A Tropical Garden at Home

How to turn your backyard into a beautiful urban paradise.

How to… create a tropical paradise in your back garden


Our clients for this project were keen gardeners who wanted a tropical garden showcase for their love of plants. Having recently retired, they had time to devote to their passion and wanted to turn their south-facing garden into a little piece of paradise where they could enjoy their retirement in style.


Finding your inspiration

Kat always uses a wide variety of sources to inspire the colours, shapes and textures in her gardens. Often taking ideas from art, architecture and fashion. For instance, believe it or not, this garden’s roots trace back to ornate Victorian interiors, rich fabrics and shapely figures.

Luscious layout

Elegant lines and voluptuous contours dominate the garden layout. Evoking the lavish folds and textures of Dior’s court dresses, and graceful form of the diver on this 1970s magazine cover.

Pretty patterns

Like the intricate patterns in the woodwork and wallpaper of this dining room Kat loved at Leighton House Museum, there are hints of Victorian interior design in the garden’s ornate pathways and repeating arches.

The end result: A tropical garden to enjoy and admire

Layers of leafy trees and thick foliage, evergreens and herbaceous perennials keep the garden lush all year round. Whilst climbing roses and pale patches of stone bring to mind sunlight, tropical beaches and jungle canopies. A little patch of garden paradise.


Creating a jungle canopy

Arches of any kind add height and structure. Use them singularly or in repetition as doorways from one space to another. They can also be used to create a framework for planting. In this garden, for example, they are ideal for growing climbers over and forming a leafy canopy overhead.

Tropical garden planting

Too often in gardens we run narrow beds down each side of a garden, squashing plants into a space they don’t fit into. For a more lush, tropical garden look, make your beds as deep as possible, to allow for a wider variety of plants in different shapes and sizes.

Forest friendly

By giving plants plenty of space, you can layer foliage to create depth and texture. So, if you’re going for the tropical garden look, big leafy shrubs are a must. Ferns, palms and fruit trees are also excellent forest companions.

family garden design