bill. They have a beautiful bloom, can take sun or shade and freezing temperatures, are easy to care for and look spectacular. Neoregelias (also bromeliads) fill much the same bill. And the Bismarckia palm, shown here with the state palm of Florida, the sabal palmetto,
Trips to pick up zoysia and other sod takes us down to cattle country where we are inevitably fascinated by the endless miles of ranches. Stretching south from Orlando over a hundred miles to below Lake Okeechobee, Florida's cattle country contains some of the top breeder stock in the country. Particularly famous are the Brahma and Brangus breeds. The people who sell us sod are as likely to ride up on horses as tractors. They are not pretending to be cowboys- they are the real thing. There is something arch-typical about the relationship between Man and cow- from images of the minotaur, toreadors, gauchos or sacred cows wandering the streets of India, something primal is awakened in me each time I see these magnificent animals on the prairies of central Florida.
Mead Gardens is a real treasure in Winter Park Florida, less than a block from our house. Consisting of almost forty acres of natural gardens it borders the west side of the creek that connects the north Orlando chain of lakes (Lakes Sue, Rowena, Formosa, Estelle and Winyah ) with the Winter Park chain of lakes. Recently Mike and Stephen of the landscapesorlandoflorida.com team took a canoe from the dock of the "Bamboo House" (see previous blog entry) through the creek and ended up at Lake Minnehaha. Had they wanted to keep going they could have followed the waterways north to the St John's River all the way to Jacksonville and the Atlantic Ocean. These pictures show some of the varied terrain of Mead Gardens including Stephen capturing me making my way through an abandoned nature walk. I loved seeing the "Be Careful of Alligators" sign. I think it was designed more for its shock value for out of state visitors than any real desire to prevent people from being eaten. Can't remember the last time anyone around here got bitten. It is true, however, that a few folks have been taken by gators in Florida- but not while walking through the woods. Hard to believe all this wildness exists right in the heart of an urban area of almost three million people.
Recently we completed the installation of this Chicago brick driveway in east Orlando. The home itself is 10,000 sq ft mediterranean style poured with solid concrete walls! It sits on acreage along the Econ River less than a mile west of the University of Central Florida. Most of the homes around it have horse stables. We at Laurence E Fosgate and the LandscapesOrlandoFlorida.com team really enjoyed working with this beautiful product. Old Chicago brick is salvaged from demolished buildings and has characteristic gold and yellow tones mixed with traditional terra cotta and light brown hues. While not inexpensive, it is one of those improvements where the high quality material is worth it because the results are so obviously visually spectacular. We use the analogy when describing the difference between using travertine and real brick vs concrete pavers as the same as the contrast between using formica vs granite countertops. The extra cost is amply rewarded with increased value. Frankly, the same analogy would apply to concrete pavers vs plain concrete except in that case, the obvious upgrade comes with virtually no extra cost. Regardless of the material, new driveways patios and walkways are some of the best improvement values available.
Saturday, November 26, 2011
Rio Pinar is a neighborhood about five miles east of downtown Orlando that was developed around a top-rate golf course and country club in the late 1950's. My father, Laurence E Fosgate Sr, was an architect with Stevens and Sipple who designed the clubhouse and other amenities for the developer, Welborn Phillips, whose previous subdivision, Azalea Park had been built a few years before. It was upon its inauguration, one of the most fashionable addresses in town and held the Florida Citrus Open
- a golf tournament that moved and became the Bay Hill Classic.
The Landscapes Orlando Florida team just finished a major transformation of a classic "retro" ranch style home with pavers and a rock garden.
Sunday, October 30, 2011
Sunday, October 16, 2011
Landscapes Orlando Florida and our company, Laurence E Fosgate, have done paver installation over the last twenty plus years that have stood the test of time. Going back to our first installation at theWinter Park firm of Fannie Hillman and Associates where we installed a brick patio that still stands, we have honed our skills as hardscape installers. Last week we went out to photograph some of those projects to put in our ads and were really heartened to see how well they had endured. A formed and poured concrete driveway with black lava rocks we did for Pete and Sandy Goldish, still looks great at their Bryan Avenue home. Not only did we do the driveway, but every single plant on their property was installed by us as well. In addition we did a water feature and walled terrace, as well as a tiered raised planter bed we affectionately called "The Wedding Cake," which is the focal point in the island created by their semi-circular driveway. Other projects were around the corner where we did everything for Eric Larsen. Not only did we order a cupola for the top of his house, to reinforce its eighteenth century architectural inspiration, but we did cut outs for brick in his driveway and stained the concrete. We also did all the landscaping, ornamental stucco clad gate posts, significant travertine wall fountain and a variety of other exterior elements. We ultimately did major interior design work as well, which we will showcase in a future entry. Around the corner from these homes we did work on Rita Bornsteni's former house (
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
We came on the scene in Casselberry where our client had a vision of a front lawn with cast concrete pavers as a walkway through her front lawn. Our task was to help her realize her idea and enhance it with the look of a dry stream bed and pond that would give her the beauty and maintenance free landscape she dreamed of. The result is truly terrific. The plants used will give a cavalcade of color as the seasons progress. Camellias, shrub and ground cover roses, perennial peanut, asiatic jasmine, purple queen, cold hardy bromeliads, day lilies, african and Louisiana irises are some of the shrub and ground cover plants used. Accent plants include Bismarckia Palm, Japanese Maple, Arizona Blue Cypress. Nothing could be more up to date or desirable than a landscape that, once established will require virtually no extra watering, trimming or other maintenance. A blower, a little organic fertilizer and a trim once or twice a year and this place is good to go. Lovely flowers will constantly add color and interest and all this being able to take practically able to care of itself seems counter-intuitive- nothing this terrific should be so easy. Twenty five years and a lifetime in design have given Ed Fosgate and LandscapesOrlandoFlorida.com the expertise to bring everything together in this truly cutting edge landscape. A particular attention was paid to plants that can handle freezing temperature with minimal impact, yet still flourish in the sub-tropical central Florida summer!
Sunday, January 2, 2011
The recent cold weather here has given new interest to one of the oldest landscape plants used in Orlando- the camellia. This venerable plant has graced the grounds of many southern mansions from Norfolk to New Orleans. Here in Orlando, the Leu Gardens collection is the third largest in the US. Cold weather doesn't hurt these plants, at least the amount we've had in the central Florida region. Here at Laurence E Fosgate, we've used them in landscapes for years and have always appreciated the fact that they bloom in the winter when lots of people in Florida entertain and other plants are frequently flowerless. There are two main families of camellias- japonicas which tend to grow larger, and sassanquas which can be a low to medium shrub. Both are beautiful.