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by upsydaisy on August 07, 2006 07:25 PM
Help! My husband and I live in Northeast Florida and are building a house on 15 acres. The house will be on a hill, and b/c of the elevation, we will also have a septic system, which will probably be raised. We have a pond in the back and a beautiful magnolia that will stand at the center of hte backyard. Eventually we want to put in a pool, which may have to be an above ground, and a hot tub, we also want a walking garden as well. We would like to leave the majority of the land lightly cultivated, meaning we want to just keep it to where you can walk, but not knock down trees.

This will take YEARS I know, esp if we want to do some work on our own. But how do you get started with this kind of project? I am overwhelmed!
by Dixie Angel on August 08, 2006 02:14 AM
Nice to meet you, upsydaisy! Welcome to the board...

You have the same problem that we do. We started with an empty 8 acres. Slowly, but surely, we are adding things as we go along.

To keep from being overwhelmed by the project, just consider different areas as blocks. Work through one block at a time and in a few years you will have it all landscaped.

I am doing some memorial gardens in ours. I have been working on a water garden that will be my uncle's memorial spot. I am planning an angel garden for my mother memories. A rooster/chicken garden is going to be for my favorite cousin (she loved those things). A dry creek bed will be going across the front three acres complete with small bridge. I am planning it all in blocks as I go along...

The hardest part is the planning...


* * * *
by upsydaisy on August 08, 2006 04:51 AM
So did any of you hire a professional planner? Can they set up a plan that can be done in blocks? Do they get bent out of shape if you want to do part of the work, or are they willing to do some of the work themselves and leave some of it for the owners?

I think the memorial garden idea is a great idea. I have lost so many loved ones over the last 15 years...

I want to plant things that, once established, won't be a total hassle to keep up. I mean, this is a lot of room to be filling, and if all the plants need covered during a freeze (yes we do freeze sometimes in NE FL!), then I know that they will all just die, cause I am NOT going out there and covering all those plants! Not on 15 acres!

What kind of plants should I absolutely avoid in Florida (north).... ??
by netwiz on August 08, 2006 07:04 AM
Hi Upsy,

I've looked into getting a professional landscape design and found they are quite pricey, although worth the money. We have 5 acres and need to start from scratch. We want to add a pool, decks, retaining walls, patio, pond with waterfalls and other hardscape items along with a complete garden design. I was quoted between $1000 and $1800 for just the design. I can't afford the plan this year but hope to have one done next year.

We are going to do as much of the work ourselves as we can and do one section (or block) at a time. It will take us years to complete it all but since we plan to retire here there really isn't a huge rush.

Good luck with your new property!

by upsydaisy on August 08, 2006 08:23 AM
That is exactly where we are at. We plan this move to be the LAST move ever (well, eventually, I plan to move beyond certain pearly gates, but I am pretty sure I won't have to hire a moving van for that!).

I am thinking that maybe it would be a good idea to pay someone to help us lay out a plan... it might even in the long run save us some money and time, because we won't have to redo as many goofups. My husband drives a truck for a living, so there is a limit on time, if you kwim... and that also means I will be the one pulling off this grand plan. And I am so totally disorganized and spatially retarded that I get my kids and my dh to even help me lay out rooms in my house.

Has anyone got any war stories from hiring a landscape planner? What to do and what NOT to do when hiring one?

Anyway, I have to go get some work done. It's a mess around here :-)

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