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Jack’s Jungle

A Subtropical Garden in Surrey photographed in July.


GAP Photos/Caroline Mardon - Owner and Design: Jack Salway

Feature No:   4768 

Qty of Images:    153 


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Images available for use by license only.

Jack and Nicky Salway moved to Chiddingfold, a village on the Surrey/Sussex border, in April 1977. Jack was attracted by the garden: approximately 3/4 acre of uncultivated land situated on the western side of a steep-sided narrow valley, known locally as a “combe”. The previous owners kept chickens and goats but within a few weeks of their departure, saplings, brambles and nettles took-over in the damp, sheltered environment. Jack discovered that gunnera and cannas flourished in this humid microclimate. Also, he saw a small but inspirational display of bananas and other exotic plants tucked away amongst the greenhouses in the RHS garden at Wisley. Very soon a collection of bananas, ensetes, gingers, palms, arum lilies, crinums, cordylines, tetrapanax, bamboos, brugmansia, phormiums, tree ferns, stooled paulownia and other plants with exotic appearance were acquired. The side of the valley faces east and benefits from the early morning sun which rapidly clears any frost in winter. The top of the valley is sandy and the surface is dry, however, once established, roots can quickly tap into the constant supply of water which drains from the surrounding land. Jack is still experimenting with this part of the garden which has only recently been under cultivation. However, he has discovered that sea hollies, agapanthus, berkheya, yucca, and mirabilis enjoy the conditions. Colour in June/July is provided by daylilies selected for their large flowers and dramatic colours. The garden is under-planted with nasturtiums and primulas.



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