Ordinary’ family home hides incredible Caribbean-inspired tropical garden

Ordinary’ family home hides incredible Caribbean-inspired tropical garden

Hannah McFarlane, 39, who lives near Winchester, Hampshire, wanted to completely transform the small, unloved garden into a tropical paradise after being inspired by her travels

A family home looks ordinary from the front – but it hides an incredible tropical garden inspired by the Caribbean.

Hannah McFarlane, 39, who lives near Winchester, Hampshire, wanted to completely transform the small, unloved garden into a tropical paradise.

She was inspired by her travels places she’s visited including Bali, the Caribbean, Costa Rica, and Miami when renovating her garden and home into a plant lover’s dream.

Hannah bought her first home in September 2017 and has spent three years and £15,000 kitting out her house and garden with more than 250 tropical plants.

Her home and garden now look unrecognisable.

The 60 square metre garden comes complete with a homemade Tiki bar, wooden pergola, driftwood stepping stones, and a big tropical centrepiece.

Hannah explained: “When I bought my house, I could see that the garden had huge potential so I started renovating it in March 2018 and that’s when I began to transform the house into an indoor jungle.

“I’ve always loved gardening but I’ve never had my own house but I never had the chance to create something of my own.

“I love the tropical feel of being on holiday and I’ve tried to recreate it – people can’t believe I’m living in the UK from my pictures.

“I have around 150 tropical house plants and a lot more in the garden.

“Tropical plants are can be quite expensive to buy – my most expensive garden plant is a Trachycarpus Wagnerianus which cost £395.

“The most I have spent on an indoor houseplant is £180, it’s a rare Jewel Alocasia from Borneo called Alocasia Melo.

“You have to be mindful when purchasing certain rare houseplants that are imported because sadly some of them can be poached from the wild.

“I would recommend doing your research and buying from local growers and local private sellers.

“I’m almost at the end of the garden project now so I have just removed the grass and created the centre island with tropical style plants and I’m also adding nautical style decking.

“Most of the plants I find are from various sites online – private sellers, online shops, and garden centres and it can be difficult sourcing some of them”.

Despite the huge number of plants Hannah owns, she only spends a couple of hours a week maintaining them.

She added: “Some of the plants in the garden I have to wrap in hot horticultural fleece in the winter and a couple I have to dig up and dry store in my home but the rest are suitable for winter.

“To keep the indoor plants happy all year round, I have grow lights, a water distiller and humidifiers. Some of the plants are more difficult to keep happy than others.

“There are plants in most of the rooms but the living room is the main room.

“My oldest house plant is 15 years old – I’ve always had little a couple of house plants even from a young age.

“Plants make the house really cosy and it’s very therapeutic looking after them.

“When people come into the house, they say it’s like going on a little retreat abroad.

“My advice to anyone who wants to build their plant collection is to do some research online first and find out about how to look after them”.

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