July Pics at the 'Quiet Resorts' of Bethany and Fenwick Island

wetsuiter(7b/8a)July 27, 2012

A few of you from the other palm forum know Rick. He took me on another ride around South Bethany Beach, Delaware today to see some pretty amazing palms, unexpected trees and annual flowers that are perennials now. He posted some of the same shots on the other site, but these are my pics.

A monster of a windmill in Ocean View. Must be at least 18' tall. Rick planted this as a 6' tall palm, so it had a good head start, but the trunk is probably 10' tall.

15 foot Red Bay

Mexican petunias are supposed to be an annual potted plant. Sorry, but the apparently only bloom in the morning and drop flowers by late day. These plants are at least 5' tall.

Don't recall the name of these, but apparently these aren't supposed to be hardy here either...

And here I used to dig up my dahlia corms every year...

Definitely the tallest eucalyptus I've seen in our resort beaches. I've seen others that have a more circular/oval leaf, but these look like the ones I've seen in California with the long, tapered leaves with pealing bark. But also had more oval leaves. This tree is about 25' tall.

Black and Blue salvia, which is sold as an annual but apparently has been perennial at this house for the past five years.

Good sized pindo in South Bethany Beach. It does get wrapped in the winter. There are a surprising number of Pindos in Bethany. One is over 10' tall.

Typical scene from South Bethany Beach. Most tourists would never see these great neighborhoods since they are on the west side of the Coastal Highway. This area seems to have a very special micro climate with the proximity to the ocean, but not right on it, there is a salt water bay (Indian River Bay) just to the northeast that probably moderates cold winter winds a bit, and a thick canopy of loblolly pines which buffer winds too. There are some windmills, minors and oleander in this area, but there is TONS of palm potential here. Imagine this canal with tall windmills around the houses, instead of the usual suspects of border shrubs.

At the south end of our Atlantic Beaches is little Fenwick Island (not a true island, but a barrier island like strip attached to the mainland. Ocean City, Maryland is immediately across the state line (Starting at 146th street and dwarfs the Delaware Beach towns. It also shares the same barrier island-like strip of sand that Fenwick is on. Some of the mini golf courses in Fenwick, literally feet north of the MD/DE line, have some pretty cool palms and oleander. All out in the open, just a block off the beach.

This Washington Robusta wintered over this year with out ANY protection with only about 40% burn back. The central spike and inner fronds remained mostly green. A dry, mild winter helped, though we did bottom out in mid teens twice. No real aspirations of this palm surviving long term, but it certainly is fun to admire. I'm glad the owners didn't rip this out in favor of new tropicals like most places do. They seem to understand there are hardy palms and tropical palms. They have both.

Same Robusta with oleander that winter over easily.

I've posted pics of this Sabal Palmetto on here before. It looks like it nearly doubled in height this spring/summer so far. It is probably close to 7' tall now and looks like it shot up at least two or three fronds this season. This palm has been the inspiration for me to plant 7 gal palmettos (from Gary's in NC) in my own garden. With good seating, pot raised palmettos have a pretty good chance of long term survival here. Sorry, the lighting is not best as the sun was behind this palm and I didn't want to play mini golf. My friend Rick goes to play gold just to get good views of the palms and oleander these two mini golf courses.

Pretty nice sized oleander. What is amazing about the oleander here is again, they are out in the open and only only a block back from the ocean. I know light pink and white are hardier, but I saw some cherry colored ones as well.

Ran down to the Ocean City Home Depot. Apparently the idiots at our HD sent all the windmills down there and I wanted to give two as gifts to my neighbors (unabashed palm agenda, I admit). HD must've cornered the market on Med Fans this year because they had so many of them at ours local HD and this one and they were marked significantly down to $32 for BIG 7 gal plants. If I had more room...

Two from my garden... My pindo wintered over well with burlap and Tyvek house wrap and a leaf cage...or so I thought. First emerging frond was very damaged and two of the most recent fronds from last season suffered some damage to their petioles an as they emerged higher out of the center, they both dropped, so cut them off. The palm has been recovering very nicely with three new healthy fronds emerging all at once. Before it dropped the fronds, it was taller than me at about 6' tall... them set it self back to waist high, about as tall as it was when I bought it spring a year ago. At this rate the palm should be taller than me again in the next few weeks with three or four more months of growing season left.

First blooms of the season from my "wild hibiscus". It's a very common type of hibiscus in the islands and Central America. I just call it wild because it's not as showy as the tropical hybrids and people use this for hedges and have seen it along road sides. Got cuttings from one of my military trips "south."

Egret Rookery from Bombay Hook NWR, near Dover, Delaware.

Field of wild flowers and chicken coops on in Central Sussex County.

Thanks for looking.

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LagoMar(USDA 8/AHS 7)

Those Delaware and Maryland beaches have surprising similarities in situation to Virginia Beach and the Outer Banks. They are barrier islands similar to OBX, and have the Delaware Bay to the North (we have Chesapeake Bay). From your pix, they look as if they may have been taken here, too! That neighborhood on the water looks a heck of a lot like Lago Mar, the neighborhood I live in. We have tons of Loblollys and Crapes and inlets from the Back Bay of the Currituck Sound. Bombay Hook looks a heckuva lot like the savannahs in southern Virginia Beach and all along the southeast coast. You are right, a lot of potential! I feel the same way about Va Bch! Many home owners in this area have palms, and even businesses are starting to use them. I wish the city would start lining the streets with them instead of these random crappy deciduous trees. The only deciduous trees I would plant would be Crepe Myrtle, but honestly there are already more than enough around.

Here is a link that might be useful: Virginia Beach Weather

    Bookmark   July 27, 2012 at 8:49AM
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andyandy(6bMI)

Everything looks great, it's amazing how much more you can do when you are near the ocean.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2012 at 10:05AM
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wetsuiter(7b/8a)

Andy and Lago, glad you liked!

Lago, you've drawn the same conclusions about similarity of our geography to the VB area, ocean-moderated climate and potential most of us have. South Bethany does resemble some of those canal side neighborhoods of VB.

Hands down, VB has it better with milder winters and plant material, both indigenous and introduced. We are high end 7b (even 8a on some maps) and VB is high end 8a, so a solid half zone makes a difference with the additional palm selection. That additional 120 miles further south and proximity to the Gulf Stream (it is forced off shore by the OBX) makes a bigger step up. But I think what really is our biggest hurdle is the lack of palm culture. Most beach towns here are filled with weekenders from DC, Baltimore and Philly or elsewhere, so they are clueless about what really can thrive here. They plant the same boring stuff they do in their northeast corridor suburban gardens. Cape Myrtles, Southern Magnolia, pomegranite and gardenias have been widely planted for years and all do exceptionally well, but not sure how long it will take to get more windmills, minors, med fans planted on a regular basis.

VB wasn't always so palmy from what my friends there say. It's been a cultural shift 10 to 20 years in the making. VB is widely recognized as the palm gateway, but those of us living here think we certainly could be the door step to the gateway with the same cultural shift.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2012 at 1:38PM
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tropicalzone7(7b)

Cool pics! Those egrets are really cool! The mexican petunias are usually considered zone 8 plants, but mine survived this winter's mild temperatures, I guess the real test will be if they survive a true zoen 7 winter, but they are pretty invasive!
The blue flowered plant that you said you didnt think is hardy is Agapanthus. Most of them are not hardy, but there are some hardy varieties that can survive zone 7 winters but not much colder than that. There are a few in my area and they bloom right about now.
The Euc is huge and so are the palms and oleanders! Thanks for sharing!
-Alex

    Bookmark   July 27, 2012 at 3:49PM
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LagoMar(USDA 8/AHS 7)

Yes I've lived in Va beach for 16 yrs and the coldest temp was 16 back in 1996. I've seen records of some extremely cold winters in the 80s that must have brought us down to 8a for this 30 yr avg. 4 degrees in 1985. hopefully we'll never see single digits again. Many Years like this year we didn't even drop below 20s. But anyway yeah the Delaware and Maryland shores should have no problems whatsoever with windmills.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2012 at 4:01PM
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wetsuiter(7b/8a)

Thanks, Alex. I knew you'd like and fill in the missing holes with agapanthus. I was told the name, but knew I'd never remember. Isn't that eucalyptus something? How about the robusta.

Lago, we bottomed out about 15 in most of the beach towns. Colder than the past few years...which is usually upper teens, although our zone rating doesn't reflect that. Anything below 20 is pretty rare, thankfully. Lewes, DE (my town) sits beneath Delaware Bay like your neighborhood sits below Chesapeake Bay and the ocean is a few miles to the east. We have the same freak record lowest cold temperature as VB...-11 in 1982 here (can't recall what year for VB). But its the annual stuff where you are better off in the long run.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2012 at 5:44PM
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LagoMar(USDA 8/AHS 7)

Yeah i believe that 4 degrees in 85 was the all time record.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2012 at 9:07PM
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RichardC7(6b-7a)

I was just there 2 weeks ago! i love Bethany, and especially up north in Dewey Beach!
Did the Ocean City Home Depot have any other palms by chance?!

    Bookmark   July 27, 2012 at 10:52PM
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wetsuiter(7b/8a)

They had a few 3 gal windmills for $19. I bought 2 for neighbors and get 10% with military retiree discount, but Maryland has sales tax. Delaware doesn't.

Dewey is Delaware's party town. Full of 20 and 30 somethings on eternal spring break. Quite a contrast to Bethany with its wealthy DC doctors, lawyers, celebrities and congressmen to the south and artsy, family dense and gay mecca of Rehoboth Beach to its immediate north.

Glad you had a good time on the beautiful Delaware Beaches.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2012 at 11:37PM
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Loveplants2 8b Virginia Beach, Virginia

Hi V,

I amm just so happy to see those beautiful pictures..

Ahhhhhhhhhhhh... makes me wish i had a glass of cold Iced Tea and sitting on a front porch talking to good friends... like you!!!

Your pictures remind me of VB like LagoMar said. Lots of change taking place up your way and i believe, like here in VB you will witness this push in zone changes and seeing these Palms, tropicals make there way more so up n your area. I remember planting my trees 17 yrs or so ago and people thinking i was nuts.. well... look at all the changes now. VB is planting Palms in the shopping area and i must say they look great..(Hilltop)

Thank you so much for taking the time to show us your beautiful "quiet" places around your area. I just love the feel of it. "Reminds me of the low country

Now you have me itching to show pics again here.. My trees are the same, so that is why i haven't posted much here.. My trees are just "there" LOL.. but i know some may have not seen them, so i will get some pics together and post.

I just love that Hibiscus!! Just beautiful V!!!

Those Egrets settling in for the evening on that beautiful tree remind me of a decorated Christmas tree. Natural ornaments!! Love it!!!

Hello to all that i havent seen in a few!!!

Take care,

Laura

    Bookmark   July 31, 2012 at 12:37PM
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wetsuiter(7b/8a)

Laura,

Great to see you check in. Glad you enjoyed. I personally call that picture of the egrets, "God's Christmas Tree".

Hope you make it up this way soon. I've potted up one of those hibiscus for you. Sadly, neither plumeria you gave me have bloomed. Tips?

    Bookmark   July 31, 2012 at 6:18PM
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Loveplants2 8b Virginia Beach, Virginia

Hey V,

"God's Christmas Tree Indeed" Great name for such a beautiful act from nature...

Thank you for the nice "hello" Glad to be back!!!

Tips on your Plumeria?

Good fast draing mix..
Foliage Pro Fertilizer with Pro TeKt added to the program
Plenty of sunshine
Proper watering system.

Those trees that i gave you should bllom this year or next. They are at least two year old cutting that have rooted. Plumeria take lots of patience.. You can tell how much i love these beauties... I kno.. i have it bad..

Thought of you when i had my son sitting beside one of my teees. WHen i looked back a the pic, i couldnt believe how small he looked.. he is 22 yrs old and 6 feet tall.. lol

I have to uplaod when i get home from my reg computer.. but here are a few just for you!!

Hope you like them..

Remember..like palms..they take patience... They will shower you with blooms..they just take time...

California SUnset

Desert Sunrise

JL Metallica


Mahalo...

Laura

    Bookmark   August 1, 2012 at 4:31AM
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jimhardy

Great pics...love the one of the canal and was trying to figure out what all the white blobs in the trees were...Egrets(-:

    Bookmark   August 1, 2012 at 9:06AM
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wetsuiter(7b/8a)

Laura, those are amazing as always! You are definitely Lady Plumeria! At this point, I doubt they'll send up flowers this season. But they seem healthy otherwise. If you come up, maybe we can make sure my supplies are up to snuff.

Jim, glad you enjoyed the pics too. The canals of South Bethany Beach are really beautiful. Most people just zip by on the coastal highway. And areas like this are in some of the back reaches of those neighborhoods. I hadn't even been back there until recently when Rick drove me around. Come check it out.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2012 at 10:19AM
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