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.
A Two-Leveled Backyard: In a world of flat backyards, the two level idea may cause you to open your mouth in shock: backyards, sans the ones right above plate tectonic boundaries, typically aren’t two levels. But, maybe they should be. Two levels give your backyard an appeal that one level does not and allows you to get more creative with your landscaping. Perhaps one level is filled with grass, an area where kids and dogs (or deer and antelope) play, and the other is filled with beautiful rock or rose bushes. Whatever it is you decide to put on each of your levels, two levels will undoubtedly give your backyard a whole new dimension.
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.
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.
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.