right shrub in the right place is the key to functional beauty in the landscape
as well as reduced maintenance. Many fine shrubs, both native and cultivated are
overlooked in south Florida in favor of the quick solution ficus hedge. In the
long run, a mature hedge of Ficus benjamina will turn out to be the costliest
of all hedges to maintain. Its roots can lift pavement, crack foundations, and
invade plumbing if not pruned frequently, while it also requires constant shearing
to keep it a box hedge.This is because the plant is normally a 90' tree in its
native setting, and after 15-20 years in the landscape, unless you can employ
a gardener 5 days a week, it becomes increasingly difficult to maintain the hedge
at 6'-10'. Ficus hedges can become infested with termites and removal of an old
hedge can cost thousands of dollars.
So when in Florida, don't plant just any bush, tree, or shrub! Use a plant that
will mature at the desired height and have other natural characteristics that
harmonize with the desired function.Those dollars and hours spent on extra maintenance
will be a lot more enjoyable when spent adding to, not tearing apart your landscape,
or when spent enjoying the fruit of a job well done.
from Plants Daily Post
8/12/2008 Florida Landscape and Garden Plants
A New Gardenia: Gardenia jasminoides 'First Love' ® PPAF
Blooms earlier than other varieties, flowers are fully twice the size of others, 4"-5." Shipped as Trade Gallon (3qt) / Ultimate Width: 5ft / Height: 6 ft.
Wayside Gardens offers this new gardenia variety that sounds worth a try based on flower size alone. Under the right soil conditions, this is an excellent size shrub for a constructing a privacy hedge, growing in at 6' and having a naturally dense, compact growth habit. Ten of these plants will form a 50' hedge.