10. Catalpa bungei
Also Known as the India bean tree this exotic small tree has purple blooms in early summer and long hanging beans in autumn. It can be grown on most soils and the large leaves and umbrella like form create great shade in summer.
9. Fargesia nitida
A softer bamboo than the more common garden varieties and is favoured for it gentler foliage and less invasive nature. In sheltered gardens with deep soil it can grow to impressive sizes giving a calm feather like movement in the breeze.
8. Phyllostachys nigra
A more common and robust garden bamboo with tall upright canes. The black shiny stems which slightly bend from each node gives this bamboo a very attractive tropical feel. The bamboo gives a lot of gentle movement in the breeze and makes good barriers as well as screens to unsightly areas.
7. Miscanthus sinensis gracillimus
A very beautiful grass which once established can grow into tall tubular plants up to 8 feet tall giving an extremely exotic look. In autumn fan like white and pink plums form and in winter the foliage turns a golden brown which can be left for its warm colour until the following spring or cut down.
6. Fatsia japonica
A good old faithful when it comes to creating tropical gardens in Brtain. Fatsias have large serrated shiny leaves with spectacular white globe flowers in summer. If given a deep fertile soil they will become large and extremely impressive but on the whole they are not fussy and extremely well suited to our climate.
Originally from New Zealand Phormiums are used to potentially cold conditions. Their shape is outward reaching like an explosion of foliage which can be particularly striking when using brightly coloured variegated cultivars. They now come in various sizes and colours always giving an exotic feel especially effective next to boulders.
4. Dicksonia antarctica
Also known as the tree fern these ancient looking trees are exactly that. Being around for millions of years they can literally create a Jurassic effect in your tropical garden. Tree ferns can be temperamental and somewhat fussy. It is good to understand that they require watering from the top and even a very happy health specimen will only grow one inch per year.
3. Cordyline australis
One of the best ways to give a palm tree effect in a British garden is the Cordyline Australis. Its ability to grow tall quickly makes it very popular in jungle gardens. These small trees also look good in gravel gardens with a Mediterranean feel. From a cool region of Australia, they are reasonably hardy and once reaching their maximum height fill out to become impressive looking features in the landscape.
2. Dryopteris filix mas
A very attractive fern which can create a tropical looking groundcover in the flower border. This plant does not mind the wet and shade making it perfect for those gloomy corners of the tropical garden scheme. Its upright young stalks look incredibly prehistoric and perfect for tropical gardens even though they are native to Europe.
1. Trachycarpus fortune
Also Known as the Chinese windmill palm and being Native to central and northern China This palm can tolerate much lower temperatures than normal. It has all the typical feature of other palm trees from warmer jungle type environments making it a perfect choice for a tropical garden. They can be bought as small nursery plants or older larger trees. They will happily grow in a sheltered spot but don’t like water logging. In exceptionally warm summers they may flower producing light coloured vine like blooms.
Buckinghamshire Landscape Gardeners designs and builds landscapes both commercial and domestic, large and small and is apart of Ecospaces Limited. Call us today we cover Amersham, Hyde Heath, High Wycombe, Chesham, Great Missenden, Little Missenden, Turnvile, Aylesbury, Speen, Princes Risborough and Beaconsfield & Chalfont.
Paul Nicolaides has over 30 years of recreational gardening and 20 years of professional landscaping experience. He has worked for landscape contractors including design and build practices across London and the South East. In 2006 he qualified with a BA Hons degree and post graduate diploma in Landscape Architecture. In 2009 he founded Ecospaces an ecological landscaping practice which aims to improve social cohesion and reduce climate change through landscaping. In 2016 he founded Buckinghamshire Landscape Gardeners which designs and builds gardens across Buckinghamshire and the South East. This blog aims to provide easy problem solving information to its audience and encourage others to take up the joy of landscaping and gardening.