Posted: 29/05/2013 at 18:36
In my 'tropical' bed I've got cannas, dahlias, eucomis, begonias, kniphofia, cordyline (except the rabbits have destroyed it), crocosmia, lots of lillies, hemerocallis, tritoma, verbena bonariensis, and a big banana. I lift the cannas, eucomis, begonias and dahlias for the winter, and I wrap the banana, but everything else is perfectly happy (and we are on HEAVY clay on north facing slope). I left the dahlias in the ground one year and they were all fine, but just flowered a little later than usual. Also each year I grow ricinis from seed - they are fantastic, really scary big tropical things! And then I fill the gaps with red amaranthus (love-lies-bleeding) and nicotiana sylvestris.
Even though most of these aren't strictly 'tropical' the overall effect is wonderfully jungly and vividly colourful.