Eco-Landscaping Makeover


This home looks uninviting with its mostly bare, weedy yard. The expanse of pine straw ground covering doesn’t standout against the home’s exterior, which is a similar hue. 


Landscaping softens the look of the house and adds contrast and color. Every plant is either native, non-invasive or low-maintenance, making this yard one that an eco-conscious family can be proud of.


Visitors have to navigate a junk-filled porch. This cluttered appearance is not welcoming to guests. 


A clean, landscaped front yard has a lot more curb appeal. New planters at the end of the driveway and colorful flowers accent the tidy, attractive porch.

Rain Chain

A rain barrel works best with a standard downspout, but the homeowners wanted a rain chain to match the Arts and Crafts style of their home.

Rain Barrel

To make a yard as environmentally-friendly as possible, avoid using municipal water to take care of the landscape. One solution is to add a rain barrel. How much rain can you collect with a rain barrel? For every inch of rain that falls on an area of 1,000 square feet, you can expect to collect about 600 gallons of rain water. To figure out how much roof area you’re collecting water from, multiple the square footage of your house and add any extensions of eaves or porch roofs.

(Rain barrel: Aqua Barrel)


Constant moisture can ruin the new wood planters, however, so paint the inside of the planters with a natural wood treatment that consists of mineral and plant materials.

(Wood treatment: Lifetime Wood Treatment)

Wax myrtle

Wax myrtle is a native that’s typically used in the landscape as a screening or border plant. It can be pruned to encourage dense foliage; when left untrimmed, it has an irregular shape with multiple trunks that can form a thicket.

  • Tolerant of salt spray, drought, heat and sand
  • Leaves are yellowish green and fragrant when crushed
  • Females have waxy blue berries.
  • Can grow as much as 5 feet in a year
  • Can be pruned to encourage dense foliage, but untrimmed it has an irregular shape with multiple trunks which form a kind of thicket.
  • Aromatic foliage is said to repel insects in a yard
  • USDA Zones 7-10

‘George Tabor’ azalea

  • This popular evergreen azalea blooms so heavily in spring that the foliage is often hidden.
  • Non-native
  • Can grow 10 to 12 feet tall and spread 8 to 10 feet
  • USDA Zones 8-10

Holly fern

Named for the shape of its fronds, this fern is evergreen in frost-free areas. It loses its fronds in other areas.

  • Non-native fern that’s been popular in Florida since the 1800s.
  • Grows 2 to 3 feet tall and spreads about 3 feet.
  • Prefers part to full shade.
  • USDA Zones 6-11

East Palatka holly

Ilex x attenuata ‘East Palatka’

  • Named for the Florida town where it was discovered, this native holly produces plenty of red berries in fall and winter.
  • Grows to about 25 feet tall and 15 feet wide
  • USDA Zones 7-9

African bush daisy

Gamolepis chrysanthemoides

  • Can reach 3 feet tall and 4 feet wide
  • Flowers best in full sun
  • Drought tolerant, but it needs to be watered for the best bloom
  • USDA Zones 8-11
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