Northwest Florida homeowners enjoy mild winters compared to our neighbors in Northern states. Despite the typically warmer winters, we have to be prepared for unseasonably cold weather that causes temperatures to plummet below freezing. The most efficient residential landscape design plans for our area consider summer and winter weather extremes, damage from tropical storms and hurricanes, possible flooding, salt spray from the ocean, and drought.
Purposeful Use of Shrubs
During the winter, cold winds descend on Florida from the north and northwest. An effective way to protect your plants and prevent the blustery winds from making your furnace work harder is to plant a row of tall evergreen shrubs on the north side of your home. During the summer, cool winds blow in from the south. The cooler air increases the comfort level of your outdoor living spaces, so you shouldn’t try to block that air.
Using Annuals to Add Seasonal Color
Cool weather annuals that are typically planted in the Spring in Northern hardiness zones are ideal additions to a winter landscape in Northwest Florida. Pansies and snapdragons are perfect for sunny areas. If you have full shade, Violas are an excellent choice. Begonias are well suited to areas that have partial sun.
Adding Non-Flowering Plants for Textural Accents
Ornamental kale has become a popular addition to winter landscapes all over the country. Although it doesn’t flower, the striking combination of burgundy and white or green and white and the curly leaves bring interest to a front or back yard at a time when most perennials are dormant.
Dramatic Foliage Adds Seasonal Interest
Colorful foliage on Crotons and Ti plants would be a beautiful addition to any Northwest Florida landscape. You need to be mindful of the fact that both plants are native to tropical climates, so the best way to protect them from cold weather is by growing them in containers.
Hibiscus acetosella is also called African Rose Mallow, False Roselle, and Red-Leafed Hibiscus. It is a fast growing plant that needs a minimum of six hours of full sun each day. The first blooms emerge between November and December. Each flower only lasts for a day, but the plant blooms continuously for a few weeks during the winter. Because it is native to tropical regions, you’ll need to protect it from cold winter temperatures. The best way to do that is by growing it in large containers.
An efficient four season landscape installation is one that considers the growth and bloom habits of everything you choose to put in your yard. The plants you choose must tolerate the salt spray, unpredictable weather patterns like long droughts or frequent storms that produce torrential rainfall totals.
Let GreenEarth Help You Introduce a Four-Season Landscape Design to Your Northwest Florida Backyard
At GreenEarth, we’ll recommend other colorful foliage alternatives to flowers, and we can assist you with planning and planting. If you’d like a consultation on what foliage would work well in your garden, call our Panama City Beach office at (850) 236-1959, or call our Santa Rosa Beach office at (850) 267-0010 to set up an appointment.
You can also fill out the online form on our website to schedule a consultation or download our FREE Landscape Planning Guide below and start turning your dreams of a color-rich landscape into a reality.