Well let me tell you about south Florida east

TAB3230June 20, 2012

If I do my yard from scratch in south east fl I will plant canary island date, Alexander palms, and some of queene and royal palms, sabals if I have leftover space . No pigmys no others .... It is best SEFL tropical back yard!

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Those are nice palms! If I lived in southeast Florida I would probably skip the date palms only because they take too much space and I would plant a mixture of short and tall palms. Some would include tropical sabal species, bismarkias, fishtails, royals, coconuts, Vechita, Bottles, spindles, blue latan palm, licualas (I dont think they would do great, but I would try them), Pritchardia and a definitely some rarer ones. I would also plant a ton ton of other tropicals, some edibles (like Mango, Papayas, cherimoya, bananas of course, and oranges) and others just there for their beauty (like Plumerias, bougainvillea, philodendrons, air plants, orchids, schefflera, gingers, tree ferns, etc).
Lets just say that if I lived in that climate, I dont think there would be a bit of space left in my yard. There are way too many great plants to grow. I would like to have a lot of winding paths in a yard like that with a pool and a large pond or at least a pool with a waterfall feature. I'd pretty much be aiming for the yard to look like a tropical resort, but with more rare plants!

    Bookmark   June 20, 2012 at 10:27PM
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If I lived in south florida. I would plant a majesty palm on the edge of a pond. Id also plant a Raffia palm, bizmarkia, A really tall washingtonia, coconut palm, some of the more tropical sabals, a mule palm, and an edible date palm

I would grow all the tropicals I could think of.

I would also plant a grove of citrus

    Bookmark   June 20, 2012 at 10:48PM
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I guess it depends a lot on size of land, and also soil type. Water quality could also come into play. I don't know what the climate there is like, but going on what has already been mentioned for growing I'd just say some plants prefer a more open environment than being closed into a jungle. Things like Bismarkias and Sabals, and most of your fruit trees. So you'd need more space for them.

Canary Island Dates, Washingtonias and the 'Edible Date' palms would definitely be out, to my mind they represent cold climates and clash with my idea of tropical. A mix of trees and tall and short palms would be ideal. The trees would provide better shade for the understorey plants and support for epiphytes. The palms would of course provide the bold tropical statement. Coconuts would have to be judiciously placed, people have been killed by falling nuts and even the fronds are heavy enough to do damage to people and nearby plants.

Ponds and water features can also take up quite a lot of room. (How much land are we talking about?) And depending on the soil type, it may have to be artificially sealed which could be quite expensive.

Of course time is also an essential ingredient. If you have to start from scratch it will take quite some time for a suitable canopy to develop for the typical understorey of a jungle to survive there. So, great to be able to make the plans. Even better to be actually carrying them out (and seeing what turned out to be practical, and what didn't).

    Bookmark   June 20, 2012 at 11:51PM
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I forgot to add that I would also plant a purple cordyline spike and let it grow ito a tree

    Bookmark   June 21, 2012 at 12:12AM
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garyfla_gw(10 Florida)

AHH the Florida dream !!! Unfortuneately the dream is MUCH better than the reality .lol I feel SOOO fortuneate to have moved here in the mid 70's . Those days are gone forever I'm afraid . gary

    Bookmark   June 21, 2012 at 3:36AM
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There's always a gap between reality and the dream. Sort of like following your shadow with the sun behind. The more you try to step closer towards it the more it moves ahead of you. Likewise I'm following my dream now. But as I seem to be getting closer to it, the dream has also moved further on. But there's no sweat or toil to it, it has the freedom of a breeze. So I don't want to stop the dream just to be able to catch up to it.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2012 at 9:40AM
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If you do plant your dream yard try to include some of our suggestions since most of us will never move to south florida.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2012 at 4:57PM
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Most of Miami/ft lauderdale/palm beach soils are alkaline because of nature sand, sea shells and limestone in depths of 20 inch at least. So adjust your dreams accordingly.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2012 at 10:44PM
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That's what I've heard as well. A lot of areas just have a thin layer of sand over limestone, basically no real soil. So soil needs to be trucked in. If you were a mad keen gardener you'd want to avoid that and look for a place where there are pockets of actual soil.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2012 at 10:00AM
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I lived in SoFla for 30 years and while well grown Queens are gorgeous trees they are messy and dirty plus need yearly frond removal. Most residential lots can't handle Royals.
Over the years I had all of my Queens removed and replaced with self pruning varieties like Solitaires and Christmas Palms and Foxtails and Sargeants.
I had many Licuala varieties and they all did well as long as you choose the spot carefully. Even had a nice Lipstick, although I had to create a micro-climate for that one.

Bottles and Spindles and Bismarkias and all the Latanias were staples as well along with Teddy Bears and Princess and Carpenters. Lots more- the frequent Palm shows and sales serve to keep palm addicts enabled, LOL.

Soil was mostly coral rock mixed with construction rubble but it was very easy to grow things as long as you feed on schedule.

Just remember that after you get your dream garden done all it takes is one storm to wipe you out.
Ask me how I know.
It broke my heart so bad I left (thankfully at the top of the real estate bubble) and never looked back.

Nice dream but unless you have the funds to start over after a catastrophe the dream is not always the reality.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2012 at 6:16PM
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Have to agree with your dislike of Queens, I categorise them in with Canary Island Dates. Royals are good, but the falling fronds can cause a bit of a disaster. Solitaire, Christmas and Foxtails (especially the hybrid Foxy Ladies) are good. Haven't heard of the Sargeants, which species is that? Licualas are really great, I have a few of those. Lipsticks are also great, I've got 5 but they're oh so slow. Mine are only head height so far.

Bottles and Spindles I wouldn't bother with. Bismarkias are good but need to be more out in the open. I've been looking at Latanias but like Bismarkias they are better out in the open and I'm going more for rainforest types just now. Teddy Bears are also good, I've only the one and it's still small although starting to show its red neck. I've got one that I'm not sure is a Princess or an Alexander, either/or I still like them. Haven't heard of Carpenters palm, unless you mean Carpentaria acuminata, and that I've no shortage of.

Storms are only one of many catastrophic events that you can get. There's always something wherever you might live. I guess we all have our own ideas on which risks we're prepared to face.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2012 at 1:54AM
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garyfla_gw(10 Florida)

had to relate my Frances/ Jeanne experience lol. It took 14 hours for the storm to pass. About two thirds of my roof started to leak. Directly over my 150 gallon marine aquarium . Removed all the electrical equipment. Wind toppled a tree next to the foundation ,tipping the stand . rear glass cracked dumping about 90 gallons of salt water over the room.. As a side benefit it uprooted the sewer line gushing around a 1000 gallons of raw sewage in the front yard.. Believe it or not they actually came out cut off the water ,blocked the sewer line and bypassed the electric. Only total loss was the SW aquarium which I miss dearly lol. We were without power for 23 days and 17 days for Jeanne I feel we were very lucky. BTW I'm NOT prepared to face another lol Compared to Miami ,St Lucy and New Orleans was a breeze lol

    Bookmark   June 23, 2012 at 6:44AM
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Sargeants is Psuedophoenix sargentii.
Losing that one is the one that did me in.
And yeah, Carpenteria. You could see mine from a mile away, LOL. Fastest growing plant I have ever witnessed.

Frances and Jeanne were bad for power outages ( we were out close to three weeks, too) but not as bad for me damage wise as Wilma. I had three reef tanks on a generator and thank God everything survived.

Which one of those was the one that went away then turned around and came back? I got ringworm on my hand during cleanup and my abiding memory is sweating all night every night on a mattress by a screened door, trying my best to sleep but mainly just scratching my skin off.

Good times.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2012 at 8:05AM
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garyfla_gw(10 Florida)

had a generator but doesn't do much good if the tank won't hold water not to mention the steady drip of rainwater Wilma did the most damage to my plants over Frances and Jeanne which damaged the house more , Worse was Fay which dropped 31 inches of rain, had goldfish in the kitched for a couple of days lol
We "slept" in the florida room but on a good note I lost about 10 ponds and eradicated tons of mosquitos!! We got the water back after two days was at least able to take shower. On a plant note the MOST damaging was the snow of 78, hard freeze of 81 ,o8,09.lol. Lost the heat in my Gh lol palms did okay but lost bunches of orchids and epiphytes . Had always intended to move to Costa Rica somewhere up in the mountains but waited too long
Good time is right !!! gary

    Bookmark   June 24, 2012 at 4:54AM
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