It is possible to create a tropical looking garden right here in Ireland, now if you live in Connemara or even the Curragh plains then maybe it might be a step too far but for city and town gardens you can create your own little tropical oasis and here is how to go about it.
It’s all about set-up and good selection, choosing tropical-look plants with bold colours and lush evergreen foliage. And there are a surprising number of these plants to do the job in our climate. When you get around to planting, do it densely. You might need to remove few plants later if things get too overgrown. Aim for a backbone of large and glossy-leafed foliage plants and a variety of bold greens. Introduce vibrant flowering plants among the green.
The key is texture with both plants and other materials, wooden screens or seating, add a hammock and you could be anywhere in the world.
Anything with a large leaf creates the first backdrop and we like the look of these Magnolia Grandiflora, bamboo are a must for both texture, structure and also sound and then get going with the palms these are what are going to really give that tropical feel. We have a wide range of palms, the largest in Ireland with something for every garden.
Add a little colour with Cordylines, Musa and even a Persicaria and you are away, add some large leaved plants our favourite is the gunneras with their jungle-like appearance unfortunately we are currently out of stock of these South American beauties but we should hopefully have back in soon, so keep an eye out for them.
Aim to create a mix of deep shade corners, areas with filtered light and a few full-sun spots. Create meandering paths through your jungle. Dark-coloured pavers or stepping stones set into a light-coloured pebble path always look tropical. Once you have pockets of microclimate, experiment with a few semi tropical plants. You’ll be surprised how many will grow.
Site warmth-loving plants close to a wall that retains heat. Grow a canopy of hardier plants to protect more tender ones below from frost. Maybe add a water feature, like a wide-rimmed bowl, to fit the tropical picture and home any more aquatic plants.
View our Tropical Plant Selection