Create the Tropical Landscape Effect, Now that you have a foundation, or backdrop, it is time to add the tropical effect plants to turn that normal backyard or swimming pool landscape into your own tropical paradise. Here, you’ll use true tropical plants that have to be treated as annuals in your area, unless you are willing to go to great lengths to protect them from winter chill. There are many plants that are tropical or sub-tropical that, with a little protection, will come back from roots each spring (i.e. bananas, elephant ears). Then, there are the interesting, tropical looking plants that may have no problems at all with winter weather.
In amongst our flowering shrubs in our front yard, we have planted blueberry bushes. They are as pretty as the flowering shrubs and give us the added benefit of mouthwatering blueberry snacks. As they grow they will provide additional quantities to freeze and preserve. Plant at least three different varieties for cross pollination. Strawberries are wonderful ground cover, keeping your weeds to a minimum and delighting your pallet. If you wish to have a spectacular focus pyramidal tree of 15-30 foot in your backyard landscaping plans, plant a hardy paw paw tree. You will have gorgeous waxy green leaves from spring to frost and eat delicious fruit with a custard banana flavor.
Get creative here and have fun. Try seemingly crazy things. As an example, I’ve grown Papayas, Angel Trumpets, candle trees, and Caster Bean plants for years, treating them as annuals. Talk about a tropical effect that will turn some heads! Add the Finishing Touches, The plants you use in the garden go a long way towards creating that tropical, resort-style setting we’re after, but there are other things as well. The tasteful use of containers can greatly enhance the overall effect of your backyard resort. Containers allow you to create lush garden settings in places where it might otherwise be impossible such as patios and decks. Tropical hibiscus, mandevilla, and bougainvilla all make a statement in containers.
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.
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.