Reef Tropical Pool & Landscape

The 10 Best Smelling Plants in South Florida

Apr 16, 2018 10:13:00 AM / by Claude Kershner IV posted in Landscape Maintenance, Tree and Shrub Care, Landscape Design

Plants can offer more than good looks and curb appeal—and flowers are more than eye candy for your South Florida property when you choose aromatic plants that smell great. You can literally enhance the sensory experience of your outdoor living space by selecting plants with fragrant blooms, leaves or bark. There is the subtle yet true cinnamon scent from the peeling bark of the aptly named Cinnamon Bark tree—and the floral perfume aroma from gardenia. Great smelling plants and trees add another layer of interest to your landscape that you can’t see, but you can experience.

So, what are some of the best smelling plants in South Florida to enhance your landscape? Here are 10 you can include in your landscape.

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General Contractors Can Add Value To Properties By Partnering With Reef Tropical

Aug 24, 2017 11:04:00 AM / by Claude Kershner IV posted in Pool & Spa Construction, Landscape Design

Let’s face it, no one can do it all. Building a house is your priority, but what’s outside is critical for boosting property value and providing the lifestyle homeowners seek in South Florida. By outsourcing pool and landscape design and installation—including pool and spa construction, landscape design and installation— you can save time and resources.

Reef Tropical has partnered with general contractors in South Florida for 20 years, and there is virtually no pool, spa or landscape issue we haven’t dealt with in our market. That’s why sophisticated general contractors including Coastal Construction, Suffolk Construction and Brodson Construction, among others, rely on our team to manage specific tasks related to the pool or landscape, or to take those components of their property developments from conception to completion. (Most turn the keys over to us because they know we are the pros in this space.) We specialize in creating and maintaining an outdoor entertainment area.

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The Best Flowering Trees for South Florida

Jun 13, 2017 10:21:20 AM / by Claude Kershner IV posted in Landscape Maintenance, Landscaping, Tree and Shrub Care, Landscape Design

Vibrant blooms are a focal point in the landscape, and there are a range of flowering trees that thrive in South Florida and introduce color, texture and shape to your property.

Which flowering tree is best for your property? That depends. Are you looking for a specific color of flower to complement existing plants or to establish a theme? Do you need a flowering tree that is salt-tolerant because your property weathers ocean breezes? Do you prefer a tree that is compact to preserve views from your site—or, do you want to establish a natural screen with a flowering tree that offers coverage?

These are all questions to think about as you consider which flowering trees suit your needs and taste. Here is a list of our favorite 7 flowering trees for South Florida.

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Navigating Landscape Restrictions in the Florida Keys Native Hammock

Jan 13, 2017 6:03:00 AM / by Claude Kershner IV posted in Landscape Maintenance, Landscaping, Tree and Shrub Care, Landscape Design

The owner of a home in the Florida Keys called us because he wanted to install a driveway. The request seems simple enough—but because the project would mean removing trees that are part of a hardwood hammock, there was much more involved.

The fact is, there is a lot of protected land in the Florida Keys, including native hammock and other conservation easements. Tropical hardwood hammocks are canopy forests with a diverse range of native species. Hammocks are located throughout southern Florida, and in concentrated areas of Monroe County. Native hammocks are carefully protected land because of their importance in sustaining wildlife.

The Keys hammock area is attractive to some homeowners because of its natural beauty. However, the Florida Keys hammock has been threatened by development, so there are regulations on how one can alter the land. It’s important to know before you buy a property on the Florida Keys that the hammock is protected land.

Going back to the driveway example, the property owner did eventually get approval to remove some vegetation to build. But first, a biologist had to conduct a vegetative survey at the owner’s expense. Then, rat, snake and snail surveys were performed to determine how removing some of the hardwood hammock from the property would impact this wildlife. The whole process took about nine months, and in the end the homeowner had to pay about a $10,000 mitigation fee for removing the trees—and that’s before the driveway project could begin.

If you purchase a home or build in the Florida Keys hammock, here’s what you need to know about landscape restrictions and how owning land in the hammock or on a conservation easement could impact your ability to change the landscape. 

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6 Reasons Landscape Architects Should Feel Comfortable Working With Reef Tropical

Sep 7, 2016 9:57:53 AM / by Claude Kershner IV posted in Landscape Design

You put hours and even days into creating the perfect design for your clients. The plant selection, materials, layout, sun/shade angles, views from indoors and your artistic design style all blend together to form what will hopefully be the customer’s dream landscape. Let’s face it: The design basically becomes your baby.

So it can be a bit stressful when it comes time to hand over your design to an installation crew, especially if you haven’t worked with them before.

When you work with a landscaping company to install the project, it can go one of two ways:

  1. The finished product looks just like — or better than — you imagined in your head.
  2. You see their work and wonder if they even glanced at the design you spent so much time creating.

To ensure your project is more of scenario No. 1, you need to find a landscaping company that has the right experience and qualities.

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Mediterranean-Style Pool Landscaping — 4 Best Plants For Around A Pool

Jul 12, 2016 1:55:40 PM / by Claude Kershner IV posted in Landscape Design

Your pool should be the focal point of your landscape, and the surrounding plants you select to complement it matter. You’ve probably heard the saying, “Choose the right plant for the right place.” Well, that same rule applies to pools — with a twist.

When landscaping around a pool, it’s important to consider the pool design — its style and shape. Taking this a step further, your home’s architecture also plays into choosing the best plants for around a pool.

For instance, a Mediterranean-style home and pool with a vanishing edge will call for a completely different plant palette than a traditional home with a square, edged pool.

Best Plants For Around A Pool In Florida | Mediterranean Edition

Here in South Florida, many of the poolscapes we design for high-end residential and commercial properties have Mediterranean flair because of the popularity of that style here.

So, let’s explore some common plant types you can pair with a linear pool dropped with a Mediterranean backdrop. Together, these four plants will create a clean landscape with a range of green textures and white accents to complement the Mediterranean architecture.

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Reef Tropical Featured In Distinctive Properties Magazine

Jun 29, 2016 3:02:42 PM / by Claude Kershner IV posted in Landscape Design

We are really excited about helping contribute our expertise to Jill Zima Borski’s “Landscaping Trends” article in the May/June 2016 edition of Distinctive Properties magazine. This real estate publication is brought to the residents of Ocean Reef by Russell Post, Sotheby’s International Realty.

Here’s the article in its entirety:

Landscape companies at Ocean Reef have a new challenge, thanks to Monroe County’s concern about storm water runoff. Water runoff from privately-owned properties has been shown to contribute to water quality degradation, especially of the Florida Keys’ nearshore waters.

The county’s steady progress on central wastewater installation throughout the island chain — meant to achieve improved water quality — has led to new emphasis on tackling the additional threat of water runoff. High tides and sea level rise also are being taken into account in an attempt to improve potential flooding.

According to Tim McKernan, a landscape designer for Reef Tropical with more than 17 years of experience in the field, “The county has gotten tough about drainage and has been enforcing the swale requirements for developed property usually requiring swales or ‘bio-swales’ to retain water runoff.”

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