Posted: 25/07/2013 at 23:05
Silver birch Not really. Perhaps if you grew an exotic looking climber through it it might help. I grew Trachycarpus fortunei as my exotic looking tree. Had to protect it from cold while young but once 4/5 ft stopped. It is now a good 15ft and is great for a windy site.
The mouse plant needs moist soil and will work brilliantly under the larger stuff as it loves to creep around. Had to post that link as found the name really funny!
I protected my bananas with a thick pile of straw at the base and even after this last winter they have survived.
You keep mentioning using rhubarb but wouldn't you prefer an ornamental one? The leaves are enormous!