I bought a gorgeous bougainvillea standard plant last summer which looked fab in the garden, as the days started to get colder, I moved it to a sheltered porch, so 3 walls and a roof but open front. Its been there all winter and i've watered it sparingly. The plant has all its leaves but they are completely brown and it looks dead....have i killed it or do you think it may well come back to life ?? Although I have a love for plants and the right intentions...i'm not very green fingered
I'm afraid most Bougainvilleas need to be kept above 10 degrees C, so unless you're in the far south-west or unless your porch is exceptionally warm, it may be a goner.
However, when they go deciduous and drop leaves, they take a while to bounce back, so don't despair quite yet! It might have made it!
Don't blame yourself if it is no more. These are not plants that are well suited to the climate in most of the British Isles, and even the most experienced gardeners would struggle to keep one alive in the winter outdoors in all but the most sheltered corners of the land.
Thanks for the response shovetheholly - I think my problem is I love the idea of a Mediterranean style garden too much and can't resist the temptation of exotic looking plants...fingers crossed, this one comes back from the land of the dead although I'm not holding out too much hope ...
My top tip is to go for plants that are a bit rare and look super-exotic but are tough as old boots in reality!
When you say you like 'Mediterranean' and 'exotic' gardening - do you like the low-growing, slightly 'burnt' look of the former, or the green, lush look of the latter? I am sure we can recommend you some plants for either that will prove much harder to kill than a bouganvillea.
Hi again! that would be fab, I like lush green (palmy types) and bright colourful flowers (hot pink, deep reds) and i'm aiming for a courtyard style garden. We've got 2 raised large flowerbeds, 1 floor level flowerbed and i'd like lots of container plants. Anything that is at ground level ideally needs to be rabbit proof as we have 2 who love munching!
Hmm, that sounds like the 'exotic' end of the spectrum. I can't comment on rabbits, but how about things like fatsia, tetrapanax, rhus typhina, passionflowers, cannas (these need lifting for the winter, but it's not a hassle), agapanthus, the more exotic dahlias, hostas, some of the red and grey ferns (athyriums), hardy scheffleras. You can get a hardy kiwi vine that bears fruit in a UK climate (look for a self-fertile one if this sounds like it's of interest) - it's a bit of a beast when it comes to leaves!
There's a wonderful list of rarer exotic looking plants here: www.telegraph.co.uk/gardening/plants/10709287/Weird-and-wonderful-exotic-plants-to-grow-in-your-garden.html
Wow! Some fantastic ideas thanks I've fallen in love with the fatsia japonica 'spiderweb' and mini kiwis sound amazing.
I'm sure other people can help with more ideas for bright flowers too! I have a shady garden, so I tend to grow whites and blues rather than reds and pinks! On Gardeners' World a while back, they had an exotic garden and they used very ordinary bedding plants - busy lizzies - as annuals. They looked really exotic in that setting, about as far from their usual use in British carpet bedding as you can get!
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