Home Front: Turning Tropical; Gardening Advice with This Year's Designs at the Chelsea Flower Show Will Help to Transform Your Garden into a Tropical Treat

South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales), May 17, 2003 | Go to article overview

Home Front: Turning Tropical; Gardening Advice with This Year's Designs at the Chelsea Flower Show Will Help to Transform Your Garden into a Tropical Treat


Byline: Roy Treherne

If you thought you couldn't have your own tropical garden in the UK, think again. There are many plants and trees that can be grown over here which could brighten up your life!

We are currently putting the finishing touches to the `Caribbean Garden', which is our Chelsea Flower Show entry this year. This design by Julie Toll proves that you can bring a flavour of the Caribbean to the UK to remind you of sunnier climes!

The design features a colourful West Indian-style wooden house with shuttered windows, door and a tin-roofed porch, setting the scene for lush tropical planting.

This simple Caribbean-style garden emerges with pockets of herbs and fruit. Locally reclaimed artefacts provide some of the garden features, such as an old wooden fence and a copper water feature under the palms.

New for 2003 This garden also contains a number of new plant varieties to be introduced to the retail market later this year and in 2004. These include the Gardenia `Kleims Hardy' which has extremely fragrant single flowers and is reputed to be fairlyhardy; an ideal plant for the patio. The Iresine `Purple Lady' is a dark purple-leaved accent plant and is available for the first time as seed and plants. New to the market this year is the Dichondra `Silver Falls' which is covered with small, rounded silver leaves that intensify in their silver lustre with age and colour. This will be available at most Wyevale Centres from 26 May at just pounds 1.99.

Cold Hardiness Most plants that are available for your garden come from all over the world. Finding out which ones will grow happily in your garden depends on a few factors - the main one being the plant's cold hardiness.

Cold hardiness is the plant's ability to withstand low temperatures.

Terms for Cold Hardiness: Hardy: (to --15C / 5F) Frost Hardy: (to - 5C / 23F) Half Hardy: (0C / 32F) Frost Tender: (to 5C / 41F)A few tropical treats Many tropical plants can be grown quite easily in the UK and require little or nospecial treatment. Some of my favourites include: chocolate-maroon blooms have a delicious aroma, reminiscent of the best Belgian chocolates! …

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