Who needs a holiday when there's a slice of paradise on your doorstep?
Turn your backyard into a tropical oasis by focusing on three ‘P's – plants, paint and patterns.
Plants make a statement
Tropical plants add splashes of vibrant colour - and glorious fragrances in summer - and many are incredibly easy to grow even in pots or planters on an apartment balcony.
The big, bold blooms of hibiscus and multi-coloured bougainvillea will thrive in a sunny, sheltered spot. Once the plant is established, add an extra blaze of colour to special occasions by using cuttings to decorate your al fresco dining table.
Add texture to your tropical garden with banks of exotic bromeliads, palms and ferns. Try climbers like mandevilla or jasmine to create privacy screens on trellises or gazebos. For a stunning effect, grow a single large-scale plant per container, and add colorful annual flowers like petunias around the base.
Paint your way to the tropics
Paint is an economical and easy way to bring a tropical touch to your backyard. Create a feature wall in the back garden with paints in luscious colours. Think coral reds, soft pinks, rich mangoes and bright yellows that make a bold statement.
Don't limit yourself to painting walls. Outdoor furniture can also be painted to fit your theme. Add a thatched roof cabana to your entertaining area and tea lights to the garden beds to compliment the look.
Patterns with punch
This is the really fun part of creating a tropical backyard. Hit the stores on a treasure hunt for accessories that bring your tropical garden to life.
Cushions in vibrant colours or Hawaiian prints, table linen in bold floral patterns and even coloured glassware and crockery will all take your outdoor décor straight to the tropics. Don't be afraid to mix things up. Ocean prints, bold colours, and even splashes of hot pink and lime can all work together as different elements of the whole theme.
With your backyard glammed up, your next holiday is sure to be a ‘staycation' as you relax and unwind in your own colourful slice of paradise.