Journey of A Garden: Gone Troppo’


I’ve gone a little tropical in my garden.

I don’t live in the tropics but I’ve planted two tropical plants which are growing well.

The garden is at the back of a rental property on the south coast of New South Wales, about 2 hours south of Sydney, Australia. The soil is generally fertile in a region famous for dairy farming and viticulture, although the garden had been stripped of much of its nutrients when I moved in, courtesy of the previous tenant’s neglect and a dry winter. The garden attracts quite a lot of sun, during very warm summer months and even during colder winter months in what is typically a temperate climate. The area is also famous for beaches and surfing, which is great after a day of hard yakka in the garden.

The picture above shows the papaya that I planted some time ago. I planted this using the method that I used for a number of my plants in this garden; I saved the seeds from the fruit that I bought from the supermarket, dug a little hole, threw in the seeds and added some potting mix.

I planted the papaya towards the end of last year and recently it started to shoot, after a very slow start. Obviously, the plant requires heat, in the air and in the soil, and the current summer weather seems to be conducive to the growth of this plant.

I water the plant daily, knowing that tropical plants are used to large deluges of water during wet season. So far, I don’t know if the plants are male or female and whether they will actually produce fruit.

Papaya reminds me of holidays. Post swim breakfasts of fresh, tropical fruit, coffee, pastry and juice, sitting on the balcony of the bungalow, staring out at the sea as the waves lap the shore…

Plus, papaya is tasty.

I hope the papaya grows to a sufficient height and strength to survive the falling temperatures which will arrive in a few months.


The other tropical element is the frangipani tree, a symbol of northern Australia and the Pacific region. It’s not native to the region of Australia in which I live but is quite common in many suburban gardens here as it emits a very pleasant aroma and beautiful flowers, which can be tucked behind the ear to complete any summer ensemble. It’s also quite an easy plant to grow. I simply took a cutting from a friend’s tree and stuck it in the ground.

Now I just need a hammock.



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