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Tropical garden design

Alissa Ugolini—homify UK Alissa Ugolini—homify UK
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Tropical garden design is a culmination of our favourite summer vacation elements all rolled into one. From the Northern parts of sunny Australia, to the dewy equatorial locations, there is something inherently beautiful about the tropics that we long to connect with. Once upon a time, it was only possible to grow and plant greenery that suited our climates, and as we know, the English have become masters at the art of garden design in our seemingly greyer part of the world. However, when we want to escape the concrete jungles of inner city living, and replace this atmosphere with a jungle of the foliage kind, we should consider tropical garden design when recreating the environment in our own backyards.

Before you dive in headfirst, it is important to consider what elements constitute tropical garden design. First of all, you must research which foliage or plants will withstand the climate you live in. There are, in fact, many plants which seem tropical in appearance, that can actually withstand long winters and extreme frosts. Some of these species include: the Japanese Fiber Banana (Musa basjoo) or the Hibiscus (Hibiscus Moscheutos). Above all, don't forget to add colour! The vivacious, exciting cultures of tropical Ecuador and Mexico are riddled with bright colour, and so you should definitely consider this factor in your own tropical garden design.

You may not have thought such an idea was possible, especially in the UK. Therefore, today on homify, we have a selection of tropical garden design for you to gain ideas and inspiration for your own four walls. Take a look…


Tropical garden design is perfect for creating the ultimate spot to hold a summer soiree with friends and family. This stunning example of couch and fireplace combination is reminiscent of those long holiday evenings spent in Thailand or Bali by the beach. Whether it's for romancing or entertaining under the stars, you can just imagine with a tropical set up like this, you'd definitely be the envy of all your friends and extended family.

A place to watch the sun set

Just as important as lounging around under the stars, is a place to watch the sun set (or rise). A tropical garden design, such as this, makes the most of the undulating landscape and fill it with characteristically tropical elements such as ferns, palms and sandy coloured tones. Sipping on champagne or with a cup of tea in hand, you can be sure to enjoy every moment of the outdoor months from a spot like this.

Modern tropical garden

Tropical garden design, contrary to popular belief, can be strikingly modern, too. In this example, we see a mix of bold geometric architectural lines mixed with simplistic, tropical garden design. With an undeniable sense of fluidity and openness, this is exactly the scene you can imagine spending a relaxing weekend. We can almost sense a hint of Japanese design in this example, with the unadulterated line of sight allowing both you and the property to make the most of the warm summer air.

A doorway to the sea

 Garden by homify



If you are fortunate to have a property with a pathway down to the sea, you should make the most of this element in your tropical garden design. A simple set of doors creates an aura of mystery and secrecy, although we know exactly what the door leads to by the smell of the salty air and sound of the waves hitting the shore. It's simple elements like this that add fun and excitement to your own garden space, giving both adults and children alike a sense of adventure in their daily life.

Tropics in the city

Scarborough Project:  Garden by Project Artichoke
Project Artichoke

Scarborough Project

Project Artichoke

As mentioned in the introduction, your tropical garden design ideas can feel right at home in the inner city—even when bounded by corrugated iron fences! As you can see, ferns, palm trees and succulent plants have been carefully placed throughout to create a luscious, tailored look. The concrete bench reminds us very much of those South American monuments, again, for a moment, tricking us into believing we're miles from the city.

Prehistoric survivors

Fern Garden:  Garden by Garden Arts
Garden Arts

Fern Garden

Garden Arts

Ferns are one of the oldest surviving plants on this planet, as documented, they have been around since the time of the dinosaurs. Surviving the tempestuous climatic conditions that followed these periods, ferns are quite literally one of the most hardy plants you can grow. Therefore, it makes sense if you'd like to create a slightly unruly, untouched looking garden, that you would choose ferns as your go-to greenery. Luscious looking all year round, all you need to do is add a pop of colour and voila! Your tropical garden design dreams will be fast coming true!

Tropical glam

Peponi House :  Garden by STUDIO [D] TALE

Peponi House


For those who don't have any outdoor space at all and long for a space that houses their own piece of tropical garden design, it is easy to recreate a similar effect in a courtyard or balcony, as seen in this example. Employing a more eclectic look, potted ferns have been complemented by that stunning tile work and unique wicker furniture. A truly special setting for those who want to be on their own tropical safari all year round.


Ok, we understand that this image is slightly unachievable to the average person, however, it is possible to draw inspiration from this example of poolside (hotel) tropical garden design. The different levels and what appear to be floating cabanas gives us a true sense of a summer vacation. You can too, employ a similar look and feel by adding potted ferns and a garden lounge.

Lookin' up

Again, if inner city life is how you live, you can add your fix of tropical garden design on a different axis… upwards! Vertical gardens are great for people who are short on space but want to add greenery to their homes. Whether it's placed indoors or out, vertical gardens cleanse the air and allow us to keep in touch with nature even in the most built up, concreted cities.

Spa side

Lastly, but definitely not least, our last example of tropical garden design is for those who want to feel as though they are on summer vacation all year round. This look can easily be recreated in a garden or on a large terrace—space permitting, of course. The spa and pathway is clad in a warm, deeply stained timber, giving the location a dewy, humid appearance. Furthermore, the addition of the tall palm trees complete the look, tricking us into thinking we're some place exotic.

If you enjoyed this ideabook on tropical garden designs, we suggest the following: 6 sleek outdoor living spaces

Whitton Drive:  Terrace house by GK Architects Ltd

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