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Tropical Landscaping

Create your own tropical backyard with some help from the links and publications below!

  Creating Garden Ponds and Water Features
Debbie Roberts and Ian Smith
London: Collins, 2001
Call No.: q635.9674 ROB -[HOM]

A beautifully illustrated guide that sees you through from the alpha to the omega of incorporating water features in your garden. Written in practical step-by-step easy-to-understand prose, the book highlights the factors for consideration, useful tips, and what to avoid each step of the way: planning, installation, planting, fishes, equipment and maintenance. Helpful information such as the different varieties of plants available; fishes that you might want to get or avoid, and also their likely common illness are also covered in the book. Although written mainly for a Western audience, the book is still very relevant for those interested in having water features for your garden in a tropical climate.
  Tropical Garden Design
Made Wijaya
Singapore: Archipelago Press and Wijaya Words, 2003
Call No.: q712.60913 WIJ

In Tropical Garden Design, distinguished landscape architect and designer Made Wijaya shares the various sources of inspiration for his world-famous garden designs and how his ideas crystallized into a concrete format. Articulate beautiful prose coupled with colourful dynamic illustrations, the book is for those seeking aesthetic pleasures and/or artistic inspirations for their garden designs.
  Colour Your Garden
Jill Billington
London: Quadrille Publishing, 2002
Call No.: 635.968 BIL [HOM]

For the gardener, an understanding of colour is as useful as an understanding of soil and climate. This book will help them to understand colour and how it can be used when planning beds. The author even provides a list of plants listed in colour groups to make your choice of choosing palettes easy. Even if you are not a gardener, this is truly a beautiful book to flip through. The brightly-coloured photographs scattered across the pages shows how gardens can be created to have a character or mood that is unique.
  Gardens to Go: Creating and Designing a Container Garden
Sydney Eddison
New York, Boston: Bulfinch Press, 2005
Call No.: 635.986 EDD [HOM]

A garden grown in pots is something that anyone can do, and almost anywhere – as well as one being of the best options available to people living in small spaces. In this book, the author shows how one can create the perfect container garden for each unique environment. Practical advice, such as drainage, basic plants, types of containers and arranging the potted plants, are provided. The beautiful coloured photographs in the book will provide inspiration for your own container garden.
  The Exotic Garden: Designing with Tropical Plants in Almost Any Climate
Richard R. Iversen
USA: Taunton Press, 1999
Call No.: 635.9523 IVE – [HOM]

In The Exotic Garden, the author will show you how topical plants can be used to give character or mood to your garden. Practical advice, such as designing, maintenance, and growing tropical plants, are given. The section on ‘Container Gardening’ will definitely help those who wish to grow an exotic garden in their rooftop or balcony. At the end, a glossary of tropical plants with titles such as ‘Decorative Interest’ and ‘Horticultural Use’ is listed with the aim of giving readers an idea on how the plant may be used.
  Designing with Plants
Piet Oudolf with Noel Kingsbury
London: Conran Octupus Limited, 1999
Call No.: 635.9 OUD [HOM]

Rather than merely focusing on colour to enhance the beauty of your garden landscape, famed Dutch garden designer Piet Oudolf also strongly believes that form, texture, light and movement can dramatically add to the attractions of any garden.

Piet Oudolf, who is well-known for his innovative and forward-looking designs, highlights various type of plants in terms of their form such as those which are like spires – these plants ‘thrust our vision skywards, reminding us of other realms’ and buttons and globes which are ‘defined points – concentrated clusters of flowers tightly packed’. The attention to detail regarding all aspects of garden design is more than information enough to intrigue any plant-lover.

The book jacket says that you can create ‘stunning and sculptural planting schemes’– with such detailed information (even the shapes of the leaves of the plants are given their attention in this book!), this is not a book that you will want to miss.

A comprehensive website that covers everything about Garden Design – ‘Garden Care and Maintenance’, ‘Recommended Garden Books’, ‘Garden Workplans’, this is a website all self-respecting gardeners should visit. There is also a gardening expert that you can post your questions to via email.
Gardening Techniques from BBC

The name BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) screams authority – need anymore be said? A comprehensive website that truly covers everything possible to cover about gardening. Several famous garden designers such as Alan Titchmarsh and Diarmuid Gavin also dish out advice at this site. This is a website that deserves to be put as your bookmark. Another interesting element is that you can try out your ideas at a virtual garden on the website first before actually implementing it.

Last updated on 23 February 2016

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