Gardens Clubs of Cape Coral annual plant sale -
Variety of Vendors & plants.
Palms - Bromeliads - Succulents - Orchids and more
When Hurricane Irma struck in September we suffered massive damage to our 3-lot landscaped garden. What little good news out of that is that almost none of the damage involved palms. We lost only a few so far, although their losses were painful and significant: Beccariophoenix alfredii, Pseudophoenix ekmanii and Cocos nucifera Dwarf Red Spicata were the worst. The bad news is that nearly all of my husband's large flowering tropical trees were uprooted or outright destroyed. So, it is true that many palm species are better able to survive hurricane winds than dicot trees. Our house suffered no damage, even from royal fronds that bounced off the roof. We never lost electricity. I binge watched episodes of Lost on Netflix in the bedroom with our two cats while Irma's winds howled through the night. I truly believe that the 100s of palms we have planted all around the property protected the house and each other during the long hours of hurricane winds.
In his post of Hurricane Irma's aftermath, Pastor Randy (Palmaceae) measured winds of 109 mph. I Iive about 5-6 miles SW of his house so I must have experienced like winds. No doubt Irma was a bad one but in 2004 Hurricane Charley, a bonafide cat 4, hit with 30 minutes notice (rather than nuke Tampa) and took this area apart from Ft. Myers Beach to Port Charlotte inland to Arcadia (it cruised right up the huge Peace River so stayed a 4). It was a little atomic bomb rather than a bloated behemoth so its smaller scope is more easily overlooked. We waited 11 months for our replacement metal roof (time out for commercial: If you possibly can, go with metal. Costs more, lasts nearly a lifetime, doesn't sweat hurricanes. Never tile - tile is worse than shingles). So, for me Irma was no Charley.
Anyway, nearly 3 months and $3,600 later this is my Garden Lot. Many of the huge trees are gone and palms (yay!) and smaller trees are taking their place. Irma's damage still lingers. Palms that survived are still recovering after suffering major frond damage and continue to grow out. A few may yet succumb from long term damage. Our shady oasis is a lot less shady and a lot more tattered. On with the photos.
From the SE corner looking north; view looks fairly normal but palm crowns still have broken and dying fronds we can't reach to cut
From SE corner looking south - Large coconut on corner of berm was blown at 45 degree angle. It was too large for tree people - Cuban entrepreneurs who stopped by with their business cards a couple days after the storm; we hired them on the spot - to move upright. We let the workers take all the ripe coconuts (they said the water was delicious). As it is still over our property we decided to leave it. It is already starting to curve upright.
From the front of our garden shed looking north. Most of this area was once shaded by tropical trees. Almost all are gone, the rest severely trimmed so the area is now open to sky and sun. Day the photos were taken winter's first cold front was moving in so skies were cloudy
This last seedling of my late Dwarf Red Spicata coconut mother palm replaces one of the fallen tropical trees. The mother palm leaned over like the previous palm but she ended up hanging above an undeveloped adjacent lot. She was too large to upright so we made the difficult decision to take her out. But we have several of her offspring planted around the yard.
I was taking photos for an update on Hurricane Irma damage when I found myself photographing some of our palms that hadn't figured significantly in the storm, except for the important fact that they survived to face winter. So I decided to devote a separate topic to these palms, some of which are not common garden residents.
Allagoptera arenaria - finally had some volunteer seedlings come up
Chamaerops humilis Vulcano - my best specimen grown from seed, perfect conformation
Sabal minor Chipola Dwarf x2
The Garden Club of Cape Coral presents 'March in the Park' - a garden festival with a variety of plants & gardening items at reasonable prices.
March in Park 2016 Flyer.doc
Over the holidays I took "Moment in Time" photos of the various gardens I have created on our 0.61 acre property. My focus has been on palms while my husband is our flowering-tropical-tree man. As it is January, our trees are not in flower, except for African tulip which flowers much of the year.
I began with shots of our house and Caribbean Garden from the north. The Caribbean Garden features dozens of my favorite genus: Coccothrinax. These palms are native to most of the Caribbean, love heat and sun and grow happily in my alkaline soil. But the stand-out is our massive fruiting Cocos nucifera dwarf red spicata hybrid.
View of the Caribbean Garden from the east
on the east side of the house is a narrow palm garden. Than is screened by "Sabal Row", which is actually on the vacant lot next door. I germinated several species of Sabal in 2008-2009 and planted seedlings to block our view of the new but uninhabited (from 2004-2009) house beyond.
Garden of the Golden Canes. I planted individual Dypsis lutescens seedlings I germinated on the vacant lot's berm leading down to the canal to beautify and help prevent erosion.