Project Overview
  • Remove invasive species trees and shrubs, clean existing natives, install new landscape lighting and sprinkler systems at historic Coconut Grove home
  • Project timeline:  10 days
  • Total cost:  $14,600

Martha and Fred purchased a historic home in Coconut Grove a few months ago and have been wanting to do some updates ever since.  The garden has large ponds with 100s of koi and other species, several waterfalls, streams, paths, and many palms and other native species.  However, it had been overgrown by Schefflera (umbrella) trees and other invasive species.  The existing sprinkler system was nonoperational.  Worse still, multiple lighting systems had been installed, some with live 110v wires exposed.


As you can see from the before photos below, the garden was out of control.  The invasive Scheffleras and other invaders were growing right next to the pool, on the coral rock walls, and thoughout the garden, shading out the natives and damaging the pool and walls.  The previous owners had installed multiple lighting and sprinkler systems, one on top of another.  They were mostly non-functional.


Our proposal to clean up and make sense of Martha and Fred’s garden included the following:

  • Clean up and simplify electrical:  remove abandoned and unsafe 120v landscape lighting system, install new timers for pond fill and sprinkler systems, bring pond fill system up to code for safe operation.
  • Sprinkler system installaion: install second well pump to separate sprinkler system from pond fill system, repair or replace existing sprinkler heads, add and adjust sprinkler heads where necessary, install 20 orchid sprinklers.
  • Landscape and security lighting system installation:  install 40 low-voltage LED landscape lights, install new 300W low-voltage transformer in front and 150W in back, install 3 motion detection security lights.
  • Tree removal and cleaning:  remove Schefflera trees and other invasive species by pool, on walls and thoughout garden with crane, remove palms endangering house, trim and clean Gumbo Limbo trees, Coconut, Washingtonian, Alexander, Vichia palms and other native species, clean roof and remove all debris.

In the photos below, you can see we have restored the garden to it’s original beauty.  At night, the landscape lighting makes it gorgeous.  Martha and Fred now have the tropical garden they envisioned when the bought the home!

Next Steps

Now that the heavy lifting is out of the way, Martha and Fred can enjoy working on the garden themselves.  There are a few small projects that we’ve looked at around the house, but for now, they are going to enjoy their oasis.