Portfolio: Tropical Garden, Florida

Complete re-design for a tropical but shady rear garden in Orlando, Florida.

Makeover for a sheltered rear garden with a tropical, luscious feel.

  • Schefflera

    Schefflera, suggested in planting plan

  • Rear-Garden-Before3

    Before: Rear garden linking to courtyard

  • Rear garden before1

    Before: Shady rear garden

  • Rubber Plant

    Rubber Plant, suggested in planting plan.

  • Ginger Plant

    Ginger plant, suggested in planting plan.

  • Design Inspiration

    Inspiration for the design

  • Crotons

    Crotons, in planting plan.

  • Detailed Design for Tropical Garden

    Detailed Design for Tropical Garden

  • Planting Scheme for Tropical Garden

    Planting Scheme for Tropical Garden


The brief

To design a contemporary and lush outdoor space, which featured native Floridian plants and made best use of the existing tree cover. The client wanted space for entertaining, storing equipment, room for two dogs to run and shelter from the Florida heat! The existing space was very overgrown and barely used so this garden required a complete overhaul.  

Design Solution

A couple of key factors had to be kept in mind here – primarily the hot climate – but also the considerable tree cover and client’s usage requirements. The planting choice for this climate is crucial, so I decided to stick with local species – Ginger, Rubber Plant (Ficus), Schefflera, Ferns  –  and also choose plants that would cope well with the shady conditions of this garden.  A wooden deck was also included to link a central courtyard around the home to the rear garden. This connected further paths of decking which led to a seating area with a fire-pit, for entertaining on warm evenings. The design proposed a hard-wearing shed to provide bike and tool storage. 


The Details

Size10.8m x 15.7m
AspectRear garden, SE facing
SoilAcidic, with significant tree cover
Project commencedJune 2015 Conducted survey, design & planting plan
Project completedAwaiting contractor

The Costs

Design feeSurvey, Design & Planting Plan £1500
Execution Full execution estimated $10,000