Woman Spends 3 Years to Transform Home Into a Tropical Paradise: ‘It’s Very Therapeutic’

By Caters News Agency
Caters News Agency
Caters News Agency
October 13, 2021 Updated: October 13, 2021

A plant collector has spent nearly $20,400 (15,000 pounds) renovating her house and garden with over 250 tropical plants.

Hannah McFarlane, who lives near Winchester, Hampshire, bought her first home in September 2017 and wanted to completely transform the small garden into a tropical paradise.

Inspired by her travels, she decided to use ideas from places she’s visited—including Bali, the Caribbean, Costa Rica, and Miami—when transforming her garden and home into a plant lover’s dream.

The 39-year-old cosmetic tattoo artist has spent the last three years transforming her place, and it now looks unrecognizable.

Epoch Times Photo
(Courtesy of Caters News)
Epoch Times Photo
(Courtesy of Caters News)

The 60-square-meter (645-square-foot) garden comes complete with a homemade Tiki bar, wooden pergola, driftwood stepping stones, and a big tropical centerpiece.

“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,” Hannah said.

“I’ve always loved gardening but I’ve never had my own house, 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 re-create it—people can’t believe I’m living in the UK from my pictures.”

Epoch Times Photo
(Courtesy of Caters News)
Epoch Times Photo
(Courtesy of Caters News)

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

“Tropical plants can be quite expensive to buy. My most expensive garden plant is a Trachycarpus Wagnerianus which cost 395 pounds (approx. US$540). The most I have spent on an indoor houseplant is 180 pounds (approx. US$250). 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 center island with tropical style plants and I’m also adding nautical style decking.”

Epoch Times Photo
(Courtesy of Caters News)
Epoch Times Photo
(Courtesy of Caters News)
Epoch Times Photo
(Courtesy of Caters News)

Hannah says it can be difficult sourcing some of the plants, and most of the plants in her garden are from various sites online: private sellers, online shops, and garden centers.

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.

Epoch Times Photo
(Courtesy of Caters News)
Epoch Times Photo
(Courtesy of Caters News)

While there are plants in most of the rooms, Hannah says the living room is the main room where she keeps a large collection of her “most treasured plants.”

“Once a week, I’ll water all the plants in the house and that can take up to three hours and if it’s hot, I’ll have to water the garden every morning,” she said. “My oldest house plant is 15 years old. I’ve always had a couple of house plants even from a young age.

“Plants make the house really cozy 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.”

Epoch Times staff contributed to this report.

Share your stories with us at emg.inspired@epochtimes.com, and continue to get your daily dose of inspiration by signing up for the Epoch Inspired newsletter at TheEpochTimes.com/newsletter

Caters News Agency
Caters News Agency