The Q&A Archives: Swimming Pool

Question: I am landscaping a backyard and have a space 2ft wide and 10 ft long behind a pool waterfall and next to a fence. I am trying for a tropical theme and planning to plant hibiscus, bougainvilla, and Queen palms. Suggestions that would fit in the 2x10 space yet be striking? Had thought of a type of palm, but unsure?

Answer: A suggestion is Nandina (Heavenly Bamboo). This shrub isn't really related to bamboo, but the upright stems have joints, similar to those of bamboo. The foliage is medium-green, changing to orange with reddish hues during the winter months. It's a broadleaf evergreen and does produce flowers (rather insignificant) and sometimes small berries, but is quite well behaved and a good choice for near ponds and pools. If you'd rather have an upright conifer-type plant, a dwarf Italian Cypress would fit the situation you describe. For seasonal color, how about adding some coleus (multicolored foliage), and hemerocallis (daylilies). Best wishes with your garden!

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