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Friday, April 6

Tropical Wonderland

 Yesterday my mother and I spent the morning touring the ever-evolving gardens of family friends, Glenn and Lavonne Johnson. The morning started out overcast, we'd had some rain during the night, but halfway through the sun made its appearance casting playful shadows and creating dramatic lighting as we meandered the property. The main house and adjoining guest retreat, inspired by the architecture of Japan, are encircled by a lush and verdant oasis nearly thirty years in the making. 
Cultivating gorgeous gardens is similar to creating beautiful rooms. Its about finding the perfect balance of color, texture and layers.  In an echo to the home's architecture, the clean lines and varied stone and wood textures were the starting point for the Jonhsons' gardens. With the exception of bamboo, drought tolerant and tropical plantings form the foundation of the space while flowering and specimen plants are  used as accents. It was a spectacular way to spend the cooler morning hours. Thank you again for the tour, Lavonne! 

 The guest house pool was transformed into a zen-like water garden complete with waterfalls, lush and textured greenery and wonderful breezes; a fantastic place to meditate. 
 The Tea House is surrounded by lush plantings and delicate flowers.
 Bamboo Silhouettes.
 Bird of Paradise; love the deep grey, purple and white of this variety's flower.
 Gorgeous pink blooms from a "Calypso" oleander; this particular tree has moved all over the country with the Johnsons before being permanently settled on Marco. 
Citrus and other tropical fruit-bearing trees hold their own in a corner of the property. I had never seen a banana tree before today {pictured above}.
 The orchid house provides a cool, moisture rich environment for these beautiful plants. Orchids are kept here until blooming and then spread across the property, inside and out. 

The Naples Daily News visited the Johnson's gardens in 2011, read the article here and view more stunning images. 

{Images by Allison for Halycon Style}

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