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.
Also, sketch out your landscaping ideas before you begin buying anything. It is important to know what you plan on putting in your backyard before you actually spend any money. You need to know that all of your ideas are going to fit in the space that you have. This will also help you determine the approximate cost of your backyard landscaping and aid in planning your budget.
The least durable backyard fireplaces will be made of thin metals and clay. They will also be less expensive. The more durable ones would be made of stainless steel, cast iron or aluminum. Copper is also quite durable, but you need to know that it does oxidize and will change color from golden-bronze to a greenish hue. Also, you should be aware of the fact that iron may rust if left out in the rain and snow. You will find backyard fireplaces that are fueled by wood, natural gas, liquid and gel. The gases burn cleaner and there is less mess than wood. Of course, with wood fireplaces you will have more work to do such as cutting the wood for the fire but many people enjoy the crackle and pop of a real outdoor fire. If you choose natural gas, you will need to install the gas line and the fireplace will be placed in a permanent location rather than being able to move it around.
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 approach we’ll use is very simple. We’ll create our backyard resort by combining exotic looking tropical plants with well-adapted plants that either look tropical or look good in a tropical setting. The trick is to learn what plants and how to combine them to create that exotic, tropical look. We’re going to use a simple layering approach. At a high level, here’s what to do: create a solid foundation, create the tropical landscape effect, and add the finishing touches.