Aucklander Gil Hanly whose stunning sub-tropical Auckland garden featured recently on the NZ House & Garden programme says “figure out what will grow best in your soil and climate. There's a huge variety of plants available to suit a variety of conditions but subtropical plants tend to flourish from Auckland north but also on the East Coast, in the Hawke's Bay, the Bay of Plenty, the Coromandel Peninsula and in a few other warmer pockets. (Julian Matthews has a lot of subtropical plants in his garden in Waikanae.)
The plants do need to be relatively sheltered. The beauty of global warming is that subtropical plants will in future flourish in other areas too, although at the expense of more temperate species.
The subtropical garden is usually predominantly green - palms, bamboo, ferns - but works well with splashes of vibrant colour from such plants as hibiscus, passion flowers, orchids and bromeliad flowers.”
To view the story from the programme on Gil’s beautiful sub-tropical Auckland garden, click the 'play video' link above.
to see examples of other sub-tropical gardens featured in NZ House & Garden magazine.