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.