Published at Sunday, 22 September 2019. Backyard. By Thierry Chaussée.
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.
Creating a Solid Foundation, The good news is that this may start with what you already have. Here, use only things that are reliably winter hardy. This is the skeleton for your backyard landscape and we want it strong. Large trees, evergreen shrubs and small understory trees, and perennials that return year after year will set your foundation. This is completely specific to your area.
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.
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