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Tropical garden experiment with pawpaw circle

I've been working on creating a tropical themed garden for one of the sections of our yard. I say experiment because everything in this garden when you are starting from basics is an experiment!!

It started like this:

So basically a lawn with a frangipani tree. First up was making a pawpaw circle - digging in back breaking, soul crushing clay... I think I got to about 50-60cm deep. I modelled it on Scarlett's one, as suggested by BLF when I started another hugelkultur mound elsewhere in the yard. Might add a banana plant or two later, depending how much space is left.

For the rest of the lawn, I sectioned off a space for a curved bed and covered the ground with cardboard to minimise the weeds, making a border with firewood. Also divided up my orchid and attached more to different forks in the frangipani. 

Then piled in the soil I got delivered -taking gamble that old mate was right and that the PH is neutral even though my DIY test said very alkaline. I planted each plant into it's own wheelbarrow load of soil: Sue's Galangal; and the pineapple tops from yesterday's GV (adding a little bit of peat moss for the piney's who prefer slightly acidic soil - also hopefully will act as a buffer is the soil does turn out to be 10PH...

Covered with sugarcane mulch and added Anne's aloe vera. Left the purple stemmed taro in a pot - weary that it might be evil. Sue's pawpaws drooped a lot since arriving so trimmed off leaves and there are new shoots so hoping they will be ok - wondering if perhaps roots got damaged in transplant. The galangal also turned yellow - will have to stump back. I really hope this isn't because of the soil!!!!!! Still haven't decided on a place for the dragon fruit yet. 

The plan is continue to plant in with sub/tropical flowers (geraniums, bogainvillea etc) and other edibles until it is lush and bursting with colour!!

Thanks so much to everyone who has given me ideas and plants!!

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Comment by Sophie on June 16, 2016 at 8:55

Garden has benefited from the rain :)

Comment by Sophie on June 16, 2016 at 8:21

Comment by Sophie on June 15, 2016 at 10:25

Hi Dianne it is going well! I cut the galangal storks off and the tubers have since resprouted. The pawpaws have survived and are growing well. I've popped in some rooted geranium cuttings and the pineys are still alive! It seems the soil was ok after all (bizarre re ph readings!). Thanks for asking - I will post a pic soon

Comment by Dianne Caswell on June 15, 2016 at 9:42

Hi Sophie, Just wondering, how is your garden going since you made all the changes?

Comment by Lissa on April 25, 2016 at 6:23

Good to make a start :)

Yell out if there are any plants you want (from any of us).

Comment by Sophie on April 25, 2016 at 6:08
Oh beauty thanks Barbara!
Comment by Barbara Tealby on April 24, 2016 at 20:58

Don't buy a black mulberry, Sophie - I've got one in a pot that I struck from my dwarf black mulberry. I live in McDowall if you want to pick it up sometime.

Comment by Sophie on April 24, 2016 at 19:33
Love your enthusiasm Susan !! Thanks for the tips! So you do ok with normal raspberries? Thats great; you are not too far from me so would be similar climate etc. It's funny, I never even thought about the taste before - for now, keeping things alive is a biggest hurdle haha. Am happy to wait for suckers and yes, (black) mulberry is the first on the list from Daleys (though some BLFers have had some luck striking from cuttings?!) thought about lychee too or longan tho not sure we have the space; need to plan the fruit tree orchard side of things some more. I got from Gumtree an avo and a bowen mango in pots - was going to write a blog about that; was quite amazing, a gardener was moving overseas and essentially sold me his whole garden!!(the palms in pots in the pic above come from him). Dont know the panama berry, will keep look out. Am also interested by your kiwiberry, will have to let me how it goes. One thing a time... or not haha
Comment by Susan on April 24, 2016 at 19:08

Keep blogging, I can't wait to see your garden progress. :)

Comment by Susan on April 24, 2016 at 19:07

Great start Sophie!!!  Atherton Raspberries get out of control very quickly so either put them somewhere where you can mow over ALL the suckers you don't want or put them into a large pot.  I also have Bicentenial, heritage and Williamette raspberries if you ever want to come over and dig up a sucker.  I would recommend partial/afternoon shade for all of these guys as our summer is too harsh. All of my paw paws have grown from seeds of fruit that I have liked and chucked in the ground.  I have found any seedlings that I bought were god aweful tasting.  I have one out of three trees that I like the BEST so I will only plant seeds from this one come time for new pawpaws - my other two taste good but no where near as nice as this one.  If you are doing "subtropical", what about grafted lychees and dwf grafted mango from Daleys?  Banana's you can get from Blue sky banana's - I love my goldfinger!! If you're willing to wait, you could have some suckers.  You MUST get a mulberry.  If you have the room, go a normal black but otherwise go a dwf.  Panama berries are AWESOME!! Taste like caramel and are extremely prolific once you get them going.  All of these would suit your tropical theme and are things I could recommend.

If you ever start on other things, tropical nectarines and peaches do great if you have a net for them - DON'T plant them until you have a net though as fruit fly is terrible.

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