Tropical plants don’t have to be tacky

Four great ways to grow your own jungle without that corny Hawaiian shirts vibe

When I was growing up in the tropics all I wanted was a traditional English garden. My grandmother in Wales would mail me VHS tapes of Gardeners’ World from when I was about six years old, along with packets of seeds for things like snapdragons and hollyhocks. Despite initial excitement as they sprung up in half the time it said on the packet, I would cry as they soon flopped over in the steamy rainforest temperatures. Fast forward 30 years, and living in London I now desperately long to recreate a piece of primeval, moss-covered jungle in my own tiny patch. Ridiculous, really.

I am very rarely inspired by ‘exotic’ or ‘tropical’ gardens in the UK

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