Ave Maria Community: 2016 NALP Winner

Developed by the founder of Domino’s Pizza, Ave Maria is a 4,000-acre secluded, self-sustained town. The municipality has two parks, a church, Catholic university, golf course, water park, and 1.7 million square feet of downtown retail space. This community has twice been named a Top 50 Master Planned Community.

By working with Davey, Ave Maria sought to diversify their landscape, emphasize high-quality execution and achieve a cohesive aesthetic.

With Florida’s beautiful, sunny days come the heat, water restrictions, and hurricane season. As such, Davey needed to make modifications to help create a low-water landscape that’s more tolerant to high winds, humidity, and heat.

Additionally, the property’s soil is high in pH and low in organic matter, making it hard for plants to adapt and thrive.

Since these problems occur in a bustling, fast-growing community, Davey continually works to meet the community’s high standard while overcoming heavy foot and car traffic.

Davey properly pruned the trees to reduce wind resistance. When pruning ornamental shrubs, Davey created a tiered look based on plant type, which helps reduce labor hours and adds visual interest.

They also filled any empty bed space with flowers, which are rotated seasonally, to infuse constant color in the landscape. Whenever possible, they selected native plants that are heat-tolerant, low-water, and continue to dazzle for months. To help these plants thrive, a specialized fertilizer was developed to help amend the soil’s pH.

Finally, to deliver the best experience to residents, Davey highlights community entrances, quickly resolves any problems, listens to feedback, and completes work during low-traffic hours.

The property can only be watered three days a week for a maximum of twenty minutes. As such, native, drought-tolerant plants that still made a statement were needed. Each plant installed had to achieve three goals: break up the monochromatic green, add a dash of texture, and withstand the heat. Davey then delivered the minimal amount of water needed to maintain the plants’ high-quality look.

Driving through the vast, pristine streets of Ave Maria feels like stepping back in time. There, nestled in the Everglades, lies a little slice of heaven. Bursting with bright flowers, rustling ornamental grasses, and swaying palm trees, families relish the natural beauty. In this close-knit town, the parks, 18-hole golf course, and downtown are always alive with activity as neighbors gather. Residents enjoy the lush, green grass before admiring the lurking alligators in the lagoon-blue bodies of water. While it appears this community is a technicolor paradise, it’s carefully constructed and maintained by an expertly-trained crew.

2016 NALP (National Association of Landscape Professionals) Property Award Winner!

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