Joined: Aug 01, 2004
From: Shinola, California
|Posted: 2004-09-20 9:19 pm  Permalink|
Hey there ka maka koa tiki;
I've been mulling over this for quite a while now too.
Firstly you are lucky to live in LA, as it's a splendid place to grow almost anything. It's not actually tropical, so not everything you see in films and visits to Hawaii will grow...but it's close.
In the Western Garden book's latest editions (and they keep a copy at home depot) a section on plants that look tropical but are not.
Depending on what effects you wish for and the details of that will dictate what you will choose.
Things like Bamboo make a immediate tropical look, as do flowering Bananas. Both are hearty, grow fast and give a real atmosphere.
Fern trees also get big, and have a wonderful almost prehistoric look to them (Both Austrailain and Tasmaniain)
If you want to get kooky with larger TREES...some interesting choices might be Norfolk Pine, which is a feathery beautiful soft tree (but not really a pine) also the exotic Banyabanya or Monkey Puzzle, and Silk Tree will be great conversation pieces.
The shrubbery kind of needs to be decided by amounts of sun it will be getting.
Rubber Plants, and Fiddle Leaf ficus are wonderful for filtered sun.
There are several types of ferns and elepahnt ears too which make the place look jungley.
Of the flowers, the textbook ones for tropics are Bouganvilla (named for the French discoverer of Tahiti) Hibiscus, and plumeria...all which do well where you live.
Other hearty plants can include Trumpet and Royal Trumpet, mandivilla vines, jade plants... Ginko trees, Paw Paws, Guava's even Citrus can give a wonderful feel.
The San Diego Zoo has a ton of interesting plants worth taking notice of...I'm sure there are botanical gardens near where you live too.
It's interesting to note that Louis the 14th kept people in his employ that kept Oranges for him...like exotic pets for guests to see.
Trees that fruit will attract...Birds, bugs, racoons, and possibly the State Ag dept. If you are doing anything in your yard you shouldn't. don't give any Gov't agency reason to stop by and have a look.
Take some long walks in your neighborhood, and see what's growing that you like. If you don't know what it is, take a photo or ask for a leaf.
I hope this helps
[ This Message was edited by: Gigantalope on 2004-09-21 14:34 ]