A Butterfly Garden: Sure, most of us want to keep insects out of our backyards, but butterflies don’t deserve exile: they don’t bite, they don’t spend their lives trying to get inside your house, and, plainly put, they are pretty. For those of you who love butterflies, or simply want to add some beauty to your backyard, consider planting a garden full of nectar-filled flowers, flowers such as Columbines, Begonias, Geraniums, Petunias, and Lilies. Butterflies will flock to these flowers and, if you’re really lucky, you might find that your butterfly garden also attracts a hummingbird or two.
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.
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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.
If something has such a positive effect on your attitude and outlook, why should you settle for experiencing it only once a year during vacation? What if it were possible to create a little piece of that Island allure in your everyday life? While you may not have an ocean handy, you absolutely can create a beautiful, tropical resort style setting right in your own backyard. It’s not only possible, it’s a lot of fun. And, guess what? It doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. With a little creativity, education and guidance, you can turn your boring backyard landscape into your own exotic, tropical Backyard Resort.
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.