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A guide to exotic plants for every season

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. 

close up of some exotic orange flowers

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. 

close-up of palm tree leaves

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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  • Richard

    Gardenscapes have just finished a 5 month project rebuilding part of the garden and replacing the drive. The hard and soft landscape works were comple...ted to a very high standard. Neal and Ainsley were a pleasure to work with and we would be happy to recommend Gardenscapes.

    9 months ago

  • Brian And Vanessa

    Gardenscapes installed steel edging to all the lawns in our garden. The work was carried out precisely as promised, to the highest standard and looks...great. The best aspect was the friendly service that we received - it was a pleasure to have Neal and Ainsley on site and nothing was too much trouble. I have no hesitation in recommending them for any garden project.

    1 year ago

  • Alex P, Leigh

    We have used Gardenscapes for a number of projects over the years including a driveway extension, new patio and creation of raised flower beds. Always...very happy with the commmunication and quality of the work and I would happily use them again.

    1 year ago

  • Sam

    Neal came round and quoted, talked us through the options and guided us to the best type of grass and base for our artificial grass. It was easy with...great communication, the work was Carried out on the day he said he was available which was very quick considering it was spring 4 years on out garden looks just as good, and we are so so happy we went with Neals advise! Thank you

    1 year ago

  • Sarah

    Gardenscapes laid a new patio and driveway for us and replaced our side alley gate. They were approachable and happy to answer queries from the very b...eginning. We were very pleased with the work, it was completed to a very high standard.

    1 year ago

  • Lynda Burnell

    Ainsley understood exactly what we were hoping to achieve . He and his team did a brilliant job, very pleased with the result.

    1 year ago

  • Alan

    Having sourced several quotes for a complete garden overhaul, we commissioned Gardenscapes upon meeting Neal and Ainsley - who listened to our brief, well as advised appropriately. They reviewed our requirements and discussed what would work best based on their experience and expertise. This is something we wanted in a landscape specialist: rather than just doing what the client wants. We have a mossy and boggy area of the garden thanks to the constant shade of a huge oak and we welcomed their gentle and expert advice on what would - and wouldn't - work in this section of the garden. The works consisted of removing existing paving and decking, garden levelling, providing astroturf samples at different price points as well as paving options and subsequent installations as well as a new tiered level. The Gardenscapes team were consultative throughout and extremely polite, respectful and tidy. they turned up early, worked hard all day and their communication from start to finish was superb and professional. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend them. We are thoroughly pleased with their work, value for money, and results.

    1 year ago

  • Sally Berryman

    In 2016 Neal’s Team installed a shed in out garden. The location beside the house was unstable so the shed was placed on top of a platform creat...ed by Neal and his team. In 2018 the team built a sun deck area in a different part of the garden. This too has successful.

    1 year ago

  • Emily Dye

    We had a new patio laid and a soak away put into our lawn. Neal and his colleague were professional, thorough and tidy, and completed our job to a hig...h standard. Highly recommend

    1 year ago

  • Pammie

    Where do I begin? Neal was the only guy to actually ask me what I wanted in my garden rather than telling me what I should have. That greatly impresse...d me and I was not disappointed in his work or his workforce. He completely relandscaped my back garden including a pond. Highly recommend this company.

    1 year ago

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COVID-19 update

Gardenscapes are still open for Contactless Surveys & Quotations - we can arrange video surveys online to give you a quotation. Once restrictions are lifted, we will then be able to visit and fulfill any landscaping projects. Call us today on 01932 485 273 for expert advice!