Build a Beachy Naturescape? We’re On It…

This project was special: Create a beachy Florida friendly, bird loving landscape from a blank slate. What an honor and privilege!

Examination of the area during the site visit revealed great daylight shade-sun patterns provided by a southern exposure and protected by an existing spreading slash pine and a neighbors oak.

The mission was to create an interesting visually appealing path to the front door that would  lead visitors through a landscape surrounded by Florida friendly and Native plants. The path and the planted area would get it’s beachy feel from several inches of crushed shell in the planted area.

Southern exposure can be full of intense sunlight but in this case, the sun was diffused by the pine tree and neighbors oak and  provided varying light conditions to all areas of the front yard during the day, creating that perfect blend of plenty of sun with shots of shade when the plants would appreciate it most.

We took the picture above, plugged it into our visualize-it landscape program and started designing.  NatureScape design viewThe house needed softening and we decided Fackahatchee grass would serve well in the background with it’s mounding shape and low maintenance flow.  We added an Areca Palm to the left side as a welcoming sentinel to the path to be. Three weeping hibiscus would provide a spots of color, along with the bright blue flowers of plumbago planned to cascade near the turn to the door.

The walkway would consist of crushed shell with the right side of the walk using more shell to offset native Sea Grapes, Clusia, Firebush, Thryallis and Firecracker for pop. The plan was presented to the homeowner who accepted it and was ready to move on the idea.

The project started with material delivery.  Three huge piles of crushed shell notified the neighbors that somethin’ was going on at the house. shell-delivery Three different aggregate sizes were used in the project.  “Fines” were used as the walkway base. 3/4 inch was used as accent on each side of the walkway for definition of the path, and finally “ancient sea bed” shell was used as accent over any non walking areas.

What an accent the larger ancient sea bed aggregate made!  Contained in the mixture of the ancient sea bed shell were absolute relics including an oyster shell that was at least 8 inches long and 4 inches thick, many many varying conchs and clam shells, as well as fantastic fossil rocks.  It was just an amazing mixture of old old shells many intact and it was very hard to just “put a shovel in it” to dig it.

Just about every wheelbarrow load, once dumped was “arranged” to show the contents off in their best orientation.  Treasures were discovered and displayed where they could be “rediscovered” by those with a sharp eye.

Another accent we used was Florida Limestone rock, about 1000 lbs which we used in various ways.  We used it as a border in conjunction with ancient sea bed fossil rock.  We also created custom rock planters with the stone to line the pathway.  In these we planted Firecrackers for some nice red pop!

The reveal immediately upon completion.  Click on photos for larger view.  Of course we can’t wait for 3 months to pass to retake photos with the plants more mature.




The completed front view







The new path leading to the front door.








The new entryway with shell borders.









The bird friendly area, planted with Florida Firebush, Sea Grapes and Wild Coffee






Custom rock planters.  We built 5 to border the walkway and filled with firecrackers for pop.


As this Pinellas County landscape matures, we look forward to updating the pictures here and watching this Nature-scape evolve.  We hope you do too!

If you’d be interested in having your very own naturescape, contact us. We’d be happy to create one for you!


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