A guide to exotic plants for every season

Bring a touch of the tropical to your UK garden with exotic plants – or plants that at least have a look of faraway lands. We don’t need to settle for ordinary, understated gardens here in the UK. Our climate can actually support a wide array of tropical, vibrant plants to give you that jungle-esque look you long for. 

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So let’s take some inspiration from distant shores and find out what will work for your garden.

  • Palm trees: Nothing says exotic more than a palm tree. Whether providing shade for an outdoor lounging area or gracing your poolside with a touch of the tropical, some types of palm tree can be hardy enough to cope with the UK climate. Species include the Trachycarpus Palm Tree, the Chasun Palm Tree and the Dwarf Fan Palm.
  • Ginger Lily: With bold, colourful flowers and large leaves, the Ginger Lily truly plays the part of an exotic plant. They are becoming ever more popular with UK gardeners, all thanks to their eye-catching yellow and orange spiked appearance along with their ability to withstand the winter, ready to bloom once again in summer.
  • Japanese Banana Plant: A bouquet of big expansive leaves are the hallmark of the Japanese Banana Plant. As a striking addition to your garden, these hardy plants give you that faraway look that is sure to be the talking point for visitors. They die back a little but can withstand harsh winters to regenerate the year after – making them the perfect fit for UK environments.
  • Gloriosa: Climbers add a quaint charm to a back garden, so why not give them a colourful twist by planting Gloriosa? These rich red and yellow flowers bring a burst of colour when adorning any pergola, wall or archway. They thrive best in the summer months, so put them in a sunny spot and enjoy the display of bright hues.
  • Canna: Bring some texture to your garden with leafy Canna plants. With a variety of Canna types to choose from, you can enjoy a choice of colours including green, orange or plum purple, and also a range of sizes to suit any space limitations you may have. Many species will also last into autumn, too.
  • Hippeastrum (Amaryllis): Introduce some festive cheer into your garden with Hippeastrum (Amaryllis) bulbs. It can sometimes be tricky to bring some colour into a garden over the Christmas period, but this yuletide plant can be put into the ground in October, ready for its distinctive red flowers to bloom in time for Christmas.
  • Dracunculus Vulgaris: Bring the drama with Dracunculus Vulgaris – otherwise known as the Dragon Arum Lily. With a bold and deep purple flower, these lilies are hard to miss and will definitely make an exotic statement in your outdoor space. Their gothic beauty adds intrigue during the summer months, yet with proper protection, they can also survive the winter months to bloom again next year.
  • Bamboo: The distinctive oriental look of bamboo makes them a beautiful bordering plant, as well as for adding line and structure to the space. They are hardy, evergreen and don’t take up that much room – so they can be paired easily with other nearby plants without overtaking the garden. There are also several species available to suit shady or sunny spots, making them a really flexible choice, too.
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Whether you’re transforming your garden or touching up a few details, the landscapers at Gardenscapes can help. We specialise in bespoke garden design and landscaping for customers across Guildford, Reigate and beyond. Have some ideas? Simply get in touch with our experts today.

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