Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Edible Landscaping - Florida Style

UPDATE: Read Teresa's an in-depth article on Edible Landscaping for Green Builder magazine on "Edible Landscaping 02" pages 31 - 37.

The International Builders Show in Orlando January 12th - 15th will be showcasing two demonstration homes, Green Builder's Vision House and ReVision House 2011.   (You can see the homes in detail in Green Builder magazine, January, February, April 2011 issues.)
These homes will feature technology and trends in green construction. Using products that will help homeowners conserve energy, water, and provide better air quality is important in these tough economic times. While current costs for this new technology may be more expensive at the onset, homeowners will reap benefits in reduced bills, lower maintenance costs, and better health.

The Vision House is urban-techno farmhouse introducing vegetables and low maintenance into the Orlando infill city lot. This landscape is perfect for busy professionals, having reduced turf areas, small raised garden beds, and patio containers of fruits and vegetables. In the same College Park community, the ReVision House showcases a Napa Valley Florida-style landscape for homeowners who have more time to be outdoors and are gardening enthusiasts. The larger lot features an edible landscape with nut trees, small orchard, berries, and herbs in containers and as ground covers. The home is situated in a cul-de-sac neighborhood and has full sun in the front yard with shade in the backyard.

Both landscapes have incorporated soil amendments of Sodcaster and Turf Pro in the garden beds and turf areas which will improve moisture retention and decrease the need for fertilizer. At the ReVision House, the compost comes from a more refined technology! BCR Environmental donated organic nutrient-rich, odorless compost of biosolids that  have been incorporated into the soils.  Lechuza, elegant self-watering containers are used indoors and outdoors at both houses, saving the homeowners time and money worry about watering and replacing plants that get neglected.

Landscape species were selected based on proper site conditions and mature size that will allow the landscapes to grow naturally and create a biodiverse urban sanctuary for wildlife.  Proper placement of the shrubs and trees reduce the amount of pruning and future maintenance allowing the plants to grow healthy without water and nutrient competition.  The specially selected plant species at the Green Builder demonstration homes - after establishment - will be able to survive on normal rainfall, supplemented by efficient irrigations systems that will be used during droughts. The maintenance of these yards will be minimum with less mowing, less fertilizing, and less pruning - reducing their susceptibility to pest issues. Both of the homes will be certified Florida Water Star, water-conserving indoors and outdoors. The Vision House 2011 receives SJRWMD's highest Gold certification, while the ReVision House 2011, a renovated home earns the Silver certification.

Sponsors of the Vision and ReVision House 2011

Vision House:

Irrigation: Clearwater PSI
ReVision House:
Irrigation: Bruce Hage Irrigation

Being grounded in saving dollars and making sensible decisions regarding our natural resources will certainly become more important in the coming years. Growing your own vegetables, fruits, and herbs is an easy way to start an edible landscape and  take advantage of Florida's warm weather and abundant rainfall.

Both homes will be featured in the January and March issue of Green Builder and on DIY and HGTV.  You can visit the Green Builder Vision and ReVision 2011 homes during the International Builders Show Jan 12th - 15th from 10am to 4pm.

Teresa's article on Central Florida edible landscaping: Edible Landscaping: So Good You Can Eat Them Right Up


  1. Thanks for sharing, its pretty cool. This year I'm looking forward to take a break and enjoy nature as I go for vacation, well maybe after I find some Tx Land For Sale. Anyway I really like your blog and i really appreciate the excellent quality content you are posting here.

  2. Looks amazing!!!! /I look forward to your feedback /thanks for this man it was very helpful.