Landscape Design and Construction Management

Private Residence, Winter Park, FL 32789
2011 Golden Aurora Winner

Avatar Tree – Air Plant Optic Orb Strands

This unique opportunity for landscape architectural services has led to creative and wonderfully designed garden grounds. On this property, the primary residence is being joined with an adjoining secondary residence (the guest home) through the use of landscape architecture. The combined properties forms an L shape allowing for the development of their own personal garden joining the two homes. After years of turf maintenance and standard lawn care the Clients desired an unconventional landscape. They wanted to minimize maintenance, minimize sod areas, use native plants when feasible, encourage wildlife to come into their garden, and allow for views of the pool from each home.

In this project, the front yard was designed with a large yin and yang to anchor the spectacular home.  The rooftop balconies with beautiful planters allow for views of the lake and a unique perspective of their landscape.  Their love of ornamental grasses and distinctive plants has led to the development of the planting plan in this area. A cypress tree anchors the front corner of the lot, while bringing the feel of the lake to them as they enjoy the view from their balconies.  The yin and yang are like the Clients’ fire and water signs allowing the landscape to be part of each of them.

The back yard is where the gardens develop.  Included in the plan are an orchid garden, butterfly garden, Florida garden, shade garden and a tropical garden. I designed the floating walkway to unite the pool deck of the guest house to the lanai of the main home.  The walkway is surrounded by plantings.

Floating Walkway

Plan Development and Conceptual Plans

This is the conceptual sketch and drawing for the  planting areas between the main house and the guest home:

Conceptual Sketch

Conceptual Drawing

Conceptual Drawing of Planting Areas

Below is a full conceptual drawing for both properties, along with images of some of the plant materials used in the project:

Plan Board for Whole Property

Construction Management

The Clients also hired me to oversee the bidding and installation of the landscape and landscape lighting.  I was on-site daily with the landscape and lighting contractors to ensure they maintained the design intent of the plan and my client’s wishes.

Custom Ipe Planters and Modern Pot

Some other aspects of my responsibilities included:

  • Pots/planters specification and procurement;
  • Custom fabrication of IPE wood planters;
  • Custom fabrication of stainless steel hangers;
  • Specialty orchid procurement and placement in the landscape;

Below is a photo of the  stainless steel hangers I produced, along with the specialty orchids hanging from them.  I left the orchid tags attached to the plants, so the Client would always know the names of each plant:

Air Plant Optic Orbs

The Clients were a big fan of the Air Plant Chandelier from my personal home and wanted their own unique air plant creation for their home. I came up with the Air Plant Optic Orbs that combine the ideas from my air plant chandelier, along with fiber optic lighting, to create what some are calling the ‘Avatar’ tree. The trailing and bright fiber optic lights surround the air plants and illuminate a custom blown-glass orb at the bottom. See below for some photos:

Air Plant Optic Orbs

Air Plant Optic Orb


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