Here is a progression of a year's growth, from January of last year to Christmastime of this year.  The ultimate goal is to create "The Rainforest Garden", and in one year I have come much closer to doing so! 

This is the garden in January of last year, looking pretty barren.  You will notice a dark mound to the right, and that is my beloved clump of alocasias after being burned to the ground by the cold.with no protection.

Making progress!

Now its more lushly panted and is finally looking like a real garden!

You will notice that the tree fern is really starting to take off, and the gingers and paurotis palm are filling in nicely.

A wider view, showing off one of my favorite plants, the alocasia calidora elephant ear!  Look at how well it has recovered in just a year.  The trunks are now over a foot tall.

Here is a good view of the fishtail palm (which I really hope survives) surrounded by the ti plant, monstera deliciosa, peace lily, coffee bush, and three types of alpinia gingers.

Our super cute sheltie by the name of Panda shown for scale!

The tree fern has grown nicely, and so has my rajapuri banana. The dense growth to the left includes Tabebuia (a rarity here), Callistemon Laevis (a bottlebrush), firespike, and areca palm.  Can't wait to see how everything does in the cold!


  1. Wow, that is amazing progress in one year's time! You are quite brave to plant a fishtail palm--I love that tree but am afraid it is not cold-tolerant. Think I read that somewhere. ??? Can't wait to see if yours survives. I love all your tropicals...I'm a sucker for tree ferns and the yellow tab especially. And Panda is so cute!

  2. There's a large fishtail palm growing in the neighborhoodthat always recovers, so I thought I'd try it out. There's even a royal palm down the street, but it usually takes a couple of months to recover. Thanks!

  3. Hi Rainforest Gardener...I found you on Garden in Paradise. It looks like you're in Florida, and I love finding other Florida garden blogs. My neighbor here in the central part of the state has a fishtail palm. In cold winters it does freeze back, but always recovers.

  4. Thanks so much for the anecdotal evidence, guys! A fishtail palm will be on my list now. I really, really love this palm! They do sell them at the local garden centers, but I just didn't know if the risk was worth the $ investment.

  5. I found one for about $10 at target, so just wait til you get a good deal and you have nothing to lose! Just treat it as a big annual and if it comes back, the great!

  6. Oh, and thanks for the info Susan! Its always nice to hear that someone else is having luck with something I grow!

  7. Rainforest Gardener, I LOVE your garden and the progress its made! Beautiful choices and locations...I can imagine it in its maturity...gorgeous!!

  8. Rainforest Gardener,
    thanks for posting these progression photos - it is nice to follow along a gardens progress. You have a lovely mix of plants and hopefully they all survive your cold burst this season. Those that survive will be stronger I suspect.


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