Full hot sun and shade mix
I live in area called the delta in California. It is also in a floodway which has caused a problem with planting. I have an area in my side yard that is about 40ft. long by 20ft. deep and fence on 2 sides and a block wall on the river side, open to our lawn. Closest to the river it gets full sun and very hot, and the other end is mostly shaded. I want to make it tropical and very dense in foilage and color. The soil has is sandy and clay at the same time. I have mixed in mulch. Suggestions?
Submitted by BHGPhotoContest

You are in wonderful, warm zone 9, so the list of tropical plants you can grow in your side yard is long and diverse. For big, bold beauties, try banana, ginger (both Costus and Hedychium), Brunfelsia, Clerodendrum, Caesalpinia, Dombeya, night-blooming cereus (Epiphyllum), and Brugmansia. You can also grow Jasmine, Gardenia, Wrightia, Chinese lanterns (Abutilon), Bauhinia, Cestrum, Iochroma, Justicia, shrimp plant (Pachystachys), and Rothmannia. Tropical vines you can grow include Hoya, Stephanotis (my personal favorite), Wisteria, and passion flower. The mulch you mixed into the soil can improve the soil tilth in both the clay and the sandy spots. Generous amounts of compost would be an excellent soil amendment prior to planting.

Answered by BHGgardenEditors