Spring has sprung

Our backyard in spring.Bryce’s arrival in early October was perfect timing. Gone were the cold nights and frosty mornings – we were opening up the windows and bi-folds to enjoy the warmer temperatures and cool breezes. So was our garden.

This winter was, by all accounts, an unusually cold winter. Our neighbour counted 21 frosty mornings this year (at one point 5 consecutive days!), compared to 6 the year prior. While cozy when sitting by the fire, it’s not ideal for the garden. But with that said, our plants did surprisingly well considering the requirements for a tropical garden. The casualties can be counted on just one hand.

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Hilltop Balinese in San Diego

The ViewWithin the rolling hills of San Diego, it’s not uncommon to find hilltop homes with sweeping vistas of the San Diego landscape. But finding a home with Balinese features and open plan living can be a bit more difficult.

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Pebbles & A Path

Pebble PathSome people wake up on Saturday morning and make themselves a cup of coffee, read the newspaper, and just enjoying the weekend that was a long time coming. In our household, we (well, I, now that Megan is pregnant) find ways to try and move as much rock, soil, and other landscaping products as possible. This weekend was no exception.

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Cordylines in our garden

Cordyline Fruticosa close up

Cordylines are pretty popular in Australia, and while they tend to be the workhorse of most tropical gardens, they’re often overlooked and blend in to the landscape – unless you’ve got a camera with a large aperture lens. Then it’s a completely different view altogether.

This particular plant is the Cordyline Fruticosa (Kiwi). It’s a bright green cordyline with a reddish pink stripe down the edge of the leaves – striking when planted in bunches.

Plant it in part shade for vibrant colours but, as we’ve discovered, it does just fine in full sun as well. Like most tropical plants, it’s roots aren’t deep, but make sure the top 10-20cm of soil is rich and well draining.

April 2011: Landscaping progress

Tropical plants in our Sydney garden

It’s by no means a quick job, nor an easy one. The new blisters on my hands prove that. But after a few weekends off, attending to other activities and chores, we’re back getting dirty in the yard again. And with a few more trips to the nursery, we find our yard looking more and more like what we’ve been envisioning for quite a while. Sure, it’s going to take years to grow in and truly have that lush tropical feel we’re after, but let’s face it – anything is better than the dirt and weeds we had there previously.

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