A couple have transformed the garden of their home into a tropical paradise, inspired by their holiday to Thailand.
Chris Ensell, 32, and his wife, Anneka, 31, have recreated a tropical paradise in the back garden of their home in Ackworth, West Yorkshire, England.
When the couple moved into their newly built home in 2018, their garden consisted of nothing more than dried and useless turf that hadn’t been watered for weeks.
“I wasn’t massively into gardening before starting this project as this was the first house that we lived in that had a good garden space,” Chris, a photographer, said. “Our first home only had a decked area with room for some potted plants.”
However, after spending some time going over how they would like to design their garden, the couple went ahead with a tropical paradise theme as it seemed perfect since they’d loved their holidays to destinations such as Thailand and Sri Lanka.
“We visited Sri Lanka for our honeymoon in 2018,” Chris said. “We took a lot of inspiration from a place called Jim Thompson house in Bangkok.”
Explaining further, Chris said that it was so “calming and idyllic,” that the pair wanted to recreate the same thing in their garden at home, adding that “stepping into the garden would feel like we were on holiday.”
The pair began the renovations of their calming oasis in the summer of 2019.
“I started doing lots of research on tropical plants so I knew how to grow them and look after them properly,” Chris said. “It seems pointless to spend money on tropical plants if I didn’t know how to take care of them.”
As time went by, Chris learned a lot on the job. He spent a lot of time watching YouTube videos and gardening programs on television.
He estimates that he has up to 300 variations of plants and has spent around £4,000 pounds (approx. US$5,500) on tropical plants since starting his garden transformation.
Chris and Anneka completed their entire garden transformation themselves, with the help of some family members, to help keep the price of the renovation project down.
Chris says that they hired all the equipment and tried to work within a budget.
“Aside from the plants, the project cost us around £1,500 [approx. US$2,000]. We tried to do it on a budget and get things for as cheap as possible, or even for free, on Facebook Marketplace,” Chris said.
The couple also go to specific growers for their tropical plants and attend rare plant fairs to try and get as many unusual plants as possible.
“I like it when people look at our plants and are unsure about what they are,” Chris said.
Describing the challenges he faces in caring for the plants, Chris said: “As tropical plants tend to grow quite fast, it is a challenge to know where to place the plants in the garden and where is best to plant them for sunlight.”
“They are a lot easier to look after in the summer, I just have to water them in the mornings and evenings,” he said. “This is also the time that the garden is looking its best.”
In the winter season, the couple need to dig up some of the plants and put them in the greenhouse with heaters to keep them alive, Chris says.
“This is why research is important so you know how to keep your tropical plants in the best conditions over the winter periods,” he said.
However, the couple are very pleased with their efforts, as the plants have grown to a good size now, and they say it’s “brilliant” to see the garden coming together.
“We are so happy with the tropical theme that we chose. Especially during the pandemic as we can’t go on holiday, we have our garden as our own little holiday and oasis,” Chris said.
Epoch Times Staff contributed to this report.