Dallas Kampe finished building his house in 1985. At that time the garden was bare, except for a few wattle trees growing on the property. Inspired by his love of tropical gardens and several trips to South-East Asia, Dallas began collecting plants and transforming the site into a fabulous, tropical hideaway. Today he grows over 250 species of rare and exotic palms, including Wanga palm (Pigafetta filaris), Bismarck palm (Bismarckia nobilis), Raffia palm (Raphia farinifera) and Mountain fishtail palm (Caryota obtusa). Brightly coloured foliage plants, such as cordylines and crotons, grow under the palms.
Dallas showed Don some of the huge, concrete pot sculptures in the garden. He and his father made them using moulds. The moulds were put in position, then lined with concrete. The concrete was coloured with red oxide and reinforced with bird wire.
Spaceship plunge pool
The biggest and most imposing structure in the garden is a large concrete dome shaped like a minaret on a mosque, which Dallas has been working on for almost 12 months. He reinforced the structure with galvanised weldmesh and decorated the sides using a mould made from a lampshade. Dallas plans to build a plunge pool inside the dome.
Dallas Kampe’s tropical garden is located at:
15 Sunrise Street
Brisbane, Qld 4165
The garden will be open as part of Australia’s Open Garden Scheme on March 23-24, 10am – 4.30pm. Admission $4.50. For more details ring the AOGS Information Line on 1902 261 026.