truly hardy plants that look tropical?
I have decided there is a BIG difference between zone 6 and zone 7 - in zone 6 our ground freezes deep and hard for three months. And all those marginally hardy survivors with deep mulching just ain't gonna make it here. Especially not in clay soil. Those folks in South Jersey have got the sand and the zone 7, lucky them.
So what are your hardy candidates for mixing with the tropicals that winter inside? Brown Turkey fig gets killed almost to the ground but springs up fast; hosta and hellebore have dramatic leaves; oakleaf hydrangea, maybe-without the flowers; what works for you?