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Turn your yard into a lush retreat

You don’t need to go on vacation to enjoy the ambiance of a tropical resort. With a little imagination you can create a lush landscape for your yard that’s so comfortable and appealing you won’t want to leave home.
Jason Jarvis, president of Terra Bella Landscape Development which specializes in luxurious outdoor living spaces, suggests you start your landscape planning by determining your main activities, such as relaxing, entertaining and playing, then plan from there. He offers these tips to transform your outdoor space into the yard of your dreams.
Select plants for drama and effect
Don’t be afraid to go big and bold, filling areas of your yard with a variety of plants to create a tropical setting like your favorite vacation spots.
— Choose large, leafy green base plants as the starting point.
— Create a jungle-like setting with textures, colors, and dramatic leaf shapes.
— Cram the plants together for a lush look.
One of Jarvis’ more popular techniques is planting in layers with smaller plants in the front, medium-sized in the middle and tall, bold plants in the back. Not only does this add privacy from the neighbors, but it also creates the feel of a tropical landscape.
Create special features for enjoyment and mood
For a truly special yard, think beyond a lawn and plants to make your home a relaxing and fun place for family and entertaining. Jarvis has transformed plain yards into showplaces with special features inspired by some of the world’s most famous resorts including:
— Comfortable outdoor living room and entertainment center
— Unique-shaped pool with gently slopping beach
— Bold or relaxing fountains and water features
— Fun sports areas such as putting greens
— Fireplace or fire pit
— Kitchens that go beyond the barbeque
— Custom decks and gazebos
— Landscape lighting for paths, to accent plantings and for mood-setting
Express yourself with yard accessories
Don’t overlook yard accessories to help set the ambiance for your landscaping project. Think beyond patio furniture. While garden supply stores can be an excellent source, you don’t need to be restricted to items labeled for the garden. Here are some ideas for accessorizing your yard in ways that are decorative, functional and expressive.
— Furniture such as sofas, lamps, and coffee tables
— Outdoor rugs for comfort and to establish a sitting area
— Decorative pots for plants and artistic appeal
— Antique objects, memorabilia and collectibles
— Wind chimes, sun dials and gazing balls
— Bird baths, houses and feeders
— Mirrors to reflect the outdoor ambiance
— Art and statuary—both formal and fun
Let your imagination go, seek professional help for the big ideas and you’ll soon be on the path to an appealing yard that will be the envy of the neighborhood.
About Terra Bella
Terra Bella Landscape Development specializes in superior-quality design and construction of outdoor living spaces, such as pools, decks, landscape lighting and green solutions including native and drought-tolerant plants. For more information call (858) 335 8151 or The address is PO Box 9192, Rancho Santa Fe, CA 92067.