Landscaping in Orlando and elsewhere in Florida is probably one of the best investments that you can make into your property as a homeowner. Landscaping can improve curb appeal, make your house more marketable, increase its value, improve its energy efficiency, and even offer greater protection and privacy. However, none of that compares with the simple satisfaction and pleasure of looking out over a beautiful landscape that you created. In fact, the only thing that can beat the joy of watching your landscape grow and thrive is the joy of seeing it teeming with birds and other local wildlife. Transforming your property into a thriving ecosystem can be a richly rewarding experience, both mentally and potentially financially should you choose to sell. Either way, using flowering trees and shrubs in your landscaping is the best way to maximize the effectiveness of your landscaping plan.
The pussy willow is a fairly well-known and popular North American native. Part of its appeal is the ease with which it can be induced to bloom early. Pussy willows naturally thrive in the wetlands and, for landscaping purposes, they are best suited for areas that drain poorly.
If your landscape doesn't have any areas of limited or restricted drainage, then pussy willows can become a bit more high maintenance than many are willing to take on because of their water needs. Pussy willows also require a great deal of maintenance for use as privacy hedging. Unconstrained, they can often reach heights of 20 feet, so it is necessary to devote time to keeping them cut back and at a manageable level. Those who are willing and able to care for these plants are richly rewarded for their efforts in the spring when the pussy willows bloom. Pussy willow buds are also a favorite of a large number of wild animals and birds.
A more compact and more easily managed shrub is the variegated weigala. The weigala only reaches an average height of about 4 feet, making it more suitable for a privacy hedges around the exterior of the home. The variegated weigala shrub puts out muted pink blossoms. The foliage of the variegated weigala is quite stunning in and of itself. The leaves of the variegated weigala are a rich green with milky white borders.
Redspired Callery Pear
Callery pears are exceptional for use as moderate sized ornamental trees for breaking up large expanses in a landscape. The Redspire is an early bloomer that puts out an abundance of white flowers that turn to small pea-sized fruits that are not burdensome as far as lawn maintenance is concerned. The foliage of the Redspire callery pear is a glossy green that, in fall, turns to a deep burgundy. Though resistant to fire blight, the Redspire, like most callery pears, is very susceptible to wind damage and should not be placed in an area of high wind exposure. For best success Redspire callery pears should be planted on the leeward side of the home, or behind a wind-break of larger trees.