Back yard Photos (LOTS) 8/10 - Del Ray Tropics / King-James Key

NoVaPlantGuy_Z7b_8a(Alexandria, VA 7B/8A)August 26, 2010

I figured I would post this in a few forums, as there are a few different plants I enjoy / collect in them. Sorry for the poor quality of Photos, and that they are so large. They are iPhone photos which I uploaded directly to Photobucket Via the photobucket app for iPhone.

Well I finally got around to taking some photos of the back yard at our new place. It isn't much but it's our own small tropical paradise here in Northern Virginia. Don't think we can quite compare to many gardens here, but it's still fairly nice. We rent our home so we aren't too keen on spending lots of money actually landscaping the grounds so we make do. The real garden will come when we move to Florida.

We call it the "Del Ray Tropics" and / or "King-James Key". The neighborhood we live in in Old Town Alexandria, VA along the western shores of the Potomac River is called Del Ray. Yes I know its cheesy we named it, but what the heck! =o) It's actually had this name for a few few years now, but now that its grown and we entertain, others have starting calling it by its name too. I suppose it could have been cheesier though. LOL! I'm a Jimmy Buffet fan and thought of naming it "Parrot Head Key". LOL!

Hope you enjoy the photos of our little piece of Tropical Paradise.

View when you first walk around back from the front of the house.

Just one of many views sitting at the main table.

View looking into the "entrance" to the "outdoor room".

7 foot Phoenix Roebelenii. It sits up on a small iron table which gives it another 2 feet or so of height.


Smaller P. Roebelenii 3 trunk. This one has added about 8" of trunk in the last year. Both the big one and this one are growing like CRAZY!

6 foot yellow no name Plumeria. More blooms coming and this thing is INCREDIBLY fragrant! Citrus like, hint of frootloops, very sweet. Windmill Palm and Sago also in the shot.

Close up of yellow Plumie blooms. Beautiful!

6 foot white no name Plumeria. Two smaller ones under it. The smaller one to the right is Nebel's Rainbow.

Close up of blooms of no name white Plumie. Also very fragrant, but not as much so as the yellow. Also blooms alot.

A 4 foot, no name Plumeria that was grown from seed. Color is not yet known.

Plumeria Singapore Dwarf. (Obtusa) Not sure what color it is yet though.

Colocasia "Blue Hawaii". It is blooming, but the flowers seem to be fairly small and insignificant.

Jatropha Podagrica (Budda Belly) which I have had for over 5 years now. Constantly blooms, even in winter when it loses most or all of its leaves.

Thank you all for looking! =o)

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That's a really nice yard for Virginia. Your Jatropha Podagrica (Budda Belly) is very neat I like it. Great looking palms. We had some at our old house, but grew a great distaste to trimming them when they get tall. Anything past 10 feet tall gets to be a lot of work.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2010 at 12:58PM
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Loveplants2 8b Virginia Beach, Virginia

Wow Ken!!!!

You really have done a great job up in "Old Town" I love the look of "King-James Key" where is the run runner machine? (only kidding)...OK...It would be wonderful to be sitting listening to some great tunes and sipping a "cool" one near all of those beautiful tropical trees and palms!!!

Bravo, my friend!!! Love all of the palms (of course) and especially the the yellow a Lemon Drop? The unnamed white looks huge and very healthy...Hmmmm must have had a great home!!! : )

To your beautiful tropical garden......CHEERS!!!!

Laura in VB

    Bookmark   August 26, 2010 at 1:29PM
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Hi Laura!!!:-)

Ken, unbeleivable..If only Massachusetts was warmer like Va..:-( Beautiful!

Where in the world do you store all those huge plants in winter, a greenhouse?, and who lifts them?


    Bookmark   August 26, 2010 at 6:39PM
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dpolson37(7a VA)

Hi Novaplantguy,

I'm glad you finally got some room to grow all your tropicals. They are definitely happy. If the plumerias are the ones I gave you then they are aztec gold. I'm glad to see that they survived the freezing cold exchange. My plumerias haven't done so good this year. I just can't seem to find the right soil mix. I might just have to stop by and get my fill from all of yours. Great job and I too am curious where you store all those huge plants over the winter.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2010 at 10:02PM
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roper2008 (7b)(7b)

Novaplantguy. You plants are beautiful. Just curious.
Are you going to wrap that big palm and leave it outside
in winter? Also, can you tell me what variety banana
plant that is by the car with a single white chair next
to it?

    Bookmark   August 27, 2010 at 8:47AM
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NoVaPlantGuy_Z7b_8a(Alexandria, VA 7B/8A)

Thank you everyone!

If the poster that gave me three of the smaller Plumies would like to ID themselves here, they can, and I give them a big huge THANK YOU! =o)

Juicy, I love that buddah belley! I got that over 5 years ago as a very small plant at Ikea of all places. It has to be one of the easiest plants on the planet to take care of, possibly even easier than Chamaedorea Elegans (parlor palm).

Thank you Laura! If you are ever up this way during the warm months you are welcome to stop by and have a "cold one" on me under neath the palms and tropicals. =o) We STILL have not gotten down there yet, but we are still planning on coming at some point, hopefully before winter sets in. I'll keep you posted.

MerryMike, I lift them all myself. They come inside and most go into the sunroom. It does get crowded in there, but it is worth it to me. Our sunroom used to be a porch that was built out so its all windows, faces south, and has the original hard wood porch floor. It is raised off the ground so under neath the porch is "open air" which makes the sun room cool down at night in cold weather to the upper 50s or so if we close the french doors to it, and it really heats up during the day. It gets full sun, ALL DAY, and is extremely bright.

Dpolson37, were you the one that stopped by my place (old place) back in like 2007 and dropped off two Plumie cuttings to me? If so, back then I did not have the space I did now. One of them I rooted and gave away, the other one got damaged by a storm, wind, falling tree branches, then HAIL of all things. It ended up not surviving all that trauma. =o(

Roper2008, the BIG palm is a Phoenix Roebelenii. That will come inside and go in the sunroom as it is not hardy here. It is about 6-7 feet tall at its leaf tips so it easily fits inside. Its BIG, but that palm is my pride and joy. Fortunately those to not gain height very fast, and also are very happy in rather small pots. The reason it looks so "tall" is because its got an extra 2+ feet on it because it is sitting on a table. The only palms that will stay out are the in ground Sabal Minor out front on the south side of the house, and the windmill in the pot. I do wrap the pot, and use either xmas lights or a heating cable around the pot itself to keep it from freezing. The sago palms stay out until night time temps go down to around 27 or lower.

The banana to the left with the single white chair next to it is a Rojo "blood leaf" or "blood" banana. I have it since it was about 1' tall and for almost 3 years now. This is its third summer out, and it is putting up lots of pups, especially since he got a bigger pot this summer. Only two of the Bananas come in, the others are Basjoo and will go in the ground to overwinter, OR just get cold stored dormant in the basement.

Thank you everyone for all the kind words and for looking! It's not the best but its what I can do given what I have. If I actually owned the house, it would look ALOT different, with many things actually in the ground.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2010 at 12:35PM
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newgen(9 Central California)

Great photos, thanks for sharing. You don't get much wind, do you? I see a coupled of the pots sitting on tables, and the tall plumeria is very slender, with no stake. I'd hate to seem them toppled over.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2010 at 6:28PM
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NoVaPlantGuy_Z7b_8a(Alexandria, VA 7B/8A)


It does get fairly windy here from time to time. Being that we are fairly close to the river it is a bit breezy on any given day, but nothing bad except during storms, then all bets are off. Your post actually reminded me of an errand I needed to run for this specific reason. If you noticed the heavy rocks in the pots of the Plumies, that helps ALOT, but I had been meaning to come up with a better way of securing them. I went and purchased some 4 foot rebar, and drive it 1&1/2 foot into the ground or so and secured the Plumies to them with mini-bungee cords. They are not going anywhere. Potential problem solved. They will BREAK from the wind alone long before they eve topple over.

The table top stuff is fine, however being the weather junkie that I am I usually know in advance when any kinds of strong winds are coming so I just place them all on the ground and they are fine. I have a "storm prep" routine that works, unless of course we get a severe storm with 100 MPH winds like we did in late July, then all bets are off. Ill post some photos of what my yard looked like after the severe thunderstorm with 100+ MPH winds rolled through. It was not pretty at all, but my damage looked alot worse th an it actually was.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2010 at 7:21PM
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Great pics! Everything seems very healthy. I'm amazed at your pygmy date palm! I've got one, but it's not that tall, even though I've had it for years. How old is yours?

    Bookmark   August 29, 2010 at 7:26PM
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Dave in NoVA • 7a • Northern VA

Hey Ken! Looks like a mini oasis. I really like the Jatropha.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2010 at 9:02AM
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NoVaPlantGuy_Z7b_8a(Alexandria, VA 7B/8A)

Hey Dave! Thank you and thanks again! ;-) We just got some new outdoor furniture (coffeetable and love seat) for a steal! Expensive stuff for next to nothing because its the "end of the season". Gotta love it!

Arctiictropical, Thank you! I really don't know the age of the pigmy date, but Im gonna guess its 15+ years? I bought it this spring. It must have been in its current black plastic pot forever because it is really really filled with roots. Im going to re pot it before it comes in for the winter. =o)

    Bookmark   August 31, 2010 at 11:22AM
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