After I came back to Australia and wrote my last post in October, I headed back to Papua New Guinea to complete my contract. I returned to Australia early November, had lots of visits and catch ups with friends, but more importantly, a big report to complete to finalise my work (text was complete but the formatting had gone awry). I was down to the last 10 pages and decided, unwisely as it turned out, that I could complete it outside, but as I grabbed my computer bag, I discovered it was unzipped; my laptop slid out and smashed on the tiled floor.
I got the computer tech out and we spent a very long time trying to recover data from my damaged hard drive without success. Not to worry, I rashly thought to myself, all would be backed up to my external hard drive. Not so, I discovered. So it took almost three weeks to redo the lost work and send off my report. However, that brought us into the Christmas/summer holiday stretch and the multiple visits required from the technician ended up weeks apart. Even now, I am only back to about 90% performance on my new computer - for example, I can't download new photos onto it - but thankfully, I still have the trust old computer I am currently working on, slow as it is.
After 7 months away, my own garden is in a sad state, but I have headed out and about in search of inspiration.
Two weekends ago on the last Sunday in February, I visited an open garden - Taman Air in the southside Brisbane suburb of Sunnybank - where was no shortage of great ideas for the tropical garden.
|The main street entrance to Taman Air - the Sunnybank garden of Rene and Carolyn Hundscheidt - flanked by bronze coloured (Aechmea blanchetiana) and burgundy Alcantarea bromeliads|
|This beautiful potted bromeliad is Aechmea 'Del Mar'; I snapped up one at the plant sales adjoining the garden.|
|A spirit house with Rhapis palm to the right - a plant I am planning to add to my front garden - Croton to the left, Rhoeo in the foreground, and Brazilian Red Cloak behind..|
|A pretty miniature bromeliad in spectacular Balinese stone planter.|
|The entry to the residence - great concept but this would be asking for trouble for anyone as clumsy as I am.|
|A selection of bromeliads, mainly neoregelias.|
|Lovely blue-flowered water plant|
|Love the stone and pebble pathway and the red and white caladium (I added to my own collection with a visit to the on-site plant shop).|
|Selection of Guzmania bromeliads - think I have had all of these at some stage - hopefully they are still there.|
|Exit/entrance to side street.|
|I love this heliconia.|
|The property boundary from the street|
|Delicate pink frangipani (Plumeria)|
Rene can supply all the finishing touches to add Balinese style to any garden. You can check out his website at www.islandimports.com.au And if it you want more tropical inspiration, have a look at my earlier post where I explored the garden of Rene's brother, Dennis here