your motivation and style...

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Birmingham Chris
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your motivation and style...

Post by Birmingham Chris » Tue Mar 25, 2014 4:39 pm

was asked at work today why I bothered with the cost, effort, some disappointment anda lot of time involved in growing what I do, and answered that it started because my garden is too shady to grow herbaceous stuff, which I used to love, and the palms / bamboos etc do really well with some shade. But over the last ten years have become addicted and have created a garden which reminds me of my travels and holidays in Europe. I guess I have a mediterranean garden, rather than a tropical one - very hard landscaping (I always think tropical is more lax), more thought-out planting (again, I think tropical is more lax), no grass (tropical always does) and don't strap orchids etc to everything!!! an unexpected upshoot of this is also that my garden lokks pretty good and green all year with very little bare soil so on a cold but bright winters day, I can still have a coffee in it and have stuff to see.

this was brought home on a recent trip to Morocco when we sat in a stunning garden having breakfast and said 'roll on summer WHEN we can do this at home', rather than 'wouldn't it be lovely IF we could do this at home?'

so my garden is full of plants which remind me of travelling around Europe and the parties and people I have been lucky enough to get involved in whilst there.

I was wondering whether (honestly!) you would describe your garden as 'tropical' or 'mediterranean' (and not necessarily in a dry and arid way!), and also what motivates you to grow difficult plants rather than foxgloves and other things which (I know this is sacrilage non here!) are guaranteed to put on a good show in this country?
Coming to you from sunny North Birmingham. Where the sun always shines.....somewhere else!


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GoggleboxUK
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Re: your motivation and style...

Post by GoggleboxUK » Tue Mar 25, 2014 5:14 pm

I'd describe my garden as 'exotic' rather than 'tropical' or 'mediterranean'.

My motivation was to be different. British traditional gardens bore me to tears, I can't stand neatly manicured flowerbeds and perfectly trimmed lawn edges and so I decided to put jungley looking plants in and let them go in the hope of getting an environment that looks totally out of place in a suburban garden in the north of England. The Tomb Raider theme developed from the hard landscaping and features, the plants just accentuate that.

I'd say mine is a low maintenance garden compared to some, I don't lift anything or continually replant annuals, but everyone who visits thinks I have to do so much more than my neighbours.
Once upon a time there were 3 little bears. Now there's thousands of them.


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Mr List
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Re: your motivation and style...

Post by Mr List » Tue Mar 25, 2014 5:58 pm

I grow the plants I like, tough poo if they are not all bone hardy standard garden plants icon_thumleft


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Deedee
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Re: your motivation and style...

Post by Deedee » Tue Mar 25, 2014 6:33 pm

@ Gogs, Good point about our style of gardening being low maintenance, i found my front garden border (Cottage.gone now) was harder work than the back garden, because of Annuals Biennials etc The weeds were winning, apart from a few weeds in the gravel in the back garden i dont get a lot of weeds in the borders because most of my plants are evergreen and Big :mrgreen:

Birmingham Chris, i used to grow veg, annuals and even roses :oops: untill i joined a garden forum and saw a tropical garden growing in the Uk, it blew my mind and i knew from that moment, thats what i was going to aim for, with trial and error im gettin'g there and my mind is still blown :mrgreen:


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Blairs
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Re: your motivation and style...

Post by Blairs » Tue Mar 25, 2014 8:08 pm

this was brought home on a recent trip to Morocco when we sat in a stunning garden having breakfast and said 'roll on summer WHEN we can do this at home', rather than 'wouldn't it be lovely IF we could do this at home?
Do like that philosophy.

I think the seeds of exotic gardening for me came from staying at a resort in Florida (http://www.loewshotels.com/Royal-Pacific-Resort). They had planted over 100,000 plants to create a south pacific look and it was so lush, the weather fine, that I loved it.

The second for me is the privacy that large exotic plants affords. I like gardens to be inwards facing and private and close.

Thirdly I like going for something different and not gray British.


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call
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Re: your motivation and style...

Post by call » Tue Mar 25, 2014 8:56 pm

I like to grow plants that excite and fascinate, rare and unusual and the exotic and surreal. :)
I cannot remember a time in my life when I was not surrounded by unusual plants (even without knowing it) :mrgreen:
callum
growing exotics in sunny thanet icon_sunny
http://tinytropicals.blogspot.co.uk/


dino
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Re: your motivation and style...

Post by dino » Tue Mar 25, 2014 9:03 pm

Motivation is just to grow stuff I love to look at as well as being a bit different I guess. Style is probs a mix of Med and tropical. Pretty much the same as a lot on here I would say. icon_thumleft


otorongo
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Re: your motivation and style...

Post by otorongo » Tue Mar 25, 2014 9:29 pm

I would describe my garden as exotic, I have both tropical and arid plants, but I favour the lush, tropical look, wild, vigorous growth and especially vines climbing trees and hanging lusciously.

For me it's about doing things differently, what's the point of growing the same things that everybody else is growing? The value of a thing lies in what makes it different from other things.

I like the challenge of exotic gardening, researching things and experimenting.

Another big thing for me is beating seasonality. It's nice to have lush, green foliage in the dead of the winter. It's even better to have lush, colourful flowers and wildlife when everything around looks pathetic. I like the awesomeness factor, anything that stuns the crappe out of folks is good icon_thumleft

I don't get those zombies who only want to have a nice garden in the summer, it's like saying "life is supposed to be nice for 2 months of the year and suck for the remaining 10. Because my grandma / teacher / priest / whatever said so, and I don't question authority".
Birmingham Chris wrote:was asked at work today why I bothered with the cost, effort, some disappointment anda lot of time involved in growing what I do
Well, that's the whole point... :roll: Gardening is the essence of life, so having a lot of gardening to do is a good thing icon_thumleft


GREVILLE
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Re: your motivation and style...

Post by GREVILLE » Tue Mar 25, 2014 10:49 pm

Although I started with a Trachycarpus nearly thirty years ago my motivation and style was set up soon after with a visit to Tresco Abbey.

Everything I have done with the garden since is "Tresco Reproduction".


otorongo
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Re: your motivation and style...

Post by otorongo » Tue Mar 25, 2014 11:00 pm

GREVILLE wrote:Although I started with a Trachycarpus nearly thirty years ago my motivation and style was set up soon after with a visit to Tresco Abbey.

Everything I have done with the garden since is "Tresco Reproduction".
I'd like to visit Tresco, but as it stands, with Ryanair and all, Sicily is closer than Scilly (and warmer too) ;)


GREVILLE
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Re: your motivation and style...

Post by GREVILLE » Tue Mar 25, 2014 11:05 pm

If your London garden is as warm as you suggest, OT, you could easily fashion a Sicilian garden as well as a Scillonian one icon_thumright


otorongo
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Re: your motivation and style...

Post by otorongo » Tue Mar 25, 2014 11:19 pm

GREVILLE wrote:If your London garden is as warm as you suggest, OT, you could easily fashion a Sicilian garden as well as a Scillonian one icon_thumright
It's hot, the brick wall is covered in geckos basking in the stored heat right now :lol:

But seriously I must get my hands on a bougainvillea icon_thumleft


Doc86
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Re: your motivation and style...

Post by Doc86 » Wed Mar 26, 2014 8:47 am

I'm personally not trying to recreate anything in particular I just like plants that reminiscent of warm distant places.

In all honesty my love of tropical looking plants comes from my love of the Caribbean, but the plants I have mostly come from the far east or Europe (I know there are a lot of plants in the Caribbean do also) but they have the aesthetic I'm after. I would love a garden full of coconut palms but this global warming thing is taking it damn time.


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CW01
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Re: your motivation and style...

Post by CW01 » Wed Mar 26, 2014 9:27 am

My motivation is BIG leaves,my style is Jungle planting icon_thumleft
Regards Carl


Kristen
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Re: your motivation and style...

Post by Kristen » Wed Mar 26, 2014 10:04 am

Birmingham Chris wrote:was asked at work today why I bothered with the cost, effort, some disappointment anda lot of time involved in growing what I do
What were they comparing to?

Golf? Tinkering with cars / bikes? Drinking? Down the gym?

Its all the same, isn't it? At least with a garden you have something to show for it. There is cost (same as the other hobbies), enjoyment, fitness and a sense of achievement.

I think anyone who things that [any form of] gardening is weird is narrow minded as to what other hobbies folk get up to, and why.
K's Garden blog last update 30th December 2012, HTUK Blog


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