When people think about Asian-inspired gardens, what often comes to mind are Zen retreats with rock formations or minimalist Japanese gardens designed for mindfulness and meditation. However, if you want a backyard that makes you feel like you’re in a tropical paradise every day, consider adding some design elements from Southeast Asia to your outdoor space. This part of Asia is visited by millions of tourists every year, and a new report predicts that tourist arrival is set to reach 155 million by the end of 2022. With countries such as Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia boasting amazing beaches and gorgeous scenery, it’s no wonder why some people would like to have a tiny piece of that right in their own homes. You can do so by creating a Southeast Asian-inspired backyard– here are several ways to do it.
Start With a Clean Slate
Before giving your backyard a makeover, it’s important to start with a clean slate so you can properly visualize what your outdoor space will look like. Clear out visual clutter such as old, mismatched lawn furniture and get rid of weeds and other invasive plants. Diseased trees should be removed from your property too to prevent them from infecting your other plants. You’ll need to call a 24hr emergency tree service to do this for you since they have the tools and expertise to do this job safely. Once your yard has been cleared out, install a horizontal wood fence around it, then divide your outdoor space into zones for functionality and maximum enjoyment. For a Southeast Asian garden, you’ll need a zone for flowering plants and a few trees, another for a lounge area, and a zone for a swimming pool or a plunge pool, which is a small pool that’s designed for lounging or wading.
Select the Right Plants and Trees
The climate in Southeast Asia is hot and humid all year round, so certain plants that thrive there may not do too well in countries that have a winter season. However, there are some tropical plants that can grow well in extremely cold weather, such as Chusan palm, cabbage palm, and hosta, so plan on having these in your garden if you live outside the tropics. Make sure to include plants with big leaves too such as a Giant Rhubarb, Umbrella Plant, or Canna Lily. For color and fragrance, add hardy flowering plants such as hibiscus and jasmine.
Create the Ultimate Escape
To create an oasis in your backyard, install a freeform swimming pool instead of a rectangular one. Place a few plants and trees near the pool and make sure to put in some lights to add drama at night. If you only have space for a plunge pool, opt for a circular pool or a square one that’s about 8 x 8 feet wide. Add some pool chairs and umbrellas, as well as rattan outdoor ottoman poufs to create additional seating. Don’t forget to have a small outdoor seating area where you can lounge and have a meal with your family. For the most authentic look, go for wicker outdoor furniture, and build your outdoor seating area under a pergola with a tarp, or inside a raised standalone mini pagoda.
Adding some Southeast Asian flair to your outdoor space allows you to create a haven in your backyard. Consider these landscaping ideas so you can enjoy relaxing in your own mini resort every day.