It is easy to think that an Exotic Garden in winter may not be the most exotic of places, tropical plants and winter don't mix well after all... or do they?
As we have said in the past we want the garden to look good in winter, not wanting to have lots of shelters and plastic all over the place. As a result we grow the more tender plants in pots and move them into the greenhouses. However what remains, pretty much has to cope with everything a British Winter has to through at it. We do of course have some protection on things like tree ferns, and if exceptionally cold weather is forecast then some fleece will go over plants that need it, to be removed once the risk has passed.
I took a walk though the garden armed with a camera...
The fish are fine with winter, if its too cold they will go down to the bottom of the pond to conserve energy and keep away from the surface, but if some food is on offer they soon re-appear!
Around the pond the raised beds are looking good for the time of the year, some of the herbaceous plants have died back or look a little scruffy but with plants such as the Schefflera below, it still has an exotic feel.
This Aloe polyphylla has been planted out for several years now, has been snowed on, trodden on by the firemen in 2013 and has sailed through, getting bigger each year. We are hoping to see it flower - maybe next year!
The bed to the side of the Aloe has filled out with the palms and yuccas. We probably need to do something with the Yucca in the centre of the photo as it has leaned out into the way of the path. I suspect we will try and push it a little more upright in early spring, to give it a full season to get over any root damage we may cause.
The cycads usually stay outside for most of winter. They do sometimes get moved if cold weather if expected, but generally go through winter without any problems.
After rebuilding the red pergola earlier in the year it gives a much needed shot of colour in the winter.
The middle patio looks bare compared to the summer. The replacement plants are yet to fill the space and we had a couple of larger bananas in pots that went into the greenhouse.
The Zantedeschia 'white giant' has brushed off several small frosts so far, I wonder how it will cope with the rest of winter.
The bottom section of the garden is home to several of the bamboos and treeferns, all still looking tropical and reasonably lush, long may it continue!
The Same however can't be said about the Gunnera, after the first frosts the leaves turned brown and are now folder over the crowns to offer frost protection for the rest of winter. The goldfish in this pond don't seem to have realised its winter and are energetic as ever!
|Seeds on the Schefflera taiwaniana|
|Still all green on the Tree ferns|
|Arums and ferns|
As the year draws to a close we are full of excitement for the new year, lots of plans for the garden, and trips to gardens around the world! But for now lets hope the rest of winter is as kind as the first part.