We bought a house a couple years ago and I am now ready to remake the back yard in my own image. I am a novice at this so I would appreciate all suggestions. Even though I am a novice, I am very picky about aesthetics, so I can't get myself to turn this over to a local designer and just live with it. I like tropicals, but wouldn't mind blending in others if they keep with the overall theme.
The back yard is 65 wide by 25 deep, on the east side of the house. The yard is level, but on a hill side so it gets massive sun from early morning until mid afternoon when the house creates shadows. We are zone 10a and get high winds on occaision. The back of the yard has a 4.5' green iron fence with houses below the top of the fence. There is a 180 degree two story view of mountains that I would like to frame with the landscaping. I would like to have my feature trees split the view so that from the ground level you see under them and the top level you see over them.
I was planning on puting a row of queen palms (8'-10' spacing) along a 4' planting bed that runs the full length of the back. There will be a built in spa in the middle of the back with two 5' elevated (1.5') planters on either side of the spa, seperated by 17' (center to center). I would like to put two dramatic trees in the planters that overhang the spa and provide shade in the summer. I would also like to fill in the rest of the planter bed between and around the palms. The house side of the yard has a large empty wall where I plan to plant various bananas and a couple giant bird of paradise.
Here are my main needs:
Feature trees for the planters:
(my thoughts agonis flexuosa, cassia leptophylla, I prefer relatively short, but wide spread trees. Flowering is nice and evergreen is nice. I would like to have my feature trees split the view so that from the ground level you see under them and the top level you see over them.)
Planting between/around palms
(my thoughts: bird of paradise . . . ? I would like to block the view of the fence (4.5') with plantings)
That is a lot of information, but I would really value your exerience.
Thanks in advance.