If you want to feel like you and your family are on a year-round vacation, the Tropical Garden is an excellent choice. Imagine lush, large-leafed, fragrant plants with vivid colors surrounding a patio of natural stone and colored, stamped concrete decorated with teak and rattan garden furniture under a thatched roof shade structure—palapa. A tropical swimming pool and raised spa with spillway are typical of this style. If a swimming pool is a bit much, or space is at a minimum, a natural waterfall with a running stream with a bridge gives the yard a true sense of being in a tropical paradise. This natural style will give the feeling of being in a primordial forest, far from civilization.
Tropical Garden Elements: Tropical-style furniture with colorful upholstery, bamboo fencing, colorful Mayan hammocks, and hand-carved island statues make the lush garden come alive. Swimming pools must be an informal, natural shape—a lagoon! Beach entries are excellent, especially with an island palapa offering relief from the sun. An outdoor kitchen veneered with natural stone is mandatory for this lifestyle. Keep in mind, the addition of rocks/boulders accents the pool. Boulders are also used within the landscaped areas and along pathways as seating. Fire pits in the landscape and round fire tables on the patio make evening gatherings warm and inviting. Adding citronella (oil) or gas-powered tiki torches (see Hawaiian Theme below) adds to the ambiance. Meandering stone walkways often display faux bamboo path edging. Rock speakers featuring subtle tropical animal and bird sounds can be used effectively when entertaining.
Tropical Garden Plants: Dramatic leaves, bold textures, vivid colors, and fragrant flowers compliment your tropical setting. Dwarf Palms with multi-trunks, Dracaenas, Tree Ferns, and Cycads rise above an lush undergrowth of Ferns, Aralias, Birds of Paradise, Dwarf Purple Flax, Dwarf Philodendron, Kaffir Lilies, Camellias, Gardenias, and Plumerias. Staghorn Ferns and Bromeliads hang from a Dwarf Coral Tree or a multi-trunked, twisted Ficus Tree kept as “bonsai” in a large organic container. Pathways are lined with lush ornamental grasses like small Carex species, Dwarf Lily Turf, and Dwarf Mondo Grass.
Annual color is used at focal points: entries and water features.
Popular in the 1950’s and 1960’s, this theme includes tiki torches, a palapa with thatched roof and a bamboo bar, fish nets with shells, and marine ornaments that goes with this theme. Add Hawaiian background music and a “South Seas Island atmosphere” transports you to paradise.