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Do you know of any tropical gardening resources?

I am looking for information regarding the background and origins of the “tropical gardening” style for a garden design course that I am doing. There is a lot of information available regarding Zen Gardens, English Country Gardens, Cottage Gardens, etc but very little about the background and history of tropical gardens. Can anyone suggest any helpful resources that could assist me with finding answers? Thanks in advance!

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5 Responses to “Do you know of any tropical gardening resources?”

  1. Katiee. said :

    gardeners world.

  2. ANGEL said :

    The Tropical Garden by William Warren, Luca Invernizzi Tettoni (Photographer), opens with an essay tracing the historical interest in tropical plants. Royal and religious, private and public tropical gardens are discussed:

    Daniel Headrick, “Botany, Chemistry, and Tropical Development,” Journal of World History notes that the growing demand of Western consumers and industries for tropical products… helped spur relations between the North Atlantic countries and the tropics in the century before 1914.

    Tropical Garden Design, by Made Wijayahas includes a history of tropical colonial gardens:

    ” Tropical gardens can contain a wide variety of plants, but some require lots of heat while others require lots of water. Tropical gardens also don’t often survive freezing temperatures either, so many people in cooler climates choose to create tropical container gardens which can be taken inside when bitter cold winter temperatures come around.

    Most tropical plants require a lot of sunlight though, so if you’re planting them into a ground based garden or raised garden bed, be sure to choose the sunniest spot you can find in your yard. You’ll want to plant tropical plants and flowers in areas which get a minimum of six hours direct sunlight each day. Some tropical garden plants such as bougainvillea, thrive on irregular watering patterns”

    Esperanza and Spanish Broom are excellent plants to put into a tropical garden, which are both heat and drought tolerant. These plants produce bright showy yellow flowers that bloom continuously from spring through fall.

    Tropical backyard:
    Various tropical landscapes: (scroll through the landscapes)

    Use plants that give you a lush tropical feel, like palms, ferns and elephant ears, but also use water features, such as a fountain, waterfall, pond or stream:

    Many plants grown as houseplants, such as cactus & Agave, thrive outside in a semi-arid tropical environment. “In regions where the heat of the growing season is followed by frost or freezing temperatures, tropical plants are often dug up and overwintered, used as houseplants, or simply repurchased for use the next growing season.”
    Plants like Cannas give a tropical lookto the landscape:
    Using Bromelias:

    Tips on types of plants to use & what type of hardscape (permanent features)… like bamboo…you’ll need :,2029,DIY_13852_2388771,00.html

    Videos of Tropical Paradise Backyard Retreats:

    Good luck !!! Hope this is helpful.

  3. dingbat said :

    Try Will Gile’s books, just follow this link:

  4. Tashi D said :

    I found a wealth of literature in the files of my public library on this subject. I ordered everything, and found that much of what I received was printed within the last 5-10 years and extremely useful in being both technically accurate and accessible to the amateur, many being gorgeously illustrated and with excellent resource guides. Try different headings, such as “tropical plants” or if that doesn’t work, “plants-tropical”, “gardening-tropical” etc.

  5. florayg said :

    Christopher Lloyd ‘Exotic Gardening for Adventurous Gardeners’


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