This blog is about growing tropical-looking plants in the Phoenix, Arizona area

October 10, 2013

Tropical look in the desert

One of the most important things that you need to do to create a tropical look is crowding. Having plants just neatly planted with a lot of distance between them just looks sad. The tropics is a place where plants jostle each other for light and space. So, whatever you plant, let them overlap.

But of course, just planting stuff and letting it turn into a jungle is a mistake, too. A garden needs to be tended. So give yourself space to get in there to trim the plants. You can see a flat rock just below the Elephant Ears which allows me to step safely (without stepping on anything accidentally) to trim the plants and also to attend to the watering system as needed. You can see the watering head there to the lower right, it's blue.

Also, use the old trick that applies to perennial borders - keep the planting area no more than six feet wide. That allows you to reach in three feet, from each side without actually stepping into the planting area. If you visit most public gardens, you will see this trick, which allows access from in front and behind the plants.

On a day like today, however, after a rain, there is nothing to be done except to sit back and enjoy.
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