Still quarantining here in Cape Coral (It's Just Paradise), FL. And it's been a while since I posted any photos. I spent several weeks sewing masks and surgical caps for my son and daughter-in-law on the medical front lines as well as masks for my husband and me. It's also been hot and sweltering as well as drought stricken around here and because of that and that the monthly injection I give myself for chronic migraines ran out a week early, I was unable to spend much time outside. But..... We got a whopping 0.4" of rain this past week (the rest of the FL got 10x that) followed by one last gasp of cool, dry air and I was able to rectify my oversight and take some photos.
About a month ago someone on PT asked me to take updated photos of my Caribbean Garden in front of the house. Around 95% of the palms in this garden come from that part of the world. The few interlopers are grandfathered in because they were planted before I adopted a unifying theme for this part of the yard. The genus Coccothrinax forms the backdrop. Some of them were planted as far back as 2004 and have weathered multiple hurricanes and tropical storms. If I were forced to plant only one genus of palm, Coccos would be my choice. They are tough yet elegant and the sight of those starlike leaves swaying with the breeze can brighten anyone's soul.
Caribbean Garden Views, Cape Coral, FL, 2020
I confess I haven't been tending to my garden duties as diligently as I should but that's for a good cause. Two weeks ago my son and daughter-in-law, who work in the local health system, asked if I would be willing to sew them masks and hats to wear at work. Homemade PPEs aren't certified against coronavirus but hospitals and medical staff around here are desperate for any protection. How could I refuse? So, I dusted off my mother's 70-year-old plus Singer Featherweight sewing machine and my 30-year-old serger, obtained patterns and fabric and went to work. Visual impairment doesn't make sewing easy but I've managed to churn out enough masks and hats to make my children ecstatic. But all that stitching meant I haven't been able to weed, repot or take new photos.
But being quarantined in the house means I have time to dig through all the photos I've taken in the 12+ years I've been with IPS and PalmTalk. That blast from the past goes all the way back to April 2008 after I joined PalmTalk (in Jan.) then attended my first Extravaganza at Jeff Searle's palm garden of Eden circa April. I had forgotten how bare my yard was back then. And that the palms I eagerly bought were destined to be wiped out in the winter(s) of 2010. Still, they live on in photos.
My Caribbean Garden in front of the house was most developed at that time. We received sewer service in 2006 but before that the holding tank prevented a lot of digging and planting.
View of Caribbean Garden looking west.
I had planted several Coccothrinax spissa and sp seedlings away from the holding tank around 2006.
My first success at seed germination: Sabal palmetto I found down the street.
I decided to turn my south-facing, waterfront back yard into a jungle (which would be mostly destroyed in the winters of 2010). I already had a ready-made canopy for tropical palm seedlings in the form of 7 large queen palms planted overlooking the Isabelle Canal by a local nursery in 1993 - queens were the landscape-palms-de-rigueur during the 90s). But they served their purpose until fusarium wilt wiped them out in 2014/2015.
Bench planter with Chamaedorea cataractarum
Areca concinna - one of my all time favorite palms since I bought this one from Jeff Searle in 2008. I babied it for nearly two years until it met its Waterloo in the record freeze of Jan. 2010 even though we tried all means of protection to save it.
Areca concinna and queens
Areca concinna and me
Finally, a photo of the newbie me peppering Jeff Searle with palm questions in 2008. He will likely never forgive me.
I was hoping someone might recognize the species of this still small Coccothrinax. When I purchased it the label just read "Coccothrinax sp.". I planted it at least a year ago if not longer and it seems to grow fine here. Leaf tips appear to be arching downward and they are relatively rigid for the size of the plant. A little bit of white on the backside of the leaf, but not extensive as you can see. The leaf achieves a full 360 circumference. What are your thoughts on a possible species?
Collected a few seeds from the palms we visited on a recent trip to the Dominican Republic.In less than 3 weeks,both of these species are already sprouting!
Fresh seed sure does have its advantages.
In October 2006,the IPS sponsored a trip to the Dominican Republic to view native palms in situ.Fast forward 14 years for another peek at this specific, spectacular, very remote area, occupied by Coccothrinax boschiana.This first tree pictured is the very same one that everyone posed by back then,and it's growth has been considerable over the last 14 years.