Landscape Tips And Advice: Tropical Ideas For Typical Climates

The relaxing atmosphere of a tropical landscape can be enjoyed right from your own backyard.

Most people do not live in a tropical climate; however, the tranquil atmosphere of a tropical paradise can still be enjoyed in many sub-tropical areas. Provided that you reside in a location that does not reach below -4º C (25º F), there are numerous tropical plants that can be incorporated into a temperate landscape. Tropical gardens thrive in moist, humid environments and should be watered frequently in areas with little rainfall. Although ample amounts of sunshine and heat are necessary for tropical plants, most do not necessitate too much sunshine. The majority of these kinds of plants usually do well in areas of partial shade.

The most important element in designing a tropical landscape is the palm tree. Palm trees are, for the most part, hardy plants; however, you should make a point to fertilize these trees a few times throughout the year. When you are choosing a palm tree for your tropical landscape, give attention to and take note of its full-grown height. This will provide you with a better idea of where you will want to situate the tree in your tropical garden as well as allow you to plan your spacing appropriately. Since the palm tree is characteristically the focal point because of its larger size, plant this first. Feel free to plant different varieties of palms and evergreen shrubs. This sizeable vegetation will also be providing shade for the abundant display of understory plants below. Undergrowth such as miscellaneous ferns and hostas, philodendrons, caltheas, anthuriums, bromeliads, rhododendrons, moss, and bamboo can all be included and do quite well in a tropical landscape.

Consider different forms, colors, and textures within your tropical paradise. Exotic and colorful flowers should also be placed into this setting to make it more exciting and eye catching. You can create longer-lasting color and textural contrast by blending plants with bold, blue-green hostas along with dark green ferns. The striking foliage adds dimension. Allow for some overgrowth in your tropical garden. There is no need for pruning as the design you wish to achieve should mimic a natural-looking, jungle-like appearance found in tropical climates. However, you may wish to avoid any invasive climbers with which might over-run your garden and surrounding area.



Twisting paths that wind throughout the tropical scenery will also add depth and provoke some added interest to the landscape. Use plenty of mulch, including crushed stones, pebbles, or wood chips in your paths to help retain moisture. For an even more appeal, you could integrate some naturalistic boulders along the pathways. Of course, a true tropical environment would not be complete without some form of water feature. A graceful waterfall or small pond full of koi and water lilies create an attractive and natural tranquility to the garden. Streams or fountains are another option.

The dense, lush setting of a tropical landscape offers an ideal retreat for peace and relaxation from everyday stress. You do not have to live in the tropics or vacation on a remote tropical island (though it would be nice) to appreciate the beauty and calming effect of a tropical landscape. There are numerous resources available from books, garden professionals, to online sources that can help make this endeavor a trouble-free and worthwhile undertaking. Familiarizing yourself with the basic guidelines for designing a tropical landscape can make it possible for you to experience the pleasurable feeling of paradise right from your own backyard.

© High Speed Ventures 2011