Blooming Windmills, Big Figs, Naturalized Magnolias in Rehoboth

wetsuiter(7b/8a)May 1, 2012

I went to see a friend's garden in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware today. Like many palmy gardeners, they are hidden out of common site by his back porch. If only big beefy palms like this were more visible in our area. Everyone seems to keep their beauty to themselves.

All of the windmills are blooming together for the first time. It looks like he has both male and female trees, so should have a bumper crop of seeds this fall/winter.

Someone on this site once said that you can tell a lot about a growing zone based on how well Southern Magnolias and Fig trees do out in the open and unprotected. These are some of the biggest fig trees in the area--15 to 20 feet, I guess-- and are not protected by a wall, or a house. They are already full of big fruit. This one is in The Pines Neighborhood and is across the street from the beach, buffered by a thicket of loblolly pines and dunes.

This fig tree in the Lake Gerrar Neighborhood is a few blocks back from the ocean and on the lake. It's taller than the other tree, but not as robust because it's under big loblolly pines, but it's fruit is really impressive for May 1st!

These appear nearly full-sized already...

Southern Magnolias are very common in Southern Delaware and get to very impressive sizes considering they are not native here. These magnolias in the next few pics took me completely off guard as they were naturalized along the beach drive out to Cape Henlopen State Park. They are right underneath telephone wires, so I assume that birds ate and deposited them. The first one is already close to 20' tall and on the beach side of the highway, just behind the scrub pines and beach dunes.

Close up of the leaves.

There were several other smaller Southern Magnolias growing in the tangle of pines, grasses and bayberry along the other side of the beach road.

This one also took me by surprise. It looks like camellia growing wild on the edge of an undeveloped and protected woodland. I can't imagine someone planted it here of all places. I seldom see Camellias with seeds on them, so hard to imagine that they have naturalized, but still interesting foliage under the big loblolly pines in the Pines Neighborhood.

The beach roses are already blooming. They are wild with either pink or white flowers, and only grow within a very limited zone near the ocean. Although I've seen some in gardens. I think of them as a June flower, so this was another nice surprise today. Their fragrance is like no other rose; a hybrid tea can't compare.

Parting shot of North Shores/Gordons Pond Beach at Cape Henlopen State Park. The two towers are WWII look out towers, part of a defensive system of towers and guns along the DE and NJ coast. Most of the towers are on the DE side, concentrated around the mouth of the Delaware Bay, set up to protect the Navy Bases, refineries and ports in the Philadelphia area, 120 miles up the Bay and River. Thanks for viewing.

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I've wondered why the native range of southern magnolia here in eastern Carolina is sporadic, i noticed this years ago just passing through the surrounding counties.
The windmills look nice & healthy!

    Bookmark   May 2, 2012 at 8:29AM
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Good question, Dixieboy. For a tree that flourishes up through the mid Atlantic, the native range of Magnolias seem limited. Two of the biggest, most impressive grandifloras I've ever seen flank a farm house in Princess Anne, Maryland in the extreme southern end of the Eastern Shore. They must be a century old and have never been limmed up, so the big lower limbs rest on the ground. I need to get some pics of those but it's nearly a two hour drive from here.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2012 at 11:33AM
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Great pics! The trachys look great and I never heard of beach roses, they seem nice!
Beautiful figs! They are ahead of mine. Mine has one fruit growing (this is its second year in the ground so it's getting established abit still). Figs do best with protection here, but the unprotected ones survive out in the open just fine with some dieback in the really exposed areas during cold winters.
Never get tired of southern mags. I cant wait until the local ones start blooming. They are usually in bloom around June, sometimes late May during mild springs.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2012 at 11:08PM
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Alex, I'm surprised you've not seen the wild roses along the Long Island or New England beaches. I dyid some research and found out they're native to Japan and Korea. They must've been introduced a very long time ago as they're widespread along the Atlantic Beaches from VA into Canada and Great Lakes. They apparently thrive in crappy soils (beach sand) and very close to open water.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2012 at 12:21AM
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Ahhh...the beach life. I'll never get tired of it, or move away from it. You see sea roses (as I've always heard them called) around here amongst the dunes by the boardwalk, and scattered in the pines and goldenrod at the inlet. My figs too have started to get big. Will get these initial fruits, then a second batch later in the season. It never gets protection and looks dead to the point of being an eyesore in the Winter. Once it begins to bloom, however, watch out...the flush of green arrives with lightening speed. Those trachys are some healthy mothers...

    Bookmark   May 3, 2012 at 7:20AM
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Trash, I can't imagine living anywhere else and I've been all over the US and world with my military travels. Those windmills are some of the beefiest I've ever seen in the region. As I Saudi, its a shame they're not visible to the neighbors driving by. I'm learning that it's far palmier here than one would imagine, because palms are mostly kept out back! I'm guilty of that too, but inserted a small windmill and med fan into my small front garden.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2012 at 11:43AM
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Are the trachys at Randy's? It's always a treat to visit their garden.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 10:29PM
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Steve, those belong to a friend from Northern Virginia who has a weekend home outside of Rehoboth, near Rehoboth Bay. He has amazing stuff in his garden.

Sorry for the autocorrect, Trish. Didn't mean to call you trash. Lol.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2012 at 10:58AM
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