Tropical Garden Design - A Simple Guide
Tropical Garden Design
Simple Tropical Garden Design Guide
The tropics are a wonderful place to go on a getaway vacation, especially when the northern climes are bound up in snow and ice. Even the word tropics conjures up images of white sand beaches, turquoise water and crystal blue sky, palm trees swaying gently in the breeze, and exotic flowers showing up their vibrant colors. The tropics are a place for vacationers to relax, soak up some sun, enjoy some tropical drinks, and listen to the wind play through the jungle. It is possible to recreate this environment right in your own backyard if you employ tropical garden design techniques.
Tropical garden design does not necessarily mean that you are going to fill your backyard with transplanted foliage and pray that the frost doesn’t kill them before October. No, instead tropical garden design is about creating a tropical feel in your backyard using a mixture of both tropical and temperate plants, as well as carefully placed artistic flourishes and accessories.
The most permanent part of tropical garden design is your accessories. Here you have the opportunity to decide which part of the tropics you wish to emulate, be it Caribbean, South American, Asian, or Pacific. For example, rather than running out and purchasing a tiki hut from your local home improvement store, why not pick a certain country and accessorize accordingly? For instance, if you are going for a Caribbean theme, you could use brightly painted metal drums as planters. Or, if you fancy the Pacific, you could look for small reproductions of the Easter Island heads and use them as corner stones on your plots. You could even purchase or build a gazebo with a pagoda roof for an Asian feel. Even if your yard gets snowed in every winter, these elements will always be with you.
Next, you should consider what local plants could compliment a tropical garden design. They will not be completely authentic, but they will ensure that some parts of your garden will flourish regardless of the weather. Temperate plants with large leaves, such as hostas, coordinate well within a tropical garden design. Different kinds of ferns also work well, and bring in a nice change of texture. Avoid temperate flowers that have an iconic shape, such as daffodils or daisies, but indulge in creepers like morning glories. If at all possible, save yourself time by making your temperate plants perennials.
Your tropical plants will have to be annuals. They are not built to withstand frost and will die shortly after October. The upside of this is that you will be able to design your tropical garden anew every season, but it does mean additional work in the fall and spring to keep your garden looking nice. Hibiscus flowers are a must in every tropical garden design as are cannas lilies. Shorter palms, such as the Queen’s palm and their cousins the cycads are also great fast growing choices to add the leafy riot that is necessary for tropical garden design.