Add Some Water: For those of you who live in a landlocked area, bodies of water might not exactly be a hop, skip, and a jump away. Instead of longing for an ocean or a lake, bring a mini-version to you by putting in a fountain or a pond. A fountain or a pond can enhance your backyard, giving it a watery essence it wouldn’t otherwise have. These might not be much like the ocean – they won’t allow you to snorkel or surf – but, look on the bright side: you won’t have to worry about sharks.
The exotic, tropical look of your backyard resort will be achieved by combining a wide variety of shapes, forms, colors, and textures. Banana plants with their large dramatic leaves, beautiful foliage plants like coleus and gingers, open and airy ornamental grasses, beautiful climbing vines, and tropical blooming plants all have a place. What may surprise you is that there is also a place for many of our more cold-hardy and traditional landscape plants. Uniformity and normality are out; randomness and whimsy are in.
The least durable backyard fireplaces will be made of thin metals and clay. They will also be less expensive. The more durable ones would be made of stainless steel, cast iron or aluminum. Copper is also quite durable, but you need to know that it does oxidize and will change color from golden-bronze to a greenish hue. Also, you should be aware of the fact that iron may rust if left out in the rain and snow. You will find backyard fireplaces that are fueled by wood, natural gas, liquid and gel. The gases burn cleaner and there is less mess than wood. Of course, with wood fireplaces you will have more work to do such as cutting the wood for the fire but many people enjoy the crackle and pop of a real outdoor fire. If you choose natural gas, you will need to install the gas line and the fireplace will be placed in a permanent location rather than being able to move it around.
Backyard Resorts – There you have it. I sincerely hope you find this fun, useful, and at least marginally instructional. This little hobby has been an absolute joy for me over the years. Remember, my intent was never to give you a Backyard Resort in a Box, with step-by-step instructions on exactly what, when, and how to do everything. That just wouldn’t be possible in a single article and, even if it were, it would take all the fun out of this little adventure. The idea is to give you a taste of what’s possible and hopefully to whet your appetite with a few ideas and tools to get you started. Beyond that, you have all kinds of creative license in creating your own personal Backyard Resort. Now, get started and, most of all, have fun.
If something has such a positive effect on your attitude and outlook, why should you settle for experiencing it only once a year during vacation? What if it were possible to create a little piece of that Island allure in your everyday life? While you may not have an ocean handy, you absolutely can create a beautiful, tropical resort style setting right in your own backyard. It’s not only possible, it’s a lot of fun. And, guess what? It doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. With a little creativity, education and guidance, you can turn your boring backyard landscape into your own exotic, tropical Backyard Resort.