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Published 12 April 2019
With the relatively mild winter well and truly behind us now, and with the longer days calling us out into the garden more frequently, it’s no wonder that we start thinking towards the summer and looking forward to those days of languid repose with a drink or a favourite novel to hand surrounded by vibrant tropical colour and the heady perfume of summer flowers. Oh yes, a gardener’s life is perfect in the summer.
OK, well perhaps that’s adding a bit of rose-coloured, wishful thinking, but, and contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to be cossetting your tropical plants in fleece and bubble wrap to get them through the winter – there are plenty of opportunities to get a Mediterranean feel to your garden, decking, balcony or patio, whether you’re an experienced pro or a novice who could kill a cactus.
Whether bred specifically or naturally able to cope with the vagaries of the UK climate, more and more so called ‘tropical’ plants are becoming available to the home gardener and their hardy nature means that you cut down drastically on the hard work of getting them through the winter.
Growing in popularity and a definite plant for fans of Mediterranean flora, Oleanders are one of the UKs favourite exotics and it’s not hard to see why. These gorgeous flowering plants will add a real warm Mediterranean feel to your patio or balcony with the gorgeous, sweet scent from their exotic, vibrant pink blooms gently wafting through the warm air in your garden - simply delightful in early evenings in the summer. A pair of these in decorative pots make a perfect frame to entrances and paths.
Flowering all summer long, they are wonderfully exotic, yet incredibly they are UK winter hardy to -5°C too. Very easy to grow they literally thrive on neglect and love hot, dry weather. No wonder Oleander are such a big favourite with UK plant lovers!
If you’re not a fan of larger shrubs or if you prefer your plants on a more compact scale, then the world's first Hardy Gerbera in a range of bright, zingy neon colours may be just the thing for you!
The Garvinea series was originally launched to great acclaim across Europe and brings the popular florists' gerbera to you as a perennial. With an amazing 7 months of colour from spring to autumn every year the 'Sweet Series', can produce up to 50 daisy-like blooms on mature plant. We love them in colourful pots and planters, in the sun, or grown in well-drained borders, where they will amaze you with their persistence of flowering and sheer flower power – especially when grown in a good quality compost.