Saturday, September 11, 2010

A Devon Jungle Garden!

I thought it was high time that I showed a few shots of one of the gardens I've been involved in this year.

This freshly created jungle style garden was planted up at the beginning of the season, although the initial concept and design was drafted out during the horrendously cold weather of January and February earlier this year.

When I first saw this particular site I was blown away by its potential, the long and narrow plot leading down to a small brook lent itself perfectly to an exotic jungly theme. There was, however, an enormous amount of work (and still is!) involved in clearing the dense thicket of brambles, nettles and other persistent weeds that smothered parts of the site.

This is a garden of surprises, complete with a beautiful mock ruin building constructed from re-used bricks and local stones. It serves as a wonderful spot for a bbq on warm summer evenings!

Afternoon sunlight highlighting the beauty of Musa basjoo foliage with Cordyline australis behind.

The transformation from a bare site to a plant-filled jungle paradise has been remarkable over just one season. It never ceases to amaze me how quickly large leaved plants such as bananas and tree ferns can grow! I never get tired of these plants. The creation of this particular border is the first phase in a number of planned new areas and features to the garden. More exotic planting is in the pipeline!

A good sized Trachycarpus fortunei along with Cordyline australis and a couple of superb specimens of Dicksonia antarctica provide a framework to the jungle. Bananas such as Musa basjoo, Musella lasiocarpa and Ensete ventricosum Maurelii add a further touch of the exotic with their enormous sail-like leaves.

The dramatic arching fronds of Dicksonia antarctica along with Ensete ventricosum Maurelii and Cordyline Australis

Cannas and dahlias fill out the space in between, along with Ricinus and numerous ferns. Hostas have been thriving under the shade cast by all this foliage.

Ricinus communis, Dahlias and pumpkins create a dense display of foliage and colour

Perhaps one of the most unusual effects has been created by planting pumpkins amongst all this exotica, and leaving them to weave their own course through the border. Their large circular leaves take on a much more tropical feel when seen growing with bananas and tree ferns and this is a great idea for filling out new jungle style borders.

Two shots of Ensete ventricosum Maurelii surrounded by rampant pumpkins!

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