Tropical Style

What to Put in an Island at the Front Yard

January 31, 2020

A island in the front yard creates a showcase place, which breaks up the lawn. This focal point provides you the chance to fill the island with texture and color. Place front yard islands so they can be seen both from the street and the house. Along with plants, add different things of interest, such as big stones, as well as other structures. Select a theme to bind the plants together and create more interest.

Cottage Style

A cottage-style flower bed employs old-fashioned plants with outstanding colours. Use an antique structure, such as a wooden yearning, wheelbarrow or birdhouses for extra interest. One glowing colored perennial flower is the “Baby Sun” tickseed (Coreopsis grandiflora “Baby Sun”), that rises well in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 5 through 9. This fast-growing plant reaches 15 to 20 inches tall, forming clumps 12 inches wide with showy golden-yellow blossoms with jagged-edged petals seeming from spring through summer. “Firewitch” cheddar pink (Dianthus gratianapolitanus “Firewitch”) produces evergreen gray-green grasslike leaves, forming patches 12 inches tall and wide in USDA zones 3 through 9. Masses of all magenta-pink flowers appear through the spring emitting a spicy clove-like odor. Pinks will bloom again in the summer and fall if dying flowers are sheared off.

Desert Island

Try a desert theme in a place with dry growing conditions with lots of direct sun. Sand and stones spread out below the plants keep the theme going through the whole island. Old things, such as wooden wagon wheels or cow skulls, bring a sense of the Old West into the showcase area. Plants to consider in this island comprise succulents such as stonecrops (Sedum spp.) and cactuses. “Autumn Joy” stonecrop (Sedum “Autumn Joy”) reaches 24 inches tall and wide in USDA zones 3 through 11. The pink flowers appear in the fall, resulting in a copper shade, which attracts late-season butterflies to the island. Golden barrel cactus (Echinocactus grusonii), which rises in USDA zones 9 and 10, produces a round form, maturing to an elongated shape. This glowing green 1- to 3-foot-tall cactus covers itself with yellow spines and yellow summer flowers.

Rain Garden

Convert low spots in a yard into a rain garden, which collects the water runoff from storms. Chemicals in these regions tolerate dry spells in addition to wet times. A stream bed full of rocks directs water throughout the island and creates the setting for a wooden bridge. One vintage rainfall garden plant is the horsetail reed (Equisetum hyemale), which produces deep green, jointed, erect stems reaching 3 to 4 ft tall. At USDA zones 3 through 11, this flood-tolerant plant stays evergreen unless exposed to freezing temperatures. “Sparkler” sedge (Carex phyllocephala “Sparkler”) rises in USDA zones 7 through 10, creating upright stems topped with green and white striped leaves. This evergreen ornamental grass reaches 12 to 18 inches tall and wide.

Tropical Island

Tropical themes combine plants with large leaves and brightly colored flowers to make a lush appearance. A little pond or pond works nicely for this kind of garden. Hardy fiber banana plant (Musa basjoo) adds lushness to tropical islands in USDA zones 5 through 11 and stays evergreen unless exposed to a hard freeze. This fast-growing tropical plant reaches 15 feet tall with an 8- to 10-foot-wide canopy topping a 12-inch-wide trunk. The big leaves reach 6 feet long and 2 feet wide, shading gold cream summer blossoms and little ornamental fruit. “Snowflame” hibiscus (Hibiscus moscheutos “Snowflame”) reaches 3 to 4 feet tall and wide in USDA zones 4 through 10 with showy bright red summer blossoms covering the shiny green bush.

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