My name is Linda Corinaldi, and I live in West Vancouver (lots of rain and lots of slugs) in British Columbia, Canada.
We have lived in this house for 20 years. Before my husband retired, we moved every three years with his job. With each move we bought a new house, and because we knew we would move again, it was pretty much an annual garden at each house. This time I was able to do a more permanent garden. I think that I have finally created the garden of my dreams; to me it is perfect.
I love plants with large leaves, and because I grew up in the Caribbean I wanted a tropical type of garden. Unfortunately, this house had been professionally landscaped, and the corner lot had been planted with about twenty maples.
The entrance garden, with huge flowering bigleaf hydrangeas (Hydrangea macrophylla, Zones 6–9).
Big, bold leaves and dramatic foliage bring some of the tropical flare that Linda loves.
An enormous rhododendron in full spring bloom.
Containers by the entrance of the house. The emphasis here is on foliage, using contrasting dark and light leaves to make a dramatic, sophisticated planting. No flowers are required.
Huge leaves of gunnera (Gunnera manicata, Zones 7–10) and ensete banana (Ensete ventricosum ‘Maurelii’, Zones 9–11) give this area more of a tropical look. Interestingly, gunnera is actually very intolerant of hot weather but loves cool summers like what you get in Vancouver. Choosing plants like that give the visual effect of the tropics, but on a plant well-suited to Linda’s climate.
Contrasting light and dark foliage and flowers. Dark colors come from a dark-leaves selection of elderberry (Sambucus nigra, Zones 5–8) and the succulent Aeonium arboreum (Zones 9–11). Those dark colors make the white smooth hydrangea (Hydrangea arborescens, Zones 3–9) flowers, yellow-leaved creeping Jenny (Lysimachia nummularia ‘Aurea’, Zones 3–9), and variegated Japanese forest grass (Hakonecholoa macra ‘Aureola’, Zones 5–9) look all the brighter.
Containers filled with a variety of plants make a beautiful display.
A huge pot of clivia (Clivia miniata, Zones 9–10) covered in bright orange flowers. If you get frost in your area, just move it inside as a houseplant for the winter.
A beautiful outdoor seating area is surrounded by the lush garden full of tropical notes.
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