Urban Jungle

Urban Jungle

Here is our guide to creating a lush, tropical inspired garden. With clever plant selection and the right materials it is possible to create a tropical inspired garden that wouldn't look out of place in Brazil or Bali. With the right design and planning, the space available to you isn’t a barrier. Small doesn't have to mean simple.

The success of a town or city garden often depends on establishing a sense of privacy without losing too much sunlight and maximising space in what can be a limited area. If views outside of the garden can be restricted, they will have less influence on the style of the garden within enabling you to create a private tropical hideaway <find out more>

THE DESIGN & MATERIALS

  • In a smaller area, flow from the house through to the garden is essential.
  • Choose natural materials such as cane, timber, stone and concrete.
  • Built in seating areas to save space, even raised beds can double up as seating.
  • Use straight lines but keep things off centre so the garden doesn’t become to boxy.
  • Add a water feature - The sound of water can add an additional dimension, encouraging wildlife and offering a relaxing distraction from noise outside; each enhances the intimacy of the space and it’s theme.
  • A few big out of scale plants will break up the area and create drama rather than having lines of narrow bedding.
  • Use architectural plants for structure and interest.
  • Paint fences in dark colours for a contemporary look and to make green foliage pop. Dark and neutrals make a space seem bigger and let the plants and features take centre stage.
  • Hide walls and fences that don’t fit with your tropical theme with instant bamboo screening
  • Lighting is key; it can make the space appear bigger, draw your eye to certain elements and keep you outside for longer in the evenings. Consider up-lighting under feature plants such as ferns and palms.

PLANTING

Use a small selection of hard-working plants that will give you the maximum all round colour and interest. 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.

Musa basjoo

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. For a more in depth guide to creating a Tropical garden in the UK <click here>

Our top plant picks are:

  • Musa basjoo (requires winter protection)
  • Evergreen Magnolia grandiflora
  • Fargesia rufa
  • Phormium Variegatum
  • Ensete ventricosum ‘Maurelii’ (requires winter protection)
  • Eriobotyra japonica
  • Purple-leaf Heuchera
  • Large leaf Fatsia japonica
  • Dicksonia Antarctica (tree fern)
  • Eriobotyra japonica
  • Trachycarpus fortunei
  • Cordyline australis

THINGS TO AVOID

  • Low wide borders/beds
  • Grass lawns