We have a delicate relationship with moisture here in Florida, as we mentioned in last week's blog post.

2012 was an especially interesting year for us: It rained more than we're used to, which made it easy to forget we can go through pretty crippling dry spells, suffering without rainfall for weeks at a time.

Then, in May 2013, we had a six-week drought out of the blue. (That's one way to bring us all back to reality!)

We've also been reading for a while here at GreenEarth Landscape Services that we may start seeing significant water restrictions in the years to come. Which means it might be time to start thinking about forming some good habits before those restrictions set in. (Trust us: It'll be a lot easier to comply if you've done it on your own in the first place.)

This delicate relationship prompted some pioneering horticulturists to create a program of plant selections just for our unique climate: Florida Friendly Plants.

This program has replaced what we used to think of as xeriscaping with approachable plant selections that make it simple to create sustainable outdoor spaces that thrive in Florida. Here are a few Florida Friendly plants we love to use in the landscapes we create for our clients.

muhley grass florida plants resized 600Florida Friendly plant pick #1: Pink Muhly Grass

This is a showy ornamental grass that's also incredibly rugged and hardy in a Florida climate. Pink Muhly Grass can grow up to 4 feet high with huge, fluffy pink plumes that really capture the spotlight in a garden.

Florida Friendly plant pick #2: Dwarf Yaupon Holly

Dwarf Yaupon Holly is a squat evergreen plant with a low growth habit that makes it perfect as a hedge or foundation plant. It's also beautifully symmetrical and remains in its rounded shape with very little pruning — an impressive landscape statement with considerably less effort.

Conradina friendly florida plants resized 600Florida Friendly plant pick #3: Conradina

Also known as false rosemary, Conradina is actually part of the mint family! This beautiful plant grows well with very little water, blooming a couple of times throughout the high season with beautiful blue flowers.

Florida Friendly plant pick #4: Dwarf Walter's Viburnum

This is a perfectly compact shrub-type plant with densely packed, shiny bright-green leaves. It blooms with tiny white flowers and is considered evergreen in almost every climate — not just ours in Florida!

It's a great idea to implement one Florida Friendly plant in your landscape, but it's even better to create an entire landscape based around Florida Friendly plants. And it isn't just about plant selections, of course. Florida Friendly landscaping is also about watering and fertilizing, attracting wildlife and managing pests, and more.

Is your landscape Florida Friendly? Do you want it to be? We want to help you develop an outdoor space that not only survives but thrives in our unique climate and environment, from the plants you select to how you care for it.

If you're near Panama City Beach, call our office at (850) 236-1959, or call our Santa Rosa Beach office at (850) 267-0010. You can also fill out our handy web form to have a GreenEarth landscape professional call you.

Let's create something sustainable and beautiful together!