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Vancouver Island summer update


ShadyDan

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The last 365 days sure were a challenge for the garden with 40C+ temps / no rain for 3 months during the 2021 heat dome, followed by a long, cold, wet winter that saw the coldest temperatures Vancouver Island has seen in over 30 years. I'm happy to see all my palms chugging along nicely now that we have some seasonably hot weather! I've included some non-palm plants as well because they are also zone-pushed and I just like them.

Sabal Palmetto pushing on frond #2 for the year. 0 issues through the heat dome or cold winter.

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Chamaerops humilis var. argentea took the winter like a champ too and of course laughed at the heat dome.

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Sabal minor looking ok, actually had more winter damage than my palmetto did. Seems to be recovering nicely though.

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Butia odorata got a little frond damage from the cold winter and took a while to get moving this year from the long winter we had, but is pushing out new growth fast now

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(BxJ)xS was the only palm I really protected during the winter and came out fine. Still a slower mover for me. Would probably helped if I hacked back my wife's dahlias, but not sure how I'm going to get away with that one yet....
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Phoenix theophrasti is a relatively new addition for me, planted this spring. I'll be interested to see how it handles the next winter.

IMG_4933.thumb.jpg.368ef1c6bd91e82c56b7718767ac3472.jpg
 

3 x Chamaedorea radicalis I got from @Phyllostachys this spring. Haven't moved much but they are alive I guess.

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Dicksonia antarctica throwing out tons of new fronds after being cooked during the heat dome them freeze burnt during the winter.

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First flower off my Magnolia grandiflora "Kay Parris". Love it!
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Musa bouncing back  
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My Eucalyptus rodwayi I grew from seed in 2020

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Opuntia humifusa flowering in front of my olive trees

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Palm farm in my greenhouse. 7 different species here I think?

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My back deck view. Mountains, ocean, and palm trees. What else could you want? Maybe a cold beer I guess...
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And the front of my house with my large Trachycarpus
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Thanks for looking!

 

Edited by ShadyDan
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Zone 8b, Csb (Warm-summer Mediterranean climate). 1,940 annual sunshine hours 
Annual lows-> 19/20: -5.0C, 20/21: -5.5C, 21/22: -8.3C, 22/23: -9.4C, 23/24: 1.1C (so far!)

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Everything looks pretty great.  The first time I ever made it to the PNW I was staying at the Beach Club Resort in Parksville, doing some work for the city of Nanaimo.  I only remember seeing some Trachys at the time.  Pretty scenic up that way, I don't think I ever drove into your neighborhood.

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1 hour ago, teddytn said:

Not much more you could ask for lol, maybe no more bad winters. Looking good! 

Exactly! Coldest in 30 years last winter, so I just hope we don't have a repeat.
 

46 minutes ago, Chester B said:

Everything looks pretty great.  The first time I ever made it to the PNW I was staying at the Beach Club Resort in Parksville, doing some work for the city of Nanaimo.  I only remember seeing some Trachys at the time.  Pretty scenic up that way, I don't think I ever drove into your neighborhood.

Thanks! Looking forward to seeing how things develop in the years to come. I don't think I'll be moving anytime soon, it is beautiful here. I doubt you would have made it in my neighborhood, its pretty tucked away off the main roads. Lots of Trachys and some large Chamaerops too in my neighborhood though.

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Zone 8b, Csb (Warm-summer Mediterranean climate). 1,940 annual sunshine hours 
Annual lows-> 19/20: -5.0C, 20/21: -5.5C, 21/22: -8.3C, 22/23: -9.4C, 23/24: 1.1C (so far!)

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I drove around a bunch but missed that spot. 
 

Really like the palmetto and the Phoenix. 

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Finally some of the warmer heat. Cactus garden is appreciative.

 

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  • 2 months later...

Last update before winter comes tomorrow. The palms (and me!) are enjoying their last days of 20+C weather here on Vancouver Island before the much needed rain shows up tomorrow. This will be the last 20+C day until Late March / Early April sometime. Hoping for an easy mild winter!

Sabal minor

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Butia odorata

IMG_5420.thumb.jpg.1195ea938c19dbef6f8163c630ddd813.jpg

 

Chamaerops humilis 'cerifera'

IMG_5418.thumb.jpg.b81d421186ea83c6b2a45c928b3f8af8.jpg

 

Phoenix theophrasti

IMG_5417.thumb.jpg.a6743c7cb730caa0b5539132c55e2d95.jpg

 

Sabal palmetto

IMG_5416.thumb.jpg.36ad1e8108697aa5d2b967019d178ec1.jpg

 

(Butia x Jubaea) x Syagrus

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Garden + Trachycarpus

IMG_5422.thumb.jpg.216bf32a9e27b37a35891354a76d61bb.jpg

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Zone 8b, Csb (Warm-summer Mediterranean climate). 1,940 annual sunshine hours 
Annual lows-> 19/20: -5.0C, 20/21: -5.5C, 21/22: -8.3C, 22/23: -9.4C, 23/24: 1.1C (so far!)

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I super dig your garden and the river rock mulch too! All my bananas, cannas, and elephant ears got fried already seems too early to get cold like this…hope your winter is mild! 

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4 minutes ago, teddytn said:

I super dig your garden and the river rock mulch too! All my bananas, cannas, and elephant ears got fried already seems too early to get cold like this…hope your winter is mild! 

How cold did you get down to? Most bananas, cannas and other exotics won't get damaged until it goes down below 30F for an hour or more. They can take several hours at freezing (32F).

Dry-summer Oceanic climate (9a)

Average annual precipitation - 18.7 inches : Average annual sunshine hours - 1725

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1 hour ago, ShadyDan said:

This will be the last 20+C day until Late March / Early April sometime. Hoping for an easy mild winter!

Yup, kinda looks that way. Breezes have already picked up and considerable cloud has started to roll in (as of 15:45 Pacific) up my way. The switch has been flipped.

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37 minutes ago, teddytn said:

I super dig your garden and the river rock mulch too! All my bananas, cannas, and elephant ears got fried already seems too early to get cold like this…hope your winter is mild! 

Thanks! The river rock is awesome, adds some radiated heat in our cool climate for all the heat lovers and its super low maintenance. Much prefer pulling a few weeds out a couple times a year to mowing a lawn.

Yea I saw the nasty weather everyone out East was getting. Crazy how far south the cold went and the places getting snow this early. Sucks to lose those plants so early!

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Zone 8b, Csb (Warm-summer Mediterranean climate). 1,940 annual sunshine hours 
Annual lows-> 19/20: -5.0C, 20/21: -5.5C, 21/22: -8.3C, 22/23: -9.4C, 23/24: 1.1C (so far!)

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2 hours ago, UK_Palms said:

How cold did you get down to? Most bananas, cannas and other exotics won't get damaged until it goes down below 30F for an hour or more. They can take several hours at freezing (32F).

I don’t have an outdoor weather station. The weather report said 30f but I wouldn’t be surprised if we went into the high 20’s. I leave for work before the sun comes up so saw this when I got home from work.


These potted bananas and elephant ears are on concrete next to my house undamaged.D4104082-B6C9-4A33-8214-05C459A352E3.thumb.jpeg.f0855c645b50f4ee6f409b3ecd5f1513.jpegThis bed is down in my yard completely exposed. My yard does slope down towards this bed where it flattens out, lowest part of my yard.3800BEF7-A2AF-4020-B4BE-215FEBEE6243.thumb.jpeg.bdc0c4706b59f319cb9638df660bbc0d.jpegDefinite example of microclimate on the south side of my house.

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Sadly tomorrow is the start of the rainy season here as well. 20F drop in temps and rain pretty much every day in the forecast. We went from winter temps and relentless rain straight into 4 months of heat, sunshine and drought and are immediately switching back. No transitions this year. 
 

I’m interested to see how the theophrasti does. I have one myself that I’m growing out. 

Edited by Chester B
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1 hour ago, teddytn said:

I don’t have an outdoor weather station. The weather report said 30f but I wouldn’t be surprised if we went into the high 20’s. I leave for work before the sun comes up so saw this when I got home from work.


These potted bananas and elephant ears are on concrete next to my house undamaged.D4104082-B6C9-4A33-8214-05C459A352E3.thumb.jpeg.f0855c645b50f4ee6f409b3ecd5f1513.jpegThis bed is down in my yard completely exposed. My yard does slope down towards this bed where it flattens out, lowest part of my yard.3800BEF7-A2AF-4020-B4BE-215FEBEE6243.thumb.jpeg.bdc0c4706b59f319cb9638df660bbc0d.jpegDefinite example of microclimate on the south side of my house.

Is that part of the garden at the very bottom of the slope? That area might be a frost pocket. Microclimates definitely make a difference, even though I'm a 9b there are 10a parts of my garden some winters bananas can have some slight damage on them in the colder spots, and the ones in the warmer microclimates are fine. From the damage I'd say it was probably in the upper 20s in that spot.

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1 hour ago, Chester B said:

Sadly tomorrow is the start of the rainy season here as well. 20F drop in temps and rain pretty much every day in the forecast. We went from winter temps and relentless rain straight into 4 months of heat, sunshine and drought and are immediately switching back. No transitions this year. 
 

I’m interested to see how the theophrasti does. I have one myself that I’m growing out. 

I’m just going to start calling it the wet season and the dry season going forward. We really don’t have a true fall or spring, especially years like this year when it’s hard to tell June from January and August from October. 
 

I’m not holding out a lot of hope for the theophrasti, definitely an experiment. If it makes it through I’ll be pleasantly surprised. I’ll do a spring update regardless. 

Zone 8b, Csb (Warm-summer Mediterranean climate). 1,940 annual sunshine hours 
Annual lows-> 19/20: -5.0C, 20/21: -5.5C, 21/22: -8.3C, 22/23: -9.4C, 23/24: 1.1C (so far!)

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14 hours ago, ShadyDan said:

I’m just going to start calling it the wet season and the dry season going forward. We really don’t have a true fall or spring, especially years like this year when it’s hard to tell June from January and August from October. 
 

I’m not holding out a lot of hope for the theophrasti, definitely an experiment. If it makes it through I’ll be pleasantly surprised. I’ll do a spring update regardless. 

I always felt we get 4-5 months of summer, 6-7 months of spring and 1-3 days of winter.  I've had my AC on this last week, and now I'm going to have to turn the heat on tomorrow.  Crazy.

I get a lot more heat here than WA or BC so hopefully my Phoenix will survive.  These pesky winters are such a pain though.

And I did finally find a decent palmetto, looks to be similar sized to yours, so that's getting planted in spring.

Edited by Chester B
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4 hours ago, Chester B said:

I always felt we get 4-5 months of summer, 6-7 months of spring and 1-3 days of winter.  I've had my AC on this last week, and now I'm going to have to turn the heat on tomorrow.  Crazy.

I get a lot more heat here than WA or BC so hopefully my Phoenix will survive.  These pesky winters are such a pain though.

And I did finally find a decent palmetto, looks to be similar sized to yours, so that's getting planted in spring.

Looks like there's a massive shift in the weather there. I looked at the forecast and it looked like it was still in the 70s and 80s there last week and now you have highs in the 50s. In September we had a large shift in weather from hot and dry to warm and rainy but this time of the year is the wettest in London. The weather should become more dry going into winter here. The nights are still warm here in the mid 50s to low 60s. Washingtonia and the phoenix palms can take a lot of cool weather but they don't like wet soil in the winter which is probably an issue in the Pacific Northwest. In my opinion having dry soil for Washingtonia and phoenix palms is more important than heat in the winter because root rot is more likely to kill them than cool weather. 

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ShadyDan your garden looks awesome! Can’t wait for the updates next year. Curious about the Phoenix Theophrasti and how it handles the winter? Hopefully we have a mild winter!

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3 hours ago, southpacific73 said:

ShadyDan your garden looks awesome! Can’t wait for the updates next year. Curious about the Phoenix Theophrasti and how it handles the winter? Hopefully we have a mild winter!

Thanks! I’m hoping so too, especially after last winter. Definitely hoping to not see -8 again and the even more horrid temps you guys had in the Lower Mainland! 

Zone 8b, Csb (Warm-summer Mediterranean climate). 1,940 annual sunshine hours 
Annual lows-> 19/20: -5.0C, 20/21: -5.5C, 21/22: -8.3C, 22/23: -9.4C, 23/24: 1.1C (so far!)

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Another and very unusual (3rd in a row) la niña winter is forecast. The past two la niña have been abysmal and I'm not looking forward to another one.

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10 hours ago, Las Palmas Norte said:

Another and very unusual (3rd in a row) la niña winter is forecast. The past two la niña have been abysmal and I'm not looking forward to another one.

It’s going to be a crapshoot as to what we actually get. I’ve refrained from planting a few things just in case. I have a pretty big container garden going into winter this year. We didn’t have it too bad last year, the coldest was one night around -4.5 C. But we had the wet spring that cause so much damage and the previous winter had a major ice storm that knocked out power and took a year to clean up all the trees that were broken. I lost 3 of 4 mature trees on my property and snapped two more mid sized one halfway up. 

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Now that everyone living inland from the coast are seeing cooler and wetter weather, Brookings/Harbor Oregon is seeing sunny days with light rain at night.  The cold damp drizzling fog is gone and our weather is great.  Sunny warm days and mild rain at night, palm trees love it and so do citrus and other plants that grow year around.  Palms have stopped dropping leaves and will start growing faster all the way to next June.

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16 hours ago, Banana Belt said:

Now that everyone living inland from the coast are seeing cooler and wetter weather, Brookings/Harbor Oregon is seeing sunny days with light rain at night.  The cold damp drizzling fog is gone and our weather is great.  Sunny warm days and mild rain at night, palm trees love it and so do citrus and other plants that grow year around.  Palms have stopped dropping leaves and will start growing faster all the way to next June.

Must be nice! Beautiful sunny day here yesterday, but first (light) frost last night. Amazing how quickly everything can change. Might be worth taking a winter road trip down sometime and stay in the “tropics” of Oregon. 

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Zone 8b, Csb (Warm-summer Mediterranean climate). 1,940 annual sunshine hours 
Annual lows-> 19/20: -5.0C, 20/21: -5.5C, 21/22: -8.3C, 22/23: -9.4C, 23/24: 1.1C (so far!)

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I saw Olympia got frost last night.  Our coldest has been 48f/10c so far, but we have had the coldest night of the year in October before. 

Now that the cool rainy weather has arrived I’ll be spending more time out by the coast fishing and crabbing.  The northern coast doesn’t seem to get the sunny warm weather in winter though. 

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36°F / 2°C at sunrise this morning here. Bananas and other soft tissue plants all look fine. Expecting rain tomorrow.

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On 10/22/2022 at 9:32 AM, Chester B said:

It’s going to be a crapshoot as to what we actually get. I’ve refrained from planting a few things just in case. I have a pretty big container garden going into winter this year. We didn’t have it too bad last year, the coldest was one night around -4.5 C. But we had the wet spring that cause so much damage and the previous winter had a major ice storm that knocked out power and took a year to clean up all the trees that were broken. I lost 3 of 4 mature trees on my property and snapped two more mid sized one halfway up. 

Another La nina winter, or at least through feb, 2023. The NOAA Climate prediction center mentioned that the north Pacific has above average sea surface temperature, hinting that perhaps there might be more precipitation but it might also be warmer for the Northwest than last year.  Crapshoot as you say.  Triple la nina years are unusual and if I remember the  1976, 1977 and 1978 triple la nina, 1978 was terribly wet in Corvallis, Oregon but not so cold.  So if this winter 2022-2023 is like the 1979 winter, it will be very wet but not that cold.

Edited by Banana Belt
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9 hours ago, Chester B said:

I saw Olympia got frost last night.  Our coldest has been 48f/10c so far, but we have had the coldest night of the year in October before. 

Now that the cool rainy weather has arrived I’ll be spending more time out by the coast fishing and crabbing.  The northern coast doesn’t seem to get the sunny warm weather in winter though. 

They called for 35 here but I didn't believe it.  Bottomed out at 34.7f up here at my place, I didn't see frost on the neighbors roof like I normally do when we're within a few degrees of freezing.  IDK what time but clouds and fogged rolled in before I woke up, was a good Halloween kind of morning. 

Ryan I know you hate our wet winters, but I'm glad to see the rain return.  I've really tried to get behind this "Mediterranean summer" that the whole PNW has.  But I just don't like it.  My Rhodos finally look like they're not dying a painful death. 

Edited by Jesse PNW
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1 hour ago, Jesse PNW said:

They called for 35 here but I didn't believe it.  Bottomed out at 34.7f up here at my place, I didn't see frost on the neighbors roof like I normally do when we're within a few degrees of freezing.  IDK what time but clouds and fogged rolled in before I woke up, was a good Halloween kind of morning. 

Ryan I know you hate our wet winters, but I'm glad to see the rain return.  I've really tried to get behind this "Mediterranean summer" that the whole PNW has.  But I just don't like it.  My Rhodos finally look like they're not dying a painful death. 

Around here most of the hardcore gardeners I have visited have the low water plantings that still have the ability to handle the winters. As we seem to keep drying out more each year this is proving to be the low maintenance option. If I never saw rain or snow again it wouldn’t bother me one bit. I guess I really belong about a 1000 miles south. The first two summers here it was quite the adjustment, the next two I started getting into it and now I find they don’t last long enough.  
 

Well at least now you’ll be heading into the steamy south. I must admit I do miss a good afternoon thunderstorm on a hot summer day. 

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  • 2 months later...

Its been a few weeks since our Christmas deep freeze so I figured it would be a good time to do a damage report. We have had warm temperatures around 8-10C (up to 15C one day) since the freeze so damage should start manifesting itself.  Thankfully, only one casualty so far. The only palm I protected during our Christmas freeze was my (JxB)xS (no heat, just an overturned wheelbarrow). Full damage report with pictures:

Phoenix theophrasti - pulled spear :(. I guess this species is a loser for cold/wet winters. I may replace it with a CIDP.
IMG_5813.thumb.jpg.ea57a71a0cb969ba33ce61fcd7938308.jpg


Butia odorata - burn on about 50% of the older fronds. Newer fronds and center spear are solid and look fine.
IMG_5819.thumb.jpg.e98656cb07701357f8a6cbdf260512f9.jpg

Sabal palmetto - laughed at the cold
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Sabal minor - looks fine
IMG_5829.thumb.jpg.5fd5d08d6f23d81ecf2fb716a1408e28.jpg

(BxJ)xS - looks fine
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Chamaerops humilis 'cerifera' - very minor burn on some of frond tips. Spear is solid
IMG_5818.thumb.jpg.ba5c3a83f88c7f701f4b863202fb30c5.jpg

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Zone 8b, Csb (Warm-summer Mediterranean climate). 1,940 annual sunshine hours 
Annual lows-> 19/20: -5.0C, 20/21: -5.5C, 21/22: -8.3C, 22/23: -9.4C, 23/24: 1.1C (so far!)

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Phoenix theophrasti  - Yes, these are more closely related to P dactylifera and resent our consistent winter wet. Couple that with freezing weather and as you've seen, end in death. The only chance would be overhead protection all winter and grown in an elevated area with superior drainage. Even then, high humidity would be an issue especially with freezing weather. Oh well, space for something else come spring. 

Edited by Las Palmas Norte
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@ShadyDannot bad considering you weren't there.  Bummer about the theophrastii, I have one I'm growing up to try.  I do get more heat and am warmer in winter so we'll see.  It's still too small to try outside.

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2 hours ago, Chester B said:

@ShadyDannot bad considering you weren't there.  Bummer about the theophrastii, I have one I'm growing up to try.  I do get more heat and am warmer in winter so we'll see.  It's still too small to try outside.

Good luck with yours. Shame it’s first winter in the ground was another terrible one. Oh well, I guess I’d rather find out it’s a no-go sooner than later. Now I have to decide if I want to put my Livistona nitida, Sabal causiarum, or CIDP in its spot. 

Zone 8b, Csb (Warm-summer Mediterranean climate). 1,940 annual sunshine hours 
Annual lows-> 19/20: -5.0C, 20/21: -5.5C, 21/22: -8.3C, 22/23: -9.4C, 23/24: 1.1C (so far!)

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