For any gardener, growing anything is a joy. Often, the flowers we grow in our garden make sense to us and can engage us for hours. That does not, however, mean they’re the most interesting plants.
Chances are your family and friends aren’t quite as excited by your garden as they should be!
I don’t mean that you should run off to change your entire garden for the sake of others. On the contrary, your garden should reflect what you love.
Being a gardener is about more than knowing how to grow flowers, after all.
Nonetheless, there are ways to make your garden even more interesting without compromising your integrity.
Try growing one or more of the following plants to give your garden a unique edge.
1. Salvia Divinorum
I think it’s safe to assume you’re not growing any illegal substances in your garden.
If you are, you’re not going to tell me! But how about growing a legal plant that is both attractive and psychoactive?
I’m talking about the (in)famous salvia divinorum, or diviner’s sage. Salvia divinorum was used by Mazatec shamans in Oaxaca, Mexico to go on spiritual journeys.
And, for a short period of time, it was used by clout-hungry YouTubers for clicks.
However, in spite of its hallucinogenic properties, it is completely legal in the US and most other countries. This is because it is non-addictive and has no harmful side effects.
I’m not advising that you should start using the plant to go on spiritual journeys, but it is an interesting plant to have growing in your garden.
Its spiritual roots provide food for thought for any visitor, and it looks great as well. Plant it in a bit of shade with a bit of direct sunlight and it should grow well.
2. Elephant Ears
I gave a potted alocasia plant to a friend as a housewarming gift.
By the time she moved out two years later, the plant had taken over a corner of the living room and she loved it so much she took it with her across the country.
Elephant ear plants are delightful because of their shape, vivid color, and the fact that they grow really large.
Their size and shape give them the nickname. In a pot, growth is limited, but out in the garden you’re going to have to manage your plant.
The distinctive leaves will grow really big and beautiful, and will bring you a lot of joy.
3. Lamb’s Ears
From one animal’s ears to another. Lamb’s ear plants are the most adorable perennial your garden will ever host.
The leaves are not just shaped like lamb’s ears, but are also silvery-green and wooly in texture. You will be tempted to pet them and give them names.
Lamb’s ears grow well in warm climates, but they don’t do well in humid conditions. Plant a few around your garden and you’ll never tire of taking care of them.
4. Angel’s Trumpets
Angel’s Trumpets are another type of plant that has a great backstory. South American cultures have used them over the centuries for medicines and spiritual rituals.
Yes, it’s another potentially hallucinogenic plant that looks gorgeous. It has long and spectacular drooping flowers that even people who hate the outdoors can appreciate.
The thing about angel’s trumpets… is that they can be incredibly poisonous.
Unlike salvia divinorum, which needs to be chewed for half an hour or concentrated and smoked to cause hallucinations, you just need to eat one of these flowers to go on wild hallucinogenic trips.
Even if you’re adventurous, these are not the kind of experiences you want, as they can even end in death.
So, if you have pets or children who like to eat your flowers, leave the angel’s trumpets for someone else to plant.
Relatively few gardeners grow bamboo and this is actually quite surprising. Bamboo is incredibly easy to grow.
It can serve multiple purposes, including fencing off your garden while regenerating your soil. It is particularly striking and feels good to the touch.
Of course, bamboo grows very quickly, and you will need to do regular, if easy, maintenance.
But as a gardener, this shouldn’t be a problem but an opportunity. If you’re the arts and crafts sort, you can make plenty of fun and practical items out of bamboo.
6. Globe Thistles
Thistles may not be your cup of tea, especially if you’ve been pricked one too many times.
However, globe thistles are aesthetically stunning.
Their purple color and perfect roundness make for an excellent addition to your garden that will grow perennially. They’re easy to grow, as are most thistles.
Globe thistles don’t require too much maintenance, and you can add dried flowers to your bamboo craft projects.
7. Kochia Scoparia
Kochia Scoparia (or Korchia balls) grow into delightful round plants that look almost as adorable as your lamb’s ears will.
They become wonderful puffs of green or red that sit on the ground. Together, they can populate a cute portion of the garden, or you can spread them as statement pieces throughout.
They’re very easy to grow and hardy as well, so you can expect them to last through seasons of drought.
8. Bat Flower
The bat flower is a striking tropical plant that comes from Southeast Asia. As you can guess from its name, it looks like a bat, although without being creepy.
The flowers grow into a bat-like shape and are deep purple/black, although you can also get white bat flowers.
Bat flower seeds are expensive, but well worth it, especially since you don’t need too many to make an immediate impact.
Remember that they’re from a tropical climate, and won’t last in cold climates.
If you live in a region where the cold seasons are, at worst, mild, you can definitely succeed. You can also grow bat flowers indoors if need be.
These are just some of the cool conversation starters you can plant in your garden.
Your garden should be purely your own expression, but everyone has that exciting streak they can express with one of these plants.