Garden Style Tropical
Most gardens are an eclectic mix of styles and plants that have grown up over the years, but you can give your garden a wow factor by adopting one style and sticking religiously to it. This week we will look at how to get that tropical feel.
Before starting hard landscaping think of which tropical area you are trying to emulate. If North African then paths should be tiled, blue colours and mosaic could feature. If central African or South American bark paths may be preferable, in both these cases buildings could be of basic design and natural materials. If Asian character is required then most path surfaces will work but much atmosphere can come from a carefully designed building or bridge
In terms of planting, the two things that will go furthest in generating a tropical feel are large leaved plants think in terms of fatsia japonica, chusan palm, rogersia, ferns, or even gunnera if you have space and crowded planting to mimic the rampant growth associated with the tropics. Covering walls or fences to significant height with evergreen climbers will help accent the closed in feel of the jungle! Occasional brightly coloured large foliage is good.
Flowers should be large and ideally of exotic shape lilies are good, zantadescia excellent but not very hardy. Colours should concentrate on the very bright or white, avoid pastel shades. Too many flowers can spoil the effect, small pockets of a number of the same species and same colour is ideal. If you have a greenhouse where plants can be brought on and stored over winter your flowering plants can stay in their pots and just be sunk into the ground as they start to flower.
Finally a few well-chosen sculptures (niaive and stylised, so home produced is fine) or artifacts will complete the look.