Willetton’s hidden tropical rainforest set to open to public

Gary Pike in his tropical rainforest. Photo: David Baylis.
Gary Pike in his tropical rainforest. Photo: David Baylis.

A SMALL slice of the tropics in the heart of suburbia is set to open to the public next weekend.

Gary Pike is throwing open the doors to his own private tropical rainforest, localised entirely within the backyard of his Willetton home, as part of the Open Gardens West Coast series.

Mr Pike’s lifelong fascination with tropical jungles inspired him to recreate one in his garden 25 years ago and he has been maintaining it ever since.

He said his personal rainforest contained over 100 different species of palms and roughly 20 different species of cycads, although the garden was not limited to plants unique to the tropics.

Photo: David Baylis

“Anything that looks tropical can go in there; it doesn’t have to be tropical, but as long as it gives that appearance, it’ll fit.

“To me, it’s just very soothing to be out there. I don’t have to be doing anything, I can just sit on one of the chairs with a beer in hand or a cup of tea,” he said.

Mr Pike said his rainforest proved anyone could grow their own tropical garden in Perth’s climate.

“The reason I opened it was a lot of people would like a tropical garden, but they say it’s too warm or too cold. But you can do it.”

Mr Pike’s tropical garden is located at 18 Agincourt Drive and will be opened from 10am-4pm on March 16 & 17. Entry is $6 per person, with free entry for children under 18.