Tropical gardens are typically very full, with the boundaries hidden by dense planting; making you feel as if you’re in the middle of a jungle, rather than, perhaps, in a town. Many tropical plants are tender, and need winter protection. These include bananas (varieties of Ensete and Musa), Colocasia (Elephant’s Ears), Hedychium (Ginger) and Ricinus (Castor Oil Plant).
But there are also many exotic plants that are fully hardy in the British climate; plants such as the foxglove tree, Paulownia tomentosa, the Chusan palm Trachycarpus fortunei and the willow, Salix magnifica, which is native to China and has large leaves similar to an evergreen magnolia.
And plants that are more familiar to us here in the UK, but which have large, lush green leaves, such as Hostas, Bergenia (confusingly, also known as Elephant’s ears) and Fatsia japonica, can also be used in a tropical planting scheme.