Can You Grow Your Own Coffee in a Tropical Garden?
Tropical House & Garden
by Jan Rexus Iglesias
1d ago
Most people know that coffee comes from the tropics. In fact, the latitudes between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn are often referred to as the world’s coffee belt. Brazil, Vietnam, Colombia and Indonesia are the top coffee producing countries, but the coffee plant can be grown in virtually any tropical country with adequate rainfall. So why don’t we see coffee being grown in the home garden along with other tropical fruits and vegetables? Well, we do, but it’s not commonly planted because roasting coffee is a specialised process that requires expensive equipment, and the qua ..read more
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What to Know About Cats in the Tropics
Tropical House & Garden
by Jan Rexus Iglesias
2M ago
It’s common knowledge that cats can cope with tropical heat better than dogs, and for many pet owners in the tropics that can be a reason they might choose a cat for a pet over a dog. However, cats can still get heat stressed. Ensuring that your cat doesn’t get dehydrated is the main difference between looking after a cat in the tropics compared to a temperate climate. Cats are well known for seeking the sun’s warmth and are often seen sunbathing on the ground for a good period. However, that doesn’t mean cats are immune to the tropical heat, as most veterinarians recommend that cats don’t sta ..read more
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How to Prepare Bicol Express, a Filipino Spicy Stew
Tropical House & Garden
by Jan Rexus Iglesias
3M ago
When it comes to food, I love consuming spicy dishes. My spice tolerance is quite decent, maybe slightly above the norm for a Filipino, so I won’t skip out on having Bicol Express for either lunch or dinner every chance I get. This is a spicy meat dish that takes inspiration from the Philippines’ Bicol region. The region’s use of coconut milk and chilis in their cuisine is what brought Bicol Express into existence. Typically, it consists of coconut cream, coconut milk, pork meat, chilis, and shrimp paste. What’s interesting about this tropical dish is the history behind it. There are many stor ..read more
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A Tropical Zen Retreat: Where Nature and Serenity Unite
Tropical House & Garden
by Rituparna Simlai
3M ago
The Florida coastal city of Miami is characterised by extensive waterways, with roads and homes set amidst this aquatic expanse. In the thick of quintessential coconut palms and moored boats lies Coronado Residence, reflecting a calm and grounded lifestyle. The entirety of the property, encompassing both the residence and its environs, is infused with a Zen-inspired ambience, thoughtfully designed by landscape architects, Studio Arth, to cater to clients who are ardent advocates of yoga, meditation and mindfulness practices. As a nod to this theme, the landscape is designed to create a pause a ..read more
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How to Deal with Household Pests in the Tropics
Tropical House & Garden
by Jan Rexus Iglesias
3M ago
Living in the tropics is not always the paradise that many envisage. You don’t always spend your time by the beach or enjoy a fresh coconut every day. Instead, you often deal with the heat of the scorching sun, the incessant rainfall that comes every year, and a large number of pests that thrive in hot and humid environments. Mosquitoes, roaches, termites, ants, spiders, and rodents are some examples of household pests that people living in the tropics always battle within their homes. And usually, it’s a battle that is hard to win. Rodents can chew through electrical wires causing short circu ..read more
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Some Pungent Condiments from Southeast Asia to Try
Tropical House & Garden
by Jan Rexus Iglesias
5M ago
The cuisine of most tropical countries includes the extensive use of herbs and spices, and condiments that are more flavorful – some would say more pungent – than in other countries. In particular, Southeast Asia has many variations of condiments that are used in or served with local dishes that are quite unique even in the tropical world. Some of these condiments can pack quite a wallop so it’s worth knowing what’s in them if you’re traveling in Southeast Asia and keen to try local foods complete with the condiments that are usually served with them. Of course, the flavor and taste of these c ..read more
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Transforming a Suburban Garden into a Tropical Sanctuary
Tropical House & Garden
by Rituparna Simlai
6M ago
By engaging a professional landscape architect, this Florida family transformed an ordinary garden into a natural habitat for local flora and fauna. Nestled within the tropical paradise of Miami, South Florida, the Herring Residence is an exceptional example of how an evocative planting design can transcend the boundaries of conventional home gardens. The landscape design fosters an evolving and thriving ecosystem, where respect for the natural biodiversity is evident through the choice of the planting palette. The palette emulates nature, by adding color, texture, and vibrancy through plantin ..read more
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8 Tips for Buying Island Homes in the Tropics
Tropical House & Garden
by Gary Stockdale
6M ago
Many people living in the tropics like to live on islands as they provide year-round access to sandy beaches, warm oceans and on-the-water activities which represent some of the best aspects of tropical living. In some regions of the tropics like the Caribbean and Pacific Islands, everyone lives on an island, whilst in other countries, offshore islands are often regarded as prime real estate. Often people who are thinking of buying an island home don’t realise that there are some real challenges in doing so when compared to buying real estate ‘on the mainland’ – wherever that may be for you. T ..read more
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The Calamansi: Southeast Asia’s Dwarf Lime
Tropical House & Garden
by Jan Rexus Iglesias
6M ago
When it comes to citrus fruits, the first ones that usually come to mind are lemons, limes, grapefruit, oranges, and mandarins. However, there’s one citrus fruit that’s more culturally significant in Southeast Asia than all the others: the calamansi. Popularly known as calamondin in the west, the calamansi (Citrus x microcarpa) is a citrus hybrid native to the Philippines and parts of Indonesia, Malaysia, and southern China. It also goes by the name Philippine lime or Philippine lemon due to that country being the only major producer of this fruit, ranking fourth on the country’s list of grown ..read more
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How To Prepare Dinuguan, the Filipino Blood Stew
Tropical House & Garden
by Jan Rexus Iglesias
6M ago
Growing up in the Philippines, one of my favorite pork dishes to was dinuguan, or pork blood stew. It’s a traditional Filipino dish that mainly consists of pork meat, garlic, vinegar, chili peppers, and pig’s blood. The last ingredient is one that a lot of people will have trouble wrapping their heads around. After all, it’s not your common everyday ingredient. However, it does see use in several different cuisines. Blood sausages and black pudding from Europe and the Americas make use of blood as the primary ingredient, along with some kind of filler, like rice and oats. In Poland, they have ..read more
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