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2023 Property update (palms and tropicals I'm growing)


Walt

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My last property update was in 2021, so I thought it was time to do a recent update, which I made last month (October).  There's nothing special about my palm garden, nothing really exotic as I'm limited by my zone 9b climate. The past two winters it dipped to about 30 degrees F for one night each winter, so in essence I'm right on the 9b/10a border.  But three winters ago it dipped to 27 degrees at sun up for one day. My coconut palm got some burn that winter. I don't think my garden saw anything lower than 27 degrees F since December of 2010 when I recorded my all-time lowest temperature of 20.7 degrees on a radiational cooling night. I don't think my garden (in the past 25 years) had ever been damaged by an advective freeze, as the lowest advective freeze I had, my open yard temperature was just above 29 degrees F with no frost (no frost is the key).  Without exception all my devastating freezes were radiational with heavy frost. 

During the above devastating freezes I used to protect (to at least some degree) my most cold/frost sensitive palms.  Because of my age (75-years-old) and suffering from an aggressive form of prostate cancer -- and just recently came down with Rheumatoid arthritis in both shoulder and hands -- it's become too difficult to protect my cold sensitive palms like I once did. Even if I were younger and in better shape it would be hard to protect many of my palms because they are now too tall.  Hopefully, I will have another relatively mild winter and my palms will receive little or no damage.  In any event, click on the link and check things out. I'm located 2 miles N.E. of the small town of Lake Placid, Florida.

 

 

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Mad about palms

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I love the entrance to this place….  Flawless.  That’s how you do it right there.  Shows what you can do with some simple, hardy well placed stuff and some flowers and borders.  A great welcome to your place.  

Then you go inside, and you’ve got exotic stuff, shrubby stuff, common stuff, caladiums, flowering shrubs, big palms, small palms, tall hardwoods…. everything everywhere.  Your own awesome rainforest jungle.  Great place.  

I see room for agaves and bromeliads out there….  They don’t drink too much.  

Thanks for the tour.  

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You have a really nice property down there, @Walt!

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Lakeland, FL

USDA Zone 1990: 9a  2012: 9b  2023: 10a | Sunset Zone: 26 | Record Low: 20F/-6.67C (Jan. 1985, Dec.1962) | Record Low USDA Zone: 9a

30-Year Avg. Low: 30F | 30-year Min: 24F

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Gorgeous!

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Let's keep our forum fun and friendly.

Any data in this post is provided 'as is' and in no event shall I be liable for any damages, including, without limitation, damages resulting from accuracy or lack thereof, insult, or lost profits or revenue, claims by third parties or for other similar costs, or any special, incidental, or consequential damages arising out of my opinion or the use of this data. The accuracy or reliability of the data is not guaranteed or warranted in any way and I disclaim liability of any kind whatsoever, including, without limitation, liability for quality, performance, merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose arising out of the use, or inability to use my data. Other terms may apply.

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@Walt - Thank you for the fantastic tour of your collection!!!

Your modest intro of “There'snothing special about my palm garden, nothing really exotic…” was much too humble. Sooo many amazing MATURE palms and other interesting plants! Anyone planning a 9b/10a yard should watch your tour to see how much variety is possible. 🌴

Hard to know what to comment on… but at the moment I’m thinking of your three types of beccariophoenix, multiple coconut palm varieties, kerriodoxa, pandanus, huge travelers palms, stately row of bismarckias, bamboos (including my favorite Lako Timor), Brazilian red cloak, staghorn ferns, well grown spindle, Dictyosperma, various Dypsis, massive oil palm, welcoming entryway with field of Serenoa repens, hurricane survivors with personality, a Royal with severe “sapsucker” damage that’s miraculously still standing, a monster-size Ficus and other trees grown from seed, etc. etc. etc. Yeah, nothing special. 🙄

The spacing and layering is also well thought out. Bravo 👏 

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Stacey Wright  |  Graphic Designer

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Walt,

Thank you very much for inviting us to your garden tour! 

A wide selection of great looking palms - I definitely enjoyed watching your video!

 

kind regards from Okinawa 

Lars

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22 hours ago, Looking Glass said:

I love the entrance to this place….  Flawless.  That’s how you do it right there.  Shows what you can do with some simple, hardy well placed stuff and some flowers and borders.  A great welcome to your place.  

Then you go inside, and you’ve got exotic stuff, shrubby stuff, common stuff, caladiums, flowering shrubs, big palms, small palms, tall hardwoods…. everything everywhere.  Your own awesome rainforest jungle.  Great place.  

I see room for agaves and bromeliads out there….  They don’t drink too much.  

Thanks for the tour.  

Oh, I have several species of agave (I like the larger Agava neglecta) and several bromeliads. Just an oversight on my part not to show these.

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Mad about palms

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22 hours ago, kinzyjr said:

You have a really nice property down there, @Walt!

Thanks. It's a lot of work at times -- especially after a major hurricane clean up.

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Mad about palms

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18 hours ago, iDesign said:

@Walt - Thank you for the fantastic tour of your collection!!!

Your modest intro of “There'snothing special about my palm garden, nothing really exotic…” was much too humble. Sooo many amazing MATURE palms and other interesting plants! Anyone planning a 9b/10a yard should watch your tour to see how much variety is possible. 🌴

Hard to know what to comment on… but at the moment I’m thinking of your three types of beccariophoenix, multiple coconut palm varieties, kerriodoxa, pandanus, huge travelers palms, stately row of bismarckias, bamboos (including my favorite Lako Timor), Brazilian red cloak, staghorn ferns, well grown spindle, Dictyosperma, various Dypsis, massive oil palm, welcoming entryway with field of Serenoa repens, hurricane survivors with personality, a Royal with severe “sapsucker” damage that’s miraculously still standing, a monster-size Ficus and other trees grown from seed, etc. etc. etc. Yeah, nothing special. 🙄

The spacing and layering is also well thought out. Bravo 👏 

Thank you for your kind words and assessment of my garden.  I should have qualified my humble intro. Relative to some extreme south Florida and Hawaii gardens my garden isn't very exotic. But relative to my general area here in south central Florida it may be considered somewhat exotic. But I've seen other's gardens in my general area that feature more exotic palms and plants than I have.

21 hours ago, DoomsDave said:

Gorgeous!

Thanks, Dave. I bet you watched my video from your swooning couch! LOL!

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Mad about palms

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10 hours ago, palmfriend said:

Walt,

Thank you very much for inviting us to your garden tour! 

A wide selection of great looking palms - I definitely enjoyed watching your video!

 

kind regards from Okinawa 

Lars

Thank you, Lars. I try to do the best I can considering what my marginal tropical growing climate allows me to grow.

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Mad about palms

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6 hours ago, donalt said:

amazing specimens and beautiful grounds overall! thank you for sharing.

 

Thanks.

Mad about palms

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Walt, thank you for the inspiration.  We live just to the west of you in Punta Gorda, but on the east side of I-75.  We are on the edge of 9b/10a.    I am sure you have tried a bunch of different palms over the years. Have you had any success with borassus, licuala, attalea or chamberonia?

Thank you again for sharing,

Joe

 

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1 hour ago, BPK Palm Addict said:

Walt, thank you for the inspiration.  We live just to the west of you in Punta Gorda, but on the east side of I-75.  We are on the edge of 9b/10a.    I am sure you have tried a bunch of different palms over the years. Have you had any success with borassus, licuala, attalea or chamberonia?

Thank you again for sharing,

Joe

 

Joe, the problem I've always had is availability of the more exotic (not the garden variety) palms. A palm buddy gave me a borassus seed (large seed) about three years ago. Today the seedling only has three strap leaves (very slow growing so far). I have a small Chambeyronia macrocarpa, but it doesn't do well for me.  Always wanted to try a Attalea cohune (I think the most cold hardy) but there's no availability around here. I will have to check my plant tags, but I think I have some species of licuala; a buddy of mine sent me seeds from one of his palms.

Yes, I've tried many species of palms over the years. I've lost many of them to freezes or other causes. Thanks for commenting.

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Mad about palms

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Nice garden I can see your vision you had when you planted it out some nice mature specimens your a true gardener I fully understand how you feel about your garden 

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Thanks for taking the time to update us on your beautiful property.

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animated-volcano-image-0010.gif.71ccc48bfc1ec622a0adca187eabaaa4.gif

Kona, on The Big Island
Hawaii - Land of Volcanoes

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A good video to learn from too.  The value of canopy and shade can't be overstated especially in Florida.  Future goals and inspiration!

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Great garden, Walt!  It looks like your hybrid Livistona could be part Fulva.  It was hard to say from the video, but it looked like it had a little tan coloring to the fronds.  Regardless of the genetics, it's a great looking palm. 

A random question for you...do you recall if your Elaeis Guineensis grew up-then-out, or out-then-up?  I have a whole leaf mutant that's going pretty upwards so far, but it's only about 6 feet overall height.  And I have a regular type that I may have planted too close to a pathway.  But if they stay fairly vertical (like the one on your patio) then it might be okay.  Any thoughts?

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11 hours ago, happypalms said:

Nice garden I can see your vision you had when you planted it out some nice mature specimens your a true gardener I fully understand how you feel about your garden 

Thank you, mate. Nice to hear from someone down under.

Mad about palms

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3 hours ago, Dypsisdean said:

Thanks for taking the time to update us on your beautiful property.

Thank you.

7 hours ago, pogobob said:

Awesome garden that really shows your love and passion for nature!

Thank you.

Mad about palms

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2 hours ago, flplantguy said:

A good video to learn from too.  The value of canopy and shade can't be overstated especially in Florida.  Future goals and inspiration!

Yes, one learns (in a marginal climate for zone 10 and above palms) the value of tree canopy. I strategically plant many zone 10 palms and plants under tree canopy.

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Mad about palms

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1 hour ago, Merlyn said:

Great garden, Walt!  It looks like your hybrid Livistona could be part Fulva.  It was hard to say from the video, but it looked like it had a little tan coloring to the fronds.  Regardless of the genetics, it's a great looking palm. 

A random question for you...do you recall if your Elaeis Guineensis grew up-then-out, or out-then-up?  I have a whole leaf mutant that's going pretty upwards so far, but it's only about 6 feet overall height.  And I have a regular type that I may have planted too close to a pathway.  But if they stay fairly vertical (like the one on your patio) then it might be okay.  Any thoughts?

I can't recall now,  but as my Elaeis guineensis grew it really started to spread. It has a wide canopy.  This spring I will plant the E. guineensis I have on my lanai.  With regard to my hybrid livistona, I know, especially when it was younger, that the new petioles were a wine/maroon color. I had another hybrid livistona. It was the fastest growing livistona I ever had. I really loved this palm. However, in 2017 Hurricane Irma bent the entire crown over. I thought maybe the trunk was partially snapped. However, over the next five years the upper trunk straightened back up. But Hurrican Ian snapped the top five feet of trunk off, the crown falling to the ground. I surmised that the trunk was partially cracked and weakened by Hurricane Irma -- and Hurricane Ian snapped the trunk at the weak spot. Here's a short video of my lost beloved livistona. 

 

2 hours ago, D. Morrowii said:

Great video tour Walt, really beautiful garden you created there. Thanks for sharing it. 

Thanks for the compliment.

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Mad about palms

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@Walt ah, ok then I'd guess the hybrid Livistona has some Mariae in it.  I have a double Mariae that's super red, but they are only about 3' tall overall.  I read that they lose most of their coloring as they get older.

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9 hours ago, Walt said:

Thank you, mate. Nice to hear from someone down under.

We’re not that far down under just different that’s all us Aussies are the best thing about getting older is our palms look better as they grow with us great garden Walt I have waited 20 years for my garden to give the vision I seen when planting it out you have done exactly that seen a vision and your looking at it in your garden congratulations 

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16 hours ago, happypalms said:

We’re not that far down under just different that’s all us Aussies are the best thing about getting older is our palms look better as they grow with us great garden Walt I have waited 20 years for my garden to give the vision I seen when planting it out you have done exactly that seen a vision and your looking at it in your garden congratulations 

At this point in my life, my garden is basically my life. My wife wants me to sell and go live in condo (because of age and health issues). I told her there's no way I can do that. I told her as long as I can walk we're staying right here. I have too much of an emotional investment to ever leave where I am now.

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Mad about palms

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@Walt your property looks great! I saw that you have a dictyosperma album conjugatum  variety. I was curious how long you've had it planted out there and what kind of cold it's seen?

I love that variety, and it's such a great grower. I planted one at my house in West Bradenton in full sun and it's put on a decent amount of size, although it hasn't seen any real cold there because West Bradenton stays pretty warm (never seen it go below 32⁰). 

I just moved out to the east side of manatee county, so I'm curious how one of those will do when they're actually exposed to some cold weather out here.

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On 11/25/2023 at 9:07 PM, RainforestCafe said:

@Walt your property looks great! I saw that you have a dictyosperma album conjugatum  variety. I was curious how long you've had it planted out there and what kind of cold it's seen?

I love that variety, and it's such a great grower. I planted one at my house in West Bradenton in full sun and it's put on a decent amount of size, although it hasn't seen any real cold there because West Bradenton stays pretty warm (never seen it go below 32⁰). 

I just moved out to the east side of manatee county, so I'm curious how one of those will do when they're actually exposed to some cold weather out here.

I bought my D. album 'conjugatum' in the fall of 2010. I planted it out in the spring of 2011. FYI, it's never been hurt by cold since planting it. It also fared well from Hurricanes Irma and Ian, both hurricanes ravaged my property. But again, my D album 'conjugatum' was virtually untouched. My palm is not planted in the open. It's surrounded by trees, but not under any canopy.

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Mad about palms

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your property looks amazing and tropical for lake placid!  Far more tropical than I was expecting. As someone who is looking to build a property inland from Sarasota, I am happy to see that you can make a property look extremely tropical

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the good thing about having so many plants in a lush jungle format is that in a big freeze or storm some of your stuff will get damaged but most likely a ton of it will survive.  if you have a highly manicured yard and a few things die it will look bad.  like if you have 25 palms and 5 of them die you still have 20 left

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if you ever sell the property imagine the shock of the real estate agent "why are people offering 2x market value for this property? the landscaping is overgrown"  without realizing it is literally full of rare palms

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20 hours ago, coco305 said:

your property looks amazing and tropical for lake placid!  Far more tropical than I was expecting. As someone who is looking to build a property inland from Sarasota, I am happy to see that you can make a property look extremely tropical

Thanks. it was a labor of love over the past 25 years.

Mad about palms

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20 hours ago, coco305 said:

the good thing about having so many plants in a lush jungle format is that in a big freeze or storm some of your stuff will get damaged but most likely a ton of it will survive.  if you have a highly manicured yard and a few things die it will look bad.  like if you have 25 palms and 5 of them die you still have 20 left

Many plants are strategically planted (like under tree canopy; on the south side of a screening tree, etc.)

Mad about palms

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20 hours ago, coco305 said:

wow I was surprised to see the cocos nucifera green malayan... in lake placid.. wow

Many winters I had to protect my green Malayan dwarf -- otherwise it would have surely been killed -- especially in January and December of 2010. It's too big now for me to protect. I can only hope my overnight lows don't drop below the high 20s for short duration.

BTW, the town of Lake Placid is far warmer than at my place just two miles away. The reason is that the town sits atop the Lake Wales Ridge; hence colder air drains off towards my place while warmer air flows up into town. Two winters ago on the coldest morning (a radiational cooling event) it was 27 degrees just before sun up at my place. I drove up the ridge into town and it was 39  degrees (car thermometer). I also confirmed that reading by going online to the Lake Placid Elementary School that has a STEM weather station tied into to Weather Underground's Florida weather stations. Out here in the far inland (equal distance from the Gulf and Atlantic) one has to be on high ground (Lake Wales Ridge) or next to a large lake to be able to grow many tropicals long term. 

Mad about palms

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20 hours ago, coco305 said:

if you ever sell the property imagine the shock of the real estate agent "why are people offering 2x market value for this property? the landscaping is overgrown"  without realizing it is literally full of rare palms

I plan on living here until I die. What happens after that with my property is anyone's guess. However, I have a feeling that many prospective buyers would run from my property (too many plantings that equal lot of maintenance and work). I think it would take a person like myself (when I was younger, who has a profound interest in palms and tropical plantings) to buy this place. Thinking about it, I do have a prospective buyer for my property. He's the owner of a plant nursery here in Lake Placid. Every spring I have his company come out and do landscaping maintenance for me. He told me if were to ever sell it he would be interested in buying it.

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Mad about palms

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