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WestCoastGal

New Mature Additions to Our Yard

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WestCoastGal

Wanted to share the latest additions to our yard which were installed on Friday a.m. before the temps rocketed upwards during this extremely hot spell we are having. Hopefully the maturity of the palms will carry them through fine.

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Historically our inland valley which has some marine influence has temps anywhere from low 20sF to around 113F (a few years ago). We were in the mid 20s last winter overnight for about 12 hours when the winds ceased. Despite a current 9b designation we are trying to plant for Zone 9a for the most part. Our nights generally cool off to the 50s-60s during the summer, although it was in the low 80s around 10pm last night.

The xButiagrus is our third in our yard, and we are looking forward to watching it grow and providing some much needed shade on our very sunny side yard. This planting bed area has a southwestern exposure and is subject to heat generated off of the two adjacent stucco houses (about 26 foot separation) and the gusty winds that funnel down the valley from San Jose.

The Butia is a second one for us but this one is dwarf and much more silvery than our other one which doesn't have much trunk yet. I love the quirkyness of the fronds. It's my favorite palm in the yard. I really like how the boots were trimmed too.

The Sabal minor is a new fan palm for us. Told it will do well in our heat and can take our low temps as well. At this point I am leaning towards thinking it looks most like a Texas S. minor "Barton Creek Greenbelt" variety (that's another thread).

Our nursery didn't think our Cycas revoluta had flowered yet so not sure what sex it is. Look forward to being surprised.

Happy to post more photos if you're interested.

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Steve the palmreader

Nice work. Low 20s ..... Have faith and blankets

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Alicehunter2000

Low 20's will be no problem for either of those guys. The mule has a really cool looking trunk, looks like a Butia in the trunk but very much like a queen in the fronds .... very nice. The Butia in the second picture has a nice silvery color, and I agree the fronds are pretty quirky looking....looks to me like a 'strictor' variety. Excellent additions to your yard....instant gratification.... lol.

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WestCoastGal

It's been 2 years since that side bed was planted so figured I'd updated with some photos since 2013.

From 09/2014:

post-5191-0-24913300-1441606157_thumb.jp

From 04/2015, the Mule...and Butia (on other side of fence now):

post-5191-0-57201700-1441606266_thumb.jp post-5191-0-24553300-1441606301_thumb.jp

From 06/2015, the Butia which had stunning flowers this year:

post-5191-0-15412600-1441606441_thumb.jp post-5191-0-31615900-1441606402_thumb.jp

and the Sabal minor also with inflorescence. It's flowered and fruited both years.

post-5191-0-12558800-1441606422_thumb.jp

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WestCoastGal

These photos were from July/2015:

The Sabal minor in fuller bloom. First time we've seen the inflorescence above the fronds.

post-5191-0-20695900-1441607013_thumb.jp

This was exciting to see, spathe on the mule. First time.

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Even the Cycas revoluta was in bloom. First time. And it's a girl. Made it through the scale infestation with the use of coffee grounds and sun-coffee spray.

post-5191-0-43341100-1441607050_thumb.jp

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WestCoastGal

Was walking through the side yard today and suddenly noticed the mule has inflorescence. And not just one, but two.

post-5191-0-05742200-1441607547_thumb.jp post-5191-0-00403400-1441607602_thumb.jp

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Everything was composted, mulched and everything was on drip and bubbler emitters and despite cutting back on watering for the drought everything has been doing so well. Can't wait to see what next year brings and how tall the mule will be then. It's getting a nice trunk on it.

BTW since everything was planted we have experienced lows of 23F back in 12/2013 first year they were in the ground and highs this summer of 106F. None of them require any special attention.

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Ben in Norcal

Looking great, Debbie - I love progression threads! Good luck with the heat this week...you may well beat that 106 degree high. We'll be close to that again up here for around 4 days straight. :rant:

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Brad Mondel

Spectacular palms! That Butia is very unique and gorgeous. What is the story behind it?

Edited by ArchAngeL01

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WestCoastGal

Thanks guys. Yeah another week in the 100s but see it's pretty much like that across the country, albeit where we are at it's pretty dry. My palms really like the higher temps it seems. Even our SunPatiens are holding up in the heat. It's fun to look back at yard photos. We're very pleased with how our landscaping and palm & plant selections have turned out. Long project doing front and back, and one I never thought we'd get through at times, but now we both just love being in our yard.

As for the butia in the front, we went palm shopping back in March, 2013. From what I recall when I asked about it, it was grown in a sandy area. It's very different from the butia in our backyard, which makes for a nice contrast. There were two of these butias at the nursery; and when I laid eyes on the one we ended up buying, I knew that was the one. Kind of like with our mature mules--love at first sight. All of our palms are from the same nursery, All Tropical Palms (thanks Sal and Mike). Tagged it immediately and had to wait 3 months until the landscape was at the point it could be planted. It's my favorite palm in our yard.

This is what we saw at the nursery that day. I liked how the boots had been trimmed, thought the fronds were more strictor and rigid and it had a tighter canopy than the other palm. Also more blue green. I noticed it had some dried fruit on it, and since planting it has continued to produce a few new spathes each year.

post-5191-0-46683900-1441750820_thumb.jp post-5191-0-20340100-1441750832_thumb.jp

post-5191-0-28244900-1441750850_thumb.jp

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Josh-O

your garden is looking real nice Debbie. It's gonna be a real show stopper with all the mature trees your bringing in. I like your style.

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Brad Mondel

I can't wait to have palms like you one day. Keep us posted on any new additions.

Edited by ArchAngeL01

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Palm crazy

Debbi, those look awesome, and they really love your climate that’s for sure. NoCal has it going on with the palms and exotics you can grow, jealous! Enjoy the heat while it last. 

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WestCoastGal

Don't know about you guys in our SF Bay area but the cold/hot weather this fall has produced a lot of new growth. After the inflorescence was cut off the mule back in September we now have another one in bloom and another developing. Not sure what the growth in height has been on this guy but it's definitely shooting up. Hoping it stays rather strictor in nature and will enjoy some shade finally to this hot West exposure area. Kind of hoping for a butia-like height range for easier trimming but I'm thinking it will be more queen. Today is overcast having rained this a.m. and thought I would grab an updated photo of the bed. 

12/2015

5669f7214f3c7_Sidebed1220151.jpg.04b8a69

 

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Ben in Norcal

More resolution Debbie!  Looks great though.  Is that from All Tropical as well?

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WestCoastGal

oops sorry about that. I might be mistaken since I haven't uploaded photos for a while but has uploading changed? If I click on my small images above they are expandable while staying small on the page. Can't seem to do that here for reason today. Didn't want this image to appear so large in the post. :unsure:  Tried choosing files and drag and drop with same large photo result. I give up--with apologies.

Anyway yes, in fact all of our palms came from All Tropical with the exception of two chamaedoreas we are growing from palm society auctions.

566a43642518f_Sidebed122015.1.thumb.jpg.

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Ben in Norcal
49 minutes ago, WestCoastGal said:

oops sorry about that. I might be mistaken since I haven't uploaded photos for a while but has uploading changed? If I click on my small images above they are expandable while staying small on the page. Can't seem to do that here for reason today. Didn't want this image to appear so large in the post. :unsure:  Tried choosing files and drag and drop with same large photo result. I give up--with apologies.

Anyway yes, in fact all of our palms came from All Tropical with the exception of two chamaedoreas we are growing from palm society auctions.

566a43642518f_Sidebed122015.1.thumb.jpg.

Looks just like mine, probably a year behind yours. Also got mine there. Lovely!

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Moose

That Mule is very happy. Its got its roots doing their thing and above ground development is accelerating!

Very nice Debbie! 

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redbeard917
On 9/7/2015, 6:16:23, Brad Mondel said:

Spectacular palms! That Butia is very unique and gorgeous.

Agreed. Butias are very common here, but that one still stands out to me. I like it a lot. The inflorescence is pretty, too. Will you let the seeds mature, or remove it before then?

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WestCoastGal
On December 13, 2015 at 6:21:31 PM, redbeard917 said:

Agreed. Butias are very common here, but that one still stands out to me. I like it a lot. The inflorescence is pretty, too. Will you let the seeds mature, or remove it before then?

It's fruited every year since it was transplanted. I love the fragrance of it when it's ripening. We haven't done anything with the fruit in the past with the exception of giving a bag of the fallen fruit to someone who expressed an interest, and honestly we don't know the first thing about cleaning it. This butia produces quite a lot of fruit and we got concerned about attracting ants and vermin last year so took it out before ripening. 

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redbeard917
16 hours ago, WestCoastGal said:

It's fruited every year since it was transplanted. I love the fragrance of it when it's ripening. We haven't done anything with the fruit in the past with the exception of giving a bag of the fallen fruit to someone who expressed an interest, and honestly we don't know the first thing about cleaning it. This butia produces quite a lot of fruit and we got concerned about attracting ants and vermin last year so took it out before ripening. 

I was just hoping you had seeds to share.

I'd probably remove the inflorescence too, if I wasn't interested in seeds or fruit, because of the mess. My parents have many volunteers around their Butia, and who needs more weeds. I've potted some up, of course. Their tree has pretty tasty fruit, kind of like a tart nectarine. People used to make jelly out of them.

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SailorBold

Looks great..  So you haven't run into any freezes this winter?

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WestCoastGal

SailorBold, oh no we've had numerous night/early mornings of several hours with freezing/below freezing temps. None of our palms are bothered by it. We really aimed for a palm landscape that would be bulletproof for us. We do cover our less cold hardy plants like our birds so we can enjoy them still in bloom come spring along with the palms. 

 

 

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enigma99
6 hours ago, WestCoastGal said:

SailorBold, oh no we've had numerous night/early mornings of several hours with freezing/below freezing temps. None of our palms are bothered by it. We really aimed for a palm landscape that would be bulletproof for us. We do cover our less cold hardy plants like our birds so we can enjoy them still in bloom come spring along with the palms. 

 

 

At least you don't have to get nervous:) good way to go. How low did you get this year?

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WestCoastGal

We haven't invested in a weather station yet so so far this winter the lowest I can see from a nearby Wunderground station would be 25F. Had a number of 27, 28, 29s in there too. 

I've been noticing a lot of crepe myrtles in town that have crispy brown leaves and black branches. Most of them looked like they were flowering when they got hit by the freeze. Imagine those are still green somewhere inside but they look dead right now. We had highs in the upper 80s right at Halloween so quite a shock to them.

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enigma99
38 minutes ago, WestCoastGal said:

We haven't invested in a weather station yet so so far this winter the lowest I can see from a nearby Wunderground station would be 25F. Had a number of 27, 28, 29s in there too. 

I've been noticing a lot of crepe myrtles in town that have crispy brown leaves and black branches. Most of them looked like they were flowering when they got hit by the freeze. Imagine those are still green somewhere inside but they look dead right now. We had highs in the upper 80s right at Halloween so quite a shock to them.

That is pretty chilly. I think you did the right thing by planting for 9a. Even A. Cunninghamiana don't like 25f

I need to invest in a 24 hour aspirated station since I've got a lot invested in my palms. But I have one with an external probe that surprisingly has been pretty accurate. 

Edited by enigma99

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WestCoastGal

Been a little while and everything has grown so well and really maturing. Showing some increased speed, here's the newest mule we planted and shown most recently back on 12/10/15. Pretty much all of the leaflets on our 3 mules are fairly stiff and not droopy. I like the look. Always kind of hard to get nice photos of this bed due to the sun exposure regardless of what time of day I aim for.

57a694dc5cb80_NewestMule072816-1.thumb.j

The Sabal minor has also added some height and this past year has had inflorescence above the fronds. It's a gorgeous plant.

57a695a1bca31_SabalMinor072816-1.thumb.j

And our latest addition which replaces some canna near one of our taller mules in our back bed is our Rhapis excelsa. Look forward to watching this one flower at some point.

57a6961bd56e7_Rhapisexcelsa072816-1.thum

Guess I'll include some update photos of the other palms in this back bed (they have been shown in another thread here on the forum). The T fortunei has been adding height nicely and we had it skinned again last year in response to the extra trunk. Can't see it much in this photo but the butia next to it is a real shocker in it's growth. It's going to have a nice wide canopy. I really should show a better photo of it next to a photo when it first got installed. Kind of thought they were slow growers. Not much more in trunk height though. And finally the other two mules we have just seem very happy...new fronds, new inflorescence for much of the year. This past year I'm not sure we even added fertilizer (did add compost and mulch a while back). 

57a69b3e143bd_Tfortuneibutia062516-1.thu

57a69c1af170f_Mulesinbackground062516-1(

 

 

 

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Alicehunter2000

WCG everything is,looking fantastic. ..really like those last 2 mules. Have you found yourself slowing way down on purchases and just enjoying what you have? That seems to be where I'm kinda at right now.....just thinking mostly about hardscape. I always think about your help when I was in the design phase of my garden/pool area....always appreciated your imput.

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Las Palmas Norte

Well done and tasteful. Nice selection of palms, kinda like being on vacation without leaving home.

Cheers, Barrie.

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BS Man about Palms

Missed this thread on its prior go-arounds. Looking inviting, tropical and fantastic Debbie, Well done!!

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WestCoastGal

Thanks guys, and thanks David. I really do love the design portion especially involving the hardscape which is more detail oriented. We've learned a lot more as time has gone on; and when we started, we just had the idea of wanting palms in our yard but didn't know much about them. As with the hardscape, the selection and positioning was geared towards low maintenance both in care and cold hardiness selection. Personally I would love a nice full bed of palms and plants but hubby prefers a more minimal look (with less pruning and care I guess). As our trachy is growing we are considering options for more plants under it's canopy. Kind of wish we would have planted two next to each other of different heights. The backyard butia is probably years away from any under canopy plantings. I'd love more color in that area and among the list for palm considerations for there would be the dwarf S. minors, Blountstown and Wakulla. 

David in answer to your question about slowing down on purchases, yes, for all practical purposes we've pretty much planted out our beds. Plus we live in an area where I suspect we'll always be just around the corner from another few years of drought, especially since this State and cities here in the SF bay area are gung ho on bringing more people to live here. Any kid shown a glass of water and said you're going to have to share this with more and more people would get the implication. So I guess in some ways the fewer palms we have is better. We've avoided adding water hogs, drastically reduced our grass area (which now is a more drought resistant blend), added drip, high efficiency bubblers and spray irrigation, use compost and mulch, all on a controller, and stuck with palms tolerant for our area thereby hopefully avoiding them being stressed and getting diseased -- so kind of done everything we can to minimize water usage and think we still came away with something that is tropical. The mules, a big part of our yard look, always look tropical and lush regardless of the heat or cold. Gotta be my favorite palm we own.

Unless something catastrophic happens to one of the more mature palms, we don't see those needing removal and replacement anytime soon. And hopefully we won't experience some of the horrible freezing that you had that took out a few of yours. I felt so badly for you and it's been fun to watch how your palms and yard have rebounded. I do wish I had made room for larger planting areas for palms like what you did in your backyard, but I think what we have turned out well. Nice that you guys agree. The info and pics from the forum have been extremely helpful. Hope to keep showing progress photos over the years to help any newbies considering these palms with examples of their growth.

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PalmTreeDude

Beautiful palms! 

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SailorBold
On ‎8‎/‎7‎/‎2016‎ ‎10‎:‎10‎:‎59‎, Las Palmas Norte said:

Well done and tasteful. Nice selection of palms, kinda like being on vacation without leaving home.

Cheers, Barrie.

Agree..  It looks fantastic !  The Mules look amazing...

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WestCoastGal

Quite a while since I last updated photos. Here’s a few I took from October and November 2020.

Butia in foreground followed by our “baby” mule (newest) and our tallest mule. 

49CCBED0-4679-47FC-9896-B62292A20DA2.thumb.jpeg.884f516e3fa7b4f3cd3b8bce16527ff3.jpeg
 

The baby has grown and now up to our second floor.

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The Rhapis excelsa yellows at the top during the summer with all the sunlight it gets now but come fall/winter greens up nicely. Very low maintenance. 
B6CC7F92-38D5-4DEA-A569-E0FF20A9C470.thumb.jpeg.f01d63c89d79ba0a8a8e1d9c8298a87d.jpeg

Our Philodendron ‘Hope’ selloum has weathered our past cold freezing winter temps (with frost cover) well and has been doing well. We have the smaller ‘xanadu’ in our front courtyard next to a house wall. It has had frost protection during below freezing temps as well and every Spring it looks pretty bad as the leaves and stems turn to mush and get cut off but it grows back well.

389BEFBD-A45E-440D-9D01-8E95CAABBAA3.thumb.jpeg.a28b22757de9f2e757d1667b458ad3f0.jpeg
DE1E138F-819A-4FB2-B7EF-1B88076E3003.thumb.jpeg.99f844d5e505211689d689bb6282da91.jpeg

It’s been fun looking back through photos and seeing the growth progress of everything. Pretty happy with what we chose for our plant beds. Apart from pruning occasionally and re-mulching it’s been a very low maintenance yard, evergreen and still tropical for a 9a-b zone (Sunset 14). 

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WestCoastGal

This August 2020 view from the trunk of our shorter mature mule shows how our middle planting bed butia has grown. 
C3257455-665B-43C6-A94C-77B7997B498F.thumb.jpeg.375d087a527f7441e81723c55905e817.jpeg
 

Another August 2020 photo from the other side of the yard. Our neighbor’s grape vines were growing into some of our bamboo located behind the fireplace and into the Trachy so was being pruned out in this photo. His giant California pepper tree, invasive and more park appropriate, he took out this fall so our palms in that center bed will be adjusting to the extra sunlight this coming year.

CC76759C-CC60-4622-98F6-14D0C99F303E.thumb.jpeg.98a67d96feca99a515c761b68248d926.jpeg

If you guys would like to see other plants we have in our yard besides our palms let me know and I’ll add them. 

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WestCoastGal

Found these August 2020 photos of the “baby” mule in our side yard planting bed showing its trunk. Our Sabal minor next to it has done well and think at a mature height now. Fence latice top is 6 feet high there. The Sabal has had inflorescence/seeds only a few times since 2013 when it was planted. Loves the hot dry summers we get and this side of the yard with the stucco house walls and rather narrow house spacing does retain a good degree of heat until evening (house has SW exposure there). Always hard to get good photos of this area due to the narrow side yard.

Unfortunately we wish we had more planting bed space for the Sabal as it really is in a crowded fenced in corner. It’s really a beautiful under story plant when it has room. Once the mule gets more trunk it will at least be able to spread its fronds out more.  Of course that means it will be getting more shade down the road too as the mule canopy expands. 

0FC001FE-7323-4451-B753-E9A8546590F2.thumb.jpeg.65580ad892abbad911acab0b23790107.jpeg
 

7A81D894-8606-4B58-A382-041774CC8120.thumb.jpeg.b1a1466be0de8327ec924c1c7768fc9c.jpeg
 

New growth, May 2018

F0052DF7-5B53-41B2-A8C6-911AC18A2CDF.thumb.jpeg.04e4656f45a62165770fc8123ce4ce4c.jpeg

Back to our backyard center planting bed, this was our Trachycaprus fortunei back in January 2019 after pruning. I have always admired the thin trunked palms that grow so well in southern California so am happy to have our Trachy skinned as it grows.
B34B44B8-A1A9-4CED-BACA-1AB22759FE0E.thumb.jpeg.f921df83a5d186c96cd67037b9f27462.jpeg

The butia next to it, planted in 2013, is finally seeing its lowest fronds turning brown. Such a slow trunking palm and so different from our front side yard butia. Enjoy seeing the variety.

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dalmatiansoap

Beautiful garden! Minor will benefit Mule canopy with longer fronds and glorious look. Nice work

Merry Christmas

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