The temperate biomes of the world feature cool, green, moist landscapes, deciduous trees and a lush undergrowth of spring-flowering shrubs, bulbs and annuals.
Often set in mountainous areas, the cool woods and forests of the temperate zone contain plant species which are familiar in our gardens as exotic plants.
These landscapes have rich, deep soils with high rainfall, but often have harsh, cold winters with mists, frosts and snow. The plants that grow here also show great adaptability and toughness, losing leaves in winter or dying off completely, before springing back to life as the season warms, with amazing displays of colourful flowers. The soils of these temperate zones vary greatly and reflect the type of parent rock. In the Himalayas for example, the soils are volcanic and plants from these regions such as azaleas, rhododendrons and camellias need acidic soils to grow well in our gardens. By contrast, the mountainous soils of France and northern Italy are limestone derived, and the characteristic plants such as lavender and olives prefer alkaline soils. Whether your garden is in a cool area or you have a cool microclimate in a warmer area, there are many beautiful plants from the temperate biome to grow.
Cool climate plants from all over the world are showcased at the Blue Mountains Botanic Garden Mount Tomah. Visit in spring for the flowers and autumn for the colourful leaves.
View some plants and landscapes of the temperate biome in the image gallery.