How to decorate your patio and home so you feel you’re at a resort!

1. Plant Lush Layers

From towering shade trees to midsize shrubs to low-lying ground cover, using different-size plants creates textured layers. Tip- A low layer of deep-purple ground cover that won’t exceed 12 inches tall, a medium layer of flaming orange bromeliads and feathery green cycads, and an uppermost canopy of palms.

2. Allow For a Water Feature

Whether you turn a decorative pot into a fountain or have the space to create a larger garden with a waterfall, a water feature is a dramatic touch that provides tranquility and drowns out city noises.

3. Incorporate Natural Stone Accents

Use natural stone. If stone is not readily available or too costly, a similar textured finish can result from sprinkling coarse rock salt over wet concrete and pressing it into the surface. In place of ground cover or between pavers and stones, use black river rock, a common element in tropical landscapes.

4. Decorate with Cheerful Vines

Bright-pink bougainvillea is always good for adding bursts of color to a predominantly green garden. Teak benches, like those found in the gardens of Bali, add old-world tropical charm. Though native to the tropics, bougainvillea, passion flower, and golden trumpet can be planted as annuals in temperate-zone gardens and will thrive with lots of sunshine.

5. Go (Almost) Overboard With Green

To make your space visually more interesting, use various shades of green and create texture by mixing leaves in different sizes and shapes, such as low-lying, fernlike palms with the large, broad leaves of philodendrons.

6. Grow Orchids As Tropical Accents

Exotic and striking, orchids instantly transport a garden to the tropics, where they often grow on the sides of trees, their roots drawing nutrients from the bark. Hang them in baskets from tree branches, and tuck potted orchids among green foliage

7. Attract Butterflies with a Mass of Wildflowers

In sunny, open areas, purple Mexican salvia and yellow bulbine create a colorful habitat that attracts butterflies and hummingbirds.

8. Fill Your Containers with a Mix of Textures

Slow-growing trees become a striking focal point on a patio, terrace, or balcony. Triangle palms are sculptural, and take low light conditions surprisingly well. Pair them with bromeliads with a similar silver/blue color, such as tillandsia and Aechmea fasciata. Nestle the bromeliads into a bed of dark gray river rock of various sizes.

9. Choose Large-leafed Plants

Reminiscent of lush jungles and rain forests, immense leaves add drama and a distinctively tropical tone to a garden. In temperate zones, some of the hardier large- leaf species include elephant ears, philodendrons, and gunnera. Ligularia and hostas are best for smaller spaces because they won’t dominate the surrounding plants.

10. Mix in Richly Colored Foliage

Flowers are not the only source of color in a tropical garden. Foliage, with its brilliant array of hues and leaf shapes, adds variety in a more permanent form, because it doesn’t rely on bloom cycles. Pink, red, yellow, chartreuse, and purple leaves are especially effective for bringing color to shade gardens.

For more listen to the Home Wizards Show 06/08/2013
Part 1 – Summer Staycation Ideas – Turning your patio into a Resort/Spa