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Bloemfontein Palm Garden

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My garden is situated against an East facing slope of Grant's Hill in Bloemfontein, South Africa.  Bloemfontein has hot dry summers (summer rainfall) and cold winters down to -10 degrees Celsius. My garden's microclimate is more a 9b though.  My lowest temperature this past winter was -0.9 degrees Celsius. The flat ( lower lying areas) recorded -9 degrees Celsius. 

I moved into this house about 3 and a half years ago. The beginnings of the garden was cleaning up and eradicating alien invasive species and weeds. I started in the back and concentrated on South African indigenous plants. Now that that is settled I'm starting to add palms. The front and sides are now only starting with cleanup and planting in some areas.

i have 33 palm species thus far.   Herewith some pictures. I'll add as the summer and the garden progresses.  

These three pics are of the back garden planted with SA plants:

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These pictures were taken in winter, as evidenced by the flowering aloes. 

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South side space ( our cold side): I planted A cunninghamiana & A alexandrae, Agenga engleri, Ravenia hildebrandti.  I'll add clivias etc later. 

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I also started a planting on the East (front ) of the house with some Syagrus rommanzoffiana, Sabal minor and trying Wodyetia and Trinax parviflora, as this is a sheltered spot with nice morning sun. 

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I planted these 2 Sabal mexicana this morning against a North facing boundary wall.

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You have made a great start. How easy is to buy different palms where you live?

Regards Neil

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Hi Neil

It is rather difficult. Local nurseries have the following: W robusta, B orodata, C humilis, T fortunei, P canariensis reclinata and roebellini 

I buy palms all over the country from palm collectors/ growers. 

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Almost forgot and of course Queen palms. 

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Thanks for sharing Marius! What are some of those plants in your first post? Also, what is your native soil like (v acidic? Loamy?). Do you amend a lot? Keep us updated on what thrives, survives and dies! 

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Hi Swolte

My soil is sandy and loose when dry, but becomes  clay-ish when wet.  I'd say it's clay loam.  I'm not sure if it is neural or alkaline, but it is definitely not acidic.  I add much compost to the soil when I plant.

Plants in the first 4 pics:

Pic 1 - background

Aloe arborescens (orange flowers)

Aloe maculata (light orange flowers)

Dietes grandiflora

Foreground

Melianthus major

Aloe rupestris

Pic 2

Cussonia paniculata, Kniphofia species (about 5 - see http://pza.sanbi.org/kniphofia-species ), Aloe arborescens, Encephalartos natalensis, Encephalartos cupidus, Encephalartos trispinosus, Aloe striata, Agapanthus praecox.

Pic 3

Encephalartos friderici-guilielmi   http://pza.sanbi.org/encephalartos-friderici-guilielmi

Yellow flowers shrub is Euryops virgineus

Pic 4

Protea cynaroides
 

 

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Another view with one of my baby Brahea armata in the foreground.

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Wow, baaie mooi tuin!  I like south african plants. A lot of them grow fine here were I live at 1030m altitude in south Brazil. I also planted some encephalartos like natalensis, longifolius that I cultivated from seeds and also a lot of Aloe species.What is the cold hardiness of Encepahalartos trispinosus and cupidus? Thanks

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Very nice, thank you for sharing. It's interesting, I never realized that what I consider a Coastal California garden is really heavily influenced by African plants, lots of senecio, aloes, kniphofia, protea, leucadendron etc. 

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16 hours ago, Alberto said:

Wow, baaie mooi tuin!  I like south african plants. A lot of them grow fine here were I live at 1030m altitude in south Brazil. I also planted some encephalartos like natalensis, longifolius that I cultivated from seeds and also a lot of Aloe species.What is the cold hardiness of Encepahalartos trispinosus and cupidus? Thanks

Wow, Afrikaans!  Thank you.  I love South African plants. We have such a diverse and unique floral heritage in South Africa that it is a pleasure gardening with our indigenous plants. It is even nicer when one hears that people abroad appreciate them too.

i find that trispinosus and cupidus is more hardy to cold than natalensis. I'd say about the same as longifolius. 

I'd love to see pictures of your garden. 

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16 hours ago, Josue Diaz said:

Very nice, thank you for sharing. It's interesting, I never realized that what I consider a Coastal California garden is really heavily influenced by African plants, lots of senecio, aloes, kniphofia, protea, leucadendron etc. 

Thank you.  I am again pleasantly surprised that our SA plants are grown so widely abroad. Strelitzia ( all species), agapanthus, clivia, haemanthus, scadoxis, Zantedeschia, gerbera, many perlargonium & geranium species etc etc... are SA natives.

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On 21/09/2018 10:19:47, Marius said:

 

I'd love to see pictures of your garden. 

Some pics of my garden

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On 9/23/2018, 10:59:17, Alberto said:

Some pics of my garden

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Wow!  I love it.  You have a beautiful garden.  Thanks for the pictures.

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Alberto and Marius, you both have amazing landscaping. Thank you for sharing your photos.

I wish I could cultivate some of those famous  African aloes here, but they hate my constant summer rain and humidity.  I once had a South African Aloe Ferox, but it hated my climate and eventually died ---- even when planted on a raised bed made up of rocky soil.  As you know, they become gigantic in South Africa and are amazing when in bloom --- an icon of your arid landscape over there.

Thanks for the great photos.

 

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Hi Sandy Loam

Thank you for the compliment.  You should try Aloe arborescens, Aloe barberae, Aloe thraskii & Aloe rupestris.  They grow well (naturally) on the East coast of SA and like rain & humidity.  They do amazingly well in Durban.  They just need some frost protection (I dont protect mine, just plant them in relatively sheltered spots), they grow well for me & Bloemfontein gets cold.

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