A house without air-conditioning, but with lots of windows, 10' high ceilings, and transoms above the French doors lets the breezes in to cool the house.  Eventually the drive into the house will be lined with bananas which will hide the neighboring houses.  There are 4 varieties of Southeast Asian bananas.  2000

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2013  The sides of the drive filled in with bananas.  The 4 varieties weren't all tastey so all but the Thai numwah and the Phillippine banana are being dug out and replaced with the Thai numwah.
This photo was taken about 15 years ago from the neighbor's yard now separated by a wall of bamboo.  First we sealed the concrete block, but the first small hurricane that blew over sent water through the block in places.  So the house is now painted.
Above:  Looking toward the house. 
My architect friend suggested not concreting the shell drive, but letting grass grow over it.  It gives a rural naturalness. . . but yes, needs mowing.

Below, two shots looking toward the street.  We thought the bamboo planted in the front of the house was a dwarf.  Luckily the neighbors like it too.
And one shot looking toward the drive from the front yard to the west.
click for views of the back yard                             and of the island