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An exotic jungle garden (before and after)

carletonexoticcarletonexotic YorkshirePosts: 62
Hi everyone, since there's not much gardening to be done at the minute, I thought I'd share the progress I've made with my oextic jungle style garden. The before pictures are from summer 2019 when we first moved in. The after pictures are from the end of summer 2021.
As you can see, the previous owner had done some hard landscaping (a koi pond, a stream / waterfall with bridge, decking and split level lawn edges with stones). At the start of the first lockdown I decided to dig some beds in, and order plants online. 

My inspiration was Christopher Lloyd's exotic garden at Great Dixter and Will Giles' exotic garden in Norwich. I bought books by both and researched online as to planting schemes.

Being constrained by a tight budget, I've managed to acquire most of the plants as cheaply as possible, on eBay and local garden centres, by buying small plants and looking for bargains. My largest trachycarpus I was given by a friend who was clearing their garden!

The next step for this year is to think about replaces the lawn paths with something else - paving stones / gravel / wood chippings - and to edge the beds properly. The lower circular lawn will stay until the children are older!

My big aim in terms of planting this year is to create drama and height to make the space feel more enclosed. I've planted arundo donax, miccanthus giganteus and paulownia tormentosa to give some strong tall foliage, and I'm sowing things like giant scabious and ricinus this spring.

This is my first garden and I can't wait to get out there again this spring!

Please feel free to add your own before and after photos to the thread, I love seeing how others have transformed their gardens.
An exotic jungle garden in West Yorkshire: instagram.com/carletonexotic 

Posts

  • UffUff SW Scotland but born in DerbyshirePosts: 1,698
    Well done, you should be proud of your garden especially since it's your first one. You have obviously done a lot of research. I hope you can relax and spend many happy hours in it.
  • Lovely. It looks a nice tranquil garden. Well done, and happy gardening.
    Trying to be the person my dog thinks I am! 
  • carletonexoticcarletonexotic YorkshirePosts: 62
    Uff said:
    Well done, you should be proud of your garden especially since it's your first one. You have obviously done a lot of research. I hope you can relax and spend many happy hours in it.
    Thanks! I had a lot of time during the first lockdown to do a deep dive into exotic gardening - plenty of books, blog posts and YouTube tutorials out there. I'm itching to get back out there in the coming months and enjoy it again!  B)
    An exotic jungle garden in West Yorkshire: instagram.com/carletonexotic 
  • PlantmindedPlantminded WirralPosts: 984
    You've done really well @plantbloke - your garden has been transformed in a short space of time.  I like the mix of heights and shapes that you have chosen and changing the colour of your fencing, bridge and deck really complements your exotic planting.  We just need some sun and heat now to get your next phase under way!  Enjoy your gardening!
  • zugeniezugenie Posts: 465
    Looks great!! Did you keep the pond? It was a lovely size
  • carletonexoticcarletonexotic YorkshirePosts: 62
    zugenie said:
    Looks great!! Did you keep the pond? It was a lovely size
    Yes, the pond has stayed, though we've changed it from a koi pond to a wildlife pond. Turned the pump off, added oxygenators, marginals, planted the edges with grasses. We've since had dragonflies, newts and frogs!
    An exotic jungle garden in West Yorkshire: instagram.com/carletonexotic 
  • carletonexoticcarletonexotic YorkshirePosts: 62
    You've done really well @plantbloke - your garden has been transformed in a short space of time.  I like the mix of heights and shapes that you have chosen and changing the colour of your fencing, bridge and deck really complements your exotic planting.  We just need some sun and heat now to get your next phase under way!  Enjoy your gardening!
    Thanks @Plantminded
    An exotic jungle garden in West Yorkshire: instagram.com/carletonexotic 
  • zugeniezugenie Posts: 465
    zugenie said:
    Looks great!! Did you keep the pond? It was a lovely size
    Yes, the pond has stayed, though we've changed it from a koi pond to a wildlife pond. Turned the pump off, added oxygenators, marginals, planted the edges with grasses. We've since had dragonflies, newts and frogs!
    Sounds wonderful! You’re so lucky to have the pond already in place
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