Feel the Heat: Tropical Landscaping and Lighting

Are you a fan of gardens and landscape scenery of flowers that are very rich with colors and plants that have foliage that looks so special and extravagant? Then you must be a fan of tropical gardens or you may have just found the perfect landscaping idea for you.

Tropical landscape plants are those plants that commonly have broad leaves, green foliage and most of all, bright and beautifully-colored flowers. This is the unique feature of this type of landscape – having plants that are rare. Not only that it is rare because they are found naturally in tropical countries, but they are also not used commonly as garden and landscaping plants for they take up much area because of their size.

tropical landscape

Exploring: Tropical Landscape

Tropical landscapists do not worry or have difficulties in searching for plants that grow vigorously, but they have problems in finding the appropriate plants to be used in a landscape setting.

Here are the plants that are commonly used in tropical landscaping and gardening:

Palms and Cycads. These are considered to be classic ornaments or tropical trees because they are commonly found in almost all tropical landscapes. They give a more “tropical” feeling and sense once you look at them because they are known only to thrive in tropic regions of the world. Having these trees is the best way to create your tropical garden. Other ornamental trees that can be used in tropical garden are apple and lemon trees. Tall and strong bamboos or the grass family can also be used because they tend to grow to the height of trees.

Short and Climbing. The tropical regions are known to be home for species of beautiful and colorful shrubs and vines. An example of these plants is the rose flower. Roses can bloom all-year round and produce very colorful and sweet-scented flowers. Other tropical shrubs and vine ornaments include many kinds of ivies, bougainvillea and other more that have colorful flowers.

Flowers. As mentioned earlier, tropical landscapes and gardens are known to have colorful flowers. Orchids and bromeliads are the best examples of these plants that are found and featured commonly in tropical gardens because of their very colorful and beautiful flowers. In addition to this, the flowers are very delicate and the ultimate prize in growing them is actually having them flower.

The Challenge: Weather and Climate

Tropical plants, as the name implies, are known to grow in a habitat that is temperate and humid. The problem with having this type of landscape is the weather and climate conditions. We all know that these plants cannot survive extreme cold.

When you are in an area that suffers from severe winter but you still want to have a tropical landscape because of its rare beauty, do not lose hope. You can still achieve having a tropical garden even though it is freezing in your area. You can actually place the plants you are going to use in the landscape in pots.

Putting and planting tropical plants in pots will enable you to transfer them in an area where they can be protected from the harsh weather. The greenhouse is the best place to keep your tropical plants in good and healthy living condition though the weather is not tolerable for them when they are exposed to it.

Landscape Lighting Suggestion

Landscape lighting is an art. You might think that outdoor lighting simply means throwing up some flood lights to point up at your tree at night is all you need to do and bam! You got your garden lit up.

Wrong.

If you’re like me and watch all those HGTV shows about home improvement, you’ll see that decks, patios, and gardens are not only outdoor spaces these days, they are part of your home’s fashion and style – to be used for parties and create a specific emotion at night.

Take your time and pick out the different styles of lights which you can use (check out the link above).

Lighting up your garden not only includes “up lights” for your trees, it includes lighting up things like:

  • pathways
  • deck borders
  • grass and garden borders
  • walls
  • pool

You can also choose between lights powered by the sun and lights powered by your power company. If you live in places with a lot of sun, solar lights work great.

So take your time and plan out your tropical garden carefully.

4 Ways to Improve Your Home’s Landscape

country-gardenIf you are done with doing the landscaping in your home, you may still think of the things that may help improve the view.

Of course, as a homeowner, you want to showcase your home and your beautiful landscape for people to see and appreciate.

You may have created a beautiful design but you may be lacking things that will highlight them.

Creating wonderful scenery in your own home takes a lot of work.

You may have spent so much time and effort in doing that landscape of yours.

The law of attraction over things is much explained in nature – if you are able to be brighter or more colorful, the better.

The answer in improving the beauty of your landscape is simple – make it more attractive or colorful. There are various ways in making your home landscape appear more appealing and eye-catching. There are various principles that should be applied so that you piece of art scenery will be more fun and nice to watch.

It would not only be you that will see the beauty in your work but also other people. Your landscape will become more attractive and will make people go “wow!” on your beautiful home.

Landscape improvement is the key to that!

1. Focus and Lighting

lights-in-the-gardenIn order for your landscape to be more attractive and beautiful-looking, especially at night, it is recommended that you install lighting.

Lighting is also the key in creating a “mood” in your garden or landscape.

It doesn’t just add the “drama” effect to your landscape but will also provide sufficient or adequate lighting for your lawn.

A good choice of lighting in the landscape or garden will also provide light in your pathways or walks. It will also highlight your home and landscape because of the “glow” in it. The landscape can also be easily seen from afar and becomes more attractive because of the effect of the light to the colors of the plants in your landscape.

Landscape lights are comparable to the lights that are used in the holiday or Christmas seasons. Christmas lights can easily vamp up the look of a certain space and are very attractive to look at. The idea of putting and installing lights in your garden also applies to the same principle.

2. Safe is Beautiful

You might have created a very nice ambiance and scenery in your home or backyard but wouldn’t it be a lot better if you have also added up safety and security features with it? It would be nicer if you have created a beautiful landscape that is free from anything that may cause harm to you, your family and the people who visit your home.

Lighting the landscape you have created is a very good idea but just don’t forget to also light up the walkways and pathways that lead you there. The effects of the lights you have installed in your garden will be very nice to watch at night but you might end up having accidents when you are walking in the dark towards your garden.

Fences are also good addition to the landscape you have created. This will keep other people from just entering whenever they want in your landscape and home. This will also keep animals that may destroy and ruin what you have worked for.

3. Evolving Trends, Tree Removals, & Maintenance

Not everything you have placed and installed in your garden is designed to last forever. You may have problems and issues with “wear and tear”. In order to make your garden more attractive and to keep its attractiveness, you have to maintain everything.

This will also allow you to see through improvements that you may want to make in your garden, like adding a gazebo or water feature down the road.

The gardening and landscaping styles are also evolving so it is much better if you keep on track with the new trends to help improve your beautiful scenery.

tree-removalA buddy of mine does tree removals Melbourne (his company removes trees in the Melbourne, Australia area) and he’s mentioned how by clearing areas with old dead or sickly trees can make room for landscapers to do their magic and make the area look healthy again.

4. Plants: The Color of the Scene

Plants are the highlight in your landscape.

You should choose plants that are growing all-year round. Gardeners and landscapists often make a mistake with planting flowers and plants that are just blooming in the summer.

It is much better to choose plants that are all-year round and are colorful to add more life to your garden.

Also, make sure to take care of the carpet of your lawn – the grass. It also adds more appeal to have them healthy and well-trimmed.

Ecological Landscaping

The popularity of ecological landscaping is growing as more people become concerned about impact of urban sprawl on nature and ecology.

Rapidly growing urban areas leave less and less natural environment for the wild species. Manicured gardens with exotic plants replace native plants. By doing so, we rob native insects of their usual food, pushing them out of the cities and causing population declines.

ecological-landscaping-image

Everything is interconnected. And so, we start to understand that eventually this will impact us as well.

Take as an example recent stories about mysterious mass death of honey bees. Many people have realized for the first time that there was a real danger of life without honey, at the very least. Moreover, extinction of bee species would trigger changes in the food chain that those species belonged to. Think of the reduced harvest of herbs, fruit and veggies that those bees pollinated.

When you drive by both rural and urban neighborhoods, you cannot help but notice nicely cut green lawns. These lawns require energy to cut, and a lot of water to keep them green. In the summer, it is not uncommon for the cities to issue bans on watering lawns as water levels in cities’ reservoirs become dangerously low.

What is Ecological Landscaping About?

Ecological landscaping promotes creating mini ecosystems around your own house.

  • It incorporates native plants into the landscape design.
  • It conserves water and preserves ecological diversity of plant and animal species while promoting healthy and beautiful environments for the humans.
  • It employs clever water collection tactics that reduce load on the city water system.
  • It makes use of the draught-tolerant local plants and beautiful natural herbs that can be enjoyed both by humans and the insects.
  • It includes using local grasses, trees and shrubs. It preserves wetlands, shorelines, and woodlands.

How To Preserve Water

The best way to preserve water is to install a rain water barrel. Collecting rain water this way is good for the city because rain water doesn’t overload city’s sanitary system. Rain water is also much better for your plants than chlorinated city water; so your plants feel better, your garden produces bigger harvest, and you end up growing healthier food. Not to mention, less chlorine and hormones end up getting into the soil.

Another good way to preserve water is to use draught-tolerant plants that require much less watering.

Great Plants to Use for Ecological Landscaping

I was using ecological gardening for years. First, I planted Echinacea, a native North American plant, I enjoyed the buzz of bumble bees in the hot summer days.

I also grow sage, an amazing herb with tremendous medicinal benefits. Not only it looks good, it is one of the most effective folk remedies used since the ancient times. I see all kinds of bees and insects coming to my sage plants in search for food.

Both Echinacea and sage are perennials, meaning less gardening work for me in the spring.

Bee balm and Wild Columbine, Goldenrod and Asters are just a few more examples of very low maintenance native perennial plants.

Green lawns require a lot of maintenance and indirectly cause harm to your environment. Consider ecological landscaping, and create your own paradise in the middle of the city. By doing so, you are improving your health, and making sure you leave good environment for your children to live. You also teach them eternal values of peaceful co-existence and respect to all species alive.

Dealing With Small Space Landscaping

Not everyone has the means or desire to own a mansion with a huge backyard that requires full-time maintenance.

There are some of us who either by necessity or desire believe that good things really do come in small packages, including outdoor areas.

Similarly, there are ways to make small spaces look larger than what they really are.

garden-toolsHowever, before suggesting some ways to make your yard look larger than what it is, it is imperative that the yard is neat and orderly as when space is at a premium, every inch is important. Consequently, it is vital that you have some form of outdoor storage for your gardening tools and other items which are often left lying around your yard.

You Have Options

There are different methods of landscaping your garden depending on whether you want your yard to give a feeling of intimacy or an illusion of space. Although most of us will want to make a small space seem larger than what it actually is, there are others who are happy to capitalize on their space limitations.

Picking The Right Plants

For example, for a cozy, intimate feeling, the use of large shrubs and trees that give an almost overbearing feeling. These trees block out views leaving people wondering what lies beyond the greenery. In this instance, it is the next door neighbor. I mean, who likes open yards where people can see right into your house?

Not me!

To make your yard seem larger than what it actually is, long, straight lines are the perfect solution. This provides an illusion for the eye especially when the ends of the lines seem to turn toward each other providing a rounded finish.

Create Focal Points

small-yard-with-focal-point

You can also create a focal point in the garden to draw the eye away from the fact that there are space limitations. With the eye focused on this centerpiece or other point of interest, it draws the eye and mind away from the fact that the space is small.

pergolaThe focal point may be as large as a pergola or arbor or as small as a dramatic piece of garden art.

Whether it is via this garden art or through some other guise such as bright fabric draped across the yard or via a row of brightly colored trees or bushes placed at the front of the yard, it draws the eyes to the dramatic color and away from the fact that the yard is small.

Having a small yard out of necessity does not mean that you are stuck with a small space. With a little planning and thought, a small space can go a long way.

Image Credits: eriesargonaut, tea_time, Field Outdoor Spaces

What Landscaping Can Do For Your Garden

Whatever the size of your garden, an attractive spot for rest and daydreaming amidst your plants is something you deserve to relish.

A preferential part of the garden or, in the contrary, a low-profile corner that nobody ever uses can very easily be transformed to a special place for relaxation and well-being.

Tip: Always draw your landscaping layout after careful examination of the garden’s orientation, the sun’s position throughout the day (and in the course of the year), the winds blowing in the area.

backyardYour garden should look fabulous, but, most of all, you should be able to live in it according to your specific lifestyle.

For example, you wouldn’t want to plant the sensitive mimosas in the path of the wild winter northern winds – and you definitely wouldn’t want to build a swimming pool or a porch that the sun visits no more than a couple of hours every day.

Landscaping design is done according to both aesthetic and rational standards.

Try to include as many environmental and personal factors that you know would influence the design of your garden. Think them over. Then, start drawing.

Small Garden & Medium Sized Garden Ideas Picture Gallery

In the following video, you will see how dull patches in the garden were fashioned into elegant and functional spaces, offering a special tone and a vivid atmosphere to the house:

Landscaping Before and After Pictures

Even if your garden looks absolutely desperate – as the one you will see right away – give your imagination the reigns and let it lead you to its wildest fantasies. Nothing needs to remain as you once knew it. Raise mounds, create ponds, split the area according to your own geography: you are a small god in this portion of land.

We have already talked about the importance of drawing a blueprint of your garden as you want it to look when finished. Not everyone is good with pencil and paper though – or, it may very well be that you would love to do it, but you don’t have the time. A simple, easy-to-use 3D Landscaping software will help you see your vision created on the screen, before you get too deep into actually building it.

Hard Landscaping: Laying the Foundations

One important distinction to make is the one between hard and soft landscaping.

While soft landscaping refers to working with the selection, arrangement, planting and handling of the verdure (something that most garden owners enjoy doing themselves), hard landscaping comprises all the preparatory work, such as

  • Retaining walls
  • Foundations for sheds and greenhouses;
  • Ponds and built-in swimming pools;
  • Porches, gazebos, decking
  • Paving, paths, driveways
  • Stairways, terraces, patios
  • Drainage and guttering

and it usually requires some prior experience with the digging, trenching and building involved. In certain instances, it may also require special tools and knowledge on the kinds of works performed. Just keep in mind that you’re not a professional, and feel free to ask expert advice at whatever stage of your project you think you may need some.

How to Transform Your Backyard into a Secret Garden

The happy owner in the following video displays a terrific landscaping project that took him four summers to complete. Many people find this sort of exercise fun and rewarding – building your own garden will certainly give you a sense of fulfillment and pride.

Hire a Professional Landscaping Company

Even if you want to relegate the task to a landscaping professional, remember that a garden is a living, evolving entity. The image you will get from your newly-constructed garden will be quite different from the one you’re going to enjoy in one, two or four years’ time.


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