Apr 19 2017

Celebrating Earth Day

Earth Day was founded by US Senetor Gaylord Nelson from Wisconsin after he witnessed the devestation of a massive oil spill off the coast of Santa Barbara, California in 1969. He was inspired to organize a national "teach-in" that focused on educating the public about the environment.  The first Earth Day was on April 22, 1970 and had led to the creation of the National Environmental Protection Act signed by President Nixon.  Twenty million Americans took to the streets, including students from thousands of colleges who organized protests against the deterioration of the environment.  Over the decades more and more people from over 190 countries are now observing Earth Day. 


Plant A Tree

Earth Day has made us more aware of our environment and over a billion people every year do their part to keep it clean.  So celebrate Mother Earth and all she provides for us.





Mar 03 2017

OPi is busy with landscape architecure on new home construction in Southwest Florida. Many of these residences include pools in their plans.  In the photo above, this design will feature a classical pool, with a spa and fountains surrounded by beautiful and open landscape.  Two large Ficus trees were salvaged and incorporated into the site design providing some much needed shade in Southwest Florida.


Boca Grande Site

Here is a sneak peak of a location in Bocca Grande with a breathtaking view.  Opi has teamed up with Safety Harbor Builders and will design an elevated pool with a graceful infinity edge as well as a spacious auto court with turf and stone paving. 

Feb 23 2017

Late winter or early spring is a busy time in the garden and pruning is one of those much needed chores.  Pruning at the wrong time of year causes failure to bloom.  Plants should be pruned when they are in their dormant or resting period.  This way cuts have a long time in which to heal before the following winter.  Another advantage is leaves are not present this time of year and it is easier to see what you are doing.  Also, pruning at the proper time can avoid certain disease and physiological problems. Keep in mind, that there are a few exceptions to this rule.  Plants that flower in the spring from buds made the pervious season should be pruned as soon after thier blossom period.

Here is a guide for pruning correctly...


Feb 20 2017

In Honor of President's Day

Did you know Thomas Jefferson was a landscape designer?  Yes, the principal author of the Declaration of Independence and the third president of the United States was also a pioneer in American landscape architecture.  Jefferson designed the Gardens of Monticello for his plantation Monticello near Charlottesville, Virginia.  Most of his ideas were his own, but he gathered materials from travelers from all over the United States and other countries.   

The Pavilion

Jefferson was also known for creating the masterplan for the campus of the University of Virginia.  His original architectual design revolves around the Academical Village which remains in use today.  But his greatest impact he had within the ladscaping world was his advocacy of the grid for the subdivision of territory and for rational town planning.



Feb 07 2017

National Grapefruit Month

A relative newcomer to the citrus clan, grapefruit resulted from a cross between a sweet orange and a pummelo.  Some say the grapefruit got its name because of they way they grow in clusters like grapes.  But there have been many names for this subtropical citrus fruit.  Originally called the "forbidden fruit" back in 1750, the grapefruit was reported growing in most parts of Jamaica.  Later in 1837, it was given a a botanical name, "Citrus X Paradisi" meaning paradise citrus.  And that's just what it is; paradise in your mouth.  Not only does its tart and tangy and underlying sweetness make this a super fruit, but it is packed with health benefits as well.  Grapefruit is an excellent source of vitamin C and fights cancer-causing radicals.  This fruit has also been linked to weight loss, liver detoxing, fat burning and kidney stone prevention.

Grapefruit grows in many parts of the world with warm climates, but the United States is the main producer and consumer.  Grapefruit was introduced to Florida in the early 1800's.  Florida produces 75 percent of the domestic crop, with Texas a distant second, followed by California and Arizona.


Sliced Grapefruit



By the looks of it, not only an "apple a day keeps the doctor away", but a grapefruit can, too.