Daring Dorset Gardeners: Growing Exotic Flora

You might be surprised to hear that the Dorset climate is perfect for exotic plants – and you can even take it to the extreme. One man had managed to craft his own micro-jungles; chef Luke Farrell has used elaborate greenhouses to construct a Garden of Eden in which scarlet chillies, yuzu and exotic lemons florish.

Even if you don’t have the ability to fine-tune the climate into a tropical treasure, there are still plenty of plants you can get going in your own garden to bring a taste of the wild to your home. Many plants that look or smell like they need a trained gardener’s hand are actually more accessible than you think.

Yucca Plants

Widely enjoyed for their palm tree-like appearance, yucca plants bring a taste of idyllic beaches and islands to your home, doing well indoors or out. Whilst you might look at a yucca plant and think it needs very specific conditions, given that aforementioned similarity to palm trees, the truth is actually far from that. Yucca plant care is straightforward and can be managed with a bit of planning around sunlight and humidity.

Bear in mind there are dozens of varieties of yucca plant – you need to tailor your care to the type you have. Variety is great, though, and you could have beautiful sprouting plants all around the home.

Eucalyptus

The favourite of koala bears and an exotic-looking leaf, you may think eucalyptus is the hallmark of extra-hot climates like those in Australia. Eucalyptus is actually easily grown, and can grow at such rates that you may actually need to be mindful of making sure it doesn’t take over your garden.

Aside from the inherent qualities of eucalyptus as a hardy, beautiful plant, you can of course use it for various therapeutic uses.

Pineapple Lily

So-called because of it’s clear resemblance to a pineapple when in flower, the pineapple lily comes in a range of gorgeous colours and is potentially the easiest of these three options to get going. You can benefit from flowering in the very first summer of sowing, and, as James Wong explains, can endure total neglect. Of course, that isn’t to suggest that you should neglect your plants – but it shows how easily you can get it going, and keep it going. Think – with a little care and attention, you could have plants the pride of the street.

Getting your garden and home looking like an exotic paradise is easier than you think. So many of the most desirable plants come with a reputation of being hard to grow – but often, the truth is a long way away from that perception. Try some of these ideas to spruce up your greenery.

Jackie Edwards