Longboat Key’s climate and location, while beautiful does present some challenges for large landscape projects. Particularly for waterfront locations when the home owner wants a really impressive tropical landscape that’s runs right up to either a canal or beach front.
Many more factors need to be balanced on waterfront property than the inland. In terms of the design and plants and trees used, very hardy species will need to be selected with a range of qualities including drought tolerance, the ability to grow well in sandy soil also important for waterfront homes is a certain amount of salt tolerance. By planting salt tolerant plants like cocoanut palms, Black olive, or even sea grapes, landscapers ensure flooding from high tides or storm surge will not destroy the landscape.
Cold hardiness is much less of a concern for homes on Sarasota’s barrier islands and canals. During the occasional winter cold-front when temps get close to freezing, the relatively warm water in the canals and gulf usually keep sensitive tropical plants from suffering much damage and prevent a hard frost.
For bay-front and beachfront homes a well planned landscape can help protect the property from erosion and shifting shorelines by helping to hold the ground behind dunes in place. Wildlife must also be considered for homeowners in waterfront areas. Longboat Key and Sarasota take wild life protection seriously and as such there are regulations that affect the homeowner’s options in their landscaping projects. One example of this is Turtle-friendly lighting. Many homeowners want to enhance their tropical gardens and outdoor decks and patios with landscape lighting. However bright lights in the evening can be disastrous for hatching sea turtles. The Sea Turtle’s instinct is to follow the moonlight into the water, if a homeowners lights are too bright the baby Turtles will become confused and may end up going the wrong direction. Grants Gardens offers Turtle-friendly lighting that meets local regulations for protecting the turtles and creates a beautiful and safer ambiance for enjoying your outdoor space.
Another obvious consideration for waterfront and island homes is water management. This includes landscape irrigation, controlling runoff and pollutants like fertilizers and pesticides.
Many of the beautiful broad-leaf tropical foliage plants require lots of fresh water, as such careful thought on where to place these plants can save thousands of gallons of water over time and result in healthier plants. By carefully planning with irrigation zones that are appropriate for your property’s micro-climates and selecting the right plant for the right place it is possible to have a stunning and lush tropical garden, directly at the waters edge. Furthermore by planting certain shrubs and grasses as a natural barrier, they will act as a filtration system to help remove any excess fertilizers that may be present during the hard rains in the summer months.
For ongoing landscape maintenance on Longboat Key and other Sarasota area locations, careful application of fertilizer is essential. Get it wrong and get used to more red tide and fish kills ruining your beach day or boating trip. Get it right and your beach-side garden will be lush year-round and can actually help remove excess nutrient from runoff.
Grants Gardens have been providing fine landscaping services to Longboat Key home owners and businesses for years including, landscape design, landscape maintenance, irrigation systems and outdoor lighting. We can design and maintain a beautiful and responsible landscape that will add, beauty, value and peace of mind for your waterfront property.