Tropical Style

Episode: 1
Title: Tropical Style
Broadcast: August 13th 2016
Presenter: Nigel Ruck

Nigel is in a garden just a couple of kilometers away from the ocean on the northern beaches of Sydney. If you like your tropical style plants with lots of bold foliage, this garden has some absolute rippers that are well suited to growing in many other parts of Australia.

  • Strelitzia Nicolai, the Giant Bird of Paradise always makes a statement. Be careful where you plant these as they can get to around 6-10-meters high and might need some pruning.
  • Nigel shows us leaves, which belong to the variegated Shell Ginger Alpinia Zerumbet. This plant has a beautiful flower in late spring early summer and is easy to grow in light sun or shade with a reliably drained soil.
  • Gingers gradually spread as the rhizome gets bigger so you get good bang-for-your-buck and they form a great middle planting layer up to about 2-meters.
  • If its edibles you’re after, bananas scream the tropics and they’re fine to grow as far south as Sydney and Perth.
  • There are lots of excellent Philodendrons and you can see two in this garden – the larger Bipinnatifiidum and a dwarf variety Zanadu, an excellent landscape foliage plant. Both good in full sun through to light shade and like a drink in spring and summer.
  • Alcantarea Imperialis, part of the giants of the Bromeliads, can get up to 1.5-meters wide. Excellent drainage and full sun to light shade is essential and be careful because new plants can burn if not hardened. What a statement they make!