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Tropical Garden Design | Waddell Landscape Design

Nov 17, 2022

How To Create Your Own Outdoor Oasis With Tropical Garden Design

In a time where more of us are working from home and spending more time in our gardens, it’s no wonder that more and more people are investing in redesigning and beautifying their outdoor spaces. One way you can really bring that holiday-feel home is opting for a tropical garden design, which allows you to create your own lush jungle escape in your own backyard. Get your best Hawaiian shirt ready and grab a pina colada — we’ve gathered the best tropical garden inspiration that will turn your backyard into a tranquil paradise.

Backyard tropical garden designs

You should always consider the layout of the garden you want and what elements you wish to be included. We’ve listed some elements and features to consider for your garden to ensure you achieve the tropical vibes you’re looking for.

Garden hut

A garden hut is a simple and effective way to create an outdoor space people will naturally want to gravitate to. There are many designs you can go for, maybe you want a bamboo-built one for that more rustic style or perhaps you are wanting something more sleek and modern. Your new garden hut will be the perfect place to sit back and enjoy the solidarity of your own private paradise. 

Natural stone pavings 

Stone garden paving and pebbles tend to suit a tropical-themed garden more so than concrete pathways, as they give off a natural and warm look without being too jarring or intrusive to your design. Utilise the contours and curvatures of your backyard, to mark out where the walkways are. Work with the landscape if you can, that way you’ll have natural raised areas that become great focal points for different plants and garden features. 

Add your personal touch

Get a little creative and decorate your outdoor space with your chosen sculptures, furniture, textiles and decor. Try not to go overboard, as you will want the tropical plants themselves to shine. Focusing on plants will help you create that lush jungle vibe which is so typical of tropical garden design.  On the topic of plants, let’s discuss which plants you should opt for in your tropical garden. backyard landscaping design

What to plant for your backyard oasis?

The Australian climate is great for tropical plants, as we get plenty of sunshine. Particularly in the northern parts of Australia which has a more tropical climate and a wet season. Tropical plants tend to grow in our climate, so long as it doesn’t get too close to 0°C during the winter months, which is fine for the majority of Australia.  When planning your tropical garden design, think about how tropical forest plants grow in the wild. They’re quite dense and thick, so you’ll need to emulate this look by incorporating the natural canopy vegetative structure found in the wild.  Not sure what the canopy vegetative structure is? No problem, we’ll be quick. Think of rainforest plants growing in vertical layers, the canopy layer (tall trees), understory (medium sized plants) and shrub layer (shrubby foliage). 

Canopy layer

At the top is the canopy layer, which are the tall trees that provide cover for everything below. When you’re in a rainforest and look up, you’ll see a ceiling of leaves and trees, that’s the canopy. Some great plants to simulate this effect are palms, such as kentia palms, and alexandra palms. Place these intermittently through your garden so they can provide decent ceiling coverage.

Understory layer

The understory are the middle trees, they’ll mostly be the focal point plants for your personal tropical forests. They’re medium to large plants such as birds of paradise, zebra plants,  and elephant’s ears. Remember that we are trying to emulate a lush tropical paradise, so you’ll want to place them in a semi-dense style, leaving at most a meter distance between them. 

Shrub layer

As the title suggests this is the layer that consists of smaller plants and shrubs, to take up the ground real estate. Bromeliads, caladiums, acalypha and calatheas are perfect for this. Make sure to plant them relatively close to one another. 

Working in your garden furniture 

That said, you can absolutely map out areas of space which are free of plants, especially if you would like to place a bench, a set of sunbeds or other pieces of garden furniture. The key to creating the tropical look is keeping it dense and lush in the spaces you have allocated for plants. 

Tropical water features

pool landscaping melbourne The sound of trickling water will really help you create that relaxing serene space you dream of. When installing a water feature or pool into your tropical garden, consider shapes and materials inspired by nature. Think rock pools, waterfalls, rustic fountains, and curvaceous pool designs. 

Tropical pool design

The tropics are all about nature and utilising the tropical landscape around you. Think about adding curvature and asymmetry to your pool, by hugging the edge of a tree or water feature. A pool can be a stunning focal point in a tropical garden, and is a great gathering point.

Rock pools

A rock pool helps bring a tropical vibe to any outdoor space, especially if you line your rock pool with plenty of foliage and shrubbery. You can even keep some tropical fish in your rockpool, however this is only recommended in warmer climates where the temperature doesn’t get too cold in winter.

Create your own outdoor paradise today

The only thing you have left is to get it all done, and hiring a professional landscaper is the best way to do it. There are alot of elements to be considered when designing and installing a tropical garden including; which structures need to be built or installed, irrigation and reticulation, plant placement and how to create the optimal layout in line with the way you use your space.  This is why it is always the best idea to leave it to the professionals at Waddell Landscape Design. We are just as passionate about turning your dream garden into a reality as you are. We can create the tropical garden of your dreams, which you, your family, and friends can enjoy for years to come. We specialise in backyard landscaping, pool landscaping and water feature installation. Ready to turn your outdoor space into your very own tropical getaway without actually having to get away? So if you are on the hunt for professional landscaping in Byron Bay, get in touch today with our friendly team to organise a consultation.

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Have An Idea For A Garden Landscape? Contact Waddell
Do you have an idea for a dream garden design but you have no idea how to start? Call us today to learn how Waddell Landscaping can help you. Our team does everything from design, construction and maintenance to keep your garden and pool looking their best. We’ll work alongside you right from the start, with our 3D program right through to the finishing touches, to create a landscape design that highlights your home.