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After studying architecture at Universidad de Panama and another three years in an interior design program, landscape designer Fernando Wong journeyed from Panama to Palm Beach in 2001, where he started at the bottom and worked his way up. He went from watering plants to opening his own firm in Miami Beach in 2005, and is currently working on landscape designs for The Four Seasons. Since it’s been raining and cold lately, we’ve been dreaming about lush, greenery and outdoor spaces, so we asked Fernando to inspire and educate us with some landscape design tips. Ready to whip out your green thumb? Read on…
1. Use native plants from local nurseries.
Native plants tend to use less water and you know they will are guaranteed to grow well in your area. I also recommend purchasing plants from local nurseries instead of big box stores. Nurseries typically have a larger selection, their quality is higher, and their staff is much more knowledgeable about useful tips such as which plants work best in shade or direct sunlight.
2. Create a focal point in your landscaping to form beautiful views from both the interior and exterior.
Be thoughtful of how landscaping can be showcased and enjoyed both in your house and out in your garden. Think of doors and windows as the frame for the art you’re creating, whether it’s with an antique urn or a center fountain that will create the beautiful vista.
3. Create intimate nooks and areas.
I create outdoor spaces so that they slowly reveal themselves, like this soaking tub and outdoor shower tucked into the side of the home by the master suite. If you create separate outdoor rooms it actually makes properties seem larger, not smaller. So I always try to create a number of different areas that work harmoniously together.
4. Use colors and materials to create a seamless transition from the interior to the exterior.
I like to use the same material on terraces that is used inside the home. This creates a seamless indoor-outdoor transition. I also try to use similar colors the same way you would in an interior. For instance, red and yellow do not go together inside or out—ever!
5. Hire a landscaping professional to develop a master plan.
I always advise engaging a professional landscape designer who can work with you to develop a master plan for the entire property. This will help you save time and from making costly mistakes. It will also ensure that your garden is as beautiful as the interior of your home. If the budget is an issue, having a master plan also allows you to work in phases.
See more of Fernando’s work here.
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