Jan Hintze

About Jan Hintze

Jan is a professional flower grower, horticulturist & consultant, specialising in tropical plants including fruit and vegetable production and cut flowers. Darwin, Northern Territory

The herbalists came to town

In September, we had a visit from the Herb Society of Australia and New Zealand, as part of a tour organised by Ericka Stean, of the WA Herb Society. They had a fairly tight timetable, so were only able to stay for an hour or so, unfortunately, but the thirty visitors had time to walk through our flower farm, inspecting our veggie patch and fruit trees on the way past. Continue reading

Costa Rican gardens

Part of my trip to Central and South America a few weeks ago involved a quick trip to Costa Rica. We (a group who were attending the Heliconia Society International conference, being held in Panama) were to visit the OTS Wilson Botanic Garden, which was established some fifty years ago on a small piece of land in the extreme south of Costa Rica, close to the Panamanian border. Continue reading

Grand Cayman’s QEII Botanic Park

A few days ago I was on Grand Cayman Island, on my way to Panama for the Heliconia Society International Conference and my daughter took me to visit this garden. It is just beautiful, a credit to the Caymanese. It has been established for many years, and is also a refuge for the native blue iguana. Continue reading

Choosing plants for tropical hedges

In the tropics, hedges are a bit difficult. However in these days of closely built suburban developments, a sound and sight screen is often desirable. There are not a lot of plants really suitable for a classic hedge, and things tend to grow so fast that you are forever clipping them to keep that nice clean line, so beloved of maze builders, parterre planters and topiarists. Continue reading

Peruvian Roadsides

A few years ago, as part of the Heliconia Society International Conference, I went to Peru. I went a couple of weeks earlier with some friends, and we hired a car and driver to go to look at some of the jungle areas to the south east of Peru, along the Madre de Dios River. This is very rugged country, and the road in was dirt, or rather rubble, which had just recently been opened after the wet season rains. Continue reading

Save the planet

If you are a gardener like me, half the fun is growing your own plants from cuttings or seed, and usually your shadehouse is full of little pots with a piece of this or that, or a few seeds, scrounged from other gardens, parks, or purchased on the internet. I don’t kid myself that I am going to remember in a few weeks time what that new little shoot poking up might be, so I have learned to religiously label everything, which brings me to my point. Continue reading

Flowering fruit trees

Every garden needs trees, for shade, for privacy, for the wildlife, for drama and texture and beauty. But often it is hard to decide which trees you can fit in your garden space. We Continue reading


For those of you who aren’t ginger flower fanatics, I thought I might introduce you to a group of flowers which are members of the ‘ginger’ family, which, I might add, is huge – a lot of genera and hundreds of species, scattered all over the world. The ones I am thinking of today are the Costus. Continue reading

In praise of mowing

One of my major occupations now that the rains have started in the Top End, is mowing. We have about four hectares in the flower plantation and gardens, and weeds are our major bugbear. To minimise these, what isn’t flower bed is lawn, well sort of; mowed grass would be more accurate. Continue reading