Mule palm adds kick to Florida landscapes.

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One of ArtisTree’s favorite palms is the rare mule palm, distinguished by a trait of its mammal namesake: Neither can reproduce.  Native to Florida, the mule palm isn’t inexpensive; however, it does offer characteristics that no other palm can beat. A cross between a Queen palm and the Pindo, this sturdy hybrid brings you the best of all worlds—aesthetics, fast growth, salt and drought tolerant, and extremely hardy in Southwest Florida’s cold and windy pockets. Mule palms can withstand Continue Reading

THE BOLD & BEAUTIFUL BOTTLE PALM

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by Shawn Gulbrandsen, ArtisTree Landscape Designer & ISA Certified Arborist Q: I live on the water in Southwest Florida and need a dramatic focal point for my home’s front yard. Do you have a palm recommendation for me? A: While there are several dramatic and beautiful palms to choose from, not too many tolerate the salty air and sea spray of a coastal location. But you’re in luck because there is one that’s sure to get your neighbors and guests talking: the dreamy, almost-voluptuous Continue Reading

THE ART OF TRANSFORMATION

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Situated directly on the Gulf of Mexico, this home was subjected to direct salt spray and unobstructed storms year round. The homeowners, who wanted to share their coastal lifestyle with family and friends, asked ArtisTree to create a no-turf landscape that was aesthetically pleasing, functional and congruent with the home’s architecture. They also requested that the design achieve the highest level of LEED accreditation possible: Platinum.  More photos below. The Design Since the Continue Reading

BROMELIADS IN FLORIDA LANDSCAPES

Bromeliads

by Maria Muhlhahn, ArtisTree Purchasing Manager Q: I’d like to start a tropical bromeliad section in my landscape, but I have no idea if they’ll work in my Southwest Florida garden.  What’s your experience with bromeliads? A: First, there’s nothing better than bromeliads to give a landscape a tropical look, so you’re going in the right direction.  In general bromeliads are inexpensive (unless you purchase very mature specimens), easy to grow, require very little care, and reward the Continue Reading

ARTISTREE TIP: FOR OUTDOOR ELEGANCE, CONSIDER A WEEPING BOTTLEBRUSH TREE.

by Kirk Brummett, ArtisTree Landscape Architect Q: I’m looking for a smaller tree that will add privacy and a bit of romance to my Southwest Florida yard. What do you recommend? A:  One of my all-time favorites is the weeping bottlebrush tree. This brilliant showstopper expertly placed can make outdoor evening dining feel like you’ve been whisked away to Paris. It pleases during the day, too, exuding a lush elegant feel. Known for its small stature and romantic weeping form, the weeping Continue Reading

RANGOON CREEPER: A VINE TO SWOON OVER.

Rangoon Creeper

by Maria Muhlhahn, ArtisTree Purchasing Manager Q:   My wife wants to cover our fence with some kind of flowering evergreen vine that’ll grow quickly. However, she prefers something that no one else has, and she’s really into pinks and reds. Other than that, she’s not too picky. Any ideas? A:  I think I have the perfect choice for you. It’s called Rangoon Creeper (Chinese honeysuckle) and it meets all your wife’s requirements. But first, the way this specimen blooms is a story in itself. Continue Reading

RIPRAP DOESN’T DESERVE A BAD WRAP.

Clinton Lak

by Clinton Lak, ArtisTree Landscape Designer, BSLA Q: I think it’s a bunch of rubbish (or should I say rubble) that our landscape architect is recommending riprap for our seawall. To me, riprap looks like a bunch of dirty rocks, and I can hardly believe I’m expected to pay for this stuff. Seriously?   A: It’s easy to rip riprap. After all, the broken stone pieces are rough and angular -- nothing like polished Mexican Beach Pebble or Indian Creek Rock. But when it comes to limiting Continue Reading

TIBOUCHINA LEPIDOTA?

Joe Mantkowski

by Joe Mantkowski, ArtisTree Landscape Designer, LICHP, LEED GA Q: Can you tell me more about a plant called the glory bush? I remember my parents having one when I grew up, and I’d love to know how hardy they are. We live in Southwest Florida. A: The royal purple flowers of the Tibouchina lepidota, or glory bush, continually bloom from summer to fall, and may bloom all year-round in very warm climates. This particular variety, one of more than 350, does well as a low, compact shrub or Continue Reading

ARTISTREE’S TAKE ON MEXICAN PETUNIA: LOVELY BUT DON’T IGNORE IT.

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by Shawn Gulbrandsen, ArtisTree Landscape Designer & ISA Certified Arborist Q: I’m being dead serious when I say I could even kill a silk flower. I can’t get anything to grow. I’m looking for a non-fussy plant that could grow in a contained area (along my stone wall) and provide some bright color. Does Mother Nature make anything in purple that won’t wilt as soon as I look at it? A: Sure, she does, and it’s called Mexican Petunia. But we have to warn you, it grows REALLY well and can Continue Reading

FOXTAIL FERN HAS OWNER CONCERNED.

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by Kirk Brummett, ArtisTree Landscape Architect Q: I believe I can outfox you with a question about my foxtail fern. Why is one of the stems bright yellow? Makes for a pretty photo, but I’m worried that my whole plant will turn yellow. A: You’re right: It does make for a pretty photo (makes us of think of a husked ear of corn in a field of green). But first, a bit about your foxtail fern. Known also as asparagus fern, it’s one of ArtisTree’s favorite “go to” plants for texture, hardiness Continue Reading