Do you believe that it isn’t possible to have the same sense of proportion, colour and depth in a tropical garden than what you can find in cooler climates? Well think again.
This is a photo of The Kampong, the historical home of botanist Douglas Fairchild.
This scene is just one of many beautiful views on the 11 acre property. It demonstrates some great principles of landscape design – simplicity, leading the visitor without them feeling like they are being led, the whole scene being more prominent than any individual feature, and an increasing sense of relaxation as you’re drawn deeper into the garden.
The Kampong is one of the sites of the National Tropical Botanical Garden (NTBG) in Florida. You can take guided or self-guided tours of The Kampong. Douglas Fairchild and his wife, the daughter of Alexander Graham Bell, brought many exotic plants, sculptures and ideas to America from their travels around the world and included them in their home.
In my tropical town, there seem to be two gardening philosophies – cut down all of the trees in the name of making a low maintenance garden, which is so depressing to see – or let things grow wild with no particular plan. My old house is in the latter category, and I long to change it. I would love an orderly layout to my garden, one in which feature trees are grown to their best advantage, there are inviting places to sit, to grow food, to hang the washing, and to socialise. Instead, I’ve inherited a hodge-podge of tress, planted around the edge of the yard, often in inconvenient places for the people who live here, and in spots where the trees are constrained.
The Kampong inspires me as I dream about what I might do in my garden one day. What inspires you?