The Top 4 Glamorous Gardens in Tallahassee, FL (November 2016)


Florida’s capital city can’t be pigeon-holed. It’s the seat of government. It’s a college town. It’s a glimpse into the early history of the South. It has both the laconic charm expected in Southern towns and the excitement of a metropolis, reflected in the roads lined with moss-draped oaks that take you into a city that pulses with activity, as residents and visitors enjoy the arts offerings, international cuisine, up-scale shopping, and cutting-edge business opportunities.

Tallahassee has an unofficial slogan (that elicits groans): “Keep it sassy, Tallahassee.” It could be “Keep it classy, Tallahassee,” as we look around at the sophistication and artistry of many of the gardens in the area. We’ve selected five that stand out for their individuality and flair.

1. Alan D. Holt, A.S.L.A.

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Photos: Houzz

Why we like it:

The entire property surrounding this home is a delightful garden. The entrance to the long, winding driveway is marked with a serpentine brick wall and column that are used as a trellis of sorts for the lush creeping ivy. A visitor is welcomed along the drive with an abundance of flora native to Florida, both stately trees that are centuries old and a cornucopia of newly installed plants. Yellow and white iris plants catch the eye as we near the red cedar gazebo tucked into the natural landscape. Closer to the home are the dramatic purple berries of the beautyberry plant.

2. Fisher Landscape Design & Consultation

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Photos: Houzz

Why we like it:

This is another garden that envelops the home. The beauty is in its “just happened to happen” look, and yet it is meticulously designed. The irregular flagstone stepping stones bordered with gravel make a path that is lined with rough raw stone brick walls. White and pink flower carpet roses crawl out onto the path and provide ground cover for raised areas. Mazus, also a creeping ground cover, decorates the scene with large areas of white flowers. Here and there, we see bright touches of purple gladiolus.

There are a number of points of interest in this landscape, but none more interesting, nor as surprising, as the raised flagstone garden beds. They nicely display the organic vegetable plants while keeping them neatly contained and easily maintained.

3. James Hughes Landscaping

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Photos: Houzz

Why we like it:

This garden is an excellent example of using space to its best advantage. The yard is not large as the others we’ve seen are, and yet it has everything needed to enjoy outdoor living in an elegant and welcoming setting. The design has been tucked into the natural flora and is constructed of natural materials. The pergola is made from rough sawn timber. The fireplace, decorative walls that provide definition, and patio are all made from bricks that have a mottled pattern of soft shades of gray, blue, and pink. The established foliage is continued into the installed elements by a flowing arrangement of plants of varying sizes and species punctuated with pebbles and rocks.

4. NeSmith Landscapes

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Photos: Houzz

Why we like it:

The garden by the front door of this home is an example of an unusual and ultra-artistic use of colors, shapes, and textures. The chartreuse of the hosta plants is brightened by the juxtaposition of the evergreen azalea bushes. White sage provides an underline of sorts along the edge. The bushes sculpted into spirals bring an element of an English garden.

In the rear, the garden is a simple, clean design, and yet has a dreamy, romantic quality to it. The retaining wall constructed of polished concrete bricks sweeps around a perfectly groomed lawn. Purple lea plants decorate the garden with a lacy effect, while white and dark red flower carpet roses tumble over the edge of the wall softening it.

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Lois Crouse