Incorporating the exotic into your family garden
At any time of year, but perhaps particularly as spring turns into summer, it can be refreshing to add a touch of the exotic to a family garden. Not only does this add variety and interest, but it can help to keep the garden alive for the whole family as a place to enjoy and spend time.
Bringing exotic themes into a family garden
There is almost no limitation to the range of exotic additions that can be made to even a humble family garden. The sort of exotic theme that can survive varied temperatures and changes in weather might include thematic features and garden accessories, such as those made of wood or stone. An area like a Japanese garden, or family seating around a fire pit or water feature can transform a garden significantly. Such areas can be achieved with the addition of just a small number of items, positioned to maximum effect. On the other hand, if the climate is right, exotic plants might be used to add a touch of interest and a splash of colour. Even if the weather is unreliable, it may be possible to introduce exotic plants within a small hot-house, but there are also varieties of palm, for example, that are hardy outdoor plants even in a British climate.
Types of plants that give an exotic feel
Palms can be useful in this way, as they give an exotic feel even without the need for tropical temperatures. The Chusan palm, for example, can manage well in much of Britain, and it provides a dramatic palm look. However, there are many other plants that can be used to similar effect. As a plant for edging, the ‘Eroica’ Bergenia has the advantage that it changes colour with the seasons, adding different flavour to each time of year. Shrubs of different sizes, such as the larger Euphorbia mellifera and the smaller Pittosporum tobira ‘Nanum’, can be chosen according to the available space.
Making an outdoor living area exotic style
Meanwhile, it is important to consider how the family can enjoy the garden space. As far as garden furniture is concerned, there are plenty of ways to either experiment with traditional types of furniture or to introduce entirely new varieties into a garden. The right furniture for the garden space will depend largely on the chosen theme. Hard-wearing cushions and fabrics can help to create a cosy area for enjoying a fire pit or a barbecue, while more a more modern look with water-resistant surfaces might be preferable around a water feature. Special furniture for the children is possible, too, with special garden features such as a wooden outdoor swing set or a rope climbing frame, which can fit into the visual look of a natural garden with plants, trees, and lawns. The newly acquired exotic plants can also be used to create a luxurious feeling corner of the garden that can be made into a special romantic place for a picnic table or outdoor deck style furniture.