So, you want a Tropical-looking garden but you don’t live in the Tropics? Not a problem. You can imitate the look with the correct selection of plants and accessories.
Firstly ask yourself, ‘What does a Tropical Garden look like?’
Don’t forget to calculate how much time you have available each week to tend your new garden, because this is a really important factor during plant selection.
To me, nothing says ‘tropics’ more than lots of colour and lush looking foliage in a layered look. Keeping this in mind, I have selected plants that suit the climate in my region of Australia. I don’t have heaps of time to spend in the garden so I look for easy care plants that can virtually look after themselves except for watering.
Tip: Check out this article A load of plants that you don't need green fingers for to get some ideas for a low maintenance garden.
Let the micro-climates occurring in the various locations within your garden determine what you plant, and where.
I started planting my Wet-Tropics / Rainforest-style garden with plants that are fast-growing, tall plants to become my top layer (canopy), then layered everything underneath.
I started with planting a Banana sucker close to the house because we get light frosts in my region during winter and the brick wall radiates heat to help keep the banana sucker warm year-round. Then I planted a Palm tree and two Frangipani trees (soon to be trees as I am growing them from cuttings) and then some pink and variegated Cordylines and Happy Plant cuttings, which have taken well.
I have also included edible plants that suit my tropical theme like edible ginger and turmeric.
• Bamboo (clumping type is best)
The photos are of my garden so far, I hope you enjoy them.
If you would like to read more from Glenda you can visit her blog: Growing Snowballs
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N.B. This article has been written for Australian gardens. If you're reading this from around the world, we do hope you've found it a useful stepping stone for your own further research.