Growing exotics in this country can be quite challenging. What with Gail force winds and below zero temperatures, the frosts can do their damage.
However, with a bit of careful planning and thought, there is no reason why we cant create a garden that has that magical exotic atmosphere.
When first starting out to choose reliable hardy plants, it may be worth taking note of just how sheltered/ sunny your garden is and how you can create a bit more protection. By doing this you can gradually increase the range of exotic plants into your garden.
So a staple to any exotic garden is Trachycarpus fortunei (named after the plant collector Robert Fortune and also known as the Chusan or Windmill palm. This is a fan palm and is native to Asia, from the Himalayas to eastern China.
These palms are popular with the exotic enthusiast because of their ability to withstand our cold and snowy conditions, withstanding temperatures down to -15, making them a must for our unpredictable climate.
They have spectacular, metre wide green leaves that not only look stunning but can also act as a cover for smaller plants grown underneath. The older leaves and trunk fibres can be cut away revealing a large slender trunk. Good feeding and watering is essential for growth and this palm could reach heights of 12 metres.
Having said that, if you decide to grow your Trachycarpus in a pot, it will not reach it’s full height, but will still be quite happy in a container. If you only have a small space then this could be a good solution to still being able to have this beautiful palm, without the height.
A humus-rich compost, with a good amount of rotted manure and a measure of nitrogen added will ensure that your Trachycarpus will thrive in your exotic garden. google translate .