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Think tropical gardens, think a riot of colour, form and textures!

There is so much diversity in tropical gardens provided by leaf colour and shape that flowers almost seem superfluous.

For your tropical garden, start with the foundation/structural trees like Frangipani, Palms, and Bamboo. These are the ‘ceiling’ plants that define your allotment, provide shade and screen out neighbours. Next add the shrubs of Anthurium, Bougainvillea, Cordyline, Ginger, Croton, Hibiscus, Ixora,

Next add the shrubs of Anthurium, Bougainvillea, Cordyline, Ginger, Croton, Hibiscus, Ixora, Philodendron, and Strelitzia. Finally, fill in the gaps with Calathea, Pogonatherum, Liriope, Asplenium and Star Jasmine.

Tropical gardens often include water features and lighting for different night-time appeal.

It’s a bit difficult to create tropical gardens the further south you live but you can use available species that have coloured leaves and proven cold tolerance. Warm north facing positions will give you the best chance. Protection from frost for the first year is advised.

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