Florida and Orchids Naturally Go Together

What is is about orchids that is so undeniably attractive?  Perhaps because their mystical presence has been part of nature since before man and they span all of the continents of the Earth except for Antarctica.  Science has shown that the Orchidaceae family of flowering plants may go back as far as 100 million years or more.  One orchid species that has been traced back to at least 60 million years, the dried seed pods of the Vanilla Orchid are the source of vanilla for baking and perfume!

How many types of orchids are there?  The Orchidaceae family of uniquely beautiful flowers has about 28,000 natural species: this equals the number of bony fishes and is more than twice the number of bird species, and about four times the number of mammal species on Earth. Since the introduction of tropical orchids into cultivation in the 19th century, horticulturists have produced more than 100,000 additional hybrids and cultivars.

Why do the flowers of the orchid last so long?  The complex mechanisms that orchids have evolved to achieve cross-pollination, which were once investigated by Charles Darwin himself, are highly specialized therefore the chances of being pollinated are often unlikely, so orchid flowers usually remain in bloom for very long periods.  You will find orchids in flower for months at a time, giving endless enjoyment.

What about orchids in Florida?  Our state is host to about half of the native orchid species found in the United States! Almost all orchid species will thrive in the climate and conditions of the Sunshine State because we are at a nexus of both temperate and semi-tropical to tropical regions.  Our native species of orchids include the fabled Ghost Orchid as well as four species that are so rare, they originate only in Florida.

What are the four main types of orchids?  Orchidaceae are broken down into Moth Orchids (Phalaenopsis), Dendrobium Orchids, Slipper Orchids (shown above), and Boat Orchids (Cymbidium).  All of these orchids can thrive in the right setting in and around your Florida home.   Phalaenopsis are the most common variety that you see sold just about everywhere including the local grocery store.  Dendrobrium have long narrow leaves and are often found decorating restaurant tables or garnishing elegant plates of food.  The rarely sold Lady Slipper orchid is pictured above and comes in many other colors.  Cymbidium orchids are large and tall with heavy, elaborate flowers.

How can orchids be incorporated into North Florida landscape design?  There are several ways to add orchids to your landscaping.  Because some species are air plants, they are often grown on trees as they would be found in nature.  Dendrobrium orchids are known to grow well in our soil and bloom once or twice per year.  Cymbidium and moth orchids enjoy the conditions of pots on outdoor patios and lanais.  Consult with the experts at GreenFlex Landscaping for your landscape design, installation, and care in Palm Coast, Flagler Beach, Ormond Beach, St. Augustine, and Bunnell. 

Using Pinterest to Inspire Your Landscaping

If you are ready to create your landscape design in North Florida, we are ready to help!  Perhaps you have moved into a new home and the landscaping is old or unhealthy, or you would like to use landscaping for privacy.  Or maybe you want to add value and curb appeal to your home, or would like to enjoy the health benefits of lush landscapes and trees.  Whatever your reason, GreenFlex Landscaping is at your service to design, install, and maintain the most beautiful lawn and landscape design you can imagine.

But what if you are not able to imagine exactly what your dream landscape design looks like?  Is this your first home or are you not familiar with the needs and conditions of North Florida landscaping?  Trust our expertise but begin gathering ideas for what you like - this is where an online source like Pinterest truly comes in handy!

We suggest you start a Pinterest account if you have not already done so.  This is easily done on computer or phone, using an email address.  You will choose interests such as Landscape Design, Florida Landscape Design, Backyard Landscaping, Front Yard Landscaping, or Beach Landscape Design.  From there the site will give you many options to follow and you can begin to collect, known as "pinning" images to "boards" you create, and in so doing you make a database of the styles and types of landscaping you find the most attractive.

You can follow boards that feature landscape design ideas such as this one:

North Florida Landscape Design Ideas and Plans for Palm Coast, St. Augustine, and Ormond Beach

When you are ready to meet with us to draw up your new landscape plans, you will have an arsenal of photos that express exactly what you are looking for.  We are happy to work with you at every stage of the design and installation process, resulting in the most beautiful and thriving landscape design you can achieve in Flagler, Volusia, or St. Johns Counties, Florida.

We think you will enjoy the process and Pinterest makes it so easy to express your individual taste and style.  We also invite you to follow our Stoughton & Duran Pinterest for custom home design, landscaping, and more.

Form and Function: Landscaping for Privacy in Florida

Landscaping for privacy is one of the top reasons why a Florida landscape designer such as GreenFlex is called upon and we encourage the use of natural plantings to provide your own sanctuary. Landscaped privacy areas often look so much better than a fence, and often work better to distract from what you are hiding as opposed to drawing attention.

Reasons why you may need landscaping for privacy at your Florida home or business:

A small home site - Although easier to maintain, small yards bring your neighbors that much closer.

Noise reduction - If you live near a busy public area or road, this may be important to you.

An unattractive fence that borders your property - Double your privacy with a better looking screen of plantings.

Provide clear separation between yards - Property lines are not always obvious and landscaping can clarify borders.

Once your landscaping for privacy is planted, regular landscape maintenance is of the utmost importance to keep it doing its intended job.  Proper irrigation and fertilization is typically mandatory, and we also utilize the concepts of Florida friendly, waterwise, xeriscaped, and native landscape designs.  Contact GreenFlex Landscaping of North Florida to create landscaping for privacy in Flagler, Volusia, and St. Johns Counties.   

How We Maintain Your Irrigation Matters

We can absolutely improve almost any existing irrigation system. Our sprinkler services are geared towards all of your irrigation needs including but not limited to: complete overhaul of outdated irrigation, brand new system installation, or needed repairs.

We are committed to providing our customers with the opportunity to conserve water while still maintaining the highest quality of landscape plants and grass.  For instance, drip irrigation provides up to 60 percent reduction in water use.

Environmentally friendly, drought tolerant water conservation is achieved through drip irrigation systems as well as low volume irrigation systems.  GreenFlex Landscaping will provide a planned irrigation maintenance program with scheduled irrigation system checks:
  • Inspection of your irrigation will happen on a regular basis and will include sprinkler heads, timer mechanism, and each individual zone.  
  • A visual inspection of the system will be performed, which will indicate any hot spots or line breaks.
  • There is no additional charge for minor nozzle adjustments, cleaning, and timer adjustments according to season and weather.
  • Typically any equipment problems that require replacement will be quoted to the client before work is done, unless in the rare case the malfunction is causing damage to the property or there is a potential for injury.

The Four Seasons of Landscaping

"To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven" -Ecclesiastes 3:1

Spring - In this season we begin to see the rebirth of certain plants, flowers, and trees in the St. Augustine, Palm Coast, and Ormond Beach areas. We may have a few minor frosts but nothing that discourages the citrus blossoms, amaryllis (pictured), azaleas, lilies, and crape myrtles that emerge during our Florida spring. Faded plants are often switched out for fresh varieties and color comes back to our yards with aplomb.  

Summer - As the heat descends upon northeast Florida, the importance of proper watering becomes paramount. Improperly timed and zoned sprinkler systems can be devastating for your grass and landscaping. Having a licensed and insured professional such as GreenFlex Landscaping check, set, and service your irrigation will protect you from burned out lawns and possibly save you money on your water bill.

Fall - Because our weather remains very warm during the "second spring" of Florida and hurricane tinged storms can bring an abundance of rain, our lawns are simply glowing with green life and growing so quickly you can almost see the blades expanding upward. Many of us are relieved to have hired a professional lawn maintenance company to keep our lawns under control throughout the summer heat and into the exuberant fall - the rest of us are wishing we did!

Winter - In Florida this is when we enjoy spending cozy family and social times on our patio, as we sit in front of a warm, softly burning fire pit. With days often mild and glorious in the midday sun, hardscaped areas within the landscape become very inviting. During the Florida winter you may find yourself ready to plan a winding garden path, a trickling waterfall, or an al fresco dining area within the beauty and sanctuary of trees.

Don't Let Summer Heat Fry Your Lawn

Watering needs change with the seasons, and so does the climate for Daytona, Ormond, St. Augustine, and Palm Coast landscaping.  Have us monitor and adjust your irrigation settings, and be assured we keep up on the latest updates to local water restrictions.

The complexities of Florida lawn irrigation needs are always best addressed by a licensed irrigation professional. GreenFlex Landscaping emphasizes to its customers the importance of making sure that your irrigation system is properly set for the current season and checking periodically to make sure that the system has not been re-set or shut off due to power surges/outages/etc.

Lawns can be literally fried by the summer sun this time of year if the irrigation system is not properly set. If you do not know if or are concerned your sprinklers may not be functioning in the way they should be, contact GreenFlex Landscaping for an licensed irrigation inspection so that you do not have to be totally responsible for monitoring your system.

Keep in mind that efficient watering requires a quality sprinkler system design, excellent water management skills, and cyclical system maintenance. This maintenance, which may include seasonal adjustment, will improve water coverage resulting in both better landscape growth and utility bill savings. We would be happy to suggest modifications that will decrease the use of water for your irrigation as well.

You can refer to the Irrigation page of the GreenFlex Landscaping web site for more information. Have a happy and beautiful Florida summer!

Water is Life and Irrigation is Key

Water is life: regular watering from rainfall or irrigation systems is necessary for most of the beautiful plants in your landscape design.  Unfortunately, many Florida homeowners have unknowingly spent as much as half of their utility bill on watering lawns and landscaping, when watering wisely can be so much easier than you may realize. We are professional irrigation specialists - licensed by the State of Florida FC12361: we can set up, repair, and calibrate your watering system.  

All plants need to be watered during the first weeks after planting or transplanting, and during development.  Then they fall into different categories according to water needs, from the very thirsty to the drought tolerant.  In irrigation terms, efficiency refers to how much of the water applied to the plants is finally used by them and uniformity refers to how evenly the water is applied to the plants.  This is the science we employ to keep your landscaping looking its best.

A knowledgeable landscape designer will divide your plantings and irrigation segments into watering zones (hydro-zones): oasis, transitional, and xeric. The oasis zone is for the thirstiest plants and will be placed closest to a water source. The xeric zone is for plants that need no supplemental water after being established. The transitional zone will contain plants that need occasional watering, or regular watering during a drought.

It is concepts such as the three watering zones that explain why an expertly designed, installed, and maintained lawn and landscape design will look better and thrive unequivocally through the dramatic seasons of Florida.  Your comprehensive site plan will include placement of water sources among the plantings, and you will be able to recognize the oasis, transitional, and xeric zones if you look closely.   Perhaps it is your preference to feature one of the three hydro-zones predominantly in your landscaping and we can do just that.  

A licensed landscaper, who is foremost an irrigation professional, knows the science behind a lush and waterwise landscape.  We make it our business to understand unique concepts such as field capacity, which refers to the maximum amount of water a soil may hold before draining to become runoff.  An irrigation controller is an automatic timing device that operates irrigation zones for a predetermined time and frequency.  Scheduling of irrigation is based on factors such as soil type, root zone depth, and weather conditions - it should be regularly calibrated and checked for proper functionality.

North Florida wavers between extreme drought conditions and record rainfalls.  Contact GreenFlex Landscaping for a free estimate when you need assistance with your irrigation.  We are a full service landscape design, installation, and lawn care company for residential and commercial customers in St. Johns, Volusia, and Flagler Counties.