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Longboat Key’s Newest Landmark Home Landscaped, And Irrigated By Grants Gardens

Grants Gardens was part of an all-star team of contractors and designers tapped to build one of Longboat Key's most striking homes - Ohana.

Ohana Longboat Key Landscape Construction

The homeowners had a deep appreciation of Polynesian and African architecture and locations and wanted the home to reflect the culture, materials and design themes of those rich cultures. Together with the home builder, Michael K Walker & Associates, they decided to open the home design up by means of a contest. Guy Peterson OFA, was selected with the winning design, that featured a series of connected pavilions utilized design cues that drew from both the Polynesian and African cultures but also incorporated the highly functional and clean lines of modern architecture. Additionally the home utilizes many of the latest green-technologies to have a minimal impact on the local environment.

Palm Trees With Irrigation Lanscape Construction Ohana LBK

Grants Gardens was selected to install the landscaping... ...read full post


Landscape Design In Florida Centers Around Water Management

Few places in the country offer the diversity of landscape design possibilities as southwest Florida.

Siesta Key Landscape Design Example


Waterfront areas such as Sarasota or Bradenton even more so as the close proximity to the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico prevent serious frosts even in the odd cold snap.

When planning a landscape, a designer can utilize a full palette of plant material with everything from exotic tropical palm trees, fruit trees, ornamentals, cacti and succulents, and of course native trees and shrubs.

However the available water on the property, the drainage situation, soil condition and availability of irrigation and amount of impervious surfaces present will play a major role in the choices a landscape designer will make.

Landscape designs for homes that are on salt water will have to be particularly sensitive to a variety of water issues including, storm-water drainage and fertilizer use, saltwater intrusion into the irrigation well, seasonal irrigation restrictions and a plan for the eventuality of a flood, soaking everything in saltwater for a short time. Plants that are not salt... ...read full post

Glenn Souza
posted by Glenn Souza , in:
Landscape Design


Sarasota Landscape Design Is A Blend Of Artistic Expression Built On Sustainable Irrigation And Water Management

All About The Water
Artistic Landscape Design
The Message In Color
Scale In Design
The Sarasota, Bradenton and the barrier islands are all areas with water-sensitive issues. Before the artistic expression of a landscape design can begin the water needs and runoff issues of the site must be fully understood. As such, every quality landscape design in our area must begin with a plan for efficient irrigation, and management of storm water runoff.


A garden is truly a living sculpture. Any landscape design concept should be to provide the garden occupants a pleasant area for entertainment and relaxation. Planning a landscape begins with the desires of the owners as well as the abilities of the land.

A salt-tolerant and sustainable bayfront yard

In Florida, many landscape design concepts need to begin with the natural water in the area. The plans need to extend to consider runoff and how the plants and land will tolerate salt water intrusion from weather events... ...read full post

Glenn Souza
posted by Glenn Souza , in:
Landscape Design


Is Your Irrigation System Running At Optimum Efficiency?

With the end of the rainy season and the onset of Florida's long dry season it's a great time to take a look at your irrigation system and determine if everything is in order.

Below are some tips to help you make sure you are both providing enough water to keep your turn and landscape healthy and not using too much resulting in higher costs, unhealthy plants and breaking water restrictions.

What Time Of Day Is Your Irrigation System Running?

Make sure that your irrigation system is running only in the early morning, just before the sun comes up. When the season change that time will have to adjust as well. Running an irrigation system during the early morning hours when it's cooler will allow the water time to soak into the soil where it can be absorbed by the plants. If your sprinkler is running during the day the hot sun and warmer temps will evaporate as much as 60% of the water. If your sprinklers are running in the middle of the night, the prolonged time that the plants are covered with water can lead to mold, pests and other problems for your landscape. So make sure your system is only... ...read full post


Beneficial Insects Take A Bite Out Of Pests In The Florida Landscape

The State of Florida is currently experiencing the introduction of new harmful insects that specifically feed on plants and trees.

ILady Bettlen an effort to reduce broad applications of dangerous insecticides, we are exploring the release of beneficial insects into the landscape.

We have consulted with the University of Florida and other colleagues particularly in Southern Florida to address a solution to our problem.

Lady bug beetles and green lace wings are thought to be beneficial insects that when introduced into the landscape can attack the harmful bugs and reduce their impact.

Green LacewingWe have completed some small releases of lady bug beetles in controlled environments recently.

We will be monitoring those locations to see the effects and expand our understanding.

Please visit our website www.grantsgardens.com to see pictures of our landscapes or call the office at 941-343-9396 to schedule service.... ...read full post

Glenn Souza
posted by Glenn Souza , in:
Gardening Pests


Big Impact From Small Landscape Design Projects

A small space can have big opportunities for landscape design and add value, function and enjoyment to your property.

Landscaped Brick Paver Path On Longboat KeyPathways along properties are a great example of a small space that has lots of potential. While a path along a home or property line may not have a large horizontal surface it also has a large vertical surface to make use of. Florida's climate allows us to use a variety of vines that will cling to vertical surfaces and can provide a stunning backdrop. If the area is under full sun at least 6 hrs per day bougainvillea can be grown and cropped to create a path lined with colorful magenta blooms. Varieties of Jasmine can be planted to provide both a visual feast and a treat for the sense with amazing fragrant blooms and dark thick foliage. Many small to medium sized palm trees are perfect for lining paths or for use in other small spaces. Our professional designers can create an the illusion more space by curving the path... ...read full post


Waterfront Landscaping Presents Challenges And Opportunities

Waterfront Landscaping On Longboat Key

Projects on Siesta Key, Longboat Key and other Sarasota area properties that are directly on the waterfront require a well-planned design that takes in account several factors.

First and foremost the design has to look great, but because the property is directly on the water extra care is needed to make sure any water that runs off the roof, and hard surfaces of the property is reduced to trapped to keep pollutants and excess fertilizer from washing into the bay.

Longboat Key Seawall Palm treesHaving a home directly on the water also some other issues that landlocked properties do not have to address. The side of the home that faces to water will need to maintain an open view, have functional access to the seawall and any dockage, but also have some degree of privacy for homeowners who want to enjoy the outdoors.

During late summer as hurricanes frequently pass by the Sarasota... ...read full post


Rain Gardens Stop Runoff, Remove Pollutants And Return Water To The Aquifer

As the Sarasota area continues to grow one of the challenges developers, architects and city planners will encounter when building a structure or creating a paved road is the effect of a large non-permeable surface has on runoff.

Rain GardenOnce a large waterproof surface has been created it can generates massive amounts of runoff during a rain storm.

This is a particular concern for the Sarasota area with so many large estate homes, sidewalks and roadways lining the bays and canals. In the case of large scale engineering projects, the standard solution is to create large open drainage ponds were the runoff water is channeled into and stored during storms. For residential areas and areas with high land values these large ponds are not an option.

residential rain gardenRain gardens also called Bioretention areas are an elegant solution. A rain garden, when properly designed will catch an be able to retain all of the storm water runoff generated in a typical rain event for the are it is designed. The rain garden... ...read full post


Hardscape Design; From Simple Landscape Decorations To Infrastructure

Hardscape trellis with fountain and pottery on casey key

Other than the term “Landscape Design” no other term in the landscape construction industry is more general than “Hardscape”. Hardscaping can serve many purposes and can be anything from simple pottery in a planted are to large water features, pool decks, stone terraces, pavilions or outdoor fireplaces. Adding hardscape elements to the natural landscape can completely change the nature of a space by adding an artistic focal point, improved access, a new function or enhanced privacy.

Grants Gardens frequently uses a variety of hardscape features to enhance our clients properties. At a recently completed project on Sarasota bay we utilized several hardscape elements to greatly enhance the homeowners property. When working with large projects in sensitive areas like bay front property, storm water management should always be a consideration because, any hardscape element such as a deck or patio will generate a lot of runoff in the rainy season.

In this particular project Grants Gardens designed and built, several large hardscape elements including a manufactured, natural appearing concrete surfaced deck with sweeping stone stairs. The same material was used to create a large... ...read full post


Florida Native Plants - Benefits For Home Owner And Community

A presentation recently posted by Grants Gardens featuring detailed information on the differences between Florida native Plants and use of exotics in local landscapes. In this presentation Grant explains how native plants can be a benefit to home owners in landscape maintenance savings, water usage savings, reduce environmental impact and enhance the sustainability of a home.

Florida Native Plants from Grants Gardens, Sarasota Florida
... ...read full post






Grants Gardens specializes in Landscape Design and Florida-Friendly Landscape Maintenance Services For the Entire Sarasota / Bradenton Area Including, Sarasota, Longboat Key
Lido Key, Bird Key, Siesta Key, Osprey, Casey Key, Anna Maria Island and Bradenton. License# SL-A1749

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