Jan 11 2016

With winter here many plants in Southwest Florida are in bloom, including an Outside Productions favorite, 'Helen Johnson' Bougainvillea.   Named after Helen Johnson, the first female licensed as a landscape architect in Florida, this low-lying variety of Bougainvillea features blooms on and off all year.  Helen Johnson began her career in landscape architecture at the age of 12 when she worked at the Everglades Nursery.  From there she worked for Thomas and Mina Edison as their landscape designer.   The 'Helen Johnson' cultivar was hybridized by the Everglades Nursery and features smaller thorns, dought, cold, and salt-tolerance.  Another unique feature of this variety of Bougainvillea is the height, which can be around 3' when trimmed.  Unlike "Barbara Karst' this variety is typically used as a shrub or groundcover and can be used as a border.  The plant color can range in color from a purple-pink to a pink-orange shade.  The actual flower is the small white blossom inside the colorful flower bracts. 

 

'Helen Johnson' Bougainvillea works well as a border due to its low-lying form. 

Nov 23 2015

The holidays are drawing nearer, which means the chillier winter months are ahead.  While the north is getting their first snow of the year, here in Southwest Florida some of our most beautiful plants and trees are starting to bloom! 

Lining parts of Livingston/ Imperial Road, an OPi design, the Hong Kong Orchid tree is in bloom right now, showcasing its beautiful purple flowers. The evergreen leaves appear to almost weep off the long, linear branches.  In many cultures, particularly in Hong Kong, the large leaves are used as bookmarks for good luck with studies! 

While they are too large for a small yard, Hong Kong Orchids are beautiful as a specimen tree on a larger property.  They are also a popular choice for shade and privacy trees because they are fast growing and have a wide canopy.  Due to its fast-growing nature it should not be planted in areas with high winds. 

Oct 19 2015

We love using various varieties of Bromeliads here at Outside Productions.  The Blue Tango Bromeliad is a great fit for tropical landscapes and brings an extra pop to the outdoors.  OPi landscape architect, Katherine, likes the Blue Tango Bromeliad because it makes a bold statement with it’s bright green foliage and stunning blue flowers.  It’s large size, about 30 inches in height, makes it great as an accent.  The bright green leaves pair well with the deep green of Asian Jasmine.  Location is key with this plant as it takes shade to part sun.  With proper drainage and light the Blue Tango Bromeliad even works well in pots and raised planters!

 

Sep 14 2015

If you've driven around Old Naples recently you may have noticed a number of beautiful, purple-flowering trees springing to life.  Blooming between May and January, Tibouchina trees are at peak blooming season and showing off around town.  

Also known as the Purple Glory Tree, Tibouchinas have a course texture with evergreen leaves.  They grow to 15-20 feet in height and spread.  Tibouchinas do best in full sun and well-drained soils with regular watering.  We love pairing them with low, bright groundcovers like Flax Lily, Asparagus Fern, or Green Island Ficus. Larger shrubs such as Xanadu, Schefflera, or Varrigated Schefflera pair nicely as longs as they are maintained and do not outgrow the Tibouchina. 

While they are a favorite in the landscape, it is difficult to buy large trees and therefore you should expect them to grow in to the landscape over time. 

Aug 24 2015

The "Rojo Congo' philodendron is an Outside Productions favorite! The bold texture and color allows this plant to be the perfect accent in a tropical landscape. Its unique red petioles, or stalks, stand out against the dark green leaves. Requiring filtered light and moist soil; it is well suited for tropical gardens. With proper light they can grow indoors. In either location it is important to avoid full sun, which will cause leaf scorch.


The photo below shows a recent installation at Jumby Bay in Old Naples. In this sideyard the 'Rojo Congo' is planted alongside Heliconia andromeda, Alexander Palms, White Birds of Paradise, and a Night-blooming Jasmine.

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