This isn’t Bali; this is your backyard—or it could be if you follow these steps to creating a lush setting
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Design: Davis Dalbok and Brandon Pruett, Living Green Design;livinggreen.com.
Dripping with tropical foliage and hot-colored flowers, this garden transports visitors to Bali and encourages them to linger.
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Evoke a sense of mystery
Mexican weeping bamboo arches over the entrance to the garden, slowly revealing the view as you walk in.
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Use a vivid palette
Mix saturated colors and big plants with a lot of foliage. “We didn’t use anything muddled in color,” Pruett says of their palette. Giant philodendron and Buddleja (butterfly bush) gave the team a lot of texture and foliage per plant—a smart money-saving idea.
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Build a living wall
Dalbok and Pruett constructed a metal frame and wove vertical grow strips from Plants On Walls in and out of the grid before filling them with more than 600 plants, including shade-loving coleus, heuchera, and calibrachoa. “The ‘Million Bells’ variety fills in so fast and gives you great color,” Dalbok says. The cantilevered top mimics
a cliff face and adds depth to the garden. Felt pockets for vertical planting: Plants on Walls,plantsonwalls.com.
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Play with flow
The rich purple and deep burgundy leaf colors of coleus create rivers of foliage studded with jewel-toned flowers of calibrachoa and sticky monkey flower (Mimulus aurantiacus). Planted vertically in felt pockets, the plants would dry out quickly if not for the drip irrigation lines running along the top of the living wall.
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Turn cobbles on their tall side (rather than lengthwise) for a toothy edge.
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Incorporate exotic touches
A Bali-inspired guardian sculpture is an easy hit of style.
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Warm up your garden
Cannas bring a tropical look to temperate climates.
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Add soothing sounds
The sound of water trickling down the sides of a recirculating, cut-stone fountain creates a calming effect and encourages visitors to relax. The dark stone shows off chartreuse grasses and lime-colored coleus. Moon Phases Stone Sculpture: Christiansen-Arner Sculpture,christiansenarnersculpture.com.