Create a tropical garden

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Relaxing and enticing. Whether you want to entertain or spend a lazy afternoon with a good book and cold drink, a tropical themed garden can offer you a little slice of paradise. You may be wondering how this is possible when we are wearing scarves and woolly hats for five months of the year but with clever plant selection, the right materials and planning it is possible to bring the holiday home. The Addleshaw Goddard Junglette Garden at RHS Chelsea Flower Show in 2024 is a great example of tropical planting in a UK climate.

Design and Landscape

Path ways should have a natural appearance– slightly raised paths made from timber decking boards work well in this kind of lush setting
Materials – choose natural materials such as cane, timber, stone and concrete. This applies to your garden furniture as well; team cane Asian-style furniture with lots of brightly coloured cushions
Plant in layers – Tropical gardens are densely planted, which gives them their lush look. Usually designed on three levels; upper canopy, middle layer and low growers.
Instant screening – hide walls and fences that don’t fit with your tropical theme with instant bamboo screening
Lighting – consider up-lighting under feature plants such as ferns and palms

Which plants to use

To create a tropical hideaway, you need a rich mix of foliage textures and colours for a peaceful exotic garden mood. Think large vibrant foliage, flamboyant flowers and eye-catching architectural statement plants and group plants with different leaf shapes together. If you are clever with your plant selection you can easily recreate a garden that would be more at home in the Tropics.

Hardy Exotics:

Ensete Ventricosum Maurelii

Herbaceous perennials:

  • Achillea terracotta
  • Canna lillies
  • Coreopsis ‘Golden Sphere’
  • Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’
  • Geum
  • Heuchera
  • Hostas
  • Red Daylilies
  • Salvia ‘Amistad’
  • Kniphofia ‘Royal Standard’
  • Tibouchina
Canna lily

Ornamental grasses:

  • Cortaderia selloana
  • Miscanthus sinensis
  • Stipa tenuissima

Shrubs / Ornamental trees

Magnolia grandiflora

For orange and peachy hues:

  • Achillea terracotta
  • Crocosmia x crocosmiiflora ‘Columbus’
  • Canna lily
  • Chaenomeles speciosa
  • Coreopsis ‘Golden Sphere’
  • Gerberas Eschscholzia californica
  • Geum ‘Mai Tai’
  • Strelitzia reginae (Bird of Paradise)
Chaenomeles speciosa

Architectural Plants

Architectural plants in a garden add height, structure, and drama and are particularly effective in smaller gardens for creating atmosphere, reminiscent of holidays abroad.

For shady spots:

For sunnier aspects:

How do we do it?

Creative Landscape Co. were invited to transform the back garden of a beautiful town house in Berkshire. With roots in Malaysia and a love of Malaysian style gardens, our clients wanted to swap their boring lawn for a fully planted garden that would evoke a tropical atmosphere and provide seclusion from neighbouring buildings.

This is how we created an award winning Tropical garden in Berkshire <click here>


British winters – plant selection is key. To create a tropical garden in the UK you need to mimic plants that won’t survive in our climate with hardy alternatives whilst maintaining a tropical planting scheme
Protect your exotics during our British winters.