As summer ends and the days get shorter, it is good to have some autumn colour to bring a vibrant edge to the garden. A favourite in Gold Coast gardens is Ixora and it is flowering profusely after the recent autumn rain.


Ixora are small compact shrubs, with shiny rounded leaves and are ideal for mass plantings in a tropical garden.They have tangerine or yellow flowers and grow up to a metre tall.

My pick is IXORA ‘CORAL FIRE’  which bears multiple heads of tangerine coloured flowers. They are best planted in a lighly shaded protected position, in moist well drained soil.


Ornamental chillies also provide a splash of autumn colour to the vegetable garden.The chillies in our vegetable garden are doing exceptionally well this year and we are using them in many different ways in the kitchen. I like to dredge  them in breadcrumbs, shallow fry and then finish them off with a sprinkle of sea salt.

Chillies prefer a warm sunny position, sheltered from the wind and do best in a deep well drained soil with compost incorporated.


The ubiquitous bird of paradise is a very hardy plant and seen all over the Gold Coast. They are a very hardy plant and prefer sunny conditions with a free draining soil. They have striking orange and blue flowers and grow up to 1.5 metres tall.