"Our normal winter is similar to that of south
east England except that we have more sun, less rain and less snow.
This means warmer in the summer (sometimes 5 to 10 days with temperatures
around 30/32¾C), and colder in the winter, that is normally one
or two weeks with -7¾ to -10¾ (exceptionally, as in '85 and '86
we had -18¾ to -20¾).
"This winter the lowest temperature we had
was -13¾ on the 7th and 9th of February, separated by a low of -8¾
on the 8th. On the other days of the cold snap (from 4th and 19th)
the lows ranged between -6¾ and -8¾.
"Trachycarpus fortunei came through unharmed
of course, and without protection. But even some of the palms that
were protected suffered badly: Livistona australis, Phoenix canariensis,
and Washingtonia filifera. Others, Brahea armata, Sabal spp., Jubaea,
Trithrinax etc. we'll have to wait to see."
Dr Nathan Hindley writes from Portugal:
"I live in the Algarve near Lagos in the South
of Portugal, some four hundred metres from the ocean and over the
last four years as a hobby I have been growing palms from seed,
collected in various parts of the globe.
"The region is characterized by a long dry
season from May to October and in between, particularly over the
last two winters, frequent storms with occasional high winds and
copious rainfall. Minimum winters are usually in the order of 4
to 8¾C, and when we have high pressure there is a prevailing wind
from the north. This winter, although we were saved most of the
bad weather experienced by central and northern Europe, we did experience
temperatures as low as 2¾C, which is cold for us. "In general
all members of Phoenix do well here, as do Livistonas including
L. rigida, which has beautiful red leaves. They suffered not at
all in the winter storms. The two Washingtonias are of course very
resistant and fast growing, but the fastest growers are undoubtedly
the two Archontophoenix species, from Australia."