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.
Backyard fireplaces add ambiance and warmth to your outdoor living area. Not only do they add to the decor but they are the place where most of the entertaining and conversations take place. There are many things that you need to think about when researching backyard fireplaces. What are you going to use it for? Do you want something fancy or plainer? What type of design do you want? How much room is in the backyard or on the patio for a fireplace? These are just a few of the questions you should ask yourself while you are researching.
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.
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.
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.