30 YEARS OF EXPERTISE
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Nature House gardens weave together beautiful natural elements from coral rock, to reindeer moss, driftwood, coral, and lush flora to create a natural tapestry. In addition to outdoor gardens, Randall creates indoor wonders using materials like the world-class Kentia palm, Phoenician planters, and bromeliads in his world-class flower arrangements. His works encourage one to "pause, and let beauty refresh thy spirit."
Design is likely Randall's strongest talent, as the gardens he designs reflect 35 years of traveling the world's great rainforests. Here, he describes the design of just one of his many outdoor projects:
Numerous Oncidium & Nobile Dendrobium Orchids are woven into existing oak canopies as well as epiphytic bromeliads, creating a realistic panorama as close to a real rainforest as you can get. I use a multitude of tropical Neoregelia & Aechmea Bromeliads from world-famous Bullis Bromeliads, the finest bromeliad nursery in the world. These are woven together with zamias, ferns, and ground cover to grow into a botanical tapestry. Together with rare palms, fragrant Michellia and the unusual Jaboticaba trees from Brazil, they leave the impression you have walked into a manicured jungle.
Since designing gardens in Florida, St. Croix, France & Brazil, Randall often adds hundreds of cubic meters of rich topsoil & organic fertilizer to mend and prepare the soil for optimum growth. Often he plants barefoot to be connected to the earth, feeling the plants' new home as he steps them in after planting. He considers it a gift that his gardens look established soon after planting due to this personal approach.
Interested in your own tropical paradise?
Planting the Seeds
Randall has collected more than experience itself. In his travels, he has collected and cultivated specimens from all over the world.
Perhaps the most memorable collecting trip was a month in Madagascar collecting all known species of Baobob trees on the western coast of Morondava. I also collected seeds from the Orania palm which are rarely seen in cultivation.
Even more unbelievable was my client being given permission to acquire seven huge 30 pound seeds of the extremely rare coco-du-mer palm (Lodoica Maldivica) on the island of Praslin in the Seychelles, a world heritage site. These seeds take seven years to ripen and are sexually dioecious, meaning they produce distinctly different male and female seeds. The threat of global warming could one day leave this island underwater so the only remaining population would be seed colonies germinated in other locations.
A dive in the shark-infested waters of the Mozambiqué channel was truly an underwater paradise, and numerous orchid species I collected in Amazonia have made their way to Marie Selby Botanical Gardens in Sarasota for identification and cultivation.