And Now, Here's The Weather...

(page 3)

N. Nash writes from North Wales:

"I've been experimenting with Phoenix canariensis to see how hardy it is. Some years ago I bought two in a pot, one bigger than the other. I separated them, re-potted the larger one, and planted the other directly into the ground in the garden.

"That was five years ago, and it's thriving, even though this February we've had cold, hard frosts every night for about two weeks, and hardly getting above freezing by day. One night it dropped down to -8, the following day it didn't get above -6 and that night it went down to -10. By this time I was feeling a bit sorry for the Phoenix, so I went out and threw an old blanket over it. I don't think it did much to keep the frost out, but it made me feel a lot better!

"All that cold frosty weather seems to have done it no harm whatsoever, so I think that Phoenix canariensis could be hardy in many parts of the country, especially here, as we don't often get really bad winters in this part of N. Wales.

"By the way, it's outgrown its big brother which is in a 40cm tub (brought inside during the winter). The one in the ground is 120cm high, and the one in the tub 90cm."

Gaetano Infantino writes from Rome, Italy:

"Snowfalls in Genoa, Savona, and even in San Remo! I saw the famous palms of the Casino gracefully covered by frothy snow, which appeared such a contrast with the dark, slender trunks of many palms, especially Washingtonia, Brahea and Arecastrum. However, they seemed not to suffer at all.

"Actually, temperatures weren't so low as in 1985, and the sun melted the ice before it could do much damage. However Milan had two serious snowfalls, one in early November and one in late January, when the dropped to -13. Here in Rome we only had to put up with -4, so no damage to report to the many palms which adorn gardens and squares, especially Phoenix, Washingtonia, Butia, and Chamaerops.

"I'm just waiting now for another beautiful summer to see how many of the palms in my own collection (in Nettuno, near Rome) will flower and set fruit. But I have good reason to be optimistic, thanks to the lack of serious cold. I think we were let off lightly"

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