Pictures of your gardens please

marleneann(Buderim, Australia.)May 2, 2008

I live in the sub-tropics. Looking to redo my garden to reflect a tropical theme.

Can I see pictures of your gardens so I can get ideas of combining plants for the best effect. Thanks!

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bihai(zone 9)

    Bookmark   May 2, 2008 at 5:15PM
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marleneann(Buderim, Australia.)

Bihai those pictures are beautiful!
I also grow orchids too. Do you grow you phalaenopsis outdoors all year?
Just I have some good ideas just from seeing your pics. Many thanks.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2008 at 7:17PM
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bihai(zone 9)

Thank you, Marleneann.
No, I don't grow the phals outside year round, we are too cold for that. Some of these photos are outdoor photos, and some of these are from my greenhouse. My "gardens" are both outdoor, and indoor.

Outdoors, I grow tropicals that will go dormant or just defoliate in winter and come back every year. Examples: Alocasia, Colocasia, Xanthosoma, Bananas, Hedychiums, Costus, Clerodendrons, Brugmansia, Canna, Zingiber, Curcuma, Tetrapanax, Alpinia, passiflora, Ti plants, hardy palms, hardy philodendrons etc. I also have Neoregelia, Billbergia, Aechmea, and other bromeliad species outside under tree canopy. And small pond features with tropical water lilies, lotus and papyrus.
For trees I gave variegated nerium oleander, and several different species of things like Bauhinia, Erythina, and Callistemon, and Manihot.

In the greenhouse gardens I have the more tropical things, like orchids, hoyas, more tropical gingers and non-hardy palms, dischidias, lots of philodendron and anthurium species, stuff like that.

I like my outdoor landscape, its what I call "sustainable tropical"...its really lush and pretty in Spring, Summer and Fall, then goes dormant or pretty much disappears after the first hard freeze in winter, and I get to take the winter off from yardwork and concentrate on the greenhouse gardens. In Spring (March/April) I get the outside in shape by weeding and mulching and by now everything is back up to some extent...bananas fully leafed out, hedychiums and cannas 4 ft tall, curcumas sending up blooms before leafing, all the elephant ears re-emerging...

Winters are very very mild here, we only get a few frosts and a very few actual freezes. Otherwise its generally lows in the 40's and highs in the 60's and 70's.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2008 at 8:32AM
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Martina DeLuca


Here's a link to some of my garden pics

Here is a link that might be useful: garden

    Bookmark   May 3, 2008 at 1:04PM
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I love posts like this! Bihai and Ariod, thank you for sharing, your gardens are beautiful.

Bihai, what is the philo-looking dark green & white plant in the first picture upper left hand corner?

Aroid, what are the 2 plants that you have in the blue & white mix (in the pot)?


    Bookmark   May 3, 2008 at 1:17PM
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Martina DeLuca

Thanks. The blue plant is lobelia. The white flowers actually had pink stripes as well and I'm not sure what they were. I bought them at Lowe's and they weren't labelled. I usually use allysum with the lobelia in this pot and I grow morning glories up the spiral trellis which are shown in the picture right before it.


    Bookmark   May 3, 2008 at 2:57PM
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Bihai, your plants are beautiful. Your variegated, I think Philo, is outstanding. And your Alos/colos..Wow..
Do you have a large gh? What months do you set plants in the gh? I also love your Bromiliads and Anthurium..Everything is so healthy..Good for you.
Is that palm, some type of Fish Tail? Beautiful. Toni

    Bookmark   May 3, 2008 at 3:41PM
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marleneann(Buderim, Australia.)

Aroidgardner you have some beautiful plants. I just took a quick look but will go back and study them more closely. Thank you for posting.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2008 at 5:30PM
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Here's our garden. Hope this gives yoou some ideas!

    Bookmark   May 3, 2008 at 6:41PM
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marleneann(Buderim, Australia.)

Hi Fawnridge...your not going to believe this but I have these pages saved in my favourites. You must have these pics posted elswhere on the w.w.w. All your plants would grown in my temps. Thanks for sharing.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2008 at 1:03AM
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bihai(zone 9)

Thanks guys. The plant you are calling a philo is Alocasia sanderiana, one of the "African mask" type alocasias.

The palm tree is Salacca magnifica

    Bookmark   May 4, 2008 at 6:27PM
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WOW! Bihai your garden is absolutely fabulous! You have the selection of a botanical gardens and an amazing hobby.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2008 at 10:05AM
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Regina, what is that Alocasia in the top left of the first pic? It has different edges and veins to Alocasia amazonica or Polly.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2008 at 1:50AM
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bihai(zone 9)

Its ALocasia sanderiana. Out of all the African Mask tyoes I have this one is the touchiest. It frequently goes dormant for no apparent reason (even if no cultural conditions have changed)and then will come back out at unexpected times.

I once saw it referred to in a vendor's ad as "Polly's Twisted Sister", LOL

    Bookmark   May 8, 2008 at 7:06AM
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bihai(zone 9)

these are all photos of some of the various OUTDOOR planting areas in my garden. It gives you an idea of what lives here and comes back unassisted year after year.

Brugmansia, provided they get enough water, grow like weeds here

This is out by a small inground pond that you can see from the living area in my house. There are Red Leaf bananas and a variety of elephant ears chosen for the color variation

I have mostly container water gardens. This is a big round one I had at my old house. When we moved I dug a big hole and put it in the ground here with pretty much the same plants

This is out by the pool. A big Alocasia portodora and some other stuff. I grow a ton of hedychiums around the pool so that when we are out there it smells like heaven, and we get to watch bees, butterflies and hummingbirds everyday in Spring, Summer and Fall

I have a sliding glass door in my bedroom that opens onto this planting. There is other stuff you can't see...alocasias, Xanthosomas, Costus gingers, and some perennial flowers on the ground

This is a view of the natural bog that I planted into a bog garden, downslope from my pool area

    Bookmark   May 8, 2008 at 7:53AM
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bihai(zone 9)

Here's one more that didn't come through on the last batch. I have an area downslope from my pool that is a natural bog in rainy times. It was useless for a butterfly garden, which was what I wanted there, because when its full of water most of the butterfly plants drowned. So I took advantage of that fact and made it into a bog garden

    Bookmark   May 8, 2008 at 8:00AM
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Fawnridge, you already know I love your garden.

Bihai, wow oh wow..your gardens are gorgeous too. From Brugsmanias and Plumeria, Ferns, Alos and Colos, is amazing..If I'm ever reincarnated, I hope I'm born in a warm climate..LOL..Toni

    Bookmark   May 8, 2008 at 1:40PM
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stokesjl(5 IA)

holy guacamole bihai, your yucca is gorgeous! oh to live in zone's a dream of mine.

is that aloifolia?

    Bookmark   May 8, 2008 at 3:31PM
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lellie(z9 Anna Maria Island)

Just bee-yew-tee-full!!! your Papyrus growing in water?
Mine is still in the original pot, which sits inside another pot (with no drainage hole) seems to do so much better if I keep some water sitting in the bottom of the pot.
Haven't figgered out just where to plant it yet.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2008 at 11:12AM
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Central_Cali369(Sunset Z9, Fresno, CA)

I live in a dry/mediterranean/steppe climate (California) so my landscape is kind of mixed. I have a mediterranean landscapw with a tropical twist. We get less than 11 inches of rain anually, so i've landscaped with drought tolerant plants that look exotic, such as tree aloes (aloe ferox), yucca elephantipes, aloe polyphylla, Jubaea Chilensis, Dypsis Decipiens, Phoenix Canariensis, Washingtonia Robusta, several agaves, pachypodium Lamereii, a pomegranate tree... But i have added several have added several water loving plants, but those are limited. I have a majesty palm, kentia palm, queen palms, crotons, white bird of paradise, cyathea cooperi...

I will post some photos later on.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2008 at 1:33PM
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bihai(zone 9)

there's water there sometimes during the monsoon season, but the past few years its been a pretty dry bog. Hopefully this summer it will fill up again.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2008 at 7:16PM
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Will one of you please adopt me?!! I don't mind if I'm older than you, really! I'm freeeezing to death up here in Wisconsin in the winter, and our summers are so short. Oh, and my dog is really good about staying out of the garden! Will weed for my keep!

    Bookmark   May 15, 2008 at 2:09PM
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Pet, if you're adopted, perhaps you'd like a sister..we can both be adopted..LOL.
Being a neighbor of yours, (IL) if you have an outdoor garden, setting tropicals/succulents outdoors during summer will brighten, create a tropical atmosphere.
Another thing, have you ever tried growing a hardy banana tree? Basjoo (Musa) banana trees are truly hardy. In bright light, leaves grow huge..they return in spring. Only problem is it's inedible.
If you ever go to the Palm Forum, you'll see threads from ppl in Chicago, IL and as far north as Canada who grow palm trees and Cactus. Good luck, Toni

    Bookmark   May 15, 2008 at 3:00PM
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Toni, a hardy Banana tree? Now, there's an idea! I can't keep my dog outside with me in the summer, and need a tree for her. I spend most of the day in the garden, and she's indoors laying in front of the air-conditioner...under the ceiling fan. The half-dead, very cheap Crabapple tree that I purchased last year didn't make it, so thanks for the suggestion. I'm finding myself to be a convert to the tropical look!

    Bookmark   May 16, 2008 at 1:35PM
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rayandgwenn(z11 Puerto Rico)

Beautiful gardens!
I probably know the answer to this one, but how do you guys keep it weeded? I see some mulch in some of the photos. Anyone have any good ways to keep weeds to a minimum?

I have lots of plants and am starting to landscape around my pool. But the weed vines come in SO quickly. I am afraid to plant a large area and then have it turn into another huge weed bed!
Any ideas?

    Bookmark   May 16, 2008 at 5:17PM
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Martina DeLuca


Newspaper and mulch is how I keep out most of the weeds. The weeds that seed and grow on top of the mulch, I pull. Weeding is a daily chore.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2008 at 1:13PM
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bihai(zone 9)

weeds in Florida, and particularly vines like Virginia Creeper, can grow seeming a foot a day! YOu go out one day and its 3 inches long or 3 inches tall, and if you don;t nab it right then, the next day its over a foot long, LOL.

I weed an area at a time, starting in March, then lay down mulch as I go in each area. That is what I am in the middle of doing now. I don't usually get everything weeded and mulched until well into June. I start up around the front of the house because that's what people see first, then do the pool area because we hang out there a lot, then I radiate out to the greenhouse area, and beyond. The last place to get done is out by my road. I try to keep the mulch refreshed through fall and winter but I get lazy and busy and never do, LOL. But that's usually okay because we have a huge amount of deciduous tree leaf fall that sort of creates its own mulch.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2008 at 6:26PM
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Central_Cali369(Sunset Z9, Fresno, CA)

All of the plantings in my yard are less than 3 years old. The house was newly built when we moved in 4 years ago, and there was nothing except a small shade tree, which we took out anyway to plant some palms. Ever since then, we've slowly been landscaping the different areas in the yard. Because there are no mature trees, all of my plantings must be able to take full sun until the trees i have planted become mature specimens. They must also be able to withstand drought since we get less than 10.5 iches of rain per year. Im sure droughts are not a problem for you if you live in queensland, but here are some pics of my drought tolerant plantings. They might help someone in a dry, mediterranean climate like mine find some ideas.

Bougainvillea and Orange Bird of Paradise. There is a dwarf lemon tree in the background against the wooden fence.

Majesty palm, cyathea cooperi and drought tolerant ground covering plants (verbena, alyssum). Underneath the tree fern there are spathyphyllum, clivia miniata, blechnum gibbum and a young Howea Forsteriana

Sunny corner. This corner has no irrigation other than the ocassional spray with the water hose. Everything planted here is very young. There is a young pomegranate tree in the back, some young brugmansias, duranta repens, pelargonium, yucca elephantipes, tecoma stans, tecomatia capensis...

Here is another newly planted area. There are Pygmy date palms, Giant Bird of Paradise, Passiflora Edulis, Pachypodium Lamerei, Pineapples, agave attenuata, crotons, draceana fragans, young foxtail palm in the far corner...

This is a late fall photo with a brugmansia and cannas.

And my favorite plant: Tibouchina Urvillea - Princess Flower

    Bookmark   May 17, 2008 at 8:08PM
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Central_Cali369(Sunset Z9, Fresno, CA)

Heres a closer look at some of the plants underneath the Cyathea Cooperi. Theres wax begonia (this one blooms year round), a Kentia palm seedling, a blechnum Gibbum (Dwarf Black tree fern), Clivia Miniata, and just barely visible in the background is some spathyphyllum foliage.

And a closer look at the kentia and blechun gibbum

    Bookmark   May 17, 2008 at 10:02PM
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lynne_melb(z9b Melb FL)

All of these photos are incredible.

Bihai, could you please identify some of the plants in your first picture?
- The bromeliad with the pinkish/purplish center
- Using this bromeliad as the reference point, the plants at the 1 o'clock, 2 o'clock, 3 o'clock, 7 o'clock, and 11 o'clock?
Thanks much,

    Bookmark   May 17, 2008 at 11:33PM
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bihai(zone 9)

Identifying that particular brom is totally dependent on whether ot not the tag is still somehow anywhere in the proximity of it, LOL. I'll have to go look and see if it is. The pesky squirrel may have taken it, or it may have just gotten lost. I am pretty certain that is one of my Grace Goode neoregelias though.

The Aroid at 11 is, as has been stated already, Alocasia sanderiana.

The variegated green and white ginger is Costus amazonicus variegata

The green and white variegated bromeliad is, I believe, Neoregelia Ivory

The small variegated green white and pink brom in the very lowest left corner is a var. Pineapple pup that is now planted out in the yard with 6 of its brothers and sisters.

The deep green heart shaped leaf peeking out of all the variegation at about 1 oclock is Philodendron burle marx on the ground before it climbs about 12 feet up the greenhouse wall.

The little aroid leaf at about 7 is an emerging ALocasia loweii.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2008 at 8:18AM
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marleneann(Buderim, Australia.)

This is just many ideas.
Thank you... thank you... thank you.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2008 at 4:17AM
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I have a question for those of you who live in warm/tropical areas, and grow Bromiliads in your gardens.
First, do you have to dig up in winter?
Second, if no to the first question, do Brom's self-propagate?
For instance, we who live in cold climates and grow Broms in pots, have to remove side shoots after mom dies.
So, do Broms grown in the ground, continue growign from sideshoots or do they have to be manually removed? Thanks, Toni

    Bookmark   May 20, 2008 at 5:59PM
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daveandlaura(8b-S. Louisiana)

I just hate it when Bihai puts up pictures . . . just makes me feel jealous and inadequate!!! LOL

Truly, though Bihai, you really do great things in and out of your greenhouse.


    Bookmark   May 20, 2008 at 8:20PM
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bihai(zone 9)

I have easily over 100 bromeliads planted in the ground outside of the greenhouse under tree canopy, in sheltered areas, etc that live outdoors year round and never get dug up. Yes, they do perpetuate themselves just like they would in containers. As a mother plant fades, it has to be removed eventually and the clump groomed. Probably inside the greenhouse I have 200+ more individual plants and same is true for them.

Thanks Dave (((((((((hugs)))))))))

    Bookmark   May 20, 2008 at 9:22PM
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stokesjl(5 IA)

central_cali369....nice garden you got going. what's the little guy to the left of the air conditioning unit?

    Bookmark   May 20, 2008 at 11:07PM
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waldon(SE Qld Aus)

In Buderim you should be able to grow plenty. Have you thought about palms ? There's quite a few very beautiful small palms from specialist nurseries.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2008 at 8:25AM
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Central_Cali369(Sunset Z9, Fresno, CA)

stokesjl, to the left of the AC unit is a yucca guatemalensis.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2008 at 1:18PM
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stokesjl(5 IA)

that's what i thought. i'm a yucca nut. wish i lived in a climate where i could grow some of the trunk-forming varieties. you should check out the cacti and succulent forum. someone posted some really awesome yucca pics from their trip to new mexico.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2008 at 1:35AM
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