Mountains, Water and Jungles in Greenhouses

Plants and features you would normally associate with mountains, exotic locations and the best gardens are finding their way in to greenhouses across the UK.

While thrifty gardeners focus on vegetables they can transfer to the dinner table, or plants that yield some other saleable commodity, the careful greenhouse devotee might stick to the tried and tested plants, but other folk are experimenting with some surprising results.

Experimenting with fruit varieties from across the globe – dwarf pink bananas, pepino melon trees, lychees, avocado and Japanese plums….. is becoming increasingly common.

Possibly one of the most unusual plants appearing in UK greenhouses is Alpines. Plants designed for survival at high altitudes and under snow, can be nurtured in greenhouses.

In fact evidence shows they can thrive under glass – away from the UK’s unpredictable weather and rain. In their natural terrain Alpines might be insulated and keep “dry” under layers of snow for most of the year.  Keeping Alpines in greenhouses with the right soil could yield healthy plants to bed out later in the year.

Gardeners who love their pond and aquatic features can also find that greenhouses are the ideal place to “dabble” with and develop appropriate plants for the coming year.

The range of aquatic plants you can grow in an unheated greenhouse is extensive, and means you can have some native species growing in a “nursery pond” over winter ready to plant out.

If it is a heated greenhouse, specialist plants such as the more exotic types of water lilies can be grown in warmed water.

Creating an indoor water feature in this way creates the humidity you need to benefit other plants and exotic species especially bromeliads, pitcher-plants and “air” plants such as Spanish Moss.

Anyone who has visited the Eden Project’s Rainforest Biome will know how amazing an “indoor jungle” looks, smells and feels.

So for those seeking adventure rather than safety in their greenhouse, from budda belly plants to Borlotti Beans, greenhouses offer a “world” of possibilities.

We would love to hear – and share – your adventurous successes and failures to share with our community of greenhouse growers.

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