The afterglow: Bradenton landscape transformation
Jerry Fritz and Bruce Turley doing some final “watering in” on the finished Volkmann landscape. It’s just going to get better, Berni!
Can’t wait to come back and see this garden in the fall.
We did it! In just one day, FANN transformed Bradenton homeowners Berni & Brad Volkmann’s landscape – and life. You’ll soon be able to watch it on television as well as on HowtodoFlorida.com
CLICK to see the LANDSCAPE PLAN.
LIST OF PLANTS for those that love lists.
Benefits for the Volkmanns:
- Less hassle and worry about watering, weeding, spraying, fertilizing and mowing.
- More joy! Instead of feeling burdened by a yard that needs work, they can sit outside and contemplate the beauty and life of their new landscape.
- Greater peace of mind, knowing they have a healthy landscape.
What was involved?
- We removed about 70% of the St. Augustine turf in the front lawn. Two strong guys maneuvered a rented sod cutter. You can do it yourself if you’ve got the muscle to manage it.
- We rented a front-end loader to move cut sod out of the way and unload pallets of bagged mulch.
- We replaced the turf with a mix of South Florida trees, shrubs and wildflowers. See the list.
- We dug up and moved Berni’s beloved pineapples and added more edibles and herbs for a “right out the front door” kitchen garden. Over 100 new native wildflowers will attract pollinators to keep the food crops producing.
- We removed an old concrete entry walk and replaced it with a nice contemporary permeable paver patio. Now Berni & Brad can relax in their front yard while sipping coffee or wine.
- We mulched with a mix of FloriMulch™ (ground up Melaleuca trees, yay!) and Florida pine straw in the pathway. The pine straw is soft to walk on and provides a nice visual contrast.
- We adjusted the irrigation system with drip lines and will continue tweaking it for successful establishment of the new native plantings. If we have a summer rainy season this year, the Volkmanns can really kick back and relax.
Berni and Brad now live in the beginning of what is their own private park. If all goes well, we predict they’ll come back for more. Meanwhile, we expect the plants to follow the old adage: The first year they sleep, the second year they creep and the third year they leap!
Total estimated retail value of this front yard transformation: $10,575.00
How to do Florida – Flip Your Yard episode #1!
Standing in back, L-R: ? Film crewman, ? Film crewman, Director Ben (with big camera in hands), Florida Wildflower Foundation Executive Director Lisa Roberts, ? Install crewman, Install crewman, FANN Executive Director Cammie Donaldson (with sign in hands), ? Install crewman, Zack Pitchford, ? Install crewman, Arnie Rutkis (sweaty hunk in the hat), Kodiak Brothers, Team Leader Tom Heitzman, Bruce Turley, Roger Triplett, Jerry Fritz. Seated, L-R: ? Install crewman with someone else behind him, ? Install crewman, Host & Producer Chad Crawford (with Berni’s yard sign), Troy Springer (with plant), Chili Horton (with wildflower sign), Laurel Schiller (in hat and apron), Heather Hill (with plant), ? Install crewman. Not pictured: Eddie McKeithen and possibly other shy crewmen.
FANN members provided 200+ plants, 20 bales of pine straw mulch, 16 cubic yards of FloriMulch™, 200 square feet of installed pavers and nearly 200 hours of time in design, site preparation, retrofitting, planting and clean-up. In addition, FANN and participating members will continue to check in with the Volkmanns to help ensure this new native landscape gets well established.
FANN thanks our partner, Florida Wildflower Foundation, for pushing us to participate in this project and everyone at HowtodoFlorida. Host and Producer Chad Crawford and crew share our love for Real Florida and do a great job of promoting authentic, healthy & sustainable family fun and well-being. We’re proud to be a tiny part of their great program.
Project lead Tom Heitzman, center, with Bruce Turley at left, listen as Troy Springer describes changes he’s making to the existing irrigation system.
Extra special thanks to our amazing FANN volunteers who stepped up to make this project happen:
Project Leader Tom Heitzman, FANN board member and owner of Sweet Bay Nursery
Design team: Tom Heitzman, Sweet Bay Nursery; Laurel Schiller, Florida Native Plants Nursery; and Bruce Turley, Wilcox Nursery & Landscape
Wildflower Wranglers: Roger Triplett of Green Seasons Nursery and Troy Springer, Springer Environmental Services
Irrigation retrofit: Troy Springer, Springer Environmental Services
Heavy Equipment Wrangler: Jerry Fritz, SUNCO
Mulch: Forestry Resources, producers of FloriMulch™
Paver patio installation: Arnie Rutkis (Lead), Kodiak Brothers and Zack Pitchford
Plants: Florida Native Plants Nursery, Green Seasons Nursery, McKeithen Growers, Sandhill Native Growers, Sweet Bay Nursery and Wilcox Nursery & Landscape
Green Seasons Nursery: Roger Triplett
McKeithen Growers crew: Eddie McKeithen, Antonio Beceril, Martin Lopez, Esteban Salas, Lorenzo Alvarez
Springer Environmental Services: Troy Springer, Abdon “Emilio” Macias, Cirilo “Jesus” Merida, Agusto Lingres.
Sweet Bay Nursery crew: Tom Heitzman, Heather Hill, Alejandro Vera
Wilcox Nursery & Landscape: Bruce Turley, Kodiak Brothers, Arnie Rutkis, Zack Pitchford
Cool garden signage: Chad Crawford & his amazing production team
Photography and moral support: Spence & Cammie