MG: New palm tree garden on Vancouver Island

den_vic(BC Canada Z8b)April 2, 2006

I'm moving to a new place and I'm happy that trees can be planted now on the island.

What happens when bananas fight? Someone told me that you get a banana split. I have moved these tall boys (photo) as they were awakening. The flower stage cane was too big so I cut it down. These things can get heavy. Too big too move. It would have flowered without fronds. I know it sounds strange and looks even stranger. I've separated the rhyzome in many parts as a mature basjoo is way too heavy to handle in one piece. Canes under 8ft were transported. As the old house owners walked out, they were surpised to see bare root bananas being transplanted now. Some canes were planted so close that they will push each other. I must leave room for other species but did not want to dispose of extra canes. Bananas will be used in cereal. Most don't like this kind of tiny, non-commercial crop. Someone helped me move palms under 300 lbs. Palms like immediate plantings but bananas can wait a week on the ground and will feed on the root ball portion. Mature palms are great as the impress buyers from eastern Canada. I'll manicure them and grab the winter crop left by the birds.

I have lots of rock in the new garden which can be used to contain bamboo. I've planted eucalyptus and my new neighbours will find out how fast theese can grow. I need less summer water with these. I've packed juvenile camellias together to create a cluster with multi-colour and multi-type flowers. White ones are nice but the flower's lifespsan is so short. Some pinks are also too fast. I like drooping specimens. I'll put in a fall specimen to bring out of season interest to the cluster. I've planted fremontia native to CA. We don't think of California as having full PNW flowers on a tree but their native Blue CA lilac is a nice evergreen tree that was planted by old owners. Poor guys, they planted pieris on rock with no summer irrigation. That thing looked crispy as if it had been in So Cal. It's amazing how some rhodos survived summer on the rocks. I'll move them into the shade. So many rhodos are destroyed in summer out here. Many gardeners don't water them and in dry continental outlows, they go crispy. The clay turns to rock and that doesn't help. The soil I now have is a bit red like a Maritime soil.

I had to move away large stones to plant palms. We have to deal with lots of rock on the island. I've planted cordys making sure that I want them there as they cannot be moved once mature. I must leave mature specimens behind. New onwers will see them as pinnates and will probably not know that they are simply dracaena spikes gone big. I've planted an olive tree. They are not a common find but I think that they are interesting. My fiance wanted cherry trees so I got a garfted tree with 5 kinds. Amazing what you find out here. I'll plant ficus. Instead of being bordered by laurel a la Vancouver. I'll border with the use of Windmill palms. Let some light in with semi-privacy. I've visited Asia where they had groves of these things. They let a fair amount of sun through but enough shade to harbour large leaf rhodos and camellias from direct sun. I have palm pups but few have patience for tiny pups so I'll plant my extras under neighbours' palms. A mother plant with a pup or two looks nice. Problem with juveniles is that thieves like them. I planted an evergreen acacia and will add more. Back in Ontario, a lawn was a good idea but out here with dry summer lawns and a huge mix of trees and plants, I want the whole thing as a garden. And being like one of the Vancouver exotic plant maniacs, there will be a tight cluster of palms and exotics that will probably compress gardening space. I've got to go to Vancouver to get gardening ideas. Any big plans for your garden? Us ex-easterners, we move in not expecting such a range of plants that take years to learn. Then we want all kinds of things in the yard. Oh, and I'll plant kiwi vines. The local Saanich cultivar of Greater Victoria.


Here is a link that might be useful: Basjoo Canes

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