Landscapes For Florida Living

Total Landscape Concepts, Inc is a full service design build firm. We not only design award winning landscapes, but we have a professional crew to maintain your vision.

5200 SW 73rd Avenue

Davie, Florida 33314


Thursday, June 20, 2013

How do you choose what material to use for your new hardscape?

Most people look at maintenance as a driving factor in their decision making phase…

You want materials that are easily cleaned, strong, long lasting and look good!

Interlocking concrete pavers are the best for this purpose. They provide you with all these factors and more.

Color, texture, materials, size and shape are all part of the process…

Well this is the hard part…. Most people rely on their landscape professional of Landscape Architect to help them with this choice.  Professionals are experts at realizing which product will be the best for the space and the look you are trying to achieve. Marble vs clay vs concrete pavers… Your design professional can steer you in the right direction for the overall project feel.

Patios, Pool Decks, Walks and Driveways…

Patios, pool decks, walkways and
A crucial part of the design process is that the design professional’s expertise will provide you with the correct dimensions to suit your needs…
Patios need to be large enough to provide ample room for furniture to fit, enough room to adequately entertain and enough space to enjoy your new patio…
Walkways need to be wide enough to fit to space, but never smaller than three feet. A four foot walk way is a good residential walkway, but keep in mind the special elements of the existing space.
Driveways should be wide enough to accommodate the vehicles that you expect to park. As you move forward you will want to keep in mind community standards and city or county requirements for swales and size.

Friday, January 25, 2013



Are you always changing your halogen bulbs at the cost of $5.95 or more each?  Is your current low-voltage system dim and maxed out… These are just some of the reasons you should be using LED bulbs.
 If saving money and having the ability to add lights to your existing maxed out low-voltage transformer interest you please read on!

Using LED bulbs can solve a lot of issues you may be experiencing in your landscape low-voltage lighting system. Because the average landscape up light uses 50 watts of electricity and your path lights use 20 watts of electricity it is easy to max out your low-voltage system. This is probably why sometimes you may experience areas of your landscape lighting that are dimmer than the rest.  
Low voltage systems are the way of the future using less electricity than conventional incandescent bulbs. 
Now we have the ability to add more lights to your system and use even less electricity than you are currently using! The new LED light bulbs that we are using to replace those HOT MR—16 Halogen 50 watt bulbs use only 3 watts of electricity and provide you with the same equivalent amount of brightness or lumens. For a fraction of the cost of electricity!      

Going Green and energy efficiency
Energy-efficient lighting choices lower utility bills and lessen the burden on nonrenewable energy sources, which account for 89 percent of energy production in the U.S. LEDs,  are the most efficient lights on the market they are starting to appear alongside incandescent and compact fluorescent bulbs in hardware and home-goods stores. They are, however, a mystery to many, as their mechanics are different from standard bulbs.

LED stands for
 "Light emitting diode." A diode is an electrical component with two terminals which conduct the electricity only in one direction.
Only recently has the LED market moved into making quality landscape bulbs (MR-16 Halogen base type bulb) replacing the halogen bulbs of the past. Their initial high cost originally had been the reason why we have waited to move into this market.   

We can now offer these bulbs at comparable or even lesser prices than the big box-store are charging!  We can install them and clean your lenses as a courtesy! All because we are buying them direct from the manufacturer at discounted prices.
Halogen VS LED
For years halogen has been the recommended bulb for landscape lighting because of its brightness, and its use in the low voltage lighting systems. Conventional light bulbs including halogen waste most of their energy as heat. Some higher wattage halogen bulbs burn so hot that they can actually burn you or even cause a fire when they come into contact with highly combustible materials. The new LED bulbs provide comparable lumens and deliver this light, using much less electricity, even when used in a low voltage system.        
For example, a halogen and incandescent bulb gives off 90 percent of its energy as heat; while a compact fluorescent bulb wastes 80 percent as heat.  LEDs remain cool… always with no wasted electricity and with an added benefit;  they contain no glass components, they are not vulnerable to vibration or breakage like conventional bulbs. LEDs are thus better suited for use in the landscape, where they may get knocked by an edger or mower during routine maintenance.

Measuring Brightness
Lumens are the perceived brightness that you “see” in the bulb. The more lumens the bulb has, the brighter the bulb. Lumens are the best measurement of comparative lighting among the various bulbs. Manufacturers who want to deliver the best available light for the lumens also provide a reflective mounting to direct the lumens as needed.
Longer Life
The life of a high-power white LED is projected to be from 35,000 to 50,000 hours, compared to 750 to 2,000 hours for an incandescent bulb, 8,000 to 10,000 hours for a compact fluorescent and 20,000 to 30,000 hours for a linear fluorescent bulb. LED lifetimes are rated differently than conventional lights, which go out when the filament breaks. Typical lifetime is defined as the average number of hours until light falls to 70 percent of initial brightness, in lumens. LEDs typically just fade gradually.
LEDs are solid state lighting devices that utilize semiconductor material instead of a filament or neon gas. An LED light is a tiny chip encapsulated in an epoxy resin enclosure, which makes LEDs far sturdier than traditional incandescent light bulbs or fluorescent tubes. Since LEDs don't use fragile components such as glass and filaments, LEDs are able to withstand shock, vibration and extreme temperature.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


Yes it's that time again...

Summer has given up and Fall is here. We have already prepared for the color burst that is about to happen. We have contract grown our favorite New Guinea impatiens and begonias in anticipation for a COLOR EXPLOSION!  Our choices were many but with the advice of our growers we decided that this Fall we were going to go back to the red (or bronze) leaf begonia with red flowers as a staple and of course for our clients who just can't get enough color we are planting New Guinea impatiens in five colors; magenta, red, white, salmon and hot pink.   
Planting in the next 45 days will guarantee the full impact throughout the season that these flowers can provide. Our designers are expert on helping you decide what plant and color palette to use. If you decide to plant the flowers on your own please remember to use a 90 day time release fertilizer specifically engineered to provide all the micro-nutrients in your soil mix to provide the necessary fertilizer these hungry annuals need.

Please feel free to contact our office with any concerns you may have or current questions you may have on the latest Downy Mildew infestations and the annuals that are effected.

Enjoy this beautiful weather we are having and start enjoying your landscape or garden....

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Summer is almost over.... well at least it doesn't feel as muggy.

September brings the thoughts of finally getting some relief from this steamy summer we have had. Dodging storms and mosquito squads...

It's time to start planning your FALL GARDEN. It is a time in South Florida that we get to introduce more color and fun accent plantings to our garden. 
You can redo those tired worn out beds of annual color or just  experiment with container gardening.
There are so many choices to choose from... 

Start by taking an inventory of your garden and look for key areas to introduce BRILLIANT COLOR!

Don't stop by just adding flowers get texture from unusual ornamental plants and grasses.... Look for soft flowing textures and the colorful foliage...

Let one of our designers help you pick the area and plantings for you... We do this FREE of charge!

Using fun decorative plantings and typical fall ornamentation can provide the FUN look or the ELEMENT OF SURPRISE!
Whatever you do have fun and get back outside and enjoy our South Florida weather!


Monday, May 14, 2012

Summer color in the South Florida garden


It already feels like Summer.... officially it wont be here until June 20th, but it is time to spruce up the old yard and get out and have some summer fun! This summer you might be like thousands of others and are planning to stay home this year, rising gas prices and the cost involved in traveling, seem to make it a more inviting and relaxed vacation.
I'm sure by now you have torn out those thirsty winter annuals and now it is time to plant carefree summer color. Flowers are not the only way to brighten up your garden. In the summer we have great choices of tropical foliage as well as annual flowers to give us the color we need to make our landscape POP!
Here is a list of tried and true easy care tropical and hardy plants you can use to brighten up that summer space. Don't forget Memorial Day and Fourth of July are right around the corner....

Of course, sun conditions and water conditions play a key role in choosing which plant. 

 The choices are endless and so are the color varieties. Let one of our Landscape Designers help you choose which plant will be best for your location and soil conditions.

Pentas Butterfly mix

Red Salvia and Dusty Miller
Russian Salvia

Time to plant.... The summer is here and so are the summer plants...

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

South Florida Herb Gardens

Want to be different? Plant Herbs in your Florida Garden… and enjoy the fresh flavors in your cooking. 1
Herbs are woody herbaceous ornamental plants and not vegetables. They are grown for their scent, ornamentation and flavor and used in cooking and homeopathic treatments. Think how nice it would be to walk out into your garden and clip your own herbs to add to that special dish you are preparing or to add as a garnish to your favorite meal to dress it up. It’s really quite simple to start and maintain your herb garden…
We are lucky here in South Florida and can grow many of the common herbs year round. Our moderate weather is ideal for growing edibles in south Florida; the garden size that you allocate can be small even using containers in an ornamental fashion is fun and simple to do. We like to plant edibles right in the landscape and blend in the plants into the landscape. But many like to actually set aside a nice sunny well drained area for their edible garden. Some herbs actually keep pest out of your garden and off your other plants due to their pungent aroma, which some insects dislike.
Picking the right place to plant your garden...
Space and time… Space can be as simple as a sunny out of the way area, a prominent spot to show off your garden, finding spots in your existing landscape to place a few important herbs or the right containers to make colorful plantings. Time is a consideration. The larger the garden the more time you will need to maintain it. The good news is that herbs by their very nature grow as easily as weeds…     Most herbs will grow easily and can take different conditions of sunlight and soil, and with similar needs as vegetables. Plants can be started from seed or purchased as small “baby” plants and transplanted in the garden.  

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Impatiens Downy Mildew Report:

Over the past several weeks a disease known as Downy Mildew (Plasmopara obducens) that affects Impatiens (walleriana species -seed types primarily) has become widespread throughout the South Florida Landscape environment. Prior to this outbreak this disease has rarely been found in Florida, or elsewhere in the US, though it has been seen widespread in Europe for years resulting in devastation of Impatiens plantings.

Once the plants are infected there is no known cure, though plants have been able to to be protected prior to infection, by following a stringent fungicide protocol. Proper identification of the disease symptoms is  critical for diagnosis, Ppease see link below to identify Downy Mildew. If you suspect that you have Downy Mildew in your landscape, it is probably too late to save them. They will need to be removed  as soon as possible following strict disposal methods to prevent further spread  of the disease in your landscape.

If you have a symptom free  crop in your landscape you must be willing to follow the instructions to maintain a fungus free environment. This is also a time consuming and expensive task. Your professional landscape maintenance personnel should be trained in this application and can be relied upon for combating this aggressive fungus.

The good news is that our crops are fungus free and no Downy Mildew has been identified in our nurseries because of our strict fungus preventative treatments. Further is appears that the the Downy Mildew does not affect any other soft or woody ornamental plants.  Also on a good note, it appears that New Guinea impatiens have been spared as the these hardy hybrids seem to be very resistant to the disease, New Guinea impatiens have become the favorite of Landscapers and Gardeners alike.

We will keep you posted as to any developments in the ongoing efforts being made by the Florida Department of Agriculture in combating this fungus. 

check out the link below for preventative treatments: