Published at Friday, September 06th 2019. by Didier Beauchesne in Backyard.
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.
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.
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.
Although I have yet to build most of my backyard landscape design plans, I am starting to. I have already laid the flagstones for my garden path, and next week I will start planting the plants. At one point, I considered hiring nursery contractors to some of the more difficult backyard landscape design work, but eventually I thought better of it. Backyard landscape design is a hobby. Of course I could make it easier by getting professionals to do the work, but that is hardly the point. If I give in, I will never learn how to be a backyard landscaper. If you have ever thought about getting into backyard landscape design, I encourage you to do it. Do not be put off by how difficult it is to build things when you have never had any experience. Once you get the hang of it, it can really be quite easy. You will have fun, get some exercise, and have a gorgeous backyard as a reward for your efforts.
Backyard landscaping can not only enhance the appeal of your home, but it can also increase the value of your home. Additionally, landscaping is a great form of exercise. Well thought out backyard landscaping can even help reduce your energy costs. Creating a windbreak with trees can keep your house warmer in the winter. And planting trees close to the house can provide cooling shade in the summer. Of course, all backyard landscaping ideas should start with your personal and family styles in mind. If possible, ask the whole family to brainstorm ideas for your backyard. This can help create a place that everyone in the family enjoys in their own personal way. It is a great way to spend time with your family, as well.
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