TROPICAL STYLE ARRANGEMENT OF PLANTS THAT SUIT LOCAL CONDITIONS AND NOW GENERATE A SHADY, MOIST MICROCLIMATE.
Who uses this garden?
My wife, daughter and I, although my wife would prefer a garden with lawn!
How old is it?
It’s 14 years old.
What was here to begin with?
It was a new house with a lawn and a few native plants.
What attracted you to the site?
The big backyard. I saw its potential and had a vision of what I wanted to achieve. Was the garden planned from the outset? It was planned in my head, but it’s taken lots of twists and turns. Over the years
I’ve reclaimed more and more lawn until eventually it was all garden!
Where do you draw inspiration from? Trips to Bali, tropical Queensland and Singapore. I’m obsessed with taking my garden to the next level and am inspired by gardeners on Facebook and Pinterest. Have you ever studied garden design or horticulture?
I’m just a gardener, not a horticulturist or botanist. I don’t get into botanical names. I focus on plant colour and contrast. What is your favourite part of the garden?
My bromeliad tree! I’ve attached about 20 plants to a Chinese tallow tree and I love their colour.
What is your favourite time of day in the garden?
My favourite time of day is first thing in the morning before the sun’s on the garden. The moisture brings out the colour in everything.
Describe your maintenance schedule. The garden is low maintenance now. Living mulch blocks all the weeds. I sometimes use fertiliser that contains beneficial soil microbes. I clear away golden cane palm fronds when they fall on the ground.
Is it irrigated or hand-watered?
A bit of both. There’s an automatic irrigation system but I hand-water all the bromeliads in the trees, as well as the patio plants.
Does anyone help you in the garden? Whenever my wife and daughter try to help, I get frustrated!
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What has been the toughest challenge? Knowing nothing about gardening and making so many mistakes. Buying plants that grow like crazy and then having to dig them up and pay for a skip!
Does your garden provide habitat for wildlife?
There are doves and honeyeaters that nest in the garden. There are plenty of frogs so I rarely see a snail or slug. Have you always loved the plants that make up the majority of your garden? I’d seen lots of them on my 14 trips to Bali. What has gardening taught you?
Which plants are low maintenance. Gardening is my happy place. When I’m there, all I’m thinking about are the plants. What would you say to new gardeners? I’d advise them to join a Facebook group and gain knowledge that way.