http://thegardensgift.blogspot.com/uploaded_images/xeriscape-759471.jpgFlorida is the state of sunny beaches, amusement parks, ethnic coastal cities, and a diverse range of wildlife that makes it one of the top destinations for vacationers and retirees. The “look” of Florida is very distinct as it blends a tropical feel with a slight nod to the wilderness.

Of course, you don’t have to fly all the way to Florida to get this feeling; there are many ways to give your yard the warm “Florida” look while keeping it under budget and low maintenance.

The following are a few ideas to get you started:

Finding the Right “Florida Colors”

One of the first things you’ll notice if you do a search for Florida or ever visit the state is the choice in colors – mainly orange, pink, and browns, which you’ll find very frequently in the lower-end of the state.

Not all homes are painted these colors but you’ll certainly see a good amount.

The “Florida colors” are those closely related to the beach:

·  White – like a beach house or sun-bleached sea shells

·  Beige – like the sand

·  Green – like the saw grass

·  Golden brown – like the trunks of a palm tree

·  Yellow – like the sun

·  Light blue – like the sky

You can most likely drop into any hardware store and find a diverse selection of colors you can use to paint outdoor furniture or even the entire house!

A really handy tool and resource are the color palettes created by the community on ColourLovers.com.

Planting the “Look” of Florida

Plants from around Florida are sometimes specific to the locations, but there are a few that have become iconic in movies and other media. They’re also very commonplace in most yards because they’re generally easy to maintain and widely available through retailers (or friends and family).

These plants include:

·  Palm trees

·  Orange trees

·  Bougainvillea

·  Hibiscus

·  African lily

·  Autumn fern

·  “Elephant Ear” plants

The most popular and iconic, of course, is the palm. You can find palm trees for sale from any number of reputable locations; pricing may vary depending on the type, size, and cost to have it shipped. These trees are very sturdy and last a long time, which means they should provide a great investment for your property.

The other plants may be available at your local home improvement store, but it’s entirely possible to buy seeds/bulbs or sproutlings from online retailers – just make sure that your regional location can support the plants.

Incorporating the Wildlife

Flamingos, sharks, fish, gators, snakes, bears, and the like – Florida has a diverse ecosystem, ranging from tropical beaches to swamps and forests. The wildlife, such as gators, can be a little scary but true Floridians have embraced these creatures which is why you’ll find nature-centric decorations to be the norm in a Floridian yard.

Pinterest is a great location to find Florida decoration ideas; type in a few keywords like “Florida”, “Florida Yards”, or “Florida Backyard Ideas” and you’ll receive many, many boards and pins that should inspire you.

It’s common to see the following:

·  Gator-related items pinned up on a fence

·  Sea shells and other aquatic items (like old fishing poles) set in the yard

·  Plastic or metal Florida wildlife decorations like flamingos

When you’re taking the DIY route with landscaping, you can find many of these items online through the major shopping portals or by getting in touch with Florida-based businesses. The decorations or re-purposed items are very common in Florida so you shouldn’t have trouble getting a few good finds.

Florida gives you the image of warm, sandy beaches, and relaxation. You can manufacture this experience with creative landscaping. Once you’re happy with your work you can sit back, sip on a drink, and feel like you’ve been whisked away to a nice, tropical vacation.

Photo credit: greenermagazine.blogspot.com

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