Of all the shady characters I’d be happy to have in my garden, the lovely, leafy hostas (more commonly known as plantain lilies) surely are at the top of the list. Originally, hostas come from China, Korea and Japan (where they are known as giboshi). In their natural homes they flourish in dappled shade and rich, moist soil. They were first introduced to Europe about 260 years ago, and became an instant hit thanks to the luxuriant nature of their leaves, and the delicacy and fragrance of their lily-like flowers!
Shake up your style with a contemporary twist of tropical colour, courtesy of leafy, lush and exotic Caladiums! These exotic, almost Jurassic-looking plants with intricate veining, bright colour bursts or funky speckled markings prove that foliage can be every bit as exciting as flowers, offering a trendy modern alternative to traditional bedding displays!
There is absolutely no doubt that dramatic jungle foliage is all the rage at the moment. But not only are exotic, architectural plants top of the trends, these leafy delights are fabulously splendid in their own right and can be every bit as beautiful and striking as flowers. Colocasias (or ‘Elephant Ears’) are stepping into the spotlight this season!
Looking for something big and impressive to blast high-impact punchiness to your summer planting schemes? Then you must give Hedychiums a try! Also known as Ginger Lilies or Kahili Ginger, these super-charged treasures throw out tall, upright stems of bold banana palm-like leaves which pad out your planting space with lush, jungle-like greenery. Secondly, from late-summer through to autumn these sturdy stems are topped off with a truly fabulous, chunky and dense flowerhead formed of highly fragrant intricate blooms!
Whether your garden is a bijou urban hideaway or you have extensive borders to fill in a coastal or cottage garden (or any style in between) here’s a truly versatile and refreshing plant which is easy to grow and suits all themes. Trendy Acidanthera murielae, sometimes known as Gladiolus murielae or Abyssinian gladiolus, likes to soak up the sun and is just great for growing in pots as well as borders where it will light up your garden with its long-lasting and fragrant white starry flowers from August to autumn.