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  • Scott Hannon

Tropical landscapes on the Outer Banks!

Grab a cold drink and your favorite book.

Tropical landscapes make a bold statement on the Outer Banks. These landscapes are not for everyone, but lets face it, tropical and the beach go hand in hand. Personally, I cant get enough. I love plants with huge leaves, bold colors, and a diverse mix of texture. A little goes a long way, and just a few of these hardy tropicals can have a huge impact on an outdoor space.

Most people think of palms when they hear the word tropical. Palms do play a big part in a tropical landscape, but palms alone do not create a true tropical feel. Its the lush foliage and rich color of the understory  plants that complete the look and feel of a cottage in the keys or a secret spot in Costa Rica. The funny thing is, a large number of these hardy tropicals have been used in traditional landscapes for years. Canna Lillies, elephant ears, ginger lilies, hostas, fatsia , are all great choices. There are many other hardy tropicals which can grow to a very impressive size. Some of the leaves on a Colocasia can reach up to 5′ in width. Hardy bananas can reach 15′ in height, and some brugmansias can provide over 100 large trumpet flowers in a season. Knowing which hardy tropicals will work in your area and where to find these beauties does require some research. You can always start with some of the traditional and more readily available  plants and then slowly add the harder to find tropicals.  Spacing and number of plants is a key part of creating a lush tropical look. Remember, a little hard work and a just a few of these monster plants will pay off big. Have fun, and dont forget the hammock!

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