Bring On The Color
Yes, they’re thorny. Yes, they can grow sky-high in the blink of an eye. But they’re also breathtaking. There’s nothing like witnessing a bougainvillea’s awe-inspiring beauty in person. With more than 300 varieties found from South America to Australia, and a penchant for flowering (and climbing) all year long, they are a favorite of backyards and balconies around the world. But beware: Although these plants thrive on neglect, don’t be surprised if you bring home a bougainvillea vine, hedge or tree full of flowers only to find it bare a few days later. Rest assured, the flowers will make a glorious return, once, of course, they cozy up to their new home. What can we say? They’ve got a prickly personality.
What’s your favorite color? Chances are you’ll easily find a hibiscus variety proudly displaying your preferred shade. From the canvas-white petals and vibrant red center found in “Charlie’s Angels” to the dramatic “Fifth Dimension” hibiscus flower with its striking gray-purple outline, white halo veins, narrow red eye and orange edges, you’ll have more visitors buzzing about these jaw-dropping additions to your outdoor oasis than the butterflies, bees and hummingbirds they attract. Best of all, hibiscus blooms year-round, adding much-welcomed pops of color to just about any backdrop.
Part of Miami’s signature flair is the abundance of tropical fruits we have at our doorstep. From the custardy deliciousness of anon and the grainy goodness of guava to the juicy sweetness of mango and papaya, there’s literally a fruit for every season — and every taste. If you’ve got the extra space, try planting a lychee or guanabana tree in your backyard, or grow a couple of sugar apple trees in a pot. Since they aren’t as common as other fruits in your arsenal, your neighbors will be begging you for a bag full…if by some miracle you don’t eat them all yourself.
Forget the increasingly common and timelessly popular cocoplum hedges, palm tree walls and prickly podocarpuses on the perimeter of many houses in our fair city. There are many faster-growing and more aesthetically pleasing privacy plants, shrubs and flowering vines to consider. Some top choices include Elephant Ears (Colocasia); Sea Grapes (Coccoloba); and Autograph Trees (Clusia). Once these plants mature, they will keep the wandering peepers of your neighbors and walkers-by at bay so you can sit back, relax and enjoy The Great Outdoors in the privacy of your own home with nature swaying in the breeze from every angle.