Hey all. Haven't made a post of my own in a while, so I thought I'd share some of my potted palms that I keep on my patio here in zone 10A in southern FL. PLEASE disregard the somewhat messy patio at the moment. Thank you! its a work in progress!
In April of 2021 we had to move from our place which was on Maximo Point, the southern most tip of mainland Pinellas county. There, we were about a mile out into Tampa Bay on a small, less than 1/4 mile wide strip of land that ran along I-275 leading up to the Sunshine Skyway Bridge. We moved about 2 miles away to an Island in Tampa bay that is probably a bit smaller than Key West, called Coquina Key. In front of the new place is a fairly big salt / brackish lake, and behind me is a large body of water called Big Bayou. Once again we are still surrounded by water in very close proximity. The Patio faces South / Southeast and gets full sun in summer until about 3-4Pm. Winter we will get it at a lower angle, and for most of the day, keeping us warm. The building will protect us from the chilly NW winds from "cold fronts" that occasionally come through during "winter" lol. Its really more like "wet season (summer) and Dry Season (winter) here as the winter temps, while cool at times, are still nothing really close to actual "winter temps"
In these photos there is nothing rare or particularly spectacular, but they are all palms that I love. Dypsis Lutescens, Adonidia Merrillii, Phoenix Roebelenii, Chamaedora Cataractum.
First two pics are of my whole patio on the 4th of July 2021. Second of the first two is my newly (at the time) repotted Pigmy Date Palm. (Phoenix Roebelenii) It now has several feet of trunk. It was purchased in early 2018 and had one very small one, and the main trunk which at that time had about 4-6" of "trunk". It was much shorter. I removed the very small one to allow the bigger one to have the pot all to itself and so far its flourished.
The rest of these photos below were taken today, 8/11/2021.
Below: some large Dypsis Lutescens in "half" whiskey barrels. They were pretty large when I got them in late 2017/ early 2018, but had no clear trunk.
Now there are lots of clear trunks on them
Below: Adonidia Merrillii. Purchased in mid 2018 for $25.00, it was fairly small and trunkless. It has done fantastic in this pot since, and will be getting an upgrade this year.
Below: Phoenix Roebelenii.
The following 3 photos below are my water HOGS, Chamaedorea Cataractum. They were fairly small when I got them 2 years ago for $10 each. They have grown great,
and are now loaded with seeds. These things are WATER HOGS. I have to water then daily if it doesn't rain, sometimes twice daily each, and they need to be
DRENCHED / FLOODED each time. They are much happier on this patio as its less windy. It is still pretty darn windy here, but no nearly as strong / ongoing for hours on end
as it was at the old place.
I took these pictures a few days ago right before getting onto Hilton Head Island. There are some nice big palm plantings in the low country! I’ve seen mature date palms in the area the last times I visited in 2016 and 2017, now it seems like they are taking full advantage of having the right conditions to grow them!
We finally had a break in the rain today, so I decided to visit Chelsea Physic Garden. It was my first time visiting this place and the main draw for me was obviously the palms. There are some cracking specimens growing in the gardens, as well as quite a few other exotic plants and stuff that I will post.
Their CIDP isn't anywhere near as big as some of the other London ones, but still a decent size...
Here is their Washingtonia...
It's labelled as 'Filifera', although I can clearly see red/brown on the petiole bases, so it is definitely a Filibusta hybrid. Maybe I should have corrected them haha. It doesn't get much sunlight either in that spot, which is heavily shaded. I think it was planted in 2010 possibly and it is about 20-25 foot tall now. I should have asked a worker about it.
The Butia is probably the best palm in the entire garden...
Lots of spent spathes on this Butia...
The Jubaea Chilensis isn't bad either...
The girth on this Jubaea trunk...
Quite a few Chamaerops on display...
Surprised to see citrus Lemon growing outdoors...
Surprised to see this in one of the glass houses. No idea whether it could be transplanted outdoors at some point?
This is the biggest pepper plant I have ever seen. I'm guessing it is at least 3 years old and has clearly been overwintered.
Unfortunately a lot of the glass houses were shut off, due to the pandemic and 'social distancing'. Some were still open though, thankfully.
One thing I will say, is that this garden has the potential to be better than it is. They could certainly plant a few more palms and exotics outdoors. Perhaps a Brahea Armata for instance, or some more outdoor cacti. Even just a few more Trachy's. I also get the impression they have been understaffed due to the pandemic and thus the general garden maintenance is not on point this year. Basically, it could be a bit better than it was. Lots of weeds growing in places and dead leaves on plants that could be cut back. A very rustic feel, which perhaps is intended.
Not a bad garden at all though for central London, although the £12 ($17) entry fee is a bit steep, given that everything can be easily seen within 60-90 minutes basically. This isn't a big expansive garden like Kew or Wisley, where you need at least 5-6 hours. This is a relatively small garden in the heart of the city. A place to spend an hour or two on a summer's afternoon. Maybe in other years, when there hasn't been a pandemic, they have had more flowers and plants with more workers maintaining them. I will definitely be back again though, one day, when those palms are much bigger.
I'm really proud of my husband's handiwork and want to show it off. This year I bought a 3x3x3' portable greenhouse to go with a 2x2x2' greenhouse I already had. No big deal, I suppose but my husband built wheeled carts with shelves for each of them so they are truly portable but not prone to blow away because they are bolted onto their bases. He made sure to leave space between 2x4s so water will fully drain and also between shelves. I will keep these on the lanai and use them to help germinate seeds and protect delicate seedlings. The 2x2 sailed through last winter. I am looking into buying small ceramic personal space heaters (200 watts) to provide warmth during cold snaps this coming winter so maybe I won't have to drag plants in/out so many times.
While I was taking photos, I added some of the container garden on the back lanai, which is covered by two layers of shade cloth. Many of my young palm seedlings are spending the summer under canopy in the jungle. I just moved 6 A. macrocalyx seedlings outside because they were starting to sunburn even under shade cloth.
Portable Greenhouses, Cape Coral, FL 2021
Lanai Container Garden