Paul's "Tropical Landscaping Guide"
...for creating that special, exotic "Islands' look" so sought after by Garden Designers the World-Over!
You can make it happen, too, friends!
Everywhere you look, garden lovers, you see more and more TROPICAL PLANTS being incorporated into neighbourhood landscaping designs, everyday!
If you live in a warm to hot summertime climate, that also features winter minimum temperatures that fall to only about -4 C. (25 F.), you, too can enjoy thriving subtropical & tropical plants like: agaves, palms, hibiscus, gingers & heliconias, fruit trees like CITRUS, carambola, canastel (eggfruit), and lychee!!
Exotic is "IN"...in a big way, and there have NEVER been as many possibilities for YOUR landscape as there are currently.
Perhaps, 'tis our stressful daily lives, the crowded commuting arteries, the "postage stamp size" building lots that we are asked to settle for...Whatever! For all these reasons, and more, our landscapes NEED to be our OWN personal oases...away from the noise and the often frantic pace of 21st Century living!! Tropical plants can CREATE a sense of relaxation all their own. Totally unique!!!
All tropicals "ask" is water, water, and still more water! Very little or no frost or freezes! Also, plenty of summer HEAT and sunshine (except for the many foliage-only, jungle/rainforest "understorey" plants, which don't require much sunlight!), and feeding about two times per year (that's all!), and before you know it, your very own oasis is taking shape!
Plan on achieving rapid (even uncontrolled "rampant" growth,) in high rainfall areas like: Florida, the Gulf Coast of the USA, Queensland & Northern Australia, the Caribbean Region, and Polynesia, and somewhat slower growth in the warm, but considerably drier areas of the globe, like South Africa, California, and the Mediterranean Region. At any rate, your "seedlings" and 3-gal. plants SHOULD "tower" over you in about 5-10 years, depending on YOUR local climactic conditions!
Remember, home gardeners, to incorporate some kind of water features, i.e.: waterfalls; languid pools, with lotus and lilies, and koi fish; fountains; streambeds (wet/seasonally dry); as these "are symbolic" of the tropics, too! Nothing is more lilting and peaceful, than gurgling, tinkling water! 'Tis s-o-o-o cool-feeling, also!
Your yard can emulate the flavour of a tropical resort, in the distant South Pacific or Caribbean, you would swear!
Don't forget understorey, diminutive plants...They are at eye-level, or below, and lend a sense of safety, and intimacy to your private tropical garden sanctuary. Mosses, ferns, anthuriums, philodendrons, calatheas, and bromeliads serve well in this role. In this understorey of plants, let your paths meander...NO STRAIGHT PATHS...boring, friends!
Throughout these tropic-inspired winding garden paths, make sure there are plenty of stones, boulders, rocks, mulching materials, coconuts piled high, to form mounds, plenty of fallen leaves raked under your trees (for added moisture, texture, and organic nourishment value!), and ANYTHING ELSE that would, in your mind's eye, shout: TROPICAL!! 'Tis that easy!
Try this tropical landscape transformation, gardening associates & friends, you'll surely be amazed how truly gorgeous your yard can become, and you'll find that you might just be spending HOLIDAYS at HOME, in years to come...Let the others fight the traffic, and pay the high cost for tripping to distant resorts. You'll have YOUR resort...right in your OWN backyard!
Now, get your Hawaiian shirt on, slip on those underused pair of sandals, prepare and pour yourself a "strong, flavourful rum-laced tropical libation", listen to some "Island" music (maybe salsa, Don Ho or rhythmic Reggae!)...Get into the "warm weather mood"...THEN begin your landscape's bold transformation.
Take as long as you want to; "no worries, mate!" You're NOW in the tropics!
Paul, "The Wise Gardener!"