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Tiny Tropical Haven in London



  • Nanny BeachNanny Beach Posts: 8,343
    I wouldn't have grass in a space that size NW facing,it's difficult to grow grass in shade,could also be more mud that grass,in winter. Me,(,you did ask haha,) I would have some practical surface and huge pots,you can move around
  • NekkyNekky Posts: 40
    Just checked out Beth Chatto's dry gravel garden.

    I was looking to have a gravel/paved path but given the narrow space, it's making more sense to just have a gravel mulch area that servers as path and standing/sitting area when needed. II definitely still want some green cover to soften things up.
    Mmn... back to the drawing board but its all good as I'm loving the design stage. 
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 82,740
    Green cover could be the low growing prostrate thymes growing into the gravel (and giving off delicious herby perfume when walked on) if there’s enough light for it to be happy. 
    I agree that a northfacing lawn is rarely a good-looking thing, especially if walked on. 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 20,963
    I would be wary of a clover lawn. I've had clover in a lawn before and if it flowers the bees love it, which is great or wildlife, but when my children (now grown up) played on it they got stung.
    Dordogne and Norfolk. Clay in Dordogne, sandy in Norfolk.
  • ButtercupdaysButtercupdays Posts: 4,356
    Like @Nanny Beach says, get some BIG pots so you can occasionally move things around or change planting.
    Have a look at Gunnera and Darmera peltata. Both are bog plants but have huge jungly leaves and could grow in a pot if you keep them wet enough, but a small one won't do it! They do both die back in winter so might need to make way for an evergreen or even something like Cornus Alba sibirica which, though they are leafless, has brilliant red stems in winter.

  • LG_LG_ Posts: 4,063
    Oh I could give you some Cornus alba 'Sibirica' too... I'm a bit addicted to propagating them but can't fit any more in, and have given loads to my neighbours 🤣
    'If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.'
    - Cicero
  • didywdidyw Posts: 2,734
    Like this... only smaller!  I like your ambition @Nekky and look forward to seeing your progress.  But do be aware that jungly plants are BIG and need a big space!  I'm with those who suggest ditching the lawn - I just don't think you have the space for it. Some kind of decking with big pots you can move around would work I think.
  • NekkyNekky Posts: 40
    didyw, as much as I love the large leafy tropical plants, I'll be staying clear of the super sized leafy ones like tentrapanex. At least banana plants grow up high so don't mind that.
  • NekkyNekky Posts: 40
    Another attempt. A somewhat cheaper option which wont require reducing the large patio. instead using pots to reshape patio.


  • NekkyNekky Posts: 40
    edited June 2021
    Another layout option but on paper. Easier to work with as provides a better idea of relative scale which I measured up.

    Here patio is shortened on the left side.... from the dotted line.

    Left side of garden is then dedicated to layered foliage and right side to just a few tall banana plants and lower shrubs. gravel area becomes the path that leads to shed studio and the side access that takes you to the vegetable garden at the back.

    What do you think ?

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