You don't need to live in the tropics to create a lush, leafy, junglelike corner in which to hide away from the stresses of the world. These sculptural plants will give your garden that getaway feeling.
When to Start: Spring
At Its Best: Summer
Time to Complete: 4 hours
All these plants prefer a sunny site but will tolerate light shade. They also need to be sheltered from strong winds, which could damage their foliage.
Clear the border of weeds and dig in organic matter over the site. Arrange the plants in a tiered jungle effect, then plant and water well. Mulch with bark to give the feel of a forest floor.
The Japanese fiber banana, sometimes called "hardy banana" (Musa basjoo), is hardy only to USDA Zone 5. In winter, surround it with chicken wire attached to stakes, and fill with straw or leaves. In mild areas, wrap it with garden fleece.