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.
The approach we’ll use is very simple. We’ll create our backyard resort by combining exotic looking tropical plants with well-adapted plants that either look tropical or look good in a tropical setting. The trick is to learn what plants and how to combine them to create that exotic, tropical look. We’re going to use a simple layering approach. At a high level, here’s what to do: create a solid foundation, create the tropical landscape effect, and add the finishing touches.
I am a backyard landscape do it yourself hobbyist. As a matter of fact, one of the reasons that I first bought a house was because I wanted to be able to play with backyard landscape design. I have had so many backyard landscaping ideas since I was very small, but I have never gone on to do any of them. You see, when I was a kid I used to love to imagine what my dream house would be like. Of course back then, my backyard landscape ideas were not that well developed. Basically, most of my backyard landscape designs were pretty over the top. I wanted to have a giant backyard fountain that you could swim in, a backyard basketball court – you get the idea. When I was a kid, my backyard landscape design scheme centered around making the biggest, best playground that a child had ever had.
Although I have yet to build most of my backyard landscape design plans, I am starting to. I have already laid the flagstones for my garden path, and next week I will start planting the plants. At one point, I considered hiring nursery contractors to some of the more difficult backyard landscape design work, but eventually I thought better of it. Backyard landscape design is a hobby. Of course I could make it easier by getting professionals to do the work, but that is hardly the point. If I give in, I will never learn how to be a backyard landscaper. If you have ever thought about getting into backyard landscape design, I encourage you to do it. Do not be put off by how difficult it is to build things when you have never had any experience. Once you get the hang of it, it can really be quite easy. You will have fun, get some exercise, and have a gorgeous backyard as a reward for your efforts.
Anything with big, deep green leaves works great, and all the better if it is evergreen. Ornamental grasses like Pampus and Maiden grass make great foundation plants. They seem to add a care-free feel to the landscape as they move with the wind. You should be able to find several that are adapted to your area. Finally, try to find some color for the foundation. Any shrub or tree that flowers and is well adapted to your area is great for your foundation. Crepe myrtles are favorites in southern landscapes. Remember, the idea here is to set that permanent foundation. You’ll definitely want to use things that are reliable in your area, and will not succumb to winter cold.
Backyard landscapes have evolved from lawn and a sprinkler to new modern designs involving pools, spas, barbeque pits, tables, couches, and dishwashers. The modern idea for a back yard has become an outside room that you can use many months out of the year. Backyards are the screened porches of the twenty-first century but before you start digging the hole for the pool do some research online to view pictures of what other people have done with their backyards. Spend some time thinking about what aspects of their designs you like and what you dislike. Research the appliances you want to use and see if others have recommended the appliance for use in your area. After all what works in a backyard in California probably won’t work out as well in Maine.