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Tampa was ranked the Fifth Best Outdoor City by Forbes Magazine. It’s easy to see why. The climate is temperate all year. There are dozens of parks filled with an unimaginable variety of Floridian flora, miles and miles of walking paths lined with oak and pine and cypress trees and abundant exotic plants and flowers growing free.
As we traveled around Tampa, more attuned to the allure of nature after our visits to public parks, we noticed that some Tampa residents had established their own private spaces in which to enjoy nature close to home—their gardens. We’ve selected five of the gardens that exuded beauty, sophistication and charisma—in other words, glamour!
1. Siobhan’s Magical Garden Transformations
Why we like it:
Because the profusion of color and sinuous lines swirling through the design in the graceful tree trunks and custom-made concrete curbing are enchanting.
There are few flowers. The source of color is in the exquisite magenta fence and the magenta that is carried throughout the scene by the dynamic placement of ti plants (Hawaiian good luck plants). The selection of flora, including variegated shell-ginger plants, spider plants and fan palms, provides different textures, colors and shapes.
Then, amid the exotic and sophisticated, we find perfect touches of whimsy in the daisy-shaped concrete stepping stones and in the eye-catching decorative frogs climbing the tree trunk.
2. BORDEN Landscape Design
Why we like it:
Because this garden is an amalgam of the geometry and elegance of an English garden and the gentle free-form arrangements found in the tropics.
Stepping stones lead us to welcoming finial lanterns and into a garden that boasts an immaculately manicured lawn. The concrete pavers retain their simplicity with a broom finish, and the varying sizes and shapes improve on a classic design. Acting as “joints” between the pavers is Zoysia “Empire” grass, an easy-to-maintain choice. It’s not an especially energetic grower.
The crisp design is softened with palm trees (including Queen, banana and windmill), agave plants, bromeliads that will burst with exotic color and random “bouquets” of wooly thyme, all neatly contained in a rich dark-brown mulch.
3. Schatz Landscape Design
Because the circular patios are a surprise, and the two-tier design creates a garden that can be used as a private retreat or the setting for an outdoor celebration.
The patios fit seamlessly into the existing landscape of well-established flora. The pavers are an Old English design with a variety of sizes and a harmonizing blend of colors. A dry creek was refashioned into a stream with recirculating water. A small foot bridge joins the two patios while lending an interesting Asian touch to the design.
The garden area is enclosed with an lush mix of deciduous and palm trees. Asparagus ferns are a cheery note of bright green. Hardy cranberra gem plants, with their needle-like leaves in pleasing disarray, add subtle color with their slender cherry-red flowers.
4. SilverSun Landscapes
Why we like it:
Because the design summons up images of English angularity and soft Southern charm.
Again, we have the neat, artistic pavers framed in grass that contribute greatly to the garden’s ambiance. A lacy purple glory tree grows in a brushed bronze planter. Sculpted boxwood hedges border a portion of the veranda. Footed stone planters at each corner of the swimming pool hold casual arrangements of purple and white miniature geraniums. As we look out over the perfectly kept lawn, we see at the edge of the property a willow tree that speaks of the South and romance.
5. Tampa Landscape Designs
Why we like it:
Because this must be the “secret garden” that has been romanticized in novels and films.
This eclectic garden is a delightful “find” behind the custom-made cypress fence and natural forest at its borders. It’s an adventure in the elements used, primarily native flora, and so personalized that it is likely unmatched anywhere. A rose parterre adds symmetry with beds of herbs framed with pebble paths and meticulously sculpted boxwoods, surrounded by an opulent carpet of grass A limestone rock fountain may have been a discordant note, but it fits in perfectly with the eccentricity of the design. To its side, a cast stone Oriental maiden adds an Asian influence. A cedar pergola serves as a respite from the sun and as a trellis for the honeysuckle clinging to it.
See how many glamorous gardens you can find in Tampa.