Attractions in my Back Yard – Tropical Canna Lilies

  Yellow canna lily in my back yard garden

Tropical Canna Lillies in my back yard

A  neighbor gave me this beautiful plant 18 months ago, this is its second flowering. The Canna Lilies epitomize the essence of tropical north Queensland with their brilliant vibrant  colors.  The colors are amazing, such a mix of bright clear yellow with red speckles on this one. If you grow  Canna Lilies  in your back yard, remember to remove the dead flowers. Be careful when doing so as their will usually be new flowers forming about 6″  below on that stem, and you don’t want to loose the new blooms. When the flowering season is over  cut the old  stems back to within  an inch (1″ or 2cm) of the ground.  Fertilize Canna Lilies in late winter. Water well and keep well mulched in the dry weather and they will produce a brilliant display of blooms for months.

Red variation of tropical Yellow Canna

Red variation tropical yellow Canna flowering  in my back yard,

In November I enjoyed a second flowering when the Canna lily produced a vibrant red bloom  on the same stem as the yellow flowers. Sometimes the yellow flowers  have a red stripe on the petals as well as the speckles.  Is this a throwback to the original species I wonder? I have fallen in luv with Canna lilies.  The leaves of the Canna lilies are large and a soft grey green with blue-gray seeds.   It is such a beautiful flower to have in the back yard , and so interesting.

The Canna Lilies originate from  tropical South America. The native tribes of south America once used the very hard seeds of the Canna plant as ammunition in their blowpipe. For this reason in early times the Canna lilies were  commonly called  Indian Shot.

Bulbs in my back yard make a colorfu tropical display.

Bulbs in the back yard make a colorful tropical display.

Bulbs in the back yard garden

The  old saying, “the best thing in life are free” I’m sure  pertains to nature. The back yard  garden has been a pleasure this year, so many bulbs and most flowering at different times, always some color and looking very tropical. I think the bright orange bulbs above a common variety of Hippeastrum?  Make a nice display when massed together.

A Day Lily which hasn’t flowered for  the past ten years flowered this year in the back yard, a lovely surprise. I know it requires a few cold nights before it will flower. I bought over a dozen Day lily bulbs ten years ago,  coming from down south they flowered the first season. I was rapt, they were so beautiful. Never saw them again – except for this one which came up  every year,  but no flowers until now?  Our seasons are changing so perhaps we may get a few colder nights next year and I will have lilies again. Not so suitable for a tropical climate.


Day Lilies needs cold temperatures in winter for spring flowers..Not so tropical

Tropical Mandarin tree

Back in June my first crop on a new mandarin tree in the backyard. Only a small tree, but a dozen delicious juicy mandarin’s hanging low off the branches.

First crop of Manderins in June on my new tree Tropical backyard delights

First crop of Mandarins in June on my new tree Tropical backyard delights

My grandchildren loved them, they were so sweet and juicy, very easy to pick and to peel. So good in winter when we all need extra vitamin C to ward of colds and flu.  Looking forward to another back yard crop next time, bigger and better.


Mandarin's picked and ready to eat. Tropical backyard

Mandarin’s picked and ready to eat. Tropical backyard

A light prune just to tidy up the branches and keep a nice shape, plus fertilizing  with Dynamic Lifter in August and again in February with a complete citrus food should ensure a good crop next year.


Mandarin's freshly picked,sweet & juicyJ

Mandarin’s freshly picked, sweet & juicy from my tropical back yard

Bright Pink Lychee’s so tropical in North Queensland

My Lychee tree improved this year with a bit more TLC and a few colder nights, unusual in this tropical climate.  Temperatures dropped below 16 degrees Celsius even went as low as 12 one night? Probably why I had a   nice little crop of lychee’s to share and enjoy from my back yard tree.

Tropical bright Pin Lychees in my back yard garden

Tropical bright Pink Lychees in my back yard

Tropical Roses in my back yard

I adore my roses, all fragrant, and such a delight. Four of my favorites – Fragrant Plum, Double Delight, President Lincoln ( I think or Papa Meilland, I have both).  Very heady perfumes. Love to get high on my roses. Another two with lovely fragrance and color, Fragrant Delight and Just Joey, all worth having in the rose garden.   Black spot can be a nuisance, but a regular spray with a suitable control agent, and a follow-up in a couple of weeks is usually all it requires to keep it under control. Roses are heavy feeders. Dynamic Lifter I find a really good fertilizer for the roses in this tropical climate. I like to fertilize  every six to eight weeks. This ensures you will always have roses to pick from the  garden. Feeding regularly also helps keep roses healthy.

Handful of fragrant roses.My tropical back yard garden

Handful of fragrant roses. My tropical back yard garden

Tropical north Queensland – such a great climate for growing many tropical fruits, lilies and vibrant, colorful flowering plants in your own back yard.


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About Lyn


  1. hi,
    really nice articles. i am in love with your photography.
    where r u from?

    • Hi, I live in Australia. I enjoy nature and photography. Pune looks a beautiful spot. I wouldn’t expect to find such natural beauty outside Mumbai? thanks for your comments.

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