Believe it or not, your backyard can give you the sensation of a tropical holiday. Think lush green foliage, exotic blooms, and the gentle sound of a trickling stream. You can do it, and you don’t need loads of space. This garden has been redesigned to use every inch of its moderate 200sqm. The abundance of greenery, along with the choice and placement of its plants, cleverly disguises its boundaries and makes it feel open and inviting. While the predominant colour is green, the garden makes up for it with vibrant pops of colour in both foliage and flowers, to create a wonderful space in which to be. Have a look around and see what ideas you can borrow for your own space.
1. Bromeliads are the stars of the tropical garden, with their fab foliage and vibrant-coloured bracts. Grow in part-shade and water only when dry.
2. Create year-round interest with a native grass tree (Xanthorrhoea sp.). It’s a desert dweller, but the fine pendulous foliage blends in perfectly here.
3. A delightful spreading shrub, Bauhinia galpinii grows 1-2m high and 3-5m wide. Its flowers are borne above bilobed foliage and look like delicate floating butterflies.
4. The highly decorative foliage of Strobilanthes dyeriana is ideal for adding colour to shady areas of a garden.
5. One of the most beautiful vines, Thunbergia mysorensis has striking yellow and burgundy flowers that hang below the foliage. Try growing over an archway or gazebo so you can enjoy the full effect of their display.
• Consider the placement of vertical accents and level changes throughout the garden. This can draw the eye away from the boundaries, making the area seem more spacious.
• Plant densely and don’t be afraid to overdo it! Tropical gardens are filled with plants overlapping, climbing on top of one another, and filling the space below and up high.
• Try winding paths and curving beds to encourage a slow meander throughout the space. This will help give the impression that the garden is bigger than it really is.