Resort pools and a lush, green, subtropical garden are what come to mind when you think of spending the summer holidays in Queensland, and we can help you achieve that same look when the holidays are finally over and you’re heading back home.
A design style particularly well suited to South East Queensland and Northern New South Wales’ climate, the subtropical garden inspire visuals of lush foliage, layers of green, and pops of bright colours. Some of the defining features of a subtropical landscape design are the use of layered coloured foliage and dense planting, free-flowing features, openness, and materials reflecting Pacific influences.
Structures such as wooden decking, bold feature artworks, and luxurious pools are often constructed to complement this design style.
South East Queensland and Northern New South Wales are blessed with an abundance of rain and sunshine, and plant growth can go into overdrive. Therefore when designing your subtropical garden, maintenance is a key factor to keep in mind for the planting palette and the planting arrangement.
Our expert landscape design team has put together a selection of plants to help you get started with your subtropical garden below.
Get in touch with our team today to find out how we can transform your space into a subtropical paradise!
Heliconia (Heliconia sp.)
Heliconias are tropical perennials that are related to gingers, bananas, and canna lillies, and are grown for their decorative flowers. The flowers are quite small, and are enclosed by large bracts, which can have a combination of colours. Heliconias prefer free draining soil high in organic matter, with regular watering and fertialising. Most varieties prefer full sun, and they do not generally tolerate cold weather or frosts, which makes Heliconias perfect for our climate. Heliconias flowers during Spring, Summer, and Autumn, and will grow up to 4m.
Cordyline fruticosa ‘Rubra’
The Cordyline is a colourful and vibrant addition to any tropical garden in the South East Queensland and Northern New South Wales region, especially when planted amongst leafy plants and palms. Cordylines grow to approximately 1m tall, and prefer positions in full sun or partial shade, with moist and well-drained soil. Cordylines strive in warm and protected positions.
Bird of Paradise (Strelitzia Reginae)
Bird of Paradise is a distinctive plant that is known by its striking flowers – bright, plumed blooms perched on long stems that look like tropical birds peeking through leaves. Bird of Paradise is a tough and hardy plant, and they will withstand drought, salty coastal conditions, light frost, and general neglect, and are perfect for a low-maintenance garden. The Reginae variety has orange and blue flowers amongst broad and tropical looking leaves, and will grow up to 1.5m tall with a dense, clumping habit.
Xanadu (Philodendron xanadu)
Xanadu is a known for their lush foliage and dramatically lobed leaves. An evergreen shrub with compact, tidy growth habit, the Xanadu is suited to warm tropical and subtropical climate, and full-sun or partly-shaded areas. Xanadu is also very low maintenance and does not produce aerial roots.
Ruffled Fan Palm (Licuala grandis)
The Ruffled Fan Palm is a small, slow-growing palm with a solitary trunk, and glossy corrugated green leaves. The Ruffled Fan Palm produce yellow flowers that will produce a red fruit when ripe, and will grow to approximately 2.5m. They prefer moist soil and partial shade, and they do not tolerate frost.
Mondo Grass (Ophiopogon japonicus)
Mondo grass is an evergreen perennial that makes for great groundcover or standalone grass-like plant. They are hardy and will strive in almost any soil and lighting condition. As a slow-growing plant, they require minimal maintenance and care once established. With strappy leaves and a clumping habit, Mondo Grass flowers with lavender or white flowers that grow into glossy black fruit.
Alpinia (Alpinia sp. ‘Fiji’)
Alpinia is a ginger with unusually long and thin leaves, it forms dense clumps which are compact and upright and produces flowers at the top of each stem throughout summer. They are hardy and grows well in part shade and moist, well-drained soil rich in organic matter. The Alpinia is also cold tolerant and will grow to between 1-1.5m tall.