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Hi I am new to gardening please bear with me as I don't know very much at all,

I have a garden that is east south facing but very open so its gets the sun all day until late evening, hence it also gets the wind,  My garden is set up into 5 sections.

At the top is a paved patio area  with a large mature bush, a large cordyline, a mature fuschia shrub.(looking for plants to feed into the gaps between slabs)

the side is a stretch of grass area that I am going to plant 4 cordylines,

the lawn with to the side has another medium sized shrub tree and a bit further down is a medium rose bush,

then there is a large raised bed to be used for succulents, any ideas please

and at the back of this is a woodland area into which I am looking for ideas as to what exotic looking shrubs trees to plant there,

looking for hardy plants with an exotic feel,

thank you


Fatsia Japonica

Hostas are hardy and can look exotic, they like shade, but watch out for slugs.

Cannas for sun, but will have to be dug up and put in the garage for winter.

Bamboo, ask for ones that don't spread too much.

There are some good websites to look at.


I was going to say Fatsia, but Lizzie beat me to it, so i will second her suggestion!  Its very easy (almost foolproof) and looks like it should be i a greenhouse or conservatory!


I was getting giddy..I know one..alas Fatsia was my answer.

Maybe have a look at Cardoon.

Hiya Laura.

Hardy Tropicals is no more than 5 miles from me but I don't grow too many of these.

Trachycarpus is an exotic looking palm......far superior to the cordylines.  

Phormiums.....I know they are not tropical plants....will fit in. Astelias with their silvery appearance are similar.  Aeoniums can be grown in pots to be sunk in the soil in summer or standing above ground....they are black/purple as in Schwarzcopf (early in morn so prob misspelt) green and some lovely variegated foliage varieties. 

Pseudopanax is exotic looking too and hedychium,,the gingers.    Some grasses and sedges can add to an exotic look.  

Dieramas are quite dramatic when in flower .....colours from white to almost black......from a grass like base

A couple of well chosen ferns add a different dimension to the planting


Secret Squirrel

Hi Laura

I have a Venus Fly Trap, they are quite reasonable to buy and easy to look after. Water with rain water and re-pot using Peat-Moss. They like full sun, hotter the better. I keep mine in the greenhouse on 'active service' But you can dot them around the garden in pots.


Some of the above but Pseudopanax is not that hardy (-5 at most) so I would not plant in County Durham. The one with the large leaf look is Tetrapanax 'T-Rex' which has leaves over 1 metre. It is hardy, though deciduous after -3C. It bounced back in spring. Fully hardy where you live.

Rheum, Gunnera manicata, giant butterbur are all jungle giants.
Look out for Fatsia taiwania (polycarpa 'needham form'). Far more elegant than bog standard Fatsia. Fatsia moseri is the larger leaf variety, so adds to the exotic look quickly over the species one.

The hardy schefflera are also worthy of any garden and add to the look. Schefflera taiwana rhoddidenrioflora is half-hardy in shelter, possibly lower.

Cordylines are also a necessary.

Bananas - musa basjoo is hardy if protected. Ensete's are hardy if you overwinter frost free.

Trachycarpus winsan and Trachycarpus wagnerianus are the hardiest of the palms.

I agree on Ferns - Dicksonia Antarctica have massive fronds.

Begonia like imperialis, dahlia imperialis etc are all good.

Basically grouping hardy, half hardy and sub-tropical specimen plants will give the look and not the hassle.


"then there is a large raised bed to be used for succulents, any ideas please"

Agave americana are hardy but only in free draining soil - think 80% grit and perlite to loose soil. Agave americana marginata and Agave americana medio-picta alba and Agave americana medio-picta aurea look great. I have them.


Bump up for Laura

 This is what my garden looks like at the min, thank you all and thank you for the bump



Have a look at Steve's garden - looks similar to what you have and want


His garden looks amazing, what a difference between the first and the last.


Weird coincidence - heard about the one in Nuts link on last weeks GQT, which i played in the car on the way home this evening.  A lady was trying to move it from next to her front door because it smells like a dead sheep that has been left there for a couple of months.  Yum !



The smell only lasts a day or 2 


But it is really disgusting! One just all by itself in a friend's garden in Dordogne. She hadn't planted it. She was so excited by it's progress until the smell came!

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