Jump to content
chad2468emr

Never taking the palm diversity in SFL for granted again...

Recommended Posts

chad2468emr

When I lived here, I’d become jaded and barely even noticed the gorgeous coconuts and royals since they’re so commonplace. Well, a year in NH made me appreciate even Washingtonia and Romanzoffiana when I’d first moved to Orlando and found them everywhere. As much as I loved the mountains and wilderness in NH, the frigid winter really sucked the life out of me. The fact that actual PALM TREES of any variety were able to live in-ground, outside, on their own, and thrive where I actually lived again had me over the moon. (I will always detest adonidia, however haha) Despite moving here from zone 5a, once I jumped head-first back into palm keeping, I’d immediately felt that zone 9b wasn’t good enough since I couldn’t keep the species I was used to when I’d lived in South Florida. 

This weekend I’m visiting some family in Broward and I can’t help but find myself staring at these 50+ foot tall, healthy, gorgeous coconuts.... from a McDonalds drive through of all places. It almost seems inappropriate to put something that feels so special to me in such a generic, non-descript location, but these things are a dime a dozen around here and just about as stunning and healthy as can be no matter where they’re stuck in the ground.

That wont stop me from finding them special every single time I see one, though. ☺️

1BF7C7C9-4C05-41A8-AD76-E5728E9C1483.thumb.jpeg.450f520d0b44f81031aba75968feee2b.jpeg

Edited by chad2468emr
  • Like 10
  • Upvote 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
quaman58

Funny, reminds me of a friend who told me once that he "couldn't live in a place where a palm won't grow". Not because of any particular love that he had for palms, but because he appreciates the same narrow climate range that they do. I would have to agree..

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
chad2468emr
5 hours ago, quaman58 said:

Not because of any particular love that he had for palms, but because he appreciates the same narrow climate range that they do.

I say this often! I’ve basically decided that I am the same as a coconut palm. Even after this typical to moderately colder than normal Orlando winter, I’m feeling like a lot of the coconuts I see in my area:  Tattered, stressed out, yellowing, and frost burnt. 

Oh and also, coconut palms on every corner down here are one thing, but I spied this beauty on the side of a canal in downtown Fort Lauderdale this evening: 

E0E039D1-5C1C-4DD6-9760-953DD63EE273.thumb.jpeg.e8b7bb5cdbfd7f034bcf11534005c950.jpeg

  • Like 4
  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
redant

I grew up in new England, went to school in NH but at this point I have been in FL longer then any other place, and every time I'm out and about I just look at all the beautiful palms everywhere and think how lucky I am to live here. I'd never go back to a cold climate, as beautiful as the mountains and open spaces are, my love of things being green and warm is far more overpowering.

  • Like 3
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
DCA_Palm_Fan
13 hours ago, chad2468emr said:

I say this often! I’ve basically decided that I am the same as a coconut palm. Even after this typical to moderately colder than normal Orlando winter, I’m feeling like a lot of the coconuts I see in my area:  Tattered, stressed out, yellowing, and frost burnt. 

Oh and also, coconut palms on every corner down here are one thing, but I spied this beauty on the side of a canal in downtown Fort Lauderdale this evening: 

E0E039D1-5C1C-4DD6-9760-953DD63EE273.thumb.jpeg.e8b7bb5cdbfd7f034bcf11534005c950.jpeg

 

I am exactly like you.   I'm from Washington DC, and used to zone push with a little success.  I too love the outdoors, hiking, camping, backpacking , etc, and LOVE the mountains. I spent a lot of time doing those things up there in the Appalachian / Blue Ridge, and even moved out into the mountains for a few years.   At the same time I have a love of the Tropics and palms trees/ tropical plants & vegetation, climate, beaches, etc.  I would visit southern FL a lot. Mostly the southern Tampa Bay area, and Fort Lauderale / Miami area.  I always go so depressed every time I got back home and got off the plane and it was frigid and overcast. I had bad Season Affective Disorder as well, and the months on end of overcast cold dark days filled with lifeless vegetation only added to it. I always said I wanted to move down here.    I finally had the chance in mid 2017 and jumped at it.   Ive never been happier. It was the best decision I have ever made for myself in my life.   

Also like you, I have always, especially now, likened myself to a Coconut Palm for the very same reasons.  Now, I always tell people that i am a human coconut palm in that I will not live anywhere where they won't grow long term.   

When did you finally move back to FL?   Ever visit the TB area?  Its def more more tropical over here especially the southern half of it.   

  • Like 2
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
mxcolin

I live in Zone 9b too and I try to push it with some Zone 10 palms with mixed results. I'm on my 3rd attempt at growing King Palms (Alexanders), my Sugar Cane Palm also took a heavy beating over winter and the Majesty Palms always seems to look pretty yellow. I think our extremely hot and dry summers are just as damaging. However, my True Date Palm looks majestic in this climate :)

Like you, I would love an actual live healthy Coconut Palm in our backyard. We have one that has been doing well indoors but not sure how long that will last. One day I'd like to live in a tropical climate to see what I could grow outside.

  • Like 2
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
chad2468emr
9 hours ago, redant said:

...as beautiful as the mountains and open spaces are, my love of things being green and warm is far more overpowering.

7 hours ago, DCA_Palm_Fan said:

...I too love the outdoors, hiking, camping, backpacking , etc, and LOVE the mountains...

Totally agree with both sentiments expressed here. Moved back last August, and when I’d found out the spouse and I were moving back down in May, I knew it was going to be sad after what was sure to be an amazing summer in NH. The warm weather + mountains + fishing + hiking made it REALLY hard to leave, but I knew what I was in store for in just a few months if I had stayed. I grew up in the Adirondacks in NY and had seasonal affective disorder my entire life until I’d moved to SFL at 19.  Once the novelty of living where it snows again wore off,  Jan - March were pretty bleak. Didn’t want to go through that again to say the least. I mean, even here in Orlando the 30 degree lows we’ve seen a dozen or so times this year bummed me out. 

7 hours ago, DCA_Palm_Fan said:

When did you finally move back to FL?   Ever visit the TB area?  Its def more more tropical over here especially the southern half of it.   

Moved back down last August. I’ve got some family outside Tampa and have been a few times. Been all over the west coast and while I’ll take Orlando’s weather over NH’s, I’d definitely be alright situated somewhere on the gulf in the future. 

6 hours ago, mxcolin said:

I’m on my 3rd attempt at growing King Palms (Alexanders), my Sugar Cane Palm also took a heavy beating over winter and the Majesty Palms always seems to look pretty yellow.

I’m surprised to hear this! I have a few Alexandrae plus a purpurea plus some cunninhamianas, and none of them batted an eye at the chilly winter we saw here. Saw lows as far as 34 at times and none of them batted an eye, though I did cover with frost blankets since they’re small enough to do so. I got my alexandrae in January and on top of the cold and being repotted, each one has put out two new fronds (it’s a double) and they’re each working on a third. My majesty is still green as can be as well. Had about 3 new fronds since November. That being said, I know zone 9 means lows as low as 25 and we were lucky enough to not see that here. 

  • Like 1
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
DCA_Palm_Fan
16 minutes ago, chad2468emr said:

Totally agree with both sentiments expressed here. Moved back last August, and when I’d found out the spouse and I were moving back down in May, I knew it was going to be sad after what was sure to be an amazing summer in NH. The warm weather + mountains + fishing + hiking made it REALLY hard to leave, but I knew what I was in store for in just a few months if I had stayed. I grew up in the Adirondacks in NY and had seasonal affective disorder my entire life until I’d moved to SFL at 19.  Once the novelty of living where it snows again wore off,  Jan - March were pretty bleak. Didn’t want to go through that again to say the least. I mean, even here in Orlando the 30 degree lows we’ve seen a dozen or so times this year bummed me out. 

Moved back down last August. I’ve got some family outside Tampa and have been a few times. Been all over the west coast and while I’ll take Orlando’s weather over NH’s, I’d definitely be alright situated somewhere on the gulf in the future. 

 

SAD is the worst.   That coupled with a love of tropical climates, beaches, etc and all that comes with it, made it even worse for me.   You def made the right choice.   I moved down with a best friend so it was even easier to do for both of us.   I actually met my current BF here in Saint Pete which was totally an unexpected, but nice surprise.    I miss the mountains sure, and show was a my favorite weather in the winter as it broke the bleak dank dark monotony of it all, but after a few days of snow I wanted it to be 80 again. LOL.   Not even the beauty of the mountains could make up for winter.     

I chose the bay area as I had visited here quite a few times before, and while I prefer the climate of Fort Lauderdale more, here is pretty close to it.    This area is just less congested and more laid back.   South FL felt like where I was from (DC/ Northern VA) with palm trees and a beach and it is similar in population (DC metro is 7.2million).  It is a bit rat racy in SoFL if you will.   Over here it feels a lot more like you're on island time and the vibe here is just more chill / laid back.  Its still zone 10a so it was not a huge compromise.    I didn't pick Orlando simply because it gets too cold and its land locked.   I'm 10 minutes from some of the most gorgeous beaches in the United States here, and I managed to snag a sweet waterfront spot on southern Tampa Bay.   I don't think I could live any further north than upper middle Pinellas county though.  Where the coconuts stop, I stop. lol.  

  • Like 1
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
chad2468emr
11 hours ago, DCA_Palm_Fan said:

SAD is the worst.   That coupled with a love of tropical climates, beaches, etc and all that comes with it, made it even worse for me.   You def made the right choice.   I moved down with a best friend so it was even easier to do for both of us.   I actually met my current BF here in Saint Pete which was totally an unexpected, but nice surprise.    I miss the mountains sure, and show was a my favorite weather in the winter as it broke the bleak dank dark monotony of it all, but after a few days of snow I wanted it to be 80 again. LOL.   Not even the beauty of the mountains could make up for winter.     

I chose the bay area as I had visited here quite a few times before, and while I prefer the climate of Fort Lauderdale more, here is pretty close to it.    This area is just less congested and more laid back.   South FL felt like where I was from (DC/ Northern VA) with palm trees and a beach and it is similar in population (DC metro is 7.2million).  It is a bit rat racy in SoFL if you will.   Over here it feels a lot more like you're on island time and the vibe here is just more chill / laid back.  Its still zone 10a so it was not a huge compromise.    I didn't pick Orlando simply because it gets too cold and its land locked.   I'm 10 minutes from some of the most gorgeous beaches in the United States here, and I managed to snag a sweet waterfront spot on southern Tampa Bay.   I don't think I could live any further north than upper middle Pinellas county though.  Where the coconuts stop, I stop. lol.  

Yeah I absolutely love SFL and if I ever get the chance to stick myself back in Plantation I’ll likely be grabbing it. It definitely is a rat race down there, and the traffic, jerks, and ridiculous price of real estate do detract from the overall quality of life a bit, but I lived there from the ages of 19-27 so my formative adult years were spent there and I feel like my brain is hard-wired to it and just accepts it as home, haha.

We ended up going with Orlando because my husband is a psychologist and had just finished his year-long post doctoral fellowship in NH (that’s why we moved there too) and landed a permanent gig here. I’m definitely missing the beach though, and if it could just be five degrees warmer here on average, I’d definitely be okay with it. The high in Orlando today is 70 degrees, so after a weekend of hot, humid, weather in the mid - upper 80s in Fort Lauderdale, I’m a bit cold. Haha 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
DCA_Palm_Fan

Edit - deleted - double post.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
DCA_Palm_Fan
4 hours ago, chad2468emr said:

Yeah I absolutely love SFL and if I ever get the chance to stick myself back in Plantation I’ll likely be grabbing it. It definitely is a rat race down there, and the traffic, jerks, and ridiculous price of real estate do detract from the overall quality of life a bit, but I lived there from the ages of 19-27 so my formative adult years were spent there and I feel like my brain is hard-wired to it and just accepts it as home, haha.

We ended up going with Orlando because my husband is a psychologist and had just finished his year-long post doctoral fellowship in NH (that’s why we moved there too) and landed a permanent gig here. I’m definitely missing the beach though, and if it could just be five degrees warmer here on average, I’d definitely be okay with it. The high in Orlando today is 70 degrees, so after a weekend of hot, humid, weather in the mid - upper 80s in Fort Lauderdale, I’m a bit cold. Haha 

Def glad you made it back!  You may be a better man than I as I don't think  id have as easy of a time moving back north even for a spouse. LOL. In fact I don't think I would .  I told myself  one I was here that this was the furthest north I was ever going to live again, and I meant that.  I am 100%  over anything remotely close to real winter. 

I feel that about being a little warmer too!  It was in the mid 80's here over the last 5 days as well, and today the high is 70F with a cool, almost blustery NW wind off of the Gulf of Mexico.  I am fortunate here though in that much of the southern half of the TB area is a good zone 10A.  Where I live now on the water its solid 10A with plenty of tall mature coconut palms very close by along with other fully tropical plants, that would fry in winter just 10 miles inland on the other side of TB. 

I do love SFL as well, and I suppose there are always going great places to live where you can create your own oasis in the middle of it all.  I def would live there should I ever want/ need to leave the southern Tampa Bay area.   It just was my second choice to here mainly due to the traffic / rat racy nature of parts of the area there.   I do love the beaches there too and the sunrises, but tbh I tend to be more of a sunset guy myself. LOL.  More fun to enjoy a great day outdoors and cap it off with some good drinks and a gorgeous ocean sunset for me.     If you ever get down to the area let me know and maybe we can catch a beach sunset and a few drinks!  

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
chad2468emr
On 2/16/2021 at 12:40 PM, DCA_Palm_Fan said:

   If you ever get down to the area let me know and maybe we can catch a beach sunset and a few drinks!  

Will do for sure!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...