First off . .
Gotta love the palm trees, particularly the ubiquitous cabbage palm which is the state tree of Florida. And the birds -- mockingbirds, palm warblers, boat-tailed grackles, white ibises, herons, egrets, anhingas, gallinules, pelicans and the LBJs (little brown jobbers) that play tag with the surf.
|young evergreen oak|
The native sand-dune pioneer seagrape (Coccoloba uvifera, in the buckwheat family) is getting much wider use in the landscape. I was surprised to see that this plant seems to have suffered from earlier frost damage (as did specimens of the popular and showy Tabebuia genus).
Like in most of the US, landscape maintenance at condos and commercial sites goes to the low bidder. Thus you have hedges of hibiscus trimmed like a boxwood (if a flower sticks up, you know it's time to trim again). And privet trees trimmed into mushrooms. And oaks planted along high-voltage wires.
|careful: it might flower!|
Of course there are so many sad things to say about Florida's ecosystem. In my personal experience, it is mind-boggling how little of the Atlantic coastal hammock forest remains -- we're talking tens of acres over a space of hundreds of miles. I don't think I'm exaggerating by much. When the Nature Conservancy re-claimed a bit of land in north Palm Beach County, they literally had to clear-cut every stitch of vegetation and start from scratch with nursery grown plants. I'm sure the PR task was as challenging for them as the actual landscape management.