Ordinary looking home in Cotswolds hides an exotic secret in the garden | The Sun

A COUPLE have transformed their garden into a tropical haven.

Karen Cammish, 51, and husband Jason, 50, have more than 100 exotic plants including giant bamboo, palm, trachycarpus and ten ft banana trees.

They also have a pond full of koi fish, a green house, a hot-tub and a fully-stocked tiki bar in their 10x12metre garden, which cost more than £5,000 to kit out in Caterton, Oxfordshire.

Their inspiration came from tropical islands around the world and they eventually visited Hawaii last month after years of saving. 

Karen said: "Our tropical garden is our taste of a bit of paradise which we can experience every day.

"Seeing the plants that we grow in our garden like the colocasia, gingers and massive bamboo growing wild in the rainforests was inspiring.


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"We will be organising a few plants and I’m sure adding a few more in after this trip.

"We've always dreamed of visiting tropical islands but money and other commitments have always gotten in the way but we had an amazing time seeing the tropical plants that we know and love so much when we were out there.

"I have been into gardening since I was a little girl – my gran and grandad were really big gardeners.

"My gran was into tropical plants so I was brought up with them and then Jason started to become invested when we bought this house together.

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"We've always kept the garden nice, however it was always for the kids – we had a trampoline and even chickens in here at one point.

"Now, it is more adult friendly and a great space to relax in.

"We don't import the plants however, we do grow a lot of them from bulbs.

"Although the English weather isn't always amazing, it doesn't really affect our plants as we take care of them in the greenhouse and wrap up the banana trees when it's frosty to protect them.”

Karen said they did a lot of the work themselves and grew some plants from seeds and bulbs.

She added: "It is a fantastic and tranquil place to sit – gardening has become a big factor for improving mental health these days.

"Now, it doesn't take as much work as it used to, we only need to water the plants and tidy a few weeds here and there.

"The banana plants have to be my favourite, some of them reach 10-feet-tall and the best thing about these plants is once you've grown one, they just keep coming.

"A lot of these plants look prehistoric and it's quite unusual to have them in a normal garden, but everyone always has lovely things to say about them.

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"When people come into garden for the first time, they're so shocked."

They sometimes open it up to the public and plan to improve the garden after more travel experience.

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