Create your own tropical paradise using just five plants with Joe’s plan
Tropical gardens are fun and exciting to create – there’s nothing better than stepping outside the back door and feeling as if you’ve just walked off a plane and arrived in another country! Over the years, I’ve transformed many average gardens into lush jungly havens and find this style works particularly well in urban gardens or as an exotic ‘room’ in a sheltered corner of a larger garden, where the plants thrive in the protected microclimate. In a small space, the dramatic planting can be condensed for high impact, so you really feel you’re in among it. The key plants that set the exotic scene tend to be those with large foliage, such as bananas and hardy palms, or imposing architectural forms such as bamboos. Once you have a few of these plants setting the scene, perennials such as dahlias, persicaria and large-leaved hostas will sit happily alongside. I’ve chosen just five plants to create this distinctly jungly border, keeping it simple and focused. Large exotic plants can be expensive to buy, so shop around and think about investing in just one or two big eye- catching specimens for instant impact, and then bulk out the border with some cheaper, faster-growing plants.
Striking foliage is key to the jungle effect – here huge lush banana leaves arch over a clump of purple persicaria