Photo of Exotic Garden Design

Exotic gardening is becoming increasingly popular as the climate warms up. More and more plants are able to survive European winters and a greater range of exotic plants are available in the garden.

Exotic gardens can describe a range of plants from the tropical and sub-tropical through to cacti and succulents. For the purposes of this guide I have separated out tropical gardens and will concentrate here on the plants which thrive in more arid conditions.

Exotic Garden of Monaco

If you are searching for inspiration the Exotic Garden of Monaco is a fabulous exotic garden

Plants for an Exotic Garden

Tall Plants for an Exotic Garden

Trachycarpus fortunei - large hardy palm - essential for an exotic garden

Cordyline australis - this cordyline is a tree which can reach a height of 20 metres. A perfect plant to provide height in an exotic garden. This plant grows well in frost free areas of the country but is tender otherwise.


Medium Plants for a Tropical Garden

Phormium sp - long strappy leaves

Yucca sp - long spiky leaves

Agaves - excellent spiky succulents. May need sheltering over winter.

Small Plants for a Tropical Garden

Any cacti or succulents though most of these will need to be brought inside for the winter

Euphorbia rigida - a euphorbia which looks like a succulent

Flowering Plants for a Tropical Garden

Crocosmia sp - tall arching stems with flowers of bright orange, red or yellow

Kniphofia sp (red-hot poker) - strappy leaves and brightly coloured flower spikes

Canna lilies have huge tropical looking leaves and jewel-bright flowers.

Examples of Exotic Gardens in France

The Exotic Garden of Monaco (le Jardin Exotique de Monaco) and the Jardin Exotique de Roscoff are fabulous exotic gardens. The Chateau de Vendeuvre has a part of its gardens devoted to an exotic garden.