Information about plants & gardens for Brisbane & Qld

Tropical Gardens

A tropical garden can be simply a collection of your favourite tropical plants. However, if you don't know where to start, it might be helpful to focus on a theme. A theme can add an extra dimension of interest and also provide an opportunity to match the garden with your home exterior and/or interior style.

Here are some ideas for tropical themes. Click on the links for more information.
Mexican & South American including Aztec, Mayan and Inca themes

See also the Outdoor Living page for general outdoor furniture, umbrellas, lighting etc.

Over time more tropical garden design themes may be developed here. Meanwhile, here are a few ideas:
- More regional themes (Thailand, India, Mexico, Brazil etc)
- gardens highlighting a particular type of plant e.g. orchids, ferns, bamboos etc
- dinosaur/prehistoric
- gardens based on favourite movies in a tropical setting

You don't have to live in a tropical climate to have a tropical-style garden. Selection of tropical-looking plants that are tolerant of your climate is the key, combined with frost protection or overwintering indoors are tricks used by gardeners in cooler climates to create a tropical ambience. As this is a popular theme in the northern hemisphere at present, you shouldn't have too much trouble finding information on the subject of creating tropical gardens in cool climates if you need it. A few links have been provided at the bottom of this page to get you started.

Subtropical gardeners can grow most tropical plants, although a few species (such as the colourful lipstick palm) won't perform as far south as Brisbane. However, water has become a big limitation. Selection of species that look lush yet are drought-tolerant will be a big priority for residents of Brisbane and other subtropical and warm-temperate climates if water availability continues to be a problem.

Other Information Online

The following links are for more ideas and inspiration. They originate from all over the world. needless to say, what's appropriate for you will be influenced by regional conditions and personal circumstances.
Tropical Garden Society of Sydney Includes illustrated articles on a range of tropical plants
Tropical Talk Forum for growers of tropical plants, especially professionals growing them in botanic gardens and other public displays
Fairchild Tropical Garden Botanical garden in Florida, USA
Dominica Botanic Gardens Commonwealth of Dominica, West Indies. Pictures of the gardens and notes on many of the tropical plants growing there.
Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park Cayman Islands, British West Indies
Florida Gardens Florida Federation of Garden Clubs
The Garden at Rimbun Dahan near Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
A Yard In Fort Pierce A Florida resident shares his experiences learning to garden with palms and other tropicals
Another Yard in Fort Pierce Another blog from South Florida. Tropical plants, emphasis on palms Houston & Texas Gulf Coast, USA
EDIS Florida Cooperative Extension's Electronic Data Information Source (Univ. Florida, USA)
My Chutney Garden Trinidad and Tobago, The Caribbean
John&Jacq~s Garden Blog, Malaysia
Tropical Gardening Blog from Malaysia
Blossom Blooms Garden blog from Malaysia
My Nice Garden Blog, Malaysia
All Days, All Ways Blog, Philippines
India Garden A blog from India
The Urban Gardener (Blog) Mumbai, India
Native Place Garden A blog from India
An African Tropical Forest in Boston Describes how a tropical garden was created in the Franklin Park Zoo exhibit in Boston to enhance the African wildlife exhibit. Arnold Arboretum, Harvard University (PDF)
Paisagens Brasileiras Blog about University of Delaware's study tour of the landscapes of Brazil
Totara Waters Subtropical Garden at the Gardens to Visit website, New Zealand
Vertumnus another garden at the Gardens to Visit website, New Zealand

Creating tropical effects in cool climates
Olbrich's Thai Pavilion & Garden Olbrich Botanical Gardens, Wisconsin USA. Contains tips about Thai garden style and about creating a tropical garden in a cold climate
Tropical Punch Includes tips on overwintering tropicals and using tropical-looking perennials in Midwestern gardens. University of Illinois
Tropical Treasures A U.S. magazine devoted to helping people grow tropical plants in places they normally wouldn't
Saving Tropical Plants Over the Winter Tips for those in cold climates. University of Illinois

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