There’s something so very captivating about tropical parts of the world; from the beaming, warm, year-round sunshine to the lush greenery that fills the land.
I’ve always felt a real sense of ‘paradise’ when standing amongst a canopy of vivid green palms, and when winter starts to set in in London, it’s places like these that I long for.
My fabulous new flat has a garden that, now cleared of the messy tangle of shrubbery, is luxuriously large and expansive.
As has been the case with many elements of the flat, my imagination has run wild with all kinds of ideas, after which, the factors of time or budget eventually reign them all back in to a happy middle-ground.
The garden has been no exception. Lush palms sprawling out over fresh cut grass, clusters of succulents dotting the pathways, bamboo fences surrounding it all… these are all such dreamy images that have had filled my mind.
All before remembering, or more so, accepting, that this is the UK.
Although it would seem obvious enough from the distinct lack of tropical gardens in this country, I wanted to have full validation that growing tropical plants here is simply ludicrous… before dismissing those lush, heavenly images from my mind.
My research however, led me to somewhere very exciting. John Edmiston of Tropical Britain is a passionate horticulturalist, whose ambition it is to promote tropical flora here in the UK.
His online nursery is a not only a mecca for a vast number of exotic plants on offer, but also a wealth of inspiring information on all things that defy the obvious – growing and maintaining exotic flora within the bitter British climate.
John grew up in New Zealand and after traveling to Australia and Bali, was both inspired by the variety of species and moved by the overwhelming sense of peace, tranquillity and sense of escapism when amongst tropical spaces.
This keen passion he has for tropical flora and the emotional draw he has to exotic natural spaces is captured in his writing, and it’s one I can completely relate to.
So off I was led… dreaming of my own garden becoming a little slice of tropical paradise once again.
I’m under no illusion that plants which naturally flourish under hot, humid conditions are sure to require that little bit more work, care and maintenance when housed amongst frosty, cold air.
But for the joy of creating my own sanctuary that, even for short bouts of the year, allows me to feel closer to my favourite lush, tropical parts of the world within my own home, is surely worth it.