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Diarmuid Gavin: From banana plants to ginger lilies, create a totally tropical August garden

During our hottest month, plants that originate in more exotic places take centre stage

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Hedychium gardnerianum, the Kahili ginger lily, has beautiful yellow scented flowers with dramatic red stamens

Hedychium gardnerianum, the Kahili ginger lily, has beautiful yellow scented flowers with dramatic red stamens

Sidalcea ‘Elsie Heugh’

Sidalcea ‘Elsie Heugh’

Japanese maple leaves curling

Japanese maple leaves curling

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Hedychium gardnerianum, the Kahili ginger lily, has beautiful yellow scented flowers with dramatic red stamens

After the exuberance of spring and explosions of summer, August can be a tricky month in the garden as everything can start to fall apart. And yet it is also the time when some exotic magic begins to unfurl, as this is the month the big-leaved tropical plants such as bananas, cannas and gingers really start to get going. The hottest time of the year feels more like home for them as they all have their origins far from here in places as far-flung as Asia, Latin America and Africa.

Banana plants have luscious leaves and can inject some jungle fever into your patio or courtyard garden. They are best planted in a sunny, sheltered spot as strong winds can rip the leaves. Unfortunately, snails and slugs can also do some damage with their teeth, so vigilance is required.


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