Bella Collina: A Beautiful and Water-Efficient Tuscan Landscape
By the Masuen Consulting Team
How do you cultivate a Tuscan-inspired landscape while conserving water? The team who designed and implemented Bella Colima's landscape and irrigation design pulled it off. Bella Collina is an Orlando-area gated community offering luxury lakefront and golf-course homes with resort-style amenities. It’s the perfect example of what can be achieved when a team of professionals work together to employ careful planning, scientific research, and modern, connected technology.
The site selected for this development was 1,900 acres in Montverde, featuring beautiful, rolling hills and Lake Siena-the perfect location for high-end development. But the site brought a unique set of challenges when it came to the Tuscan-inspired landscape called for in the design plans. With a very limited water allocation from St. Johns River Water Management District, low water-holding sandy soils, and Bryozoa microorganisms in the water supply-which are known to plug irrigation systems-a team of experienced experts needed to sort out a suitable plan for the community.
Masuen Consulting, LLC, which specializes in irrigation design and implementation, was brought in to work with the water management district and collaborate with the development team. The final plan allowed the irrigation system to work within water-use limitations, mitigate environmental challenges, and provide the lush landscape style that the developer envisioned for Bella Collina. According to Wayne Smith, vice president of the development company, 'Masuen was a critical collaboration partner. They accurately calculated what extent of planting and lawn areas would achieve our design aesthetic but not exceed the site’s water budget.'
The landscape plan preserved 182 acres of natural vegetation, used drought-tolerant plants, and limited the use of irrigated turf. The irrigation plan called for the use of conservation-friendly drip irrigation, high- efficiency heads, and a computerized control system with a weather station, flow monitoring, and extensive filtration to remove the Bryozoa.
Bella Collina received an award from the American Society of Landscape Architects for the team’s effort. Many of the consultants and product manufacturers involved in this project refer to Bella Collina as an example of what can be done when experience, science and technology are brought together to create a beautiful yet water-efficient landscape.
Masuen Consulting, LLC, specializes in irrigation consulting, landscape and irrigation design, and water management. Known as irrigation experts, Masuen has helped a wide range of clients reduce water usage throughout the United States and abroad in the last 25+ years. Call (866) 928-1533 or visit www.masuenconsulting.com