Backyard landscaping can not only enhance the appeal of your home, but it can also increase the value of your home. Additionally, landscaping is a great form of exercise. Well thought out backyard landscaping can even help reduce your energy costs. Creating a windbreak with trees can keep your house warmer in the winter. And planting trees close to the house can provide cooling shade in the summer. Of course, all backyard landscaping ideas should start with your personal and family styles in mind. If possible, ask the whole family to brainstorm ideas for your backyard. This can help create a place that everyone in the family enjoys in their own personal way. It is a great way to spend time with your family, as well.
For the tropical effect, you should have at least one palm tree. It’s hard to imagine a tropical landscape without the presence of palms. Why palm trees aren’t used more in southern landscapes can only be attributed to lack of information. Plant one and you can be sure you’ll hear more than one ”You can’t grow that here!”. There a number of palms that can handle very low temps with little or no damage. Windmill, Sabal, and needle palms come to mind. Palms create the tropical foundation, now you need to enhance the tropical effect. Let’s throw in some bananas, cannas, and elephant ears with their huge leaves for a start. All are very easy to grow and, with a little work, can be protected so that they come back year over year. Yucca and big ornamental grasses add great tropical effect too. Add some real color sizzle with tropical hibiscus, coleus, and Mandevilla and you’re going to start humming Jimmy Buffett and reggae tunes for sure.
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Here’s a great tip. Go to your favorite garden center’s houseplant section. Of course, there is really no such thing as a houseplant. All plants want to be outside and will perform their best outside. Many of the so-called houseplants are really understory tropicals that will perform beautifully on a covered patio or deck where they have protection from direct sun. Experiment with some of these plants and you are sure to be amazed at the results.
Now, let’s go even beyond that and get into an area where you can get really creative and let your personality shine through…. garden art. There are no rules whatsoever here. Simple things like adding tiki torches along a path can make a real statement. Want to get more out there, create a faux Mayan ruin surrounded by tropical-looking foliage. If you don’t have a pool, build a small pond complete with cascading waterfall. Or, suspend a comfortable hammock between trees, complete with a fake (or real!) parrot watching over you while you relax. Remember, no rules here. This is all about you. Have fun.
Aesthetics: Well positioned backyard lighting can enhance any landscape. A backyard lighting system helps magnify the different textures, while complimenting varying features and shapes of your structures, shrubs and trees. The addition of lighting will expand beautify the spatial views. By varying lighting hues and intensity you can establish mood and ambience for an evening of entertaining, parties, romance, etc. Safety: Another primary function of backyard lighting is to illuminate possible hazard areas. These may include steps, low branches, water features, barriers, abrupt changes in path directions, elevation changes, and more.