Exoten und Garten Forum               Hardy Palm and Subtropical Board

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Small size/dry side it way to go.

Message from Mike coastal CT

Thatís a nice looking home and garden.

Years ago I learned (the hard way) that in this hobby of exotic/subtropical gardeningÖin smaller sized gardens/landscapes, not only do the plants stand out more (maybe because they are not dominated by a larger sized parcel/and or home)Öbut they are FAR easier to maintain and keep looking good. I donít have a huge lot either, but Iím consistently trying to reduce my lawn area so that the few areas I do have exotic plants have a bigger impact. My biggest southern Mag is about the size of yours - yet it has far less impact on my landscape because there is 60 feet of grass in front of it.

The other thing is I like the heavier use of dry plants and a lean toward more xeric landscapes when trying to get that exotic look:

Although I likely get more annual rainfall than you, I still struggle to keep leafy/soft plants from becoming dry/limp looking from May through September. The semi-dry/scrub landscape seems tougher, handles cold better, looks better all year, and requires far less work to achieve those things. My yuccas, cactus, scrub palms, ilex , etc take searing 95 F heat and direct sun all summer and look great by late September. This goes for the southern mag as well: A few papers I read seem to say Southern Mags are actually genetically adapted to dry soils and the periodic severe droughts that the Deep South sees from time to time (like the very dry winters of Florida). Often along the sandy coasts of the Gulf and south Atlantic you seem them growing wild in the xeric scrubs just above the dune fields and swales. They say this adaption to drought might be why southern mag leafs have a waxy covering (to inhibit moisture loss).

Exoten und Garten Forum               Hardy Palm and Subtropical Board