When you're designing a home landscape, many different ideas and considerations come to mind. Plants and trees should coexist, complement each other in color and growth, and thrive in your area. In Florida, where summers are hot and sunny, the options for landscaping are virtually endless, but should always start with a broad plan.
Plant flowering vines in areas that provide structures like walls, trees and arbors for support. In Florida, choose vines that appreciate bright light, warmth and humidity, like bougainvillea, trumpet vine and honeysuckle. Although many vines can grow in any soil, amend the native soil with compost and quick-draining soil to give vines a good start. Most vines grow best in full sun, though some will tolerate a small amount of shade. Plant the vines 2 feet away from the structure and train them up over the wall or arbor. Some vines will grow over 40 feet with the right care.
In flat, sunny spots, consider growing a flower or rose garden. Amend the soil with quick-draining soil and compost for bulbs or roses, which require good drainage and nutrition. Be certain that the entire area gets full sun for flower growth and blooming. Plant bulbs for daffodils, lilies, tulips, begonias and irises in fall, at prescribed depths and spacing, for spring blooming. Choose rose colors and cultivators that you particularly like, and plant them at a spacing of 2 to 3 feet to construct a rose garden.
If you have a large flat spot that's partially shady, or you want something that takes less work than flower gardens, consider planting a lawn. Choose a heat-tolerant variety of grass like Bermuda or fescue for Florida sun and heat. Rake or rototill the top 2 to 2 inches of the soil, and work a seed starter soil or compost into the native soil for grass seeds. Broadcast seeds to a concentration of around 16 seeds per square inch, then spread a 14-inch layer of topsoil over the seeds. Water well, and expect sprouting within a week.