Welcome to Lifestyle

Your online destination for an active body and stimulated mind.


Creating the Ultimate Backyard or Balcony Paradise

February 18, 2021


Have you considered creating your personal tropical oasis in your backyard or on your balcony? With careful planning, this can be done even in cooler areas. If an island getaway is your idea of a dream holiday, this is a fun way to invite some vacation tranquility into your home. Just imagine having a permanent tropical retreat mere metres from your door!

Creating a destination that inspires contentment and a sense of calm requires a bit of planning. From spatial design to plant selection to getting the humidity just right, there are some important details to consider. Naturally, you would want a warm, humid climate for your tropical plants, but if you’re lacking this it can be replicated with some clever thinking. For example, to maintain your paradise through winter, you might add a clear roof to your balcony to trap warm air or build a conservatory that attracts the sun while being insulated from the cold. Alternatively, plant them in pots indoors for optimum climate control.

Once you’ve created your oasis, it will be time to settle in with an inviting book, a minty refreshment, and the company of loved ones for the ultimate tropical getaway. With zero booking fees! A holiday destination in your backyard won’t happen overnight, so there’s no better time to begin planning than now. Here’s a guide to get you started!


Tropical plants for your backyard oasis

The problem with creating a resort-style tropical oasis at home is that you may not have the perfect climate. In this case, clever plant selection is key. Instead of trying to replicate the same natives from an offshore tropical climate, opt for a strategic selection of lush, large-leafed plants that are suited to your local climate. The result will be a tropical look and feel with plants that can tolerate your environment. These plants are unlikely to love cooler weather and frosts, so should be planted in large pots that can be relocated throughout the seasons.




This plant’s glossy, heart-shaped leaves and gorgeous crimson or white flower is a showstopping addition to a tropical garden. Ideal for creating a tropical, lush appearance! Aptly labelled the ‘flamingo flower,’ this plant will be a gorgeous addition to your at-home getaway while providing a spectacular burst of colour.



Featuring variegated foliage, this is an easy to grow plant covered with green, scarlet, orange, and yellow colouring. Often used as a houseplant, it requires very little supervision but can become top-heavy over time courtesy of its large leaves so don’t forget about this one completely! A lover of moist soil and filtered sunlight, this plant is an eye-catching choice when included in a potted sanctuary.


Cordyline fruticosa


This South Pacific beauty is glamorous and dramatic. Each variety has wide, soft leaves and their colours include flushes of green, pink, orange, and magenta with some almost black. A popular houseplant, this one is a winner for the balcony. When planted outside in warmer regions, ensure dappled shade through spring to avoid the leaves shrivelling. Oddly, full sun in summer and autumn isn’t a problem.




With deep green leaves and striking purple undersides, a rhoeo plant is incredibly easy to care for. It will give you rapid growing ground cover in exchange for partial to full shade and frost protection in the cold months. Be careful not to overwater this plant, it prefers near-drought conditions.



Planting for privacy

Don’t let nosy neighbours put you off creating a tropical paradise. If you position the correctly sized plants directly in their line of sight, you’ll be enjoying solitude in no time! Bamboo reaches lofty heights quickly. It’s ideal for edging balconies and garden spaces to create privacy. All the while, adding to the tropical feel of your garden. When bamboo can’t be grown, pre-cut bamboo fencing is available for purchase at most local garden shops.


How do I care for my tropical oasis?

First, your tropical plants will need a little TLC (tender loving care). To keep them looking beautiful and lush, take the time to understand their individual needs. Once you know what each plant needs and plant them in the best location for their preferences, you’ll find them easy to care for as they grow. A little planning upfront always makes for easier gardening in the future!

Most plants of a tropical nature enjoy moist leaf mulch packed full of nutrients. You can recreate this enriching soil at home by combining compost, leaf litter, and other organic matter to create the perfect recipe to fuel your tropical beauties. In the height of summer when your plants are baking in the sun, mulching them with pea straw, compost, or bark chips can help keep their bases cool and retain moisture.



All the best holiday resorts incorporate pathways from the communal areas back to your room. It helps everybody get home safe after a few too many pool-side cocktails! Recreate this at home by cutting pathways through your jungle-like foliage and edging them with natural materials. Alternatively, pave them tidily with stone pavers or tiles to create a high-end resort. And if you’re looking to revitalise an old concrete pathway, try fixing decking boards on top to create a luxurious raised walkway through paradise.


Water Features

Recreating an island paradise at home doesn’t require a sandy beach, but some free-flowing water can help enliven your senses. Whether it’s a fishpond, petite fountain, or a cascading waterfall, adding a water feature to your creation will have a positive impact. The sound of water trickling is often used during relaxation massages to calm and revitalise the body and mind. This is your opportunity to enjoy that every day, without leaving home. Try a miniature powered version to create a similar effect at a low cost.

Creating a homage to paradise in your backyard or on your balcony is a rewarding and fulfilling exercise. But this is no easy feat, it’ll require some planning and carefully considered planting. Once complete, your tropical sanctuary will serve you well year-round. Your future self will thank you as they leaf through a good book while enjoying coconut water beneath your tropical canopy.