Bring those ideas back home



How often do you go travelling overseas or interstate and see
some great gardens or landscape ideas that might look good in the home garden? The problem is that the plants may not be the same types that you grow back home and the climate may be very different to where you live. The question is raised – can these ideas be translated?
The good news is that yes they can. The primary point to remember is to focus on the overall composition of the garden and not the individual elements (such as the individual plants, structural materials, etc.).

There are many issues a travelling gardener needs to take into consideration when assessing the suitability and potential for adopting a design or planting scheme back home. Some of the issues to take into account include the plants, materials, climate and lifestyle.

Topics covered in further detail include:

  • Plants
  • Materials
  • Climate
  • Lifestyle
From a 6 page Feature Article in Issue Fifteen
Replace Box hedging with harder species such as Murraya 'Min-a-Min'
Sealing Wax Palms (Crytostachys renda) are ideal for the tropics, but not cooler climes
Dead flowers and bare branches can look appropriate in a cold winter climate but often look untidy in warmer climes
Tropical Success Stories From Sydney



In Sydney, the 2008 winter was an exceptionally long winter with the first snow falling on the upper Blue Mountains in April and the last snow falling in October. In between these months icy cold windy days were experienced although the nights were not as cold.

After a late start to summer, late December saw the start of the hot weather; with late January and early February seeing some of the hottest days for many years.

During this time in Sydney’s western suburbs, temperatures of 40ºC days were normal and after 4 days of 45ºC the temperatures dropped, to more acceptable levels.

Throughout all of this unusual weather Sydney residents were still growing warm climate plants and in the majority of cases, quite successfully. Some of our Sydney readers are sharing their successes with you.

From a 2 page Feature Article in Issue Fifteen
Persian Shield (Strobilanthes gossypinus)
Mussaenda 'Donna Luz'
Beautiful Begonias
with The Queensland
Begonia Society




Tucked into a corner of some of the most distinguished gardens
of Queensland and New South Wales it is highly likely you will find a begonia or two. In many of the more humble homes of gardeners, the patio or veranda can shelter a beloved specimen, protected from the harsh full sun and frosty nights. This old-fashioned plant has entrenched itself into the psyche of warm climate gardeners around the world and Australia has embraced these plants for their easy care, highly attractive foliage and unusual flowers.

The article looks in depth at:

Types of Begonias

  • Cane-like
  • Shrub-like
  • Rhizomatous
  • Rex
  • Semperflorens
  • Other types favoured by collectors such as thick-stemmed, trailing-scandent and tuberous begonias.

Care of Begonias

  • Fertiliser
  • Light
  • Watering
  • Pests and diseases
  • Repotting
  • Propagating

A yearly summary calendar and grower tips in propagation are also provided.

From a 8 page Feature Article in Issue Fifteen
'Pink Satin' - rex type
Begonia 'Don Miller' - cane type
Begonia 'Lowana' - rhizome type
Cymbidiums in warm climates…go native

with Neville Bone

Images by Gary Yong Gee



Although known to the Chinese for thousands of years and also in Japan
where it was cultivated mainly for its attractive leaf structure, it was not until the discovery of the cymbidiums in the foothills of the Himalayas and tropical areas of the Indian subcontinent that they became known to the western world.

There are two distinct types of cymbidiums; those that flower in cool or temperate climates and those that revel in the tropical to subtropical environments. Either type will not flower well when grown outside of their preferred conditions.

The article covers the following topics:

  • Cymbidium Culture
  • Cymbidium Habit
  • Native Cymbidiums
    • Cymbidium canaliculatum
    • Cymbidium madidum
    • Cymbiduim suave
  • Cymbidium Calendar
  • Care for Australian Native Cymbidiums

From a 8 page Feature Article in Issue Fifteen

Cymbidium canaliculatum (R.Br.) M.A.Clem & D.L.Jones 'Ghost Gum'
Cymbidium lowianum (Rchb.f.) Rchb.f.
Cymbidium suave R.Br.


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