Transforming Your South Florida Property: Landscaping Ideas for Second Homes

A breathtaking landscape doesn't happen by accident. It requires strategy and vision to transform an ordinary yard into a vacation paradise that complements your home's luxury interior.

Whether you crave a low-maintenance landscape or a full-blown tropical escape—your South Florida second home deserves garden design that matches its luxurious interior. 

As an estate management company, we bring your tropical landscaping dreams to life, from concept to completion. 

Let's explore some ways to embrace South Florida's natural beauty while designing an outdoor oasis just for you. 

Make a Grand Entrance

Wow guests right from the start with an entrance that exudes tropical personality. 

Lining your driveway with rows of breezy palm trees and bursts of colorful orchids, bromeliads, and impatiens immediately says “Welcome to paradise!” 

Taking time to get the entrance landscaping right pays off, setting the tone for your property’s overall lush beauty.

Incorporate Captivating Water Features

Is there anything more relaxing than the soothing sound of flowing water? Besides, water features are a fixture in tropical landscaping. 

Ponds, fountains, cascades – water features come in endless shapes and sizes to fit your style. 

Dream up a lagoon-style oasis, a Mediterranean-inspired courtyard with vintage fountains, or sleek sheets of water flowing over glass. Uplit at night, water easily becomes a stunning accent. 

Concerned about maintenance? Leave it to our team. We oversee regular maintenance and upkeep to ensure that your water features run seamlessly. Go ahead and let the tranquility of moving water take your landscape to the next level.

Include Unique Outdoor Structures

Structures layer form and function, adding purpose (and style!) to your landscape. 

Pergolas intertwined with vines define intimate gathering spaces. Pavilions with breezy, metal roofing echo chic island vibes. 

Need more shade? 

Incorporate open-sided cabanas right off the pool deck. For evening ambiance, you could circle fire pits with built-in seating. 

The options are endless. 

Embrace the Tropics  

One of the best parts of having a second home in South Florida is the ability to immerse yourself in lush, tropical landscapes. 

Here are some of the best tropical landscaping ideas to try out: 

Palm trees immediately evoke a resort-like atmosphere and come in varieties like Queen palms, Sylvester palms, and Pygmy Date palms suited to the warm climate. 

Surrounding palm trees with bright hibiscus, impatiens, and bougainvillea adds pops of color. For texture, incorporate broad-leafed elephant ear plants, philodendrons, and flowering bromeliads. 

A tropical combination transforms any outdoor space into an exotic oasis. 

For the full island experience, add elements like tiki torches, a thatched roof over an outdoor dining area, and even a hammock or two to relax in the shade.

Create a Backyard Retreat

Outdoor living spaces extend your home's square footage and create the perfect spot to relax after a day at the beach. 

Consider adding a cabana next to a negative edge pool. Under the cabana, place comfortable lounge chairs and maybe throw in a fire pit encircled by native coquina stone. 

Surround the sitting area with privacy plantings such as viburnum suspensum, native to tropical regions. 

For an elegant touch, install outdoor curtains on the cabana that can enclose the space in the evening. This backyard retreat offers an indulgent escape right at your vacation home. 

For full service, have a professional install ceiling fans, outdoor speakers, and mood lighting under and around the cabana. Add a summer kitchen with a grill, beverage fridge, and prep space to fully utilize the area.

Welcome Birdlife

Part of embracing Florida's environment is providing habitats for local wildlife around your second home. Instead of avoiding nature, you can welcome it by incorporating native plants that attract birds and butterflies. 

Some top options include the red mulberry tree, beautyberry shrubs, wild columbine flowers, and Lakela's mint. You'll enjoy watching the wildlife drawn to your landscaping, adding life and vibrancy to your property. 

Consider installing nesting boxes and bird feeders to further welcome native birds. Keep your eye out for painted buntings, blue jays, and scarlet tanagers flocking to your backyard ecosystem.  

Reduce Maintenance

While lush tropical plants create ambiance, you likely want low-maintenance landscaping if this home is a vacation property.

Focus on native, drought-tolerant options that thrive in the Florida climate without much upkeep. Plumbago, fire bush, and lantana add splashes of blue, orange, and yellow flowers with very little watering once established. 

Along borders and banks, sea oats and muhly grass provide texture with no mowing needed. Group plants with similar needs together for the most efficient watering and care. Minimize lawn areas to further reduce required mowing and irrigation. With the right plant selection, you can cut back on maintenance but still enjoy beauty. 

Consider a smart irrigation system that adjusts watering based on weather and lawn needs. Program it before you leave, so your landscaping stays nourished with less hassle. 

Low maintenance landscapes or not, our estate management team will provide a maintenance service to handle periodic pruning, weeding, and plant health checks while you're away.

Enhance Hardscaping 

In addition to plants, hardscaping elements like patios, walkways and retaining walls, add beauty and function. Opt for natural stone materials that withstand the Florida climate. 

Your landscape architects can design stunning hardscapes like stacked stone walls or waterfalls that make a statement. Uplighting and strategic plant placement then showcase the features at night for full effect. 

Light Up the Night

Don't forget about the ambiance your yard can provide after the sun goes down. Landscape lighting illuminates pathways with a warm glow and spotlights architectural features. Uplights in palm trees create a dramatic effect. 

For intimate evening gatherings around the fire pit or poolside, string lights overhead set the perfect relaxed vibe. Landscape lighting allows you to enjoy your property's tranquility and character well into the night during your Florida getaways.

Bring Your Tropical Landscape Vision to Life

Sit back and let Island Home and Estate Management handle your vacation home gardening and landscaping. 

Managing your tropical oasis is just one of the many top-notch estate management services that we provide to homeowners in Hutchinson Island, Jupiter Island, Jupiter, Tequesta, North Palm Beach, Palm Beach Gardens, Singer Island, West Palm, and Palm Beach Island.

We partner with the most talented local landscapers, nurseries, and landscape architects to maintain your beautifully landscaped homes.

Our full-service approach also includes upgrading lighting, irrigation, and outdoor amenities to complement landscaping. Our property management services keep your home and landscape maintained to resort standards while you are away. 

Contact us today to keep your ideal tropical landscape pristine, healthy, and breathtaking.