Forum home Garden design

Tiny Tropical Haven in London



  • NekkyNekky Posts: 40
    edited July 2021
    Fire said:
    I think it's good to know (and remember) that one of your main aims for the space is for hosting social events. Let that usage and function inform and lead the design. The space needs to make that aim easy and fun. The new garden should be there to support you and your family, not the other way around.

    ... If you want to add water features, staging, need pipes or (more) exterior electrical sockets, now is the time to plan/put in new lecy, wifi, digital gizmos, and plumbing (not after the lanscaping is in). Taps in the right place and lots of easy lecy plug access are great things to have when you need them.
    Definitely very good points.

    Had outside electrics fitted a month ago to avoid faffing with extension cables for music, tools etc. Also had to fit wifi extenders to help keep teenage nieces and nephews in the garden... or else they'll follow the signal back into the house. Made sure its accessible in the centre zone where they'll be hanging out. Fortunately the property already had outside taps. 

    The only other thing I'm still trying to workout/research is wiring for floor uplighters and timed/automated irrigation system for potted plants. The wiring & irrigation plans also need to be flexible to extend to the back of the log cabin once a vegetable greenhouse is erected (next year's project). Lots to consider!
  • NekkyNekky Posts: 40
    pipip said:

    That’s a fun project you have there.

    ‘Evergreen’ is not that far from you. It’s a wholesale / trade plant nursery – no pretty pics on their website but there’s a little video and a few instagram pics. Non-trade can still buy [when there, you just register as e.g. “Nekky Designs”]. They’ll have small as well as mature specimens of the plants on your list, as well as other inspirations.

    Rather than the Nandina, what about a potted Fig tree (nice leaves) on the patio and you should get some figs.  And a hammock or lounger nestled amongst your jungle leaves.

    Thanks for these 2 photos!
    They epitomise the look and feel I'm aiming for. A jungle effect that doesn't takeover a small space. Never eaten a fig but I'm liking the look of it. Noticed the leaves look very similar to fatsia japonica.
  • NekkyNekky Posts: 40
    I have never tried a tropical garden, but my one hard-earnt piece of useful knowledge from a garden about the same size is that you will need to be very picky in choosing and planting. Things grow, and don’t respect boundaries. Smaller plants can get crowded or shaded out after a couple of years. So thinking about how to restrain your bolder plants is a good idea—for example by restricting root growth in a pot. To keep space for entertaining outside (without a constant fall of water and insects from above), it may work best to maintain a strip around your seating area that only has low-growing plants. The other thing to be mindful of in a Nw facing garden is shade. As things get larger, so the amount of sunlight for cannas etc. will decline. 
    Very good points which are still being worked on.
    The plan is to layer the planting so that lower growers like ornamental grass and fern surround the seating/patio areas and tall growers like the Robusta palm tree are at the back and restricted in pots. Fatsia I understand can be maintained as a medium height shrub if pruned adequately.
  • FireFire Posts: 17,116
    It's an exciting project well thought through. x
  • NekkyNekky Posts: 40
    Small update

    Next on my plans was to loosen, level and add manure to the soil.
    Still ongoing but wanted to update in case there's things I need to do differently.

    Planting space gained from reducing the patio size has been dug up and filled with manure and soil. The rest of the planting areas have also been tilled but contain too many stones which need sieving. Tilling really uncovered where planting obstacles are below the surface (e.g. concrete pad from fence posts or old foundations)
    Removed with a pick axe where I could but the rest I'll need to incorporate into the planting layout.

    Now looking to move the shed back by a metre to gain more usable space (cost allowing). So will be reusing the 4-5 tonnes of soil behind it to raise ground level by 10cm, after the rubble and stones are sieved out. 

    The design has also evolved abit to accommodate obstacles below the surface, practicality, and minimise cost. Boarder edging loosely laid in the photo gives an idea of the new layout and actual materials.

Sign In or Register to comment.