Design Advice - Creating a Jungle/Tropical Garden

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J4MES
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Design Advice - Creating a Jungle/Tropical Garden

Post by J4MES » Sun Mar 02, 2014 10:43 pm

Hi All,

Wonder if i could pick your brains, we have a small garden about 25ft long max which is pretty bare at the moment bar a large trachycarpus we planted a year ago and some laurel heding at the back which should grow to give us a nice green backdrop.

As you can see the garden is looking pretty bland, its a new ish house so the garden was a blank canvas. My idea is to create something quite dramatic, lots of palms and exotics planted close to give a jungle like effect and hide the fences etc. I would still need to keep an area to sit in closer to the house but am thinking around 35% at the back of the garden would be tropical border.

My question being, is the garden just too small to do this and do you think it look any good? I would really appreciate some advice and opinions on this plus what plants would be good to use etc. I was thinking of getting another 2 Trachycarpus (4-5ft tall) and then to infil the gaps with Phormiums, Cordylines and Chamaerops humilis.

Also thinking of a tropical looking climber to cover the fences? Ay ideas?



The top picture is the theme i'm going for but on a much larger scale :DD :lol: -

The lower ones are of my sad little garden -
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bordersboy
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Re: Design Advice - Creating a Jungle/Tropical Garden

Post by bordersboy » Sun Mar 02, 2014 11:03 pm

A nice S shaped path interplanted with tropicals will look great there.I1d just keep those Laurels well pruned so they dont swallow up your growing space.Dont let them get too woody and force the growth upwards rather than outwards.
What about a water feature coming from the fence into a small deep pool?


GREVILLE
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Re: Design Advice - Creating a Jungle/Tropical Garden

Post by GREVILLE » Sun Mar 02, 2014 11:05 pm

Think BIG in a small garden and don't worry about putting large plants in small spaces. In a real jungle large plants are always fighting for space. Go for contrasting textures by including smaller palms (Chamaerops) Phormium, Bamboo and Musa basjoo.

If you have space in your conservatory add one or two big leafed specials like Colocasia and transfer them to the main garden mid-Spring either planted out or plunged/placed in a container before returning them inside in the Autumn.

They don't all need to have green leaves. Phormiums can be purple, Chamaerops, blue (cerifera) and bamboos, golden (Vivax aureocaulis).


J4MES
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Re: Design Advice - Creating a Jungle/Tropical Garden

Post by J4MES » Sun Mar 02, 2014 11:38 pm

Thanks Guys, definitely agree re the laurels, the plan is to form a tall but slim hedge to give a lush backdrop to the planting and provide some security. I did think of a water feature but we get quite a few mosquitos from a nearby farm and thought it may attract more of them!

Also agree with the big bold planting idea and a mix of colours. I'm a bit worried its going to look OTT and the neighbours will think i've lost the plot but I have this idea of creating something amazing that fools you into thinking you could be somewhere else. :D icon_sunny :D

I like the idea of a path but not sure if we have the space as we need to be able to sit out in the summer and have a table close to the house.

This is a rough idea of the split i was thinking of with a large border and then a gravel seating area close to the house. Although i'm not set on a layout I think i'm pretty limited with such a small space.
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Deedee
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Re: Design Advice - Creating a Jungle/Tropical Garden

Post by Deedee » Mon Mar 03, 2014 12:55 am

Hi J4mes, i dont know if your looking to create a path/patio etc but i came across this pic last night, I think its a great design idea for small gardens.

Image


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fern Rob
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Re: Design Advice - Creating a Jungle/Tropical Garden

Post by fern Rob » Mon Mar 03, 2014 1:18 am

You need to borrow the landscape beyond the garden such as the trees, making the garden look bigger, a little piece of a jungle. Fill the garden with as many different hight and foliage plants.
Rob
( Tree Fern hunter )


Neil Ziemski
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Re: Design Advice - Creating a Jungle/Tropical Garden

Post by Neil Ziemski » Mon Mar 03, 2014 8:38 pm

If the first pic is what you are aiming for then try to re-create it on your scale.
Buy another palm and plant it further up on the opposite side.
I would then cut out borders, creating a grass path winding towards the back and fill the borders over time.
ItI could look really nice, I'd be tempted to plant one decent sized tree to create a microclimate
Neil


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Springy
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Re: Design Advice - Creating a Jungle/Tropical Garden

Post by Springy » Mon Mar 03, 2014 10:00 pm

Deedee wrote:Hi J4mes, i dont know if your looking to create a path/patio etc but i came across this pic last night, I think its a great design idea for small gardens.

[ Image ]
Dee's picture sort of shows what I was thinking, if you have an 'hour glass' shaped lawn or gravel area where you have to go through a narrow part of the garden and then it opens out again will help to make the space feel larger than it is. It doesn't have to be too much of a squeeze through but just enough to make you feel enclosed as you walk through.
It's just my opinion and other posts so far are good advise too! icon_thumleft


J4MES
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Re: Design Advice - Creating a Jungle/Tropical Garden

Post by J4MES » Mon Mar 03, 2014 11:18 pm

Thanks so much for the advice, I think I'm definitely going to just go for it and think bold! Most people Ive spoken to think its a bad idea to cram lots in but I think this is the way to go! Plus it will look more dramatic.

I now just need to write a list of plants I want and the sizes as I order them wholesale which is cheaper but I dont get see them first which makes it harder to choose!

Could anyone recommend a good evergreen climber to cover the fences?

Thanks again! :)


Kristen
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Re: Design Advice - Creating a Jungle/Tropical Garden

Post by Kristen » Tue Mar 04, 2014 10:28 am

J4MES wrote:Most people Ive spoken to think its a bad idea to cram lots in but I think this is the way to go!
I find it difficult to cram a herbaceous border and make it look good, but Exotic Jungle I can't seem to get it wrong. Even single plants look fine - I have single Solanum lacciniatum for example, and sometimes just one Cleome (bad germination that year!)
Could anyone recommend a good evergreen climber to cover the fences?
Clematis armandii
Trachelospermum jasminoides

Check the hardiness for your area though.
K's Garden blog last update 30th December 2012, HTUK Blog


otorongo
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Re: Design Advice - Creating a Jungle/Tropical Garden

Post by otorongo » Tue Mar 04, 2014 11:08 am

J4MES wrote:Could anyone recommend a good evergreen climber to cover the fences?
Passiflora caerulea.


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The Codfather
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Re: Design Advice - Creating a Jungle/Tropical Garden

Post by The Codfather » Tue Mar 04, 2014 12:37 pm

i have treid that twice here and I cant get it past 1 year..... icon_scratch
AKA - Martin

Wish list - Big Palms or Dicksonia antarctica's but open to anything really.....Cash Waiting !


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ConcreteJungle
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Re: Design Advice - Creating a Jungle/Tropical Garden

Post by ConcreteJungle » Tue Mar 04, 2014 1:14 pm

I am looking for an evergreen climber too for my big shed wall..
http://media.growsonyou.com/photos/phot ... noides.jpg
Pileostegia Viburnoides any good? I like the fact its self clinging.


PaulPlants
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Re: Design Advice - Creating a Jungle/Tropical Garden

Post by PaulPlants » Tue Mar 04, 2014 7:46 pm

I'd be inclined to put in a strong diamond shaped patio in he centre and pack the outsides! Plant the palms and other giants on the North and East sides to enjoy the sun after work.


Nigel Fear
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Re: Design Advice - Creating a Jungle/Tropical Garden

Post by Nigel Fear » Tue Mar 04, 2014 8:13 pm

As Paul Plants say's, with a compact garden like yours, I'd have a sitting area in the middle of the garden, diamond or maybe circular,just barely large enough for a party of around 6 people,but then completely plant around it, with Jungly looking plants as per your own, or Dee's photo, leaving a few stepping stones to the conservatory.
Viewed from the conservatory it will look as though the 'jungle' is encroaching right up to the windows.


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