Aug 22 2016

Roberto Burle Marx, the most famous Brazilian landscape architect, and a world-recognized designer, has been the topic of many conversations surrounding the olympics in Rio de Janeiro.  Born in San Paulo in the early 1900s, he brought a unique style to the world of landscape architecture and to the country of Brazil. 

Working on many residential projects during his early career, his most famous and most visited project is the beach promenade at Copacabana.  The modernist pattern runs down sidewalk adjacent to the famous beach for nearly two and a half miles!  Burle Marx used the traditional Portuguese paving pattern but added his own style, creating a unique texture that, the most famous section, resembles waves.  In some areas the pattern becomes a series of abstract shapes, but remains black and white. Burle Marx also loved native tropical plants, using them throughout the promenade for pops of color.  

Here in Florida we use Philodendron Burle Marx, named after the famous Landscape Architect, on many of our projects.  The bright green plant grows 1’-2’ in height and spreads two to three times its height, allowing it to be used as a shrub or groundcover.  While it is native to Brazil it is used anywhere from in pots indoors, to mass plantings throughout the Naples area.  The unique heart-shaped leaf and waxy appearance help it stand out in the landscape. 

Burle Marx Philodendron

Aug 15 2016

Water features are a great addition to a garden.  They can transform an outdoor space by adding calming white noise, interest to the garden, and can even be a focal feature.

People often ask about self-contained water features for courtyards and small garden areas.  We can definitely understand why.  They are affordable, work well in small areas (because their pump equipment is typically within the water basin), and they are easy to install.  Plumbing is not required all you need is a level area and power.  

Here are a couple things to keep in mind when locating a self-contained water feature.  Their compact pumps do not have filtration or chlorination, which can lead to build up and issues with the pump.  Also because they do not require plumbing they do not have an auto fill.  You will have to periodically check the water levels and fill as needed from evaporation.   

Self-contained water features do require a little more maintenance, but if you are a hands-on gardener and don’t mind replacing the water and periodically checking the fountain it can be a great addition to your outdoor space!

To ease maintenance, run an irrigation drip to the fountain.  When you plants get watered so will your fountain!  

Aug 10 2016

Outside Productions had a blast designing the exterior of this contemporary home in the Moorings area of Naples.  The homeowner wanted a design that would be tropical, lush and very green, while still maintaining a clean and contemporary feel. 

The rectangular pool features a entirely tile, submerged spa, and a tiled shelf and steps.  With an enlarged coping and turf running right up to the pool, this space has a soft feel that beautifully accentuates the geometry of the home.  A custom trellis with vines creates a feature wall on one end of the spa, with a stunning sunken fire pit directly adjacent.  Built-in benches, and tropical plant material make this fire pit cozy and cool.  LED lights were embedded into steps adding to the contemporary feel and making the space a feature both day and night. 

 

In the front of the home turf plays a large role.  The driveway, a combination of concrete pavers and Tabby concrete is broken up by a series of turf strips.  Turf block was used to create additional, discrete guest parking.  The landscape palette includes Sylvester Palms, Podocarpus, a variety of bromeliads, and an intricate mix of green, tropical plants to create a unique buffer.