The brand new jungle backyard – how one can create a lush, modern haven – The Center-Sized Backyard

October ninth, 2021 Posted In: Backyard tendencies & design

The jungle backyard look takes the modern, lush layers of at the moment’s houseplant-filled interiors out into the backyard.

That’s in keeping with a brand new ebook, The Jungle Backyard by Philip Oostenbrink. I’ve additionally interviewed him on video, for those who favor watching. See New Jungle Model on the Middlesized Backyard YouTube channel.

Philip Oostenbrink

Philip Oostenbrink with The Jungle Backyard, out there from  Filbert Press, Amazon and bookshops.

Be aware that hyperlinks to Amazon are affiliate, see disclosure. Different hyperlinks should not affiliate.

This model of backyard is a foliage-based inexperienced haven, with layers of vegetation and totally different leaf shapes. And also you don’t need to stay in a tropical nation. It may be achieved in cool climates.

Philip’s personal backyard is in South East England. It’s a jungle backyard and he estimates he lifts and shops lower than 10{330f214df237fc2abc96aea099ffbe24c43e06db08036644267acddb2f21482d} of the vegetation in winter.

Trachycarpus and colocasia

Trachycarpus, proven right here in Philip’s personal backyard with Colocasia ‘Pink China’ exhibit the leaf distinction of a jungle backyard. The tiny-leaved floor cowl plant beneath them is Fuschia procumbens. Trachycarpus (Fan palm) and the colocasia each over-winter nicely in most UK areas.

What’s a jungle backyard?

‘I see a jungle backyard as being densely planted. It’s far more in regards to the foliage than the flowers,’ says Philip. ‘Plant plenty of vegetation, so you possibly can’t fairly see what’s on the different finish.’

That’s why it really works to make tiny gardens appear larger, as a result of you possibly can’t fairly see the boundaries.

The Garden Room planted densely to create a haven

The ‘backyard room’ model from The Jungle Backyard. Vegetation make it arduous to see the place the home ends and the small courtyard begins, creating a way of residing in a inexperienced haven. {Photograph} by Sarah Cuttle.

A jungle backyard is a extremely great way for a plant lover to pack plenty of fascinating vegetation right into a small area. Philip himself found the model when he discovered himself with a small backyard of solely round 10 sq. metres and an enormous assortment of vegetation.

Philip thinks that this look fits fairly a variety of gardens. He’s head gardener at Walmer Citadel, the place he has simply begun planting a jungle backyard within the moat. ‘Many individuals look down on the moat, so it will look good to see huge, lush foliage and totally different patterns of foliage.’

Jungle garden in Walmer Castle moat

This Tetrapanax ‘Rex’ is likely one of the first ‘jungle’ vegetation that Philip has launched to the moat at Walmer Citadel.

Philip’s backyard has featured on The Middlesized Backyard earlier than in Why a Small Backyard Wants a Large Concept.

Completely different types of jungle backyard

In The Jungle Backyard ebook, Philip identifies quite a few totally different types of backyard that work for the jungle look. These embrace the ‘Backyard Room’. It is a modern open plan room which opens out onto a terrace. The vegetation in and out move into one another in an effort to’t see the place the home ends and the backyard begins.

There’s additionally the Potted Jungle, the place many of the vegetation are in pots. And ‘Jungle Dwelling’ is the place the backyard seating or desk is sort of a clearing in a jungle, surrounded by vegetation and shielded from prying eyes.

The Potted Jungle

Layers of pots and vegetation create a jungle look in a small backyard or courtyard in addition to inside the house. Pots make it simple to take tender vegetation indoors throughout winter. Photograph from The Jungle Backyard by Sarah Cuttle.

Jungle gardening has grow to be widespread in small, metropolis gardens as a result of the layers of planting make even a small over-looked patio really feel personal and secluded.

Jungle Living photo by Sarah Cuttle

Jungle residing from The Jungle Backyard ebook. The chairs seem like an oasis in dense progress,. This can be a courtyard backyard or it could be enormous. No-one can inform – and it’s very personal. Photograph by Sarah Cuttle.

See this submit for extra about how one can improve your backyard privateness in small gardens.

A jungle backyard is all about layers of foliage

Philip says {that a} jungle backyard is all in regards to the foliage. His ebook explains the primary totally different leaf shapes, and he suggests you distinction these with one another. So a ‘palmate’ leaf is like an open hand whereas a ‘linear’ leaf may be very a lot a straight line. ‘Place a plant with a palmate leaf and a linear leaf subsequent to one another for distinction,’ he suggests.

Contrasting leaf shapes

The guts-shaped leaves of Pilea insolens distinction with the feathered leaves of variegated floor elder (saved in a pot) in Philip’s backyard.

What’s the distinction between a tropical backyard and a jungle backyard?

A tropical or unique backyard is one which depends on vivid color in addition to foliage shapes and texture. Whereas Philip sees a jungle backyard as being dominated by foliage. ‘Vegetation are vegetation, in fact, which implies that most of them do flower,’ he says. ‘So you’ve flowers within the jungle backyard but it surely’s not the primary level.’

The tropical and unique gardens use layers too, as you possibly can see on this submit on how one can have an unique backyard in a cool local weather.

However Philip thinks that the jungle look means you possibly can work with hardier vegetation. Many vividly vibrant flowers and vegetation, similar to dahlias, kniphofia and bromeliads should not winter hardy, whereas quite a few really helpful vegetation in Philip’s ebook are hardy all the way down to fairly chilly temperatures. He provides the hardiness of every plant in a listing on the again.

Philip Oostenbrink's urban jungle

As a result of a jungle backyard is so densely planted, you possibly can’t see the place the boundaries are. Even a really small backyard is lush and personal. That is Philip’s personal backyard considered from the home.

How do you take care of a jungle backyard?

When a backyard is filled with vegetation, they want the soil to be in good situation in order that they will take up the vitamins. Philip provides a layer of nicely rotted manure or different soil improver every year (or typically as soon as each two years.)

He says that as a result of the jungle backyard look is so densely filled with vegetation, ‘there’s hardly any gentle on the soil, so there’s little or no weeding.’

And though he waters his backyard in a dry spring, earlier than the leaf cover is totally re-established, there may be little or no summer season watering. ‘As a result of there are such a lot of leaves, the solar doesn’t get the possibility to dry out the soil.’

About 10{330f214df237fc2abc96aea099ffbe24c43e06db08036644267acddb2f21482d} of the vegetation need to be dug up and saved over winter in a frost-free dry place.

So other than the over-wintering, jungle gardening in all fairness easy-care.

What in regards to the jungle search for a entrance backyard?

A entrance backyard has a unique facet to your again yard. Philip’s entrance backyard is sizzling and sunny, whereas his again backyard is shady.

So he makes use of vegetation which can be extra sun-loving and drought-tolerant within the entrance than the again.

A entrance backyard may additionally be affected by native rules overlaying the peak of vegetation. That’s true in Philip’s case, so he doesn’t plant something that’s greater than about 2 metres/6ft.

Philip Oostenbrink front garden

Philip’s entrance backyard is sunnier than the again backyard, and it’s equally filled with vegetation.

There’s extra entrance backyard inspiration on this submit on Low Upkeep Entrance Gardens.

The perfect 5 starter vegetation for a jungle backyard

On the finish of Philip’s ebook, The Jungle Backyard, there’s a listing of excellent vegetation to decide on if you wish to create this look, plus the knowledge you have to know on how hardy they’re and different rising data. So I requested Philip for 5 prime starter plant suggestions.

Tetrapanax (Tetrapanax papyrifer ‘Rex’)

That is most likely the king of the jungly-looking vegetation. It appears to be like unique however can survive all the way down to round minus 10C/14F. If it does get broken by frost, the large, distinctive leaves ought to develop again.

It is likely one of the first vegetation that Philip has added to the moat at Walmer Citadel as a starter for the jungle backyard there. Tetrapanax is an effective plant for creating the higher cover in a backyard.

Tetrapanax ‘Rex’ is likely one of the keynote vegetation in Mark Walker’s shady ‘secret backyard’ in Margate in A Backyard With a Sense of Place.

Tetrapanax 'Rex'

The large leaves of tetrapanax ‘Rex’ make it a wonderful cover plant for a jungle backyard. Shade loving vegetation will develop beneath it.

Tree ferns (Dicksonia Antartica)

That is one other good cover plant, though you should purchase fairly small ones. Tree ferns develop exceptionally slowly so purchase the dimensions you need. It’ll tolerate a bit of frost, all the way down to minus 5C/23F. There’s extra about rising tree ferns in a cool local weather right here.

Tree ferns growing wild

These tree ferns are rising wild in a strip of authentic rainforest close to Melbourne, Australia. The winters listed below are as chilly as many UK winters, so though the tree fern appears to be like tropical, it may be grown in lots of UK gardens with some winter safety on the coldest days. This reveals the pure layered impact of jungle planting.

Colocasia ‘Pink China’

This is likely one of the hardier colocasias. You may go away it within the backyard through the winter or deliver it in and deal with it as a houseplant, says Philip.

Colocasia ‘Pink China’ was one of many vegetation featured in Kate Mason’s award-winning tropical border at BBC Gardeners World Stay.

Colocasia 'Pink China'

The guts formed leaves are Colocasia ‘Pink China’, a hardy colocasia that may deal with most UK winters.

Fig tree (Ficus carica)

The leaves of a fig tree are fairly unique and lots of fig varieties are fairly hardy, taking place to minus 15C/5F. If you wish to develop a fig for fruit, it’s typically greatest to espalier it in opposition to a sunny wall, says Philip. Nevertheless it additionally works nicely as a really decorative plant.

Fig tree leaves

Fig tree leaves are distinctive and ornamental, making fig a sensible choice for a jungle backyard. You may also get smaller ficus varieties which work as houseplants.

Hakonechloa macra (Japanese forest grass)

The leaves are slim vibrant spears, so it’s a great low-growing distinction to the larger, chunkier leaves of among the different vegetation. It’s very hardy, all the way down to minus 20C/minus 4F. A really helpful grass that loves dry shade.

Hakenlechloa macra

The slender linear leaves of hakonechloa macra and its love of shade make it an excellent understory jungle backyard plant.

Extra about The Jungle Backyard

Like many good gardening books, studying The Jungle Backyard will train you extra about vegetation and gardening usually. Though there are many images and illustrations, this isn’t purely a visible ebook. It’s filled with helpful data and may be very readable.

There’s a bit on totally different jungle backyard types. however it’s basically in regards to the vegetation, with a really helpful itemizing of vegetation and their hardiness on the again.

Should you’re pondering of giving a gardening ebook as a gift, this could be splendid for somebody who loves houseplants however has both solely simply acquired a backyard. It could even be good for many who have small courtyard gardens and balconies, in addition to for ‘plant geeks’ usually.

The Jungle Garden book by Philip Oostenbrink

The Jungle Backyard is accessible from the publishers Filbert Press

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