There is a lifespan for everything, and you can see signs of when things are reaching the end of their lifespan.
From the grocery supplies we buy, to the clothes we wear, things will only last so long. Food and drink clearly label what their lifespan is by an expiration date. Our clothing fades, a clear sign it is near the end of its life span. Even people have a lifespan, and although we don’t see an expiration date stamped on our forehead, there are clear signs as we age and near the end of our time.
So why should your landscaping be any different? I’ve worked in the industry of landscaping in Florida for many years (decades if I’m honest!) and my experiences show me the average lifespan of a properly maintained landscape is 15 maybe 20 years. Of course, this can fluctuate based on the plant material used. Just like our human bodies if they’re not taking care of the plants will show deterioration faster and not live their long full expected lifespan.
Does this mean if your landscape is getting ready to reach maturity and starting to decline you should start with a clean slate? NO! There are features in your landscape which will last for years 40, 50, even 100 years. What was once a small 2-foot little Oak tree, is now a 20 foot tree with beautiful spanning branches providing shade to your property. Your palm trees are mature and graceful, with slight bends from the wind and long lustful fronds.
Some plants are best when they reach maturity. Have you ever seen a bougainvillea grown over the arch of a house’s entry and is now rich with flowers with the thick stump proclaiming its age? Some plants aren’t even attractive until they start to mature, instead they seem weak, but as they grow their shape becomes clear and their value to your landscape is immeasurable.
So, what do you do with the remaining landscape material showing decline because of age? These are the plants you remove- it might be a struggle because of 20 years’ worth of roots and debris to get around, but once removed, you’re left with a clean palette and key pieces anchoring your landscape together. Now you can create the landscape you want. You can change the whole appearance of your landscape, or you can simply re-landscape with the same type material and enjoy them for another 15 to 20 years.
The choice is up to you, but remember any mistakes which were made the first time around, and be sure not to repeat them for the second time.
Create a new landscape design for yourself and then sit back and enjoy for the next lifespan of your plants.