Recreating a garden of days gone by
Marian Hammond



A renovated Queenslander was in jeopardy of having an identify crisis. What was needed was a sympathetic design to complement the traditional home and to capitalise on the city views. Horticulturist Marian Hammond explains the approach taken with this innovative landscape.

Set high upon a hill in Brisbane’s exclusive enclave of Hamilton, the
home was a superbly renovated traditional Queenslander building in cool tropical colours with impressive views all the way to the airport and beyond. This was a horticultural dream come true for any designer that loves old world plants and designs. This client was desperate to ‘fix’ the garden and sought professional advice.

A plan evolved to create a series of gardens working through the seasons

From a 4 page Feature Article in Issue Sixteen
Bartlettina sordida
The winter garden walkway edged by Angel's Trumpets on the left and Hibiscus 'Ritzi' on the right
Roma Gardens
Paul Plant



A few hours drive west of Brisbane (480kms) are the towns of Roma,
Mitchell, Injune, Yuleba, Surat and Wallumbilla. In this region gardeners have turned hardship into inspiration. With an annual rainfall of less than 600mm, Roma gardeners are confronted with hot alkaline bore water, severe frosts, skin-biting winds, sizzling summers and a lack of plant availability. Gardeners have banded together to support each other and to create their own private oasis. Drought is not a ‘trendy’ situation but a fact of reality and is approached like any other gardening challenge.

Water is the key resource here as it is in many parts of the nation. Roma water is primarily from bore. Those gardeners with private bores report that water can be hot enough to bathe in and highly alkaline. Irrigating with this water directly onto the garden can result in death to many plants. Consequently many gardeners rely on town water (also sourced from a bore) or dilute the bore with runoff from tanks and dams.

Keen plants people swap advice and cuttings. They travel near and far to source plants and utilise mail order facilities. They share a love for both native and non-native plants, identifying those specimens that do best in their local conditions.

If you think you have it tough– think again. Gardeners from more eastern regions can learn a lot from those who live out west.

From an 8 page Feature Article in Issue Sixteen
Eucalyptus kruseana - Wilby Garden
Vitis coignetiae with autumn foliage
Garden tools are converted into whimsical art when not in use
Spring Flowers - Nature's Garden
Joan Dillon



We are all aware seasons in the subtropics do not follow strict calendar
months. They are rather defined by increasing or decreasing day length and seasonal variations in temperature and rainfall.

In the tropics there is a “wet” and a “dry”, especially in the Top End of the Northern Territory where I lived for many years. Spring is therefore a fairly elastic term used to describe the season when we expect to see the most vibrant and diverse flowering of our native plants. Some acacias commence flowering in July, the Sunshine Coast Wildflower Festival is held during August and native fuschias (Graptophyllum species) flower in October.

From a 4 page Feature Article in Issue Sixteen
Golden Paper Daisy (Xerochrysum bracteatum)
Hibiscus 'Barambah Creek'
Tropical Hoyas

Images by David Liddle


The below item complements this article read in the current issue:

Hoyas (p. 26)

Hoyas Supplement



The genus Hoya has diversified into the multitude of habitats that exist in the moist tropics, resulting in three hundred or so species, and over four hundred published names.

Hoyas can be found in suitable ecosystems in a band between 30º north and 30º south latitude.

Although the bulk of the known species is found in New Guinea, Indonesia and Malaysia, many are also found in China and south-east Asia. The most western location is in the Western Ghats of India, to the east French Polynesia in the Pacific Ocean and to the south into northern New South Wales in Australia.

Hoyas occur in a wide range of natural environments, some are more or less moist all year round, whereas others have a markedly monsoon climate (that is with a seasonal dry period).

The article covers the following:

  • Leaves and Flowers
  • Australian Hoya species
    • Hoya macgillivrayi
    • Hoya sussuela
    • Hoya anulata
    • Hoya littoralis
    • Hoya pottsii
    • Hoya australis
    • Hoya australis subsp. sanae
    • Hoya australis subsp. tenuipes
    • Hoya australis subsp. australis
    • Hoya australis subsp. rupicola
    • Hoya australis subsp. oramicola
  • Culture and Care

From a 6 page Feature Article in Issue Sixteen

Hoya megalaster
Hoya caudata
Hoya lauterbachii
Rose of Sharon
Harry Crane

An evergreen (deciduous in cooler climates) shrub from the temperate regions of Asia, this hibiscus has become a favourite garden specimen in the subtropics and warm temperate climates for its showy flowers.
Keen horticulturist Harry Crane introduces this old-fashioned plant to new gardeners.

Looking for a shrub or small tree which flowers toward the end of
summer into autumn and guaranteed to catch the eye of any passer-by? Then look no further than Hibiscus mutabilis.

When left to grow as a specimen shrub, with no competition from nearby trees or shrubs, and minimal pruning, it can develop numerous multiple stems at ground level. In the subtropics the plant can attain the size of a small tree with the stems becoming woody and growing to a height of around 4m, covering an area of approximately 3m wide.this old-fashioned plant to new gardeners.

The article covers the following:

  • Culture
  • Propagation

From a 2 page Feature Article in Issue Sixteen

Hibiscus mutabilis - flower
Hibiscus mutabilis - flower and foliage
Subtropical Roses

By the Queensland
Rose Society

Images by Paul Hains



Roses stand alongside the Lily as the oldest cultivated flowers in
Europe. It is the flower we have long associated with love and beauty. The first thing people do when given roses is dive in with their nose to smell the enchanting fragrance. If they are home grown roses we are often mesmerised by the wonder of the aroma. Florist and supermarket roses often lead to disappointment as the smell has been lost in the breeding of many commercial roses with their quest for long lasting petals.

There are over 30,000 cultivars of roses, much more than you will ever see at a florist, garden centre or hardware store. Many of these roses are not in commercial cultivation and can be found along roadside ditches, in cemeteries and in the front gardens of houses everywhere.
In the tropics people often espouse that roses cannot be grown due to the high levels of humidity. This is far from the case. The cold climates claim to have disease free plants with minimal maintenance. While this may be true, in the subtropics we have roses flowering for ten months of the year, only breaking for their mid-year prune. They bound back twice as fast as the cooler states and are flowering again in August.

Subtropical roses flower for two to four months longer than in cool climates and in many cases the bushes grow larger and produce more flowers. More maintenance is required, but the payoff is there to make it worthwhile.

The article covers the following:

Roses suitable for subtropical climates
– Modern garden roses
– Old garden roses
– Wild roses

  • Hybrid Tea Roses
  • Floribunda Roses
  • Miniatures

Basic Care and Culture
– Pests and Diseases


From a 6 page Feature Article in Issue Sixteen

'St. Patrick'
Maldivian Pink - 'Rose Edouard'
Tropical Breeze
Helen Curran


Tropical Breeze is in the western Sydney suburb of Seven Hills where the
temperature can drop down to -4ºC in winter and rise up to 46ºC in summer, making this a difficult climate for growing tropical plants. Yet, as the garden has grown over the years it has developed its own unique microclimate, providing the opportunity to grow many tropical plants here that one would not have thought possible to grow when the garden was first started.

This is a garden, in common with many in New South Wales, that experiments and questions the old assumptions of what can and cannot be grown in the local environment.


From a 4 page Feature Article in Issue Sixteen

Brahma and Vishnu stand guard
Plantings around the pool shade the pebble pahtways and gardens


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