There’s nothing more that speaks relaxation than an island getaway. The memory of lush palm trees, sand on your feet, and the warm sunshine on the beach all remind you of a badly needed summer vacation. But things are different now, and the pandemic has made it hard for us to travel around. With good imagination and a couple of self-help tips, you can turn your own backyard into an inviting tropical oasis.
Add a Water Element
A vacation on the islands easily reminds you of water. When creating a landscaping plan, make sure to add a water element to the design. The sound of water in motion gives a soothing and relaxing vibe. Moving water also puts oxygen on the pond and prevents the growth of mosquitoes.
A self-contained fountain is one of the most common types of design gardeners use because it is budget-friendly. However, if you have enough money to spare, you can opt for pond waterfalls. Aside from looking good, it also adds a significant amount of value to your property.
Waterfall landscaping can be achieved with the help of professional landscapers, but you can always choose to make your own. Either way, you have to make sure that you are building the pond near a stable power source. You can use large rocks, concrete blocks, or cement as a liner for the pond. You will also need a fully functional pumping system to prevent water stagnation that may cause mosquitoes. The two most common types of pumps are:
- Centrifugal Pond Pump — Also known as external pumps, centrifugal pumps are not just reliable but are also energy-efficient. It is suitable for ponds that have more than 1,000 gallons of water and is easy to maintain.
- Submersible Pond Pump — This pump is designed to be fully submerged underwater, preferably on the deepest spot. Its size ranges from 50 to 5,000 gallons per hour and is considered more economical for ponds that hold up to 1,000 gallons of water.
Choose the Right Plants
Palm trees are probably the most common thing all tropical destinations share. However, if you live in a metropolis, then planting or buying one for your garden may not be the best option. The good thing is that there are nearly countless plants that you can substitute for the palm trees.
Landscapers and gardeners can easily tell you that there are over 500 types of tropical plants that you can choose from. But be reminded that different plants adjust to different climates. Some thrive under hot, direct sunlight, while others can adapt to mild winters.
If you are doing this project on your own, you can begin by filling up the garden with shrubs, ferns, bamboo, and grasses to achieve the lush foliage aesthetic. Choose plants with big leaves and flowers with bold colors to mimic the appearance of an exotic jungle. As mentioned above, there are so many to choose from, but you can begin your checklist with:
- Eucalyptus Gunnii — Also known as the cider gum, this type of eucalyptus has a beautiful appearance and can adapt to a cold climate. It has a smooth bark with gray and white patches that creates a striking appearance in a tropical garden theme.
- Fig Tree — A fig tree is a small type of plant that is quite popular for island theme landscapes. It has dark green leaves that can be trained to grow in whichever direction you want. Fig trees are perfect for achieving a jungle backdrop on your garden wall.
- Large Leaf Magnolia — Originating from the south-eastern side of the United States, large leaf magnolias are known for their huge leaves and large flowers.
- Windmill Fan Palm — This type of plant thrives in temperate climates. It is commonly found in Southeast Asia particularly in Japan and China. A windmill fan palm is what every gardener must have for a tropical landscape because it grows up to 20 meters long.
- Birds of Paradise — This plant can adapt to different weather conditions and climates.
- Succulents — These plants are perfect for shaded areas of the garden
Create an Outdoor Sitting Area
Designs for outdoor sitting and cooking areas can range from simple to elaborate. Either way you choose, consider the typical number of guests you would usually invite to your home. You have to make sure that there is enough space for them to move around while dining and having fun.
You can begin by simply putting up cafe-like chairs, small tables, and a grill. You can also put sun umbrellas, a small fire pit for a camping effect, and a personal refrigerator to keep your cold drinks handy. If you want this outdoor space to be more structured, you can always put wooden decks by hiring a professional that offers a decking service. Decks are an inexpensive way of adding a contemporary feel to your outdoor sitting space.
Going away on vacation may not be the safest thing to do nowadays. However, being stuck at home and having time on your hands can be a blessing. So let your mind run free and make your home the perfect tropical destination.