Here are 6 tips to get your tropical garden started:
- Position plants closely together to create a dense garden
- Use the plants’ differing heights, foliage colours and shapes to create depth and through variety, an interplay of dark and light
- Add clusters of small species such as succulents to the front of your garden and plant taller varieties such as hibiscus, behind
- Avoid bee-loving species in close proximity to the pool with colourful leaves rather than flowers such as cordylines
- Create shade with taller species, such as palms and frangipani, but plant them a distance away from the pool and check with your local council regulations relating to plant positioning near pools. If tall plants are too close to the fence, children can use them to climb into the pool area
- Complete your garden with a tropical-look edging that will help keep the soil out of the pool and pool wash out of the garden beds such as natural Bamboo Edging from Bunnings, as well as glazed and carved pots, a Balinese style teak bench and UV-resistant wicker sun lounges or day bed
When it comes to your poolscape, consider sun hardy varieties such as Strelitzia, also known as Bird of Paradise, Hibiscus and Canna Lily, which have red and orange flowers, and New Zealand Flax, which has green and purple-red leaves. Frangipanis also like plenty of sun and cope well in fertile, sandy soils.
One of the key aspects of coastal style is drawing inspiration from the natural environment, whether that be lush plant species or earthy materials such as timber, stone, bamboo and cane.
The trend towards indoor-outdoor living is now entrenched in modern design, with pergolas, decks and alfresco areas prompting us to get out of the confines of the kitchen and spend more time outside. You’re more likely to be enticed outside to read a book on the deck rather than switch on a TV inside if you have comfortable outdoor furniture. Look for wide chairs and daybeds, or make an L-shaped bench seat that a couple of people can recline on.
Your local nursery or gardening center will stock the right plants for your tropical oasis - and those that are best suited to your local area.