~Written and edited by Veronica Clark ~

Monday, 24 October 2011

Japie's Tropical Paradise Part I

Good morning all! I trust you had a great weekend and that you are ready for the new week. I have a wonderful garden to share with you. This is my favourite garden ever! What is more, it is just down the road from me in a neighbouring suburb and I often drive a detour to pass it and stop for some soul food without even getting out of the car!

I came across it when I got lost one day trying to find the doctor's surgery and what attracted me was the unusual Traveller's Palm (for this region anyway) that was just spectacular. As an avid gardener I stopped and knocked at the door to ask permission to walk through and take a closer look. Japie graciously accepted a complete stranger into his home and garden and showed me the back garden as well. Wonderful that gardeners are all sharing people, isn't it? To say that I was entranced is an understatement...more like gobsmacked!! By the end of that first visit I left with an armful of  cuttings and a whole load of inspiration and admiration for a true artist! Trust me if I say I absolutely do not know where to start....

I thought I might start with the post box... If I went out here to fetch the mail I would never get back inside again...

Getting out of the car I catch a glimpse of the path to the front door...just this short path is so filled with treasure that I am snapping away before I have even knocked at the door to announce my arrival...but who wouldn't?

Love the lattice pattern that the cut branches of the palm made...gorgeous!!

Now, let me just inform you that the Western Cape is most definitely not a tropical climate, but looking at this garden you would think differently....It is lush and is filled with colour, texture, shape and form of every description. Please take time when you look at the pictures to note the variety of plants and also the canopy of the garden.

Glancing back towards Noddy standing in the road. Note the plant combination....and the colours. Aloes, Mother-in- laws -tongue and of course Japie's passion, bromelias of every description.

Spy the bird's Nest Fern?

There are amazing vignettes where ever you look from every angle and  it is like viewing a painting layered with colour, shape, textures and charm...

This is what greets you on the way to the front door!

See what I mean? ...paradise in the suburbs...

Lushes curls of the new growth....

Glancing back towards the road...you have to do that here!! or you will miss something great... um...so I got it from all the angles... but you know me by now as being completely snap happy....The design is so amazing that the picture changes all the time...

The palm trees are magnificent and although the garden is not large it felt like I had  entered a forest! There are so many lessons to be learnt here, both in design and the effective use of space, plant combinations, etc, etc...sigh

Look closer...

The birds nest fern planted in an urn is a focal point and I adore the luminous green splash and the shape.

There is another Birds nest fern to the right also in an urn...

Stunning colour combination in this hibiscus.

The irrigation system reaches into the trees to mist the plants and create humidity with astonishing results as you can see.

Japie has made attention to detail into an art form in its own class!

Finally folks, we arrive at the front door. By now I am sure he must have caught a glimpse of me through the window snapping away, and probably thought to himself.... "Leave her, she will eventually arrive at the front door" Well, I am about to ring the doorbell and a melodious melody wafts from within....sigh...what a wonderful way to have spent a Sunday morning.

At the front door the  Croton is a fiery display of pure magnificent colour...

....have a look at how it shows of its splendour against a creamy backdrop...

Perfection, don't you think?

Below is the red hibiscus seen in the photo above, snuggled against the palm tree's trunk of grey making the red even more intense.

Well, I hope you have enjoyed the first instalment. Believe me there is much more that I will be sharing with you from the wonderful piece of paradise that I have had the pleasure of photographing. I will however not reveal to you just how many photos I ended up with...it is indecent, you understand! It was an overcast day with the odd bit of rain and the light was perfect and just got better and better.

I would like to thank Japie for graciously allowing me into his home and piece of paradise and for allowing me to share it with you. The great thing is that it is here for reference and to learn from and to inspire everyone who reads it. Next, I will be sharing the treasures of the back garden with you and thereafter I will take you through the rest of the front garden.

Live Well



I will be joining the following linky parties. Please join us for the fun and to support and meet fellow talented bloggers from around the world.

Mosaic Monday at Little Red House here
Creative Bloggers Party at Homemaker on a Dime here
Debbie Doo's Newby Party here
Amaze me Monday at Dittle Dattle here
Savvy Home Made Monday at Home Savvy here
Blooming Tuesday atMrs Green Thumb Jean here
Outdoor Wednesday at A Southern Daydreamer here
Wow Us Wednesday at Savvy Southern Style here
Wednesdays Bunny Hop at Bunny Jean 's here
Cottage Floral Thursdays at Fishtail Cottage here
Potpourri Friday at 2805 here

Thank you so much for stopping by my blog. Please  make my day and regale me with your comments in the comment box below....


  1. Thanks for showing Japie's garden..it is stunning..I love how he has created a woodland under those gorgeous palms.

  2. These plants are all the ones we have around the house too- except I am in Australia. Great photos!

  3. WOW! That makes me want to plant things! I live in Florida and can have most of those beautiful plants! What an entrance! I love the succulents and the hibiscus! ♥

  4. Gorgeous! It definitely looks like Paradise to me :)

  5. What an incredibly exotic garden! I loved all the photos, but the very last one is really very sweet.
    You're so lucky to have met this gardener!

  6. What an awesome display of nature's beauty!! The photos are gorgeous! Now happily following you via the creative bloggers' hop! I hope you will follow me, too! Blessings to you!

  7. Absolutely beautiful. Everything looks stunning. Thank you for sharing

  8. Very tropical indeed! Not many of those plants would survive our cold NY winters!

  9. Oh how beautiful: I love those curled leaves of the what? fern? Really nice. and the red in the Croton: you never see that here!

  10. What an amazing tropical garden. Thankyou for knocking on his door and bringing it to us. Beautiful images - oh for the time to have a garden like this! Have a wonderful week and thankyou for stopping by my blog to say hi.

  11. A heaven...

    My fam & I dream of coming to your country nxt summer.

    TY for giving me a glimpse.

    Greetings from chilly Stockholm.

  12. This makes me want to go on a tropical vacation right now!

  13. I would have been snapping away, too. Gorgeous!

  14. What a wonderful garden - and what a wonderful blog! I've added you to my blog roll and have become a Follower!

  15. Wow, it's all beautiful Veronica. The tropical plants are unique.

    Thanks for coming by my blog. I hope you come back again sometime.

    Warmly, ~Melissa :)

  16. What a wonderful tropical environment Japie has created. It is very lovely. I look forward to seeing the rest.


  17. What a magical place! You can tell that gardening is truly his passion.Thanks for taking such detail photos. Can't wait to see the back!

  18. Welcome to
    bloomin' Tuesday! I'm sorry you found us so late in the season. Loely garden. Jean

  19. lovely! inspiring me to get out and work in the yard tomorrow!!!

  20. Oh my, that is quite stunning. Paradise is right. I love your beautiful photos, Veronica. Thanks for sharing.

  21. Oh Veronica..... this is absolute paradise! The amount of planting is astounding, without being too crowded.It all looks like nature had arranged it. Japie is certainly talented.

    Thanks SO much for sharing this with all of us.

    xoxo Bunny Jean
    Wednesday's Bunny Hop Party!

  22. This is just gorgeous! It is interesting the plants that have the ability to crossover to different parts of the world and survive there--right now I have a hibiscus that is in bloom as well! But this looks like a much warmer climate than where I live and garden.

    Thank you for stopping by my gardening blog and leaving a nice comment--I appreciate it!

  23. So many beautiful photographs. That is such an amazing place.

  24. Oooooh, wish I could walk out into such a garden every day! Lovely!

    Kristin xo

  25. Wow - this is an amazing piece of paradise you shared! i am in awe of all the plants you shared here...as you just don't see those in my area (unless they are indoors). Thanks for linking up to the party over here at Fishtail Cottage - loved browsing these photo's! xoxo

  26. ps - i'm in love with those starfish with tassels in your header...did you make them?

  27. Wow, this garden is paradise. The plants and pathways are so beautiful!

    Thanks you for sharing this lovely piece of paradise with Potpourri Friday!

  28. Hi Veronica, what an absolutely fabulous garden. You are so lucky to live in such beautiful surroundings. Thanks for sharing. I have recently found your blog and am now following you, and will visit often. Please stop by my blog and perhaps you would like to follow me also. Have a wonderful day. Hugs, Chris

  29. What a beautiful garden! It has quite taken my breath away! I can't wait to explore further :)

  30. I have a hibiscus that is in bloom as well! But this looks like a much warmer climate than where I live and garden.