Published at Thursday, 26 September 2019. Backyard. By Raoul Lereau.
So, How do You do It? If you were lucky enough to live in an area that never has to suffer extended cold weather, you probably wouldn’t be reading this to begin with. You would have a year-round growing season with no fear of freezing temperatures, and you could grow whatever you wanted. For most of us, that is not reality so we’re going to have to get creative if we want to create that exotic, tropical backyard landscape, our very own little tropical escape.
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.
The exotic, tropical look of your backyard resort will be achieved by combining a wide variety of shapes, forms, colors, and textures. Banana plants with their large dramatic leaves, beautiful foliage plants like coleus and gingers, open and airy ornamental grasses, beautiful climbing vines, and tropical blooming plants all have a place. What may surprise you is that there is also a place for many of our more cold-hardy and traditional landscape plants. Uniformity and normality are out; randomness and whimsy are in.
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