Having a personal taste for expanses of flowing emerald green lawns bordered with luxuriant trees and shrub beds, it is of little significance when designing landscapes for today's South Florida property owners who have paid top dollar for waterfront views. Expensive lots require bigger improvements, and by the time the house is built and the pool patio and paver contractors clear out, the interior decorator is panting in the wings, and I am typically presented with a small pervious area, a smaller budget, and numerous constraints, to create the dream landscape of a lifetime.
A challenging residential landscape plan on the Middle River in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, without doubt required drought-tolerant and salt-tolerant plantings which would become established in the rocky fill left over from dredge and fill activities of long ago when the subdivision was platted. Absolutely none of the spectacular 180 degree view of the river could be obscured. The pool deck finished at least 2' or more above grade, leaving in places only a narrow planting strip between the paving and the seawall. Funds were limited by the unseen last minute expenses of "hardscape" remodeling.
Fortunately my savvy clients were educated in both agronomy and engineering so a water conserving Florida native plant landscape plan was met with enthusiasm. Some specific requests were: as little grass area as possible, but enough for a dog someday, low watering requirements, something fragrant by the pool, use of bougainvillea, and solution to the grade problems along the seawall.
My frequently altered work sheet began as a clean and neat rendition, the kind which almost never works in real life. In fact, utilizing a professional survey is to no avail when the architect fudges a plan to make it appear as though there is more greenspace than what ends up on the built site.