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Guide to Landscaping for Your New Florida Home

Moving into a new home is an exciting time filled with firsts. Once the new furniture is in place and the family is settled in, it is time to tackle the exterior. Creating curb appeal will help define the look of your home, give you more space for gathering with friends and family, and even improve the long-term value of your investment. Whether you’re planning the perfect spot for grilling all summer or just want to create a lush and low-maintenance green space, these tips will guide your landscape on the right track.

Create Your Master Plan

While you don’t have to complete all of the landscaping projects all at once, you should still start by creating a master plan for your property. First, consider how the property will be used and your aesthetic preferences. Do you plan to entertain guests? Will pets or young children also be using the yard? What color combinations and types of plants do you especially love? Answering these questions will help you set your style preferences and improve the functionality of the exterior space.

New home with circle pavers surrounded by pebbles and framed with wood trim and pink tulips as a touch of beauty to the backyard.

Prioritize Based on Your Budget

According to Better Homes & Gardens, real estate studies suggest that you spend approximately 5-10 percent of the value of your home to complete your landscape upgrade. The expenses right now will also be a long-term investment in the value of the home, as mature trees, and shrubs can improve resale value. By prioritizing according to your master plan, you can break up the landscaping into smaller projects and work with professionals to tackle the most important elements first. Many homeowners want to focus on the front of the house first since that is the most public area that adds curb appeal, but foundational elements like shade trees or privacy fences may also be top priorities.Huge stones in a landscaped area in a new home accompanied by greenery, flowers and natural growth on the rocks.

Install Hardscaping Before Plants

The hardscaping elements of your landscape include any fences, patios, walkways, or retaining walls that will form the foundation for your design. You may even want to incorporate an outdoor lanai or deck into your design if you plan to use your space for cooking and socializing frequently. No matter your needs, it is important to complete this work first to avoid damaging the greenery or compacting the soil. This is also the best time to add permanent elements like outdoor lighting and irrigation or watering systems.  

Now you are finally ready to add some green to your space! Start with the essentials like shade trees, evergreen shrubs, and groundcover. Before any plants go in the ground, be sure you add compost or organic material like peat moss to your soil to make it fertile and encourage root growth. When it comes to choosing your greenery, the Florida-Friendly Landscaping (FFL) program from the University of Florida offers plant guides and landscaping tips that are sustainable, low-maintenance, and suited for Florida’s climate. The FFL recommends ground cover as the starting point for any new landscape project, specifically options such as mondo grass, bugleweed, or Asiatic jasmine.

Once you’ve laid the foundation for your new beautiful outdoor space, you are ready to add the final touches. Colorful annuals are perfect to fill out planters, while herbs like rosemary and lemongrass add alluring scents to the garden. Build a watering schedule and monitor your new landscape closely after installation to make sure all elements settle into the space safely and without defects.

At Stanley Martin Homes, we know that enjoying the outdoors with friends and family is just one of the many benefits of living in Central Florida. That’s why we build our communities in Orlando and Tampa with your lifestyle in mind—creating spaces that are meant to be enjoyed and shared with those you love most. Learn more about why you should choose Stanley Martin for your home building needs.