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Kostas

My Garden in Pyrgos...

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Ovar
Kostas, please tell me, what are your winter temperatures?
I know it's here somewhere written, but there is so much information and pictures that I can not find :( .
Absolutely amazes me how many species of plants growing with you :drool: .
Good work!!

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Kostas

Thanks Ovar :)

Usual lows are -1C to -2C at the coldest part of 1-2 nights per year,just before sunrise. Record low -3,6C just before sunrise along with a little snowfall but no snow cover. Daytime highs always above 10C and usually above 13C most of the days even in the coldest part of winter. The highs here still are above 20C most of the days.

Hoping for a warm winter!!! :) Lots of new acclimating stuff that would appreciate that till they fully acclimate and get some bulk on them!

Btw,I have been to your country and really like the big native ferns with 2m leafs growing in mixed spruce forest around Trinec! I wish I knew their names! I also like that big trees seems to be preserved and everywhere in your country! And the Prague Zoo is great too! :)

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Janni

Hi Kosta,

sorry I didn´t write earlier. It was very nice to visit your garden and have a look for myself. Your Bananas grew a lot since august! I can´t believe it! The Musa Kandrian was high already, but the others were much smaller back then.

One of the things you told me, that impressed me most and that is really worth mentioning is that you try to keep your garden organic. Especially in greece where our compatriots tend to use pesticides and other synthetic plant protectors like it was nothing, you manage to keep it natural and that with success!! :greenthumb:

I finally found the nursery you told me (at least I believe it was that nursery) and got a few plumerias. I also passed by at a few other nurserys but dind´t find anything exciting...

It is a real pitty that you are one of very few in greece to plant exotic palms and other plants. Here and there I saw some (maybe accidentally) planted rare palms, but not such a jungle you created :winkie: I saw a huge Kentia, a massive Ravaena Rivularis and some Syagrus Rom. The climate seems to be almost perfect. Especially south of Kyparrissia. There you can see huge banana groves that grow naturally, scatterd throughout the landscape everywhere. Even at 400 m elevation (at Chrani) I saw huge bananas. The lady who guided us through that area said that the bananas never get fried. They just stop growing in winter and that´s all. I did not expect that at this elevation.

Many greetings

Janni

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Kostas

Hi Janni!

Nice to hear from you! It was great meeting with you in Pyrgos and talking plants!!! :)

I am glad you enjoyed the garden tour! The bananas in Pyrgos grow fast and well till at least the end of October and continue good but a little slower growth to the mid-end of December,when they slow down even more but never cease growth,especially the cooler loving varieties such as 'Red Iholene'(quite a surprise actually as it was considered cold sensitive,this one grows new leafs between freezes for me!).

Thanks Janni,I really hope organic gardening was the norm,things would be so much healthier and easy to care for and the owners wouldn't be putting their health in jeopardy as they do when applying pesticides. There is so much ignorance by the general public about the impact of pesticides on the health of the applier as well as on our environment,that they consider spraying pesticides harmless and normal. Having studied Pharmacology and Toxicology including Pesticide Toxicology,I know how harmful they are even with little exposure and how easily they are absorbed from the skin,lungs and every part of ours they come in contact with. The good thing is that some people in agricultural areas like Pyrgos have seen the bad effects of pesticides with their own eyes on other coworkers and have seen people die from exposure to them with the doctors unable to reverse the toxicity,and now these people who witnessed that, don't use pesticides,like my Uncle who cultivates almost organically now(but uses copper sometimes,not the best but safer than most pesticides).

I want to be touching my plants and brush through their leafs without thinking "I have to get a bath ASAP" to get rid of toxic substances,most of which would have already been absorbed by that time... Working among sprayed plants or taking a stroll cannot be fun or good for health when they are loaded with pesticides. I avoid messing with the palms I see in public due to the great possibility that they are sprayed. So I want at least my garden to be a healthy environment! :)

I am very happy to hear you found the Plumerias you wanted! Nothing of real interest in the local nurseries but a nursery in nearby Amaliada brings some cool tropical stuff now and then and a few not so commonly seen palms. Unfortunately most are not in my wishlist but I did found a Vriesea hieroglyphica there last winter(and for only 2,5€!) which I cherish! It's not surprising that 95% of my plants are from abroad with the lack of variety of nurseries in Greece...

Where did you see the huge Kentia and Ravenea? I have never seen grown up palms of those species and would love to go check them out and their growing conditions,especially the Kentia!!! :drool: Howea are my favorite but for me they sunburn the few days when its 35C plus...Was the big Kentia exposed to noon sun?

There are many untended banana mats in Pyrgos and the general area as well and all are seen with bunches regularly! Some lose their leafs in winter and some don't,depending on the microclimate. Mine usually lose their leafs from frost but continue growth right away in early March. The climate south of Kyparissia is warmer and probably doesn't get frosts if the bananas hold their leafs through winter. Great to hear that bananas thrive at 400m elevation down there! I like those higher winter minimums there and wish the area was planted more with tropical species that the common things it is. Many tropical fruits could be grown there and interesting rainforest trees could thrive but since they are not available to buy locally,they aren't planted as few care enough to search and import uncommon plants from abroad. Most don't even think that there plants they could plant other than those they have seen and grew up with,which is crazy! They rely on nurseries to bring the "suitable" plants for the region... Lately,I am seeing a little more variety hitting the door of nurseries in Greece and some of them try a few. Not seeing much change though,especially with the financial crisis here as they want to sell the more unusual stuff unjustifiably high prices, and then they say they don't sell well and don't import more,while they would sell real fast at the correct price. And of course nothing of these is truly rare,they are real cheap in other countries.

Hope to see you again soon!

Greeting to you and your family too Janni! :)

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Kostas

One more photo of Veitchia joannis

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Various epiphytes on my olive tree including Canistrum seidelianum, Stanhopea tigrina, Guzmania sanguinea, Platycerium superbum and Zamia pseudoparasitica

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Another Canistrum seidelianum and Stanhopea tigrina

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Neoregelia concentrica(Spotted) with Leptotes bicolor

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Another Neoregelia concentrica thriving mounted a few years now! :)

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Kostas

Acanthophoenix rubra

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Allagoptera caudescence(Grouped leaflet form)

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Musa 'Cuba'(possibly a Fe'i)

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Ceroxylon amazonicum

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My biggest Ceroxylon amazonicum at 1,70m now(before the leaf tips bent from their weight) :)

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Zeeth

Hey Kostas, check out my thread about the video garden tour. I have a part with my big Attalea colenda in it.

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Kostas

Hey Keith,great to hear that,can't wait to see it!!! I have been browsing a lot with my iPhone lately and I have left all photo threads and video threads unread to enjoy them when I am on my 17" screen(haven't browsed with it for some time now). Your videos were high on my to watch list and just jumped to no1!!! :)

Ceroxylon amazonicum along with Dioon spinulossum and Cyphophoenix alba with a potted Musa 'Palayamkodan' among them

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Dioon spinulossum,Codiaeum variegatum and Pritchardia schattaueri

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Cyphophoenix alba(lost the older leafs to drought and sun burn in summer)

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Xanthosoma violaceum

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Cycas multipinnata and Mangifera indica

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Mangifera indica

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Kostas

Acanthophoenix rubra(wasn't happy in its pot but roots are fine,hopefully it likes the ground and recovers)

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Castanospermum australe

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Alcantarea imperialis(Rubra)

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Musa 'Red Iholene'

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Pritchardia schattaueri

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Kostas

Another Alcantarea imperialis

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Acanthophoenix rubra

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Cyphophoenix alba

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Dioon spinulossum and Cyphophoenix alba

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Archontophoenix alexandrae trunk!

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Maxim

Kostas why dont you have Nannorrhops ritchieana? :mellow:

Edited by Maxim

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Kostas

Hi Maxim :)

Too arid looking,slow and eventually ground space demanding for my likings...I am not a fan of most suckering palms and for Pyrgos,with plenty of other awesome looking choices,its not worth it for me!

I grow it in Melissia though and find it great looking for there, where my palm choices are far more limited due to the cold winter climate...I cherish it there! :)

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dalmatiansoap

Any mature Mangos in the area Kostas?

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Kostas

Hi Ante! :)

Mango trees are not available for sale in Greece in general and thus there are none in the area. I hope mine makes it through its first winters and gets some bulk on it before it sees any real cold as right now its vulnerable to things a mature tree wouldn't care less about! I will try to offer it some protection this year maybe and I have 2 more potted mangos I will be overwintering protected to plant out next year when I manage to find the spots! :)

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Kostas

A few more pictures of Archontophoenix alexandrae trunk :)

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And its leafs mixed in the foliage of Magnolia grandiflora

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A red new leaf :)

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Cryosophila warscewiczii :)

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Veitchia joannis

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Kostas

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Magnolia grandiflora at around 6m tall now!

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Chamaedorea tepejilote(Blanco)

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Female Cycas revoluta

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Archontophoenix alexandrae with Howea fosteriana :)

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avanza

incredible iphone 5 pictures.

κήπο του Θεού

Edited by avanza

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Kostas

Thank you very much avanza! Glad you like it! :)

Acanthophoenix rubra

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Veitchia joannis

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Syagrus romanzoffiana

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Callistemon laevis with Strelitzia reginae

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Kostas

Strelitzia reginae

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And some photos from a rainy November weekend...

Archontophoenix alexandrae leaf night shot

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View from the veranda during a heavy downpour :)

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Kostas

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Platycerium superbum on Magnolia grandiflora's trunk

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The back area of the garden...A bunch bearing pseudostem came crashing down from the strong winds but thankfully got intercepted by other big plants of its way and didnt total a few underplantings...The bunch is ok too and has even filled some more while laying on one of the pathway stones...

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Dicksonia antactica and other understories...

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Grevillea robusta with epiphytes. Most prominent ones are Asplenium australasicum,Platycerium superbum,Chysis laevis and Stanhopea embreei

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Kostas

Hyphaene compressa

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Bismarckia nobilis(Silver)

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Strelitzia reginae

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Coccothrinax alexandrii var. alexandrii :)

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Syagrus romanzoffiana and Howea fosteriana

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Howea fosteriana(the burns on the Howea's are from the summer heat,hopefully they will stop burning once Syagrus spreads its leafs and forms a proper canopy)

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Kostas

Archontophoenix alexandrae. How much more trunk height needed for flowering do you think?

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Only a few photos from the recent holidays left,will be posting them soon! The weather has been awesome all this time with daily highs in the 20'sC all the time. There were 1-2 frost events in December with high daily highs and with the plants in active growth,but the damage is very very little and on few plants. Barely noticeable on anything other than the exposed bananas,but even these retained at least some of the leafs in partially ok shape. So far,so good! Even the Veitchia joannis are all in perfect shape and growing well! If this weather holds for half to a full more month,everything will be off to a great start and the tender new plantings will have a full growing season ahead to bulk up and harden before they are tested again. I really hope Veitchia have a chance to bulk up before any real cold as its a favorite and hope to make it work! :)

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Tassie_Troy1971

Great Pictures

The Bismarckia looks very happy

alexandra palm is growing well for you !

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Ovar

Absolutely fantastic garden!

Very good work! Beautiful plants and backyard nicely done.
I draw inspiration from your garden Kostas :yay: .
I see that Washingtonia is also very large :winkie: .

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Kostas

Thank you very much Troy and Rudolf! :)

Troy,

The Bismarckia is growing significantly faster and faster as the time goes by and gets more robust! I was a little anxious about how it would do for its first years when i planted it as a germinated seed, as my underground water table is really high in winter(to just 20cm from the soil surface) and the rains pretty heavy for the majority of the year(except when really needed,the summer....). But seems to be loving it! Below i am posting a more recent photo of it with me for scale.

The A. alexandrae are doing well,apart from getting some light frost damage most winters. It seems to be getting less as they grow though and since the freezes in Pyrgos are radiational,i hope one day they will clear the frost zone and be damage free from then on.

Rudolf,

I really dont think my garden is worthy of so much praise as its still quite young,lacks quite a bit of much needed height and most of the more impressive species are still seen as babies!

Yeah,the Washingtonia robusta's are unusually large,with leafs upwards of 3,5m long...Crazy! If the seed wasnt collected in Sonora desert,i would be worrying about their ID! They must love it too much in Pyrgos and they got ground planted as 2-3leaf seedlings,so they werent ever restricted from a pot.

Here are the last photos from New Year's eve!

Bismarckia nobilis(Silver) with me for scale :) After the photo was taken,we installed a metal structure we had ordered to keep the leafs from blocking the pathway as it grows and till its trunk grows enough for the leafs to be overhead.

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Newly rock mounted Neoregelia joannis,a favorite of mine!(yeah,i know i have a soft spot for most plants with joannis in their name...they just happen to be really beautiful!). This one was a gift from Canarius in late winter/early spring last year and it really grew on me all those months i have been growing it for its beauty,ease of growth,minimal watering needs and speed of growth,which i wasnt expecting! So it won itself a prominent position under my Trachycarpus and i rock planted/mounted it during the holidays! Hope it likes it there and spreads a huge rosette of leafs! Sorry for the night photos,was too busy planting staff during the day that i didnt take any other photo.

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Hope you liked it! :)

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dalmatiansoap

Fantastic!

:greenthumb:

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Cikas

Great garden. :greenthumb:

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Kostas

Thank you Ante and Jurica,glad you like it! :)

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Jiminirvana

Very nice, I'm currently working on a similar project, it sure does take a lot of work and dedication.

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Kostas

Thank you Jim! :)

Wish you fast progress with your project!!!

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Kostas

Two weeks ago,I went to Pyrgos and ground planted 2 Stenocarpus sinuatus trees! These were a huge and pleasant surprise to find in Athens,i saw pictures a friend of mine posted of their blooms and he told me that a nursery i also know has had them 2 years now! These were a species i have long wanted to grow as shade trees but had been unable to find plants of,i could only find seeds and i even bothered germinating seeds of this species(which is last resort with such slow species when you wish to grow them as shade trees!) last year(extremely slow and a cat killed all seedlings in mid-summer by tipping over the pot while i was away...). So i went and got me 2, 4-5m tall trees!!! :) Here they are in Pyrgos,while they awaited planting!

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The slightly bigger one got planted under the Ziziphus tree,to eventually replace it once its canopy grows and spreads above the area nicely. At the base of it,i ground planted my Chamaedorea elegans which i have grown from seed 8years now,maybe a little more. I have been growing it indoors all those years but i decided that the best for it would be to go to the ground,and since its flowering period is slightly different from my Chamaedorea tepejilote(Blanco) i have in the ground and from the Chamaedorea ernesti-augustii i also plan to grow,there was not problem with proceeding with the ground planting. Hope it does well as its a plant i really like and i have been watching grow and cared for for years... :)

Chamaedorea elegans at the base of newly planted Stenocarpus sinuatus

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Stenocarpus sinuatus trunk

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Kostas

And foliage! I made a hole to the Zizipus tree's canopy for the Stenocarpus to pass through and hope competition makes it grow taller,faster and spread at a tall height!

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View from the opposite side

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The second Stenocarpus sinuatus was a gift to my cousin and got planted to her place. Here it is! :)

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I am very pleased i found those trees and they arrived in good condition to Pyrgos but both trees have lost their apical meristems at the top of the trunk unfortunately,not due to shipping but most probably due to experience too high temperatures in the unheated greenhouse they were growing(they almost touched the ceiling of the greenhouse) or due to severe deficiency,as the top 5-10cm of the trunk are dead wood and new growing points are forming just below of it on one of the plants and the other will probably follow soon. What do you think this was most likely caused from? I hate the fact that both trees will grow too many new branches as a result of the shock of losing the apical meristem and i will then have to selectively prune them to give them their natural shape and branching pattern,according to the branching pattern of this species i see in awesome specimen growing in the rainforests of Australia.

A few other photos i took while there:

Howea forsteriana and young,3year old Ficus benghalensis and newly planted,mature and flowering Aspidistra elatior in the back

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Newly planted Persea americana(Guatemalan Form)

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Persea americana, Allocasia odora and Livistona mariae :)

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Kostas

Washingtonia robusta(Sonora)

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...among Bismarckia nobilis(Silver) and Trachycarpus fortunei :)

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Bismarckia nobilis(Silver) in its ''cage'' so that the walkway remains open through its early trunking years...

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Syagrus romanzoffiana and Howea forsteriana(burnt leafs are from 35+C days plus sun,hopefully this will stop as Syagrus spreads and they grow out of the winter shade/summer sun zone,to more constant lighting conditions)

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Syagrus romanzoffiana leafs getting huge and nicer :) Its trunking since last year and this year the lower trunk should get revealed!

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Kostas

Howea forsteriana

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Archontophoenix alexandrae

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General views of the plantings by the veranda(for scale reference,the veranda sits 1m above ground level and its roof is about 3 high,so it stands at 4m above ground level)...

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Kostas

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And finally,a Yucca elephantipes(part of the big one i removed from my garden,hope it roots fast and well!) i planted at the neighboring, empty lot. I hope to buy this lot someday...Preferably in the next few years! :)
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I should have been in Pyrgos right now planting my Reinhardtia paiewonskiana but my parent both got sick last night,so i decided to stay and take care of them instead. Once they are ok,i am off to Pyrgos!!!
Hope you liked it! :)

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dalmatiansoap

Always nice to check new updates from your place!

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Cikas

Great plants. :greenthumb:

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Kostas

Thank you very much Ante and Cikas! :)

Went to Pyrgos for a day on Monday to treat my palms against borers and ground planted the Reinhardtia paiewonskiana Phoenikakias gave me! Here it is! :)

I also saw that my C. tepejilote(Blanco) had split the bracts of its inflorescence and it was coming out already! And found yet a second one on it growing under the old,dead leafs and its tip was just starting to poke through! Wasnt expecting that! Here is a (not so good)photo:

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And btw,this is the fertilizer i am using. All those first 5 years of my garden,i have only used this bag of organic fertilizer and nothing more other than mulch. Its almost empty now and i will have to go searching for a bag of it this Easter...

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Something I was really happy to see is that at least 2 of my 3 Veitchia joannis made it through last winter(one completely undamaged in a very protected spot,tucked under a Howea forsteriana,another in a not so protected spot and yet its opening a fat spear now. The third lost all leafs in a spot that is proving to be quite bad for marginals.....yet its brown spear refuses to pull and its crownshaft is alive,we'll see,it was the smallest of the three but all were very small) and are off to an early start for the year! Hope they grow big till next winter and can handle more cold... :)

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Kostas

Thank you Maxim! :)

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