Create your own tropical backyard oasis

Transform your backyard into a lush tropical sanctuary.
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Since we won’t be going on any big overseas holidays anytime soon, creating your own backyard tropical oasis could be the next best thing. 

WATCH: How to create a contemporary coastal oasis in your backyard 

Lush verdant foliage, wild sprays of colour and a Balinese pavilion to shade you from the relentless summer heat – sounds like an ideal tropical getaway, doesn’t it? But you don’t need to hop on a plane to get there, it’s all a stone’s throw from your back door. Planning and determination is the secret to this fabulous and flourishing garden. Established just four and a half years ago, this young landscape is packed full of the inspiration you need to create your own tropical backyard oasis.

To achieve the tropical look, you will need to plant in layers. Large, leafy plants towards the back of the garden will provide structure and a jungle-like canopy, while medium-sized shrubs in the middle will add variety and interest. Finish with shade-loving ground covers and ‘mulch’ with pebbles to complete the look.

A Balinese hut, complete with a thatched roof, is a sweet escape on a hot summer’s day and looks idyllic, too. Find DIY kits online.

Extend the razzle dazzle of the tropics into your outdoor furnishings with vibrant cushions and paintings.

Who needs flowers when there is so much to admire and enjoy in the shapes and patterns of these foliage plants? Here, Cordyline ‘Kiwi’, croton and pleomele come together to build a dramatic display of colour. 

Tropical garden plants:


• Calathea

• Croton

• Pleomele

• Cordyline

• Palms

• Ferns

• Rhoeo

• Flowering gingers

• Bromeliads

About the garden

Located in Coffs Harbour, NSW, this homage to Bali was designed and created by Gavin Reid. His love of tropical plants and the desire to build a sanctuary within his backyard led him to densely plant out his compact property with a great combination of foliage plants of various heights, colours and textures. There is even a small Balinese pavilion thrown into the mix to help cement the tropical look. But the success of the garden lies within the soil, which had to be removed and replaced with rich, friable garden mix to allow the plants to flourish as they do.

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