Take a lot of advice on the palms. The island is now plagued by a palm beetle that is decimating palm trees all over the island. Try to find out if there are species available that are resistant to it. I would also suggest being careful about what you import as I believe the palm beetle was brought in on imported non-indigenous palm varieties. If people had stuck to the indigenous varieties the destruction might not have occurred.
I found that bird of paradise plants are quite slow to develop. I planted one that had three flowers on it when I moved in. For about 4 years every year three flowers would bloom at about the same time, die and that would be it. Suddenly in the fifth year it started to produce more flowers and they developed over a longer period of time. Each year since it has produced more and more.
Also take advice on what to grow depending on how close to the sea you are situated. There are many plants that do not do well very close to the coast while further inland they do fine.
You might find The Mediterranean Gardener by Hugo Latymer
useful. It was published by the RHS so presumably reliable.