Jungle Gardens conjour up images of lush foliage, big leaves, splashes of bright colour and dappled shade, where you can let your imagination run wild. You can get this effect even in the UK with a few choice plants. Key features are:
- Big, bold leaves for height.
- Bright, acid flower colours to set against them – wide range of annuals to sow, or exotic bulbs
- Fast growing in Summer, not a lot to look at in Winter, and a lot not hardy of tubers need lifitng
Great jungle plants:
Bananas – try Ensete Maurellii -it doesn’t produce fruit, but has huge purple red tinted leaves, grows up to 2M in a year. Needs some Winter protection though. The green leaved Japanese Hardy Banana (Musa basjoo) as a tougher alternative (see Plant Care Hints)
Cannas – big leaves, in greens and purples, with bright yellow, orange and red flowers in Summer. Heights from 60cm to 2M depending on variety. Look out for the orange tiger-striped canna for that real exotic look
Hardy Gingers (Hedychium) – tall growing, producing dazzling flower spikes in late Summer, up to 2M tall.
Australian Tree Ferns – stunning impact, pretty straightforward to look after, and second to none for scale. Height 1.5-3M.
Coleus – add bright splashes of colour at ground level with coleus, and other bright foliage bedding, such as perilla and strobilanthes. Last just one season, but very cheap, and fast growing.
Palms – large palm specimens more than 1M high will run into the hundred pound mark or more. Create the effect with the much cheaper. Canary Island Date Palm (Phoenix canariensis), a fast growing, spiky palm
Bamboos – great for height, lovely russling sounds in the wind, for height and for feeding your Panda!