By Jess Grieveson-Smith
A nature-loving couple have spent over £40,000 on turning their garden into a ‘sanctuary’, adorning it with plants and ornaments from all over the globe.
From the street, Janet and John Morgan’s detached home looks neat, well-kept, but fairly unremarkable.
But the back garden of their home in Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, is a truly remarkable treasure trove – a tropical paradise made up of their favourite gardens from all over the globe.
The pair, both 69, have spent 20 years lovingly tending their secret masterpiece – which includes a Japanese garden complete with Koi carp pond, and exotic plants imported from as far away as Tasmania and Korea.
Having owned the property since 1984, the pair have had years to put their ideas into practice and have had ornaments imported from as far away as Zimbabwe.
Janet Morgan said, “The garden is an extension of our home – our conservatory is just off our bedroom, and we spend all our time in the garden, as much as possible.
“It all began in Spain, where we had a holiday home with our son, and I loved seeing the geraniums climbing the spiral staircase.
“But then we sold that and for the past 30 years, we’ve been going to Barbados.
“We want to bring a slice of our travels back with us, and pretty much every night you’ll find us cooking outdoors, using a rum sauce from the Caribbean, or making a paella for Spain.
“Recently, we’ve been travelling to South Africa and have travelled through Durban and Cape Town, all down the Garden Route.
“That was so beautiful, and to us, travel is such an education that we have to bring it home with us.”
Their garden is that impressive, they have opened it to the public for charity days, and have raised more than £50,000 for charitable causes.
However, their garden has remained private for the last six years – but is opening to the public for the first time since 2013 through the National Garden Scheme on the Sunday 21st of July 2019
Janet added: “People always ask how we’ve managed to hide the garden away.
“They are always absolutely blown away when they first come into our house and see the garden we’ve been hiding away.
“It’s our own little piece of paradise.”
The couple own hundreds of plants, with some of their most exotic plants being from places like Tasmania and Korea.
Janet added: “I love the colourful and beautiful flowers of Alstroemeria, and the changing colour and shapes of the Japanese Maples.”
John said: “The garden is set in a former quarry and we have a collection of various garden artwork made from scrap metal by roadside artists in Zimbabwe.
“We have a stream, a waterfall and pools, as well as having a small Japanese themed garden with a large Kio pond.
“There is a shady glade dominated by a large weeping willow and a rooftop terrace accessed by a spiral staircase with an outdoor living area, overlooking the garden.
“We even have a rooftop conservatory.
“For me, I can’t pick a favourite flower but the Hedychium elipticum has amazing flowers and the whole of my ginger collection is stunning to.
LIST OF EXOTIC PLANTS FEATURED IN THE GARDEN;
- Pseudopanax crassifolius, Pseudopanax ferox and Pseudopanax ‘Tuatara’ – all from New Zealand
- Acacia Dealbata (Blue Wattle) – south eastern Australia / Tasmania
- Embothrium coccineum (Chilean fire bush)
- Chitalpa Tashkentensis – very rare (origin Uzbekistan Academy of Science, Tashkent)
- Tibouchina urvilleana – Brazil
- Mathiasella bupleuroides – North Mexico
- Heuchera americana ‘Harry Hay’ – North America
- Trachystemon orientalis – Eastern Europe
- Hosta yingeri – Korea
- A collection of 22 different hardy gingers – the rarer of which are
- Hedychium elipticum – Nepal / India (very uncommon in UK gardens)
- H. spicatum ‘Singalila’ – Nepal
- H. villosum var. tenuiflorum – India / Yunnan
- H. densiflorum MW – North West Yunnan
- Mantisia (Globba) saltatoria – India
- Zingiber mioga – China