Tropical Plants for UK Gardens

Did you listen to Gardener’s Question Time this week? 

Here at Paramount Plants we’re often asked if hardy palms really are hardy enough for a UK climate and this week’s Gardener’s Question Time programme showcased the ‘Jungle Garden’ of Nick Wilson from Leeds, a fine example of just how hardy many of these plants can be.

Variegated Fatsia Japonica to buy online, UK garden centre
Fatsia Japonica and Variegated Fatsia Japonica

Bob Flowerdew and Katie Rushworth from Gardener’s QT took a walk through the garden, ducking under huge Gunnera Manicata leaves by the pond and encountering forests of black bamboo and dens created by huge Fatsia Japonica‘s and Tetrapanex leaves, climbing up the cleverly raised levels by almost 15 feet in places.

Gunnera Manicata to buy online UK
Gunnera Manicata prefers a pondside habitat
Phyllostachys Nigra - Black Bamboo to buy online UK
Phyllostachys Nigra – Black Bamboo

When asked for his No.1. plant recommendation for creating a tropical garden Nick named the Chusan Palm – Trachycarpus Fortunei for reliability in the hardiness stakes (-20) and for ease of growing, just plant it and forget it!

Trachycarpus Fortunei or Chusan Palm Trees to buy online UK
Trachycarpus Fortunei or Chusan Palm Trees Come in All Sizes

The garden is punctuated by very tall trimmed Cupressus trees appearing like exclamation marks, Cordyline’s and other hardy palms. Leeds is pretty far north with a much harsher climate and due to a lot of thought in the planning of his garden,  Nick is able to grow even large leafed tropical plants such as Fatsia’s by creating a protective hedging and by planting mature trees around the garden, these offer amazing protection giving the garden a sheltered climate.

The programme is well worth a listen and you can catch it here on BBC radio 4 ‘listen again’

Large Chusan Palm tree for sale at Paramount Plants
Large Chusan Palm tree for sale at Paramount Plants

We can’t help adding a few suggestions of our own if you’re considering a tropical garden design – Butia Capitata also known as the Pindo Palm is a magnificent plant that is extremely hardy in the UK climate and another of our best sellers, the smaller cousin of the Chusan palm Trachycarpus Wagnerianus

Paramount Plants specialises in Hardy Palms and Mediterranean Plants at our plant centre in North London – you can also buy our plants online with UK delivery.