Justicia aurea



Belonging to the family Acanthaceae, all Justicia species are loved for their flamboyant blossoms and reliability in the tropics and subtropics. It would be near impossible to have a warm climate garden without one or more of these stunning flowering plants. They are the royalty of tropical-style gardens.

Justicia aurea…The King
(syn. Justicia umbrosa)
Yellow Jacobinia, Golden Plume
Origin: Mexico and Central America

Justicia carnea…The Queen
(syn. Jacobinia carnea)
Brazilian Plume, Flamingo Flower
Origin: Mexico

Justicia nodosa…The Princess
(syn. Dianthera nodosa)
Origin: Brazil

Justicia spicigera…The Prince
(syn. Jacobinia spicigera)
Mexican Honeysuckle,
Firecracker Bush
Origin: Mexico to South America

From a 4 page Feature Article in Issue Eighteen
Justicia carnea
Tropical Landscape Grounded in Natives
Images by Paul Plant



In prehistoric times when dinosaurs were the dominant life form there was much less plant diversity, yet relatives of many of these Jurassic Era plants survive today in Australia’s tropical and subtropical gardens. Now Master Landscaper, Andrew Bottomley and Marcia-Grace Byriel take us on a
journey back in time to a place right at our doorstep.

More than 140 million years ago during the Mesozoic Era, the famous three-horned plant-eating Triceratops dinosaur grazed on the primitive vascular system of the Maidenhair Tree (Ginkgo biloba). The Mesozoic landscape was vastly different to modern-day landscapes. Most of the plants around us today are flowering plants, and these did not evolve until relatively late in the Mesozoic period. This period was much less biodiverse than today in both plant and animal life. To step back in time to the Mesozoic landscape, one only has to visit Energex Playasaurus Place at the Queensland Museum.


From a 6 page Feature Article in Issue Eighteen
Maidenhair Tree (Gingko biloba)
Dino tooth display. Image Queensland Museum.
Brigid of the Rowan is a bronze-effect resin figurine from www.enchantedfaeries.com.au
Paul Plant



A fantasy garden is one that allows us to escape to a different place or satisfy a particular interest. Editor Paul Plant takes us into the fantasy gardens of three keen gardeners and talks to them about their creations.

Fantasy is not the exclusive realm of children, although a fantasy garden is ideal for encouraging the younger generation to play in the garden.
For young girls this can involve fairies, goblins, sprites and wizards; and for the boys it’s typically pirates, ships, warlocks and trolls. Whatever comics or books children read, a fantasy garden could be created to complement the story.

For adults a fantasy garden can provide an outlet for the expression of one’s art, the whimsy of collectables and for some a fascination with a location or holiday destination. In fact, the proverbial tropical Balinese garden could be defined as a fantasy garden for some of us.

The following three gardens are featured:

Susanne’s Hideaway Garden
Located 88km west of Mackay at an altitude of 791m, sits a garden near Eungulla National Park that is testament to the craft endurance of one artist.

Ashwood Children’s Garden
Fantasy is not just for children. With 6,000m2 of land in Samford Valley and 10 years of hard work, Ron and Helena King have created a garden with multiple fantasy features, all on shale and clay.

Flanigan Fairy Garden
Jan and Jim Flanigan of Mt Crosby created the Flanigan Fairy Garden for the children – to get them more involved in gardening. These days they tidy it up, are actively involved in replanting the themed garden and organise the positions of fairies – a very important task for the girls.

From a 8 page Feature Article in Issue Eighteen
Susanne's Hideaway Garden
Ashwood Children’s Garden
Flanigan Fairy Garden
Hotel Sanur Beach, Sanur Bali

Helen Curran

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When holidaying overseas, gardeners can be captivated by garden design and the striking combinations created with contrasting foliage. On her recent trip to Bali, Helen Curran examined how plants are placed together to maximise these different colours, textures and forms.


From an 4 page Feature Article in Issue Eighteen

Hotel Sanur Beach, Sanur Bali
Bali Hyatt, Sanur Bali
Bali Hyatt, Sanur Bali
Entrance Furcraea foetida ‘Mediopicta’.
Paul Plant

With a passion for collecting structural plants with interesting foliage and form, landscape designer Matt Kingsley spoke to Editor Paul Plant about his fantasy garden, a garden with a prehistoric character.

Purchased in 2007, the garden evolved into a showplace of mature
feature plants, all grown in pots sitting upon a gravel surfacing. This
is container culture to the extreme.

The reason for pot rather than ground culture was two-fold. “Firstly, these particular plants do not mind staying in pots for a while. They are naturally found in harsh environments, often in crevices between rocks where space may be limited. Secondly, there was a desire to move the plants around
from time to time.” As Matt explained, “I like the flexibility of changeable plant positions”.


From a 4 page Feature Article in Issue Eighteen

A whimsical garden ornament amongst the textured plants.
Views of the garden.
Agave attenuata
Irresistable Iris

Noel Burdette



They have been grown and loved for centuries, immortalised by famous artists and engrained in architecture the world over. Noel Burdette delves into the enchanting beauty of the Iris.

The large Iris family spans the globe in its various forms and the
flowers of these plants would have to be, without a doubt, a visual treat when in bloom.

Sadly in a tropical or subtropical climate, a romantic Monet-style garden festooned with masses of bearded iris flowers is almost impossible to achieve. However, there are still worthy choices to be made from this group of plants that can bring grace and elegance to any sized garden.

The article features the following:

  • Louisiana Iris Hybrids
  • Yellow Flag Iris (Iris pseudacorus)
  • Blue Flag Iris (Iris virginica)
  • Roof Iris (Iris tectorum)
  • Turkish Iris (Iris orientalis var. alba)
  • Algerian Iris (Iris unguicularis syn. Iris stylosa)
  • Dutch Iris (Iris tingitana x Iris xiphium, syn. Iris x hollandica)

From a 4 page Feature Article in Issue Eighteen

Blue Flag Iris (Iris virginica)
Roof Iris (Iris tectorum)
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