Have you ever dreamt of creating your own tropical garden? It’s easier than you think. We show you some top tips to get that lush paradise in your own little corner.
Super-size it with big leaves
No tropical paradise would be complete without huge leafy specimens, the bigger the better. Lush planting that is focused on architectural forms is key. Tropical gardens don’t have to offer visual interest all year, but lots of architectural plants are evergreen so… bonus! Go for leaf shape and size over flowers when choosing plants for your tropical garden. Many tropical plant varieties are tender, so if you don’t have a greenhouse or shed, take care to shield them from the British weather. Great species for tropical gardens are:
Make sure your seating is positioned in the middle of the planting. Nothing feels more magical than being enclosed by tropical plants in an urban setting. Ideally, most tropical gardens don’t have a lawn, so put your hard landscaping in the centre of the garden and pack lush vegetation around it.
Raise fences up
You want the space to feel enclosed and private. Many of the large leaf plants will really help with this, but if you have low fences, you need to visually raise the height of your perimeters. Consider painting fences in a dark colour, or for a cost-effective solution, attaching a roll of bamboo or willow screening to the fence will do the job.
Plant some jungle giants and bring some of the planting right up to the house. Go on, be bold! Doing this plays with scale and perspective, and the bigger the leaves are, the better. If you are worried about restricting light, consider plants with a clear stem such as a banana, and then plant underneath with low-growing bamboo. It really works, I promise.
Decking under footThere are no hard and fast rules as to the best surface to use in the tropical garden. I quite like decking, it gives the feeling of a treetop walkway and raising it by only 30cm from ground level gives a totally different view of your plants. Be mindful of making the decking too shaded as it may become slippery over time. If you have a shady garden, consider using a composite decking (a blend of wood and plastic) as your maintenance worries will be lessened.
Create a canopy
Nothing feels more intimate than a roof in your garden. If a vegetation canopy proves tricky, use a garden parasol or pergola. It will create a fabulous feeling of enclosure and create privacy from overlooking neighbours.
If you are looking to create a tropical garden and would like a design consultation by our senior garden designer, Katrina Kieffer-Wells, contact her and Matt on 01702 597587 or email email@example.com.