Third Street

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Created by: Mike B

My goal was to create a tropical paradise in my yard by using plants that either are tropical or create the feeling of being tropical. This garden has many rare palms that I grew from seed. At that time it was the only way I could get them. I lost many plants because of cold winters but there were also many surprises.

For the "bones" of the garden I used plants that I knew would look good all the time. These included palms such as
Brahea, Arenga engleri, some species of Chamaedorea, and Queen Palms among others. With this strategy I knew that if a bad freeze hit the garden it would still look good while the more tender plants were recovering. Many "tender" tropicals can be grown as perennials. With light frost they freeze to the ground but recover quickly in the spring.

I sold this property in 2002 and none of the pictures are after that year. The photos are not digital and were scanned from 35mm negatives. Unfortunately most of the plants listed in "What I Grow" do not have photos from this garden and probably never will. Maybe I will get back to see it again someday.

At the time I moved I considered Brahea edulis (Guadalupe Palm) to be the stars of the garden because of their fast growth, long petioles, and huge leaves. I would hope that palms such as Ceroxylon, Parajubaea, and Rhopalostylis have put on considerable growth by now. Jacaranda, Tristania conferta and Moreton Bay Chestnut are probably getting close to "canopy" status.

Details... What I Grow

Category Subtropical
Climate Zone 9a
Climate Description This garden is 50 miles south of San Francisco but has a very different climate. We get more heat in the summer and winters are colder. The first frost is usually around Christmas and we normally don't get any after February 15. Most frosts are only a couple degrees below freezing but every couple of years we get one that keeps us from growing all those tropical plants that we like so much, especially the palms. This climate is Bay Area California, Mediterranean.
Elevation 197 ft
Keywords Subtropical Tree Ferns International Palm Society palms

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