You don’t have to live in the tropics to live in a tropical paradise.
When you put up a privacy fence, and cordon off your yard in any way, it’s largely because you want privacy. You add a deck to your home because you want a place that merges home with nature, where you can grill and chill. But you don’t want that place visible to everyone surrounding your home. You don’t need to see your neighbors and their odd behaviors. You want a place that seems far away from everyone else. Your own retreat. A lush tropical forest as your backyard oasis could provide you that much needed escape from the world. But what do you do if you live somewhere with seasons. Somewhere that has no tropical climate, and instead gets fall and winter, like Colorado.
Here in Colorado, we have the luxury of such incredible mountain views, impressive hikes, and great outdoor adventures. But it is a world away from settings like Hawaii, with large leafy plants and tropical fruit. In our cold winters many retreat to warmer places, if they can afford it. What most people want is to be transported to a different kind of paradise. But little did you know, it is possible. It might seem like an undertaking, to create your own retreat, but it requires far less than you’d think.
How can I use tropical plants to create a backyard oasis?
First, you need to decide on the area you want to transform, and consider design. Do you want it tropical only around the pool? How about just lining the fence to make it seem less like a fence and more like the beginning of the rain forest? You could form a path, lining it with tropical plants, leading to a relaxing yoga hut or hot tub. What about your deck? Do you want to surround that with plants? What type of backyard oasis suits you?
Once you’ve considered exactly the kind of backyard oasis you want, it’s time to search for your plants.
What tropical plants will grow in colder climates?
There are several tropical plants that can surprisingly grow and even thrive in colder climates. Here is a short list:
Japanese silver grass
Bird of Paradise
For pictures and more information about these cool climate tropicals, click here.
What if you only have a deck, rather than a yard?
If all you have in the backyard is a deck or small patio, it actually makes it easier and cheaper to create this retreat. Place bamboo trees or even just the shoots along the outside edges of your deck to give you privacy. Then, use large and exotic style pots, filled with large leafy plants and trees such as those listed below. In most cases, the only things that you need to create the feeling of being somewhere in the tropics are large leafy plants (banana trees and Colocasia are amazing for this).
As mentioned, the first step in creating this paradise is to consider the area you want to transform, as well as the design. Then, set up a perimeter. Maybe it is just your deck that you chose to transform. Therefore your perimeter would just where the deck ends and the rest of your yard begins. Another possibility is setting the perimeter at your fence line, and including your whole yard. So, rather than a chain link fence, go for something hardy and more natural, such as a cedar wood privacy fence. Pick your plants wisely, maybe consult a landscape artist if you must. With this, you’re well on your way to creating a special place to retreat to, even in the cold weather of places like Colorado.