Posts Tagged With: tropical garden

Some of my unusual plants….

After 2 weeks of intermittent but welcome rain and a total of approx. 100mm the garden has loved it. The humidity has been high and my tropical plants have thrived, while I have wilted. But today the breeze has turned South/East bringing a cooler, pleasanter temperature and I have been tempted out into the garden with my camera.

Being a Pom, born in Yorkshire, my first love is cottage gardens. The riot of annuals intermingled with roses bringing their unique beauty and perfume. Herbs and perennials scattered through. A glorious pallet of colour. That is the garden I had in New Zealand.

But that selection of plants wilted as fast as I do in the heat and humidity of a Queensland summer. So now I go with the flow and my garden is a tropical paradise. A backdrop of palms and broad-leaved plants of the rain forest. The bright, vibrant splash of colour as the various tropical plants flaunt their beauty among the many shades of green.

I will show you some of the more unusual plants and the more common ones that are flowering now.

These Birds of Paradise (Strelitzia) seem to be having a conversation

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While this Heliconia is home for ants.

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One of my favourites is the Croton. The flowers are quite insignificant, but the leaves are so varied.

This croton is called “African Bells”, if you look carefully you will see the small extra leaf formed on the end of the main leaf. I was given this shrub 12 years ago by the garden club as a thank you for opening my garden for the club to visit.

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There are many different shades of croton and they are a favourite as they always give a splash of colour.

This Bauhinia is a visitor from next doors garden. I trim it back after flowering but it always comes back.

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These variegated rhoeos, also known as Moses in the basket, make a neat and tidy edging and ground cover.

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The blue ginger is just starting to flower.

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The Banksia has long since finished flowering, but look at the interesting seed pod it leaves behind.

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Succulents are always easy care and love this climate.

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The next two unusual plants live on insects, flies and mosquitoes are tempted inside them.

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Finally I will leave you with a gallery of a few other plants in the garden.

Now the weather is cooling down slightly the next major job is pruning back the jungle growth.

Categories: Australia, garden, photos, tropical garden | Tags: , , , | 51 Comments

The Garden in Summer.

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It has rained for over a week now. Good steady rain that soaks right down to the roots. Even our outback farmers have had rain, the first for them in over 2 years. With the rain comes the heat and humidity.

Look at my garden it is like a jungle and all the tropical flowers are flaunting their beauty.

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The fish ponds are covered in lilies and the water hyacinth makes its short but beautiful burst of colour.

Remember I grew some sunflowers from seed? Well they are now settled in to their bed in full sun and they are racing away.

They look so healthy and I talk to them every morning!!!!

They look so healthy and I talk to them every morning!!!!

Look can you see the flowers starting to form. I'm so looking forward to seeing them in full bloom.

Look can you see the flowers starting to form. I’m so looking forward to seeing them in full bloom.

The veggies are scattered around in different areas of the garden and we have eaten lettuce since the beginning of December. I am into the second crop and also rocket, spinach, silver beet and lots of herbs.

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Remember the cradle we built? Well I have put a shade cloth over it as well as the bird netting, the sun has been fierce, 30+ degrees by mid morning. But see how they are lapping up the attention.

The climbing beans at the back are racing up the frame and will soon be ready for Jack to climb them in search of that giant!!!!!

Rosemary in full flower

Rosemary in full flower

Spinach Aubergine and lettuce cluster around the rosemary bush

Spinach Aubergine and lettuce cluster around the rosemary bush

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Oh dear something else is sharing the kale with us. Baby grass hoppers have made an appearance, so it will be a race to see who gets the most, them or us…

Two more sleeps left in 2014 then it is a new year and time to start thinking of new dreams, decisions and destinations.

Best wishes to all my blogging friends, it has been lovely getting to know you through your comments and visiting you in your part of the blogosphere during 2014. I’m looking forward to following your adventures and sharing Word Press journeys with you all.



Categories: Australia, garden, photos, Queensland, travel, tropical garden, vegetable garden | Tags: , , , , , | 37 Comments

A bouquet of tropical flowers to brighten your day

Yellow water lily

Yellow water-lily

Tropical water lilies

Tropical water lilies

Tropical water lily

Tropical water-lily

Water Hyacinth

Water Hyacinth





Nepenthes, insect eating pitcher plant

Nepenthes, insect eating pitcher plant







Here is a splash of colour and the scent of summer for my Northern Hemisphere friends. I hope this will brighten your winter day and remind you of the summer to come.

For the short time I am at home I love to spend time in the garden. This morning I went round to record what is flowering at the moment.

Categories: Australia, flowers, photos, Queensland, tropical garden | Tags: , , , , | 27 Comments

A Word a Week Photo Challenge : High

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In 1998 we bought a house in the beautiful tropical paradise of the Goldcoast. It had been a rental property for many years surrounded by a patchy and weedy area of uncared for lawn. It was a challenge and we started creating a tropical oasis. First plants to go in were the majestic and stately Alexander Palms. They would create shade for the under story of ferns and other shade loving, tropical plants.

That was 15 years ago. Look at them now. They have become towering giants. They are so HIGH they look down on our two-story house and drop their huge fronds onto all the ferns and other plants they were put in to protect. They produce thousands of seeds that drop and then grow in the fertile soil of the garden. They create a lot of work.

Sadly the time has come to say goodbye to these tropical beauties.

Enter Big Jim and his team of skilled arborists.

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With spiked shoes and a strap around the trunk, Guy shimmies up to the top of the palm and makes short work of demolishing these giants. Look carefully at the bottom of the photo and you will see the roof of our 2 story home.

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The team collect the logs and fronds to take them away.

The team collect the logs and fronds to take them away.


Big Jim feeds them all through the mulcher

Big Jim feeds them all through the mulcher


Oops one of the branches drop over into the neighbours place

Oops one of the branches drop over into the neighbour’s place

No trouble Guy reaches over to haul it back and I help by holding the ladder...

No trouble Guy reaches over to haul it back and I help by holding the ladder…


In less than an hour Jim and his team had demolished 5 palms, one tree-fern and a decaying Ivory Curl tree. Leaving the garden open to more sunlight and me with the job of relocating a number of plants that all of a sudden had the wrong growing conditions.


Sue of “A word in your ear” opens her dictionary each week to find a word to challenge us with. This week it is HIGH. How appropriate for me as today we had these very high palms cut down.



Categories: A word a week photo challenge, Australia, Goldcoast, high, photos, tropical garden | Tags: , , , , , | 15 Comments

A Word a Week : Garden (take 2)

Gardening is one of my passions. It gives me joy and peace at the same time to watch the evolving seasons and the different flowers come and go. The garden has changed over 15 years. We started with an almost blank canvas. This place had been a rental property for years. So it was easy maintenance, surrounded by lawn with a couple of struggling cane palms and one glorious Bauhinia tree in the centre of the lawn. Sadly it died during the drought of 1999 to 2009.

In New Zealand we had a cottage style garden, but many of the plants grown in New Zealand could not tolerate the hot, humid conditions of the Queensland summer. So when we moved to Queensland we enjoyed the years of planting and developing a lush tropical garden to suit the climate.

Here is a gallery of some of the flowers and plants and a couple of birds that regularly visit…

Thank you Sue for picking this word from your dictionary this week. Visit “A word a week” to wander round many more gardens.

Categories: A word a week photo challenge, Australia, garden, photos, Queensland, tropical garden | Tags: , , , , | 19 Comments

Early morning discovery in the garden…

Horrendously hot, windy weather has been circling right round Australia over the past 2 weeks bringing with it hundreds of out of control bush fires. Today it has reached Queensland and the forecast is for a week of high temperatures and strong, gusty winds. Fires are still raging in NSW and Victoria. Now we are on high alert.

It is my ritual to wander around the garden before breakfast and before the heat of the Queensland summer builds up.

Come with me and see what I found flowering at this time of the year in our tropical Queensland patch of paradise.

Birdbath surrounded by petunias

Birdbath surrounded by petunias

Bromiliads in flower

bromeliads in flower

Bromeliads are a favourite plant of mine. They love this hot humid climate, needing very little water, they are happy just to have water in the well made by the leaves, and the flower spikes last for weeks.


Around the shady side

Around the shady side

The ferns on the other hand need moisture and shade so they are clustered under the shade of a group of trees and watered regularly. This group of ferns self seeded in the rocks, I doubt if I could’ve grown them there as a transplant.



The Grevillea are a hardy group of beautiful Australian natives. The birds love them because they are dripping with nectar.

close up of grevillea, notice the drops of nectar

close up of Grevillea, notice the drops of nectar

Amazing heliconias

Amazing Heliconia

The early morning sun beautifully highlights these Heliconia as though they have a light inside them.

Then I walked round the corner and found the batplant’s whiskery face gazing out at me from under its broad protective leaves. It was the highlight of my walk and I had to share it with you so rushed inside for the camera.




I hope you have enjoyed your stroll with me around a small part of our garden.

Now I am going to find a cool place to spend the rest of the day.



Categories: Australia, photos, tropical garden | Tags: , , , | 18 Comments

The call of the garden

A tropical paradise

I have been back home 5 weeks and it has taken me that long to sort through all the photos we took of New Zealand and catalogue them into the blog post by post. It was a labour of love to revisit all the places and people we met. Reliving the journey for a second time.

Way back in the dinasore days, before digital photography, it took even longer as the film first had to be developed, then how many times would you be disappointed at the results, not as you remembered, and you could not go back for a retake. The camera shops would offer a 2 sets for the price of one, so of course you would take the 2 sets thinking you could always send a copy to all the friends and “rellies”. How many of you have shoe boxes full of these photos, yellowing with age, and absolutely no idea of where the photo is of, or who the people are in it. But some how, you just can’t bring yourself to throw them away? Back then I did “scrap-booking”, it was all the rage, and still is, but now it is digital scrap-booking, but for me it is now blogging that I am addicted to.

Well that was a short walk down memory lane…

Back to the present: One of the reasons that it took 5 weeks to complete sorting the New Zealand trip photos was because other things vied for my attention. We came back to perfect Queensland weather. Day after day of sun, and the garden called to me. Gardening is another of my passions and over the 13 years we have been in this house Jack and I have created our small slice of paradise. The first thing I do when ever I arrive back, after time away, is to wander around and admire all the plants. These past 2 years have been an amazing time for growth. After nearly 10 years of drought conditions, from 2000 to 2010, and a struggle to just keep things alive, it is a pleasure to see the garden so happy. I am also lucky to have two great friends who look after the garden while we are away. They love the garden as I do and enjoy looking after it.

Yesterday it was a major autumn pruning day as the growth has been so phenomenal it was rapidly becoming a jungle. There has been no rain for a month and thoughts of drought were starting to surface. From May to October is, normally, the dry season in this area, but for 2 years that has not happened, and we have had the wettest 2 years on record. Weather patterns all round the world seem to be changing. Today the rain has come and we can heave a sigh of relief.

So I would like to take you for a walk around our garden…

Front garden

Front garden,old man banksia in front

Narrow side garden, climbing Bauhinia in flower

Compost corner

Back garden, fish ponds made using old baths


Categories: garden, photos, tropical garden | Tags: , , , | 6 Comments

blue ginger with rain drops

blue ginger with rain drops, originally uploaded by gypsy woman1.

The summer rains have arrived again. Two days of torrential rain, approx 200mm. The mulched areas became mini lakes and we watched as the level rose closer to the house. Jack rushed out in his undies to clear passages for the runoff to escape.

We were away during the rains of last summer and previous to that we had experienced 10 years of drought and minimal rain. Fortunately the Burleigh area was not flooded and again we are lucky to be spared the worst, with areas both north and south being evacuated and schools closed.

A paw paw tree fully laden with fruit fell over with the weight of the rain but it was tied back up and it should survive. The garden is planted and designed as a tropical garden so the plants are loving this weather pattern and when the rain stops, being sandy soil, it drains away quickly and leaves everything fresh and sparkling.

Categories: garden, tropical garden | Tags: , | Leave a comment

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