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.
Add an Outside Bar: We have all been to a resort where the outside bar was a place we never wanted to leave: a hut made of grass where daiquiris and margaritas flowed like water, it was, simply put, paradise. You might not have a house on a resort, but that doesn’t mean you can’t put an outside bar in the corner of your deck. It’ll take some money, and some work, but an outside bar will eventually give you a great place to host parties and kick back and relax: it might not be exactly like tropical living, but after a few Mai Tai’s, you may not know the difference.
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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.
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.
No matter what size your backyard landscaping limits are you can have a delicious apple, cherry, plum, pear, peach, or nectarine tree. The choices are now hardy for most zones and the choices of sizes can fit into any backyard landscaping theme. The standard size is available for large yards, the semi-dwarf for medium yards, and the wonderful new 6-9 foot dwarfs for small yards. You have the beauty of a flowering tree and the bonus of incredibly delicious chemical free fruit for you and your family to eat.