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Sticks & Stones Landscape Design's Sydney Beach House project in collaboration with Cadence & Co.


Looking to create a tropical oasis in your backyard? Julia Levitt and Fiona Ericsson of Sticks & Stones Landscape Design share their top 5 plant species for a tropical-style garden.

Top 5 Plants For A Tropical-Style Garden

Julia and Fiona have earnt the reputation of creating lush gardens that marry holistically with the architecture and the surrounding landscape. Their clever planting combinations provide texture, colour and depth to an outdoor space offering a natural visual experience.

We have previously featured the work of Sticks & Stones Landscape Design that showcases their passion and creativity for tropical-style gardens. In this article, Julia shares with us her top 5 plant varieties that will help you create your very own tropical retreat.

1. Heliconia bihai x Caribaea ‘Hot Rio Nights’

tropical plants“This is my absolute favourite to set the tone for your tropical garden”, says Julia. “Heliconia’s are the perfect statement plant that can add height or provide screening along the boundary.” This variety will develop a striking red flower adding a pop of colour to your outdoor space. It can also survive Sydney’s climate unlike most other Heliconias, explains Julia. 

2. Blechnum gibbum ‘Silver Lady’

tropical plants sticks & stones landscape designLayering different tones within a garden can add interest and depth. “Tropical plants can often be a deep, heavy green so the Blechnum Silver Lady injects a lime green that lifts the garden”. 


3. Zoysia tenuifolia

tropical plants sticks & stones landscape designZoysia is an excellent ground cover and an alternative to your standard lawn explains Julia. “It fills in gaps and spills over walls. The Zoysia can even look beautiful as a featured underplanting.”  


4. Alocasia macrorrhiza

tropical plants sticks & stones landscape design“The Alocasia is a stunning architectural plant which I use to lift a garden. Its bold foliage is often a focal point or feature plant.” Alocasia can also be planted in mass to create a strong screen ideal for blocking out neighbours or unsightly views in the garden. 


5. Ligularia reniformis

tropical plants sticks & stones landscape design“We love Ligularia reniformis as it creates a really special mid-level plant that just doesn’t just get lost in the garden”.  Julia suggests you can also use this tropical plant as a filler in lower levels of your garden yet still creating a statement thanks to its glossy bold leaves. 

To be inspired by the lush and well-curated gardens of Sticks & Stones Landscape Design, click here.

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