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Thursday, November 25, 2010

Garden design with palm trees - Washingtonia filifera/Californian Fan Palm

In this front garden - entrance of a hotel in Cyclades, Greecen - the gardeners made three liitle terraces and used local stones to keep earth getting washed out. The three focal points are the 3 palms, Washingtonia filifera or commonly known as Californian Fan Palm. The garden has got a returning pattern created by the zig-zag arrangement of silver leaved Santolina chamaecyparissus (Cotton lavander), they lead your eye side-to-side so you observe the whole garden. Red leaves of the Berberis thunbergii 'Atropurpurea' (Red japanese barberry), orange flowers of Strelizia reginae (Bird of Paradise) and purple-pink flowers of the Bugainvillea add color to the arrangement.

Washingtonia filifera planted in a line outside of a house. This palm grows a tall trunk, mature trees can reach 18 m hight so they are great to line avenues. They look pretty trimmed, as you see on the above picture, or with their long skirt of dead leaves.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Trimming palms for faster growth?

There is an old myth among gardeners about trimming palm trees so they "grow quicker". Some say that cutting the lower leaves of the tree results in a higher trunk. Do NOT do it. If you want to enjoy your palm tree for a long time only cut the dried, yellow leaves and be careful not to cut too close to the trunk so you don't actually hurt the newly forming leaves.

Cuttig the dead leaves is more for aestetic reasons than for anything else. A palm tree can be completly healthy with all the dead leaves hanging down around it like a pretty hawaii skirt. But if you prefer neat appearence with no dry leaves around, here is how you do it:

  1. Put on gloves. Some plams have nasty spikes you do not want to get hurt.
  2. Use a pair of strong clippers that you feel comfortable with. It is very important that they are sharp enough! 
  3. Check your tree. Cut close to the trunk , but rather leave a bit of the leaf on, than to cut into the trunk. Only remove completly dry leaves, leave on the green ones, even if the tips are starting to get brown. These leaves are still supporting the palm tree.
  4. That's done! Don't forget to water and give it some fertilizer.
Don't feel bad if you have tall palm trees and do not feel like struggling on the top of the ladder in order to cut dead leaves. You palm tree is completly healthy and natural looking with its skirt on too!

Keep having lots of fun!
xx Anna

Monday, November 22, 2010

USDN plant hardiness

Did you bump into this term yet and wondered what it means? It's actually not complicated. When consider to plant a palm tree in your garden it is useful to know wheather it's going to be happy with the climate conditions of your garden.

I took this definition from Wikipedia:
"A hardiness zone is a geographically defined area in which a specific category of plant life is capable of growing, as defined by climatic conditions, including its ability to withstand the minimum temperatures of the zone."

For example if a palm tree is categorized as hardy to zone 10 means that it can only withstand minimum temperature of -1°C. Check out the following hardines zone maps to learn which zone your garden is situated!

Hardiness zone maps


I only attached usda zone maps of Europe, but same kind of maps can be found for the whole world. Keep having fun!
xx Anna

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Keep planting!

Hey guys,

I am soo happy that you are reading this! I hope that you are just as enthousiastic about beautiful gardens as I am. In this blog I will be concentrating on palm trees. Propagation, garden design with palms, general needs, pests and protection, and even office decoration with palms and alike.

I am lucky to live in Greece where I am spoiled with choice, but this blog is not only for the mediterranean or tropical gardeners but for you that live in colder climates as well. There are many-many species of palm trees to create your personal eden wherever you live. Read my blog, share your views and most importantly: keep planting!