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Common Ground - Lakeland, FL

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This post is from a local park that includes a walking path, some tennis courts and a playground for the youngsters.  It includes some marginal palm plantings, cycads and creative landscaping that takes full advantage of the steep hills in the area.

The playground entrance:


Some of the experimental palm plantings, including a Licuala, Coccothrinax crinita and a few other local favorites like Dypsis decaryi:





Walking up the hill around the outside of the park, you can get some sense for the natural grade of the land and a nice view of the cycads on the border:


Palm companions like crotons and bromeliads are represented as well and add color:



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A view from the top of the hill:


You can see over the whole playground from the fence:




With the use of large stones and the change in grade, this area has a "not in Florida" feel:





If you want to Google Maps around the area to get a feel for the rest of the area, you can start here: Common Ground - Lakeland, FL

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Looks nice.  I don't remember seeing any hill around that area though...

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1 hour ago, TexasColdHardyPalms said:

Looks nice.  I don't remember seeing any hill around that area though...

The whole area is an incline/decline down to Lake Hollingsworth.  Try using the Google Maps link to go down Buckingham Ave. to the lake and you'll see what I mean.  You could also go down Cleveland Heights Blvd. to the Country Club (formerly the Yacht Club).  Same hill, same grade from Edgewood Ave. down to Lake Hollingsworth.  The screen capture below is from the Country Club looking up Cleveland Heights Blvd.  You can "drive" it here: Cleveland Heights

Swing by next time you're in town.


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A few updates on the palms here after a year and a half.  A few I wasn't 100% sure on so I put asterisks beside them:

Licuala peltata 'sumawongii'


Licuala grandis


Lytocaryum weddellianum *


Beccariophoenix alfredii


Carpoxylon macrospermum


Coccothrinax - unsure of the species, but miraguama is commonly planted in public gardens here


Coccothrinax crinita - There is a much larger one just down the street near the Lake Hollingsworth boat ramp.


Thrinax radiata *


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A few more:

Areca catechu Dwarf - these must be a bit hardier than the normal variety since this has been here for two winters already.


Chambeyronia macrocarpa * double


Caryota mitis variegated


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Who plants these palms? Is there a palm lover that works for parks and rec or for the city forestry dept? That is great to see in Lakeland, hopefully it inspires residents to imitate these beutiful plantings. 

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The names that tend to come up when you nose around city circles is Bill Koen and Pam Page.  They were a big part of starting the Lake Wire palm collection with help from CFPACS members Tom Broome and Doug Morrison back in 2005 when I moved over this way.



Bill is still the contact for the city beautification awards.  They award them monthly and give one each for residential and commercial properties that are nominated for the awards.  Some of the properties have more of a "Legacy Lakeland" look to them, while others are absolute tropical jungles.  There is no doubt that the city gardens have helped move the needle.

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