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Botanical contrast in Canada

Posted by Den_Vic BC Canada Z8b (My Page) on
Sat, Dec 24, 05 at 13:49

Here is a Canadian conifer growing next to an Asian palm in British Columbia. The contrast in flora is quite amazing on the west coast. Flora that you'll never see in southern Ontario, which is more southerly, can be seen in coastal gardens of British Columbia.

Here is a link that might be useful: Botanical Contrast

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Botanical contrast in Canada

Thanks for the gorgeous pic, Den. When was it taken?
You're right - that's definitely not a contrast attainable here. (Thanks for rubbing that in. In December, no less.)
I wish I had high speed for your pics.

Ninamarie: December 2005

I used to live in northern Ontario so I'm allowed to rub Ontarians' noses in the snow. ;O) Seriously, the photo was taken the 5th of December, 2005. Here is a photo of a Chinese palm & an Evergreen Chinese Oak in Vancouver. This new photo was taken the 27th of December, 2005. Zone 9 trees are usually the max zone specimens found in southwestern BC. Some Prunus trees are turning pink in Victoria right now which feels strange because it is almost January 1st.


Here is a link that might be useful: Asian Palm & Oak Tree

RE: Botanical contrast in Canada

Den....your pointed suggestion is correct of course, we cant grow what you can out there.....ON THE COAST....but neither can you grow those plants inland....

Could you grow the palm in ....say Prince George...or over by Alberta. Coastal areas always have higher zone values wherever you B.C. or Ontario, or England or Australia....coastal plains give more moderating temperatures.

We here are south of be sure....we are south of portions of California even....we have a bit of this province lying further south than the state boundaries of Oregon/California/Nevada and Nevada/Utah.....

but we certainly wont try to grow a palm....

We even drive south to get back home from Detroit to Windsor.
So while we might try to confuse people by saying we are south of ....its only because the world is round.

RE: Botanical contrast in Canada

Gorgeous shot. Just what the doctor ordered on this dreary looking New Year's Day. So little sun lately.
How old approximately is the palm? They are completely outside my ken. How long in balmy Victoria does it take to grow one that size?
I too lived in Northern Ontario before moving to southwestern Ontario.
When we moved 30 miles north a few years ago, we gained almost a complete zone. We can't grow palms, but the diversity of what we can overwinter amazes me.
But the grass is always greener...

Palm age

It is difficult to tell the age of a palm because it does not have rings. Palms are related to grasses and they are not hardwoods. A reason why seedlings are often destroyed by gardeners who are not aware that they are pulling out a tree seedling instead of a weed. This palm is at least 30 years old with the new owners being second owners of this property in Greater Victoria. It is (the most common in BC) a Windmill palm - Trachycarpus fortunei. The rule of thumb is about a foot of trunk per year which is similar to native habitat in China. It is one of the most hardy palms by the Pacific. It prefers moderate climates with few extremes such is the case here.

Here is a link that might be useful: Palm in Greater Victoria

Last flower bud of 2005

This Magnolia grandiflora is one of Canada's first flowering trees of 2006. This tree can flower at very odd times of year which brings interest during a fall or winter month. It is strange for visitors when they notice winter flowers on the coast. Before moving to BC, I thought that southern Ontario and Nova Scotia had way more interesting gardens than northern Ontario or Quebec. But I then landed in Victoria right after leaving Ontario during the big ice storm of 1998. There were flowers at the Victoria airport and a few palms by the Trans-Canada. It felt as if I had flown out of the country and walked right into spring somewhere. The live plants of winter really help beat the winter blues. Because the winter nights here are long ones. There are so many plants out here that it takes many years of gardening to garden with experience.

Here is a link that might be useful: Winter flower bud in Victoria.

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