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konarikcy

Zones -pushing the edge

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konarikcy

Hello all

For those of us who do not live in the States, the USDA Hardiness zone guidelines are a useful indication of what may grow in our country. I live in Nicosia Cyprus where we have relatively mild winters for most months - it is October and we are currently 36oC  with 20oC(night).  But it will suddenly change and by January, it will be continuous cold,  a little wet with possibly zero some nights which would normally I think put me on a 9b bordering 10a zone.

However this can be misleading as I have found out the hard way. We have months and months of Mediterranean summer reaching 46oC this year (blame global warming). This means that the USDA zone alone is an insufficient guideline for us with more extreme weather as it does not take into account the max summer temperatures, the length of summer and winter conditions, rainfall etc.

Nowadays, I often look at what other people are growing with similar climates nearest being  Southern California and even Sydney  (not in Cyprus as there are few of us pushing boundaries I think). Having recently joined this site, I look forward to following closely what people are growing in these areas. I currently grow Bungalow palms, livistona chinensis, bismarkia, robellina, trachycarpus fortunii and waggies, chaemadorea, and many cycas, dioone and encepalartus. Here is a picture of part of my garden.73489254_105c2e9b8e8680e39f55bbba0b6a88dd1.thumb.jpg.a6c50f3499fe85a3cebed1400b249044.jpg

I would be interested in hearing how other people decide on what to try apart from the obvious desperate "must have this plant" garden urge.

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Emman

Very nice garden, I live in augusta georgia and we are in hardiness zone 8a but last winter was like 9b or 10a. 

I have seen a few canary island date palms and smaller queen palms in augusta which are out of zone but they seem to look fine to me.

 

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Chester B

Your garden looks great.  Welcome to Palmtalk.

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konarikcy

Thanks but I have to admit it is a struggle growing things in this climate.

Firstly I notice that compared to most of your postings, my plants are very close together - jungle like. This is good in terms of protection from sun and from the cold but it is also means very high maintenance.

Also, I know a lot more today than when I first planted 20 years ago when I planted things that need watering often next to things that like the drought making automatic irrigation difficult. So many things have moved around the garden over the years - yes with some losses.

 

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Swolte
On 10/19/2020 at 4:02 PM, konarikcy said:

This is good in terms of protection from sun and from the cold but it is also means very high maintenance.

In what way is it more maintenance?

Great design! I should really start thinking about some good underplantings too. Welcome to the forums! 

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konarikcy

Its high maintenance in climates where growth is rapid as each plant still needs its own space if you dont want an overgrown jungle so I'm forever cleaning and trimming. Nice! But underplanting is good as it gives you a more complete landscape rather than dotted palms and trees but it also enables you to grow plants you could never have grown, under the protection of your palms. eg under this canopy I can grow bromeliads which would frizzle in the sun and I have a spathophyllum and a croton

1107589888_d897b5b807bf9f0b5d2db0258608dd021.thumb.jpg.6a4a828747334d72b8be0a6edf4c6fab.jpg

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Swolte

I see. I figured it would be less weeding as the plants would shade them out. It seems you have good growing conditions (I am happy w sth that stays green)!
;) 

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konarikcy

Nothing prevents Cyprus weeds,falling leaves etc. My next garden will not have any grass and deciduous trees and plants but many more palms. I think it takes years to learn what to plant and how many of us have said-If only I could start again......

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climate change virginia

I live in zone 7 but our winters are zone 8a winters

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ESVA

Beautiful garden! Out of curiosity -- behind the palms are some large upright bushes/trees. If you have to keep them sheared, that's very impressive. 

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konarikcy

Yeh, these are one  type of plant I would seriously think twice about planting again to such an extent. I have 14 of them.

This garden is on the side of the house and on the south facing road. To screen me from the road, and form a protection from the glary hot summers, I planted ficus benjaminus, variegated ficus benjaminus and ficus amstel more than 25 yrs ago, which were some of the only tall growing plants available at the time, in order to form a barrier. Things have changed over the years and there are a lot of plants available today I probably could have used with less maintenance. Ficus are prone in recent years to whitefly, so they need spraying. They are also very tall now and are difficult to prune, sheer etc. This was an old photo after the ficuses were trimmed with a long trimmer on a very high ladder.

Having said that, I must admit they do form a barrier for noise and sun and people get pleasantly surprised as they walk in from the deserty Nicosia environment into something so tropical.

everything has a price.

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climate change virginia
On 10/19/2020 at 11:21 AM, Emman said:

Very nice garden, I live in augusta georgia and we are in hardiness zone 8a but last winter was like 9b or 10a. 

I have seen a few canary island date palms and smaller queen palms in augusta which are out of zone but they seem to look fine to me.

 

I have medjool date palms outside and in the garage I think the ones in the ground outside are going to die but at least I have 7 in the garage

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Geiffrey Coopee

I believe the lowest temperature ever recorded in Nicosia is -6c (21f). At Paphos +1c (34f) and Limassol 0c (32f). A lot of coastal Cyprus is 10b and the most favoured microclimates 11a.

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GregVirginia7
On 10/21/2020 at 1:29 AM, konarikcy said:

Its high maintenance in climates where growth is rapid as each plant still needs its own space if you dont want an overgrown jungle so I'm forever cleaning and trimming. Nice! But underplanting is good as it gives you a more complete landscape rather than dotted palms and trees but it also enables you to grow plants you could never have grown, under the protection of your palms. eg under this canopy I can grow bromeliads which would frizzle in the sun and I have a spathophyllum and a croton

1107589888_d897b5b807bf9f0b5d2db0258608dd021.thumb.jpg.6a4a828747334d72b8be0a6edf4c6fab.jpg

Very nice work...here in zone 7a/b but maybe a “b” if winters moderate a bit...I’m working on Sabal Minors as the understory fillers...put some seedlings in but may round up some mature stock...I’m getting old. Have had good success with a Musa basjoo and a few more of them could create a nice backdrop...thank you for the ideas. I haven’t given the understory enough thought.

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