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.
There are many different styles of backyard fireplaces available. The chiminea, also known as a Mexican fireplace, has an opening into a large belly where you build the fire. It has a tall chimney helping with the ventilation of the smoke up and away from people sitting around it. The chiminea is portable, so a lot of people enjoy it for this reason. Sometimes you will find these backyard fireplaces sometimes have an opening that goes all the way through the construct rather than just in front and sometimes they even have openings that wrap around or near it. You will find chimineas that are made of clay, cast iron, aluminum or copper.
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In vegetables the choices are also limitless. An artichoke shrub can grow huge with the right care and provide more outstanding artichokes than you can eat. They are beautiful plants that fit into any backyard landscaping or even as specimen plants in the front yard. Asparagus roots are a must order for any shady woodsy area of your backyard landscaping. The fine lacey fronds are beautiful all season. Homegrown asparagus is unbeatable for taste and freshness. Be sure and buy at least 2 year roots so you don’t have to wait two years for a taste treat. Every spring add a good top coating of rich compost and some manure to ensure huge yields.
Now that you know the choices that are out there for backyard fireplaces, as well as the pros and cons, its time to start choosing what you would like and imagine how it will fit in your outdoor living space. Make sure that it fits well into the space available as well as into the scheme of the landscaping. One last thing you might want to think about is if you want to cook on it or just enjoy the fire. Once you have decided all of this, as well as what you want it to look like, you are ready to go shopping and start enjoying your evenings in your backyard even more.
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.