Tropical-Style Garden

There is a huge range of widely available, often subtropical, large-leaved plants that can be grown easily outside in summer. In complete contrast to the archetypal English garden, flowers are out, and dramatic, jungly leaf shapes are in.
From: DK Books - Containers for Patios

Tropical Effects

If you have a sheltered courtyard or suburban garden with a gentle microclimate, you will have no trouble growing architectural tropical-style plants, although, come winter, the more tender types will need to be brought under cover. If winter storage is a problem, stick to hardier plants — the Chusan palm (Trachycarpus fortunei), for example, survives a few degrees below freezing, and can be left outside all year in mild areas with a little protection. The one thing you don’t want is an open, windy site, because strong whippy gusts will batter and ruin the leaves, so create a shelter belt.

Tropical Patio Plants

Tropical Patio Plants

Photo by: DK - Simple Steps to Success: Containers for Patios © 2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - Simple Steps to Success: Containers for Patios, 2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Sun Seeking

Choose the sunniest site for your tropical patio, and remember that this may not be the area closest to your house if your yard doesn't face south. Position sun-loving palms and succulents in the hottest spots, and shade-tolerant plants, such as hostas, beneath the canopies of the large-leaved exotics if necessary.

Tropical Patio

Tropical Patio

Photo by: DK - Simple Steps to Success: Containers for Patios © 2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - Simple Steps to Success: Containers for Patios, 2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Next Up

Creating a Tropical Garden Scheme

Tropical schemes are easily put together. Pick your star architectural plants, fill the gaps with flowers and foliage, then check that the pots and background create the right illusion. Simplicity is the key.

Tropical Gardens in Containers

Create a lush summer look in the garden or on the patio by planting a banana plant and other warm-weather beauties.

Define Your Outdoor Space With a Garden Fence

Discover the materials and design that will work best for your garden boundary, whether it is a fence, wall or hedge.

Small Garden Tips: Creative Uses for Small Spaces

Make small spaces, such as a doorstep, a pleasure to walk through and look at from inside or from the street.

Choosing Containers for Your Garden

Before buying containers, work out what sizes you'll need, how they'll look, what plants you want to grow and how much time you have for watering.

Caring for Your Garden Containers

All containers need thorough washing every so often to make sure they are clean and pest-free — but wood, metal and stone pots may benefit from a little additional care to keep them looking their best.

Choosing Materials for Your Garden Containers

Containers come in a wide range of materials, from metal to ceramic to wood, but the right choice depends on three key factors: the design of your garden or patio, where the containers are to be positioned and the size of your budget.

18 Container Gardening Tips

Try these tricks of the trade to make your containers shine.

Balancing Your Potted Plant Display

All gardening is a glorified form of flower arranging; this is particularly true of potted displays, where you need to think about the look of the containers as well as the plants.

Garden Design: Connect Your Indoor and Outdoor Spaces

Let your indoor space inspire your landscape design plans.

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