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.
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.
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.
Since then, my backyard landscape designs have changed, but my passion for it has not. Nowadays, I am into backyard gardening above all. I love to read, to write, and to enjoy the outdoors. Backyard landscape design allows me to create a space where I can do all three. I have downloaded some backyard landscaping software that helps me to plan out the spacing of the various components of my backyard garden. Although I do not have very much space, if I use it cleverly it is enough to create several secluded spots to enjoy my books.
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.