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Carolina Gardening: Tropical Project

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Forum: Carolina GardeningReplies: 133, Views: 1,069
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keonikale
Lexington, SC
(Zone 8a)

April 3, 2008
1:40 AM

Post #4748524

All projects have to start somewhere. And I've been inspired by Brian's photos in Kentucky for some time. I'm on a mission over the coming years to create this: http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/828480/

So here's my start. 11 Basjoo, 1 Dwarf Cavendish, 1 Pink Fruiting Banana, 2 Super Dwarf's, 4 Alocasia Odora, numerous Colocasia's, Black Magic EE, Fatsia, a clumping bamboo, and a mix of cannas (with many more to come to fill in). I'm also testing my freeze survival luck with pothos, monstera, blue ginger, and parrot's beak heliconia. I actually think another pothos I put in the ground last summer survived the winter (it still has what appears to be live stem - I couldn't believe it). In any event all those later plants will require some heavy duty mulching come winter. If I loose them, no biggie - still have the parents in pots and/or plenty of others to go around. I may even try a Ti plant.

Here's what we started with. A pretty sloped hill with no real good use. Been leveling off that one back section where the small GH is to put a patio area. Figured the edge of the wood would be the place to start the 'jungle' project.

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keonikale
Lexington, SC
(Zone 8a)

April 3, 2008
1:40 AM

Post #4748526

Before shots.

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keonikale
Lexington, SC
(Zone 8a)

April 3, 2008
1:41 AM

Post #4748529

Where we got yesterday

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keonikale
Lexington, SC
(Zone 8a)

April 3, 2008
1:42 AM

Post #4748530

Another of yesterday, upper yard

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keonikale
Lexington, SC
(Zone 8a)

April 3, 2008
1:43 AM

Post #4748534

What I was able to do today before mulching. Black Kow to help the sandy soil I hope. Overall the O and/or A-horizon of the soil was pretty good back here, not too much pure sand until you dug down a bit.

This message was edited Apr 2, 2008 9:45 PM

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keonikale
Lexington, SC
(Zone 8a)

April 3, 2008
1:43 AM

Post #4748538

With the mulching to help the run-off on the hill. I couldn't keep soil in place before putting this down.

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keonikale
Lexington, SC
(Zone 8a)

April 3, 2008
1:44 AM

Post #4748542

Upper yard. Now we just have to fill in all the space with cannas we're purchasing - all sorts of varieties.

Any other filler ideas?

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1cros3nails4gvn
Bluffton, SC
(Zone 9a)

April 5, 2008
4:23 AM

Post #4759601

philodendron bipinnatifidum
schefflera arboricola did great for me this winter
hardy palms
hardy hibiscus
keonikale
Lexington, SC
(Zone 8a)

April 5, 2008
1:48 PM

Post #4760852

Thanks. You think we could get philodendron bipinnatifidum to survive with good mulching?

I've also found a few more gingers I think will go well in the bed. I'm going to try growing beehive and shampoo gingers especially.
1cros3nails4gvn
Bluffton, SC
(Zone 9a)

April 5, 2008
4:31 PM

Post #4761555

yeah... i have heard of them around there
StonoRiver
Johns Island, SC

April 6, 2008
12:53 AM

Post #4763333

Might want to consider Ardesia japonica as a shady ground cover in amongst the trees...Nice foliage in the spring,summer,fall, and pretty red berries in the winter. Seems to compete well with tree roots here in Charleston, and I've NEVER watered it. I've used it successfuly as an underplanting for various gingers...
1cros3nails4gvn
Bluffton, SC
(Zone 9a)

April 6, 2008
2:09 AM

Post #4763775

and fatsia
keonikale
Lexington, SC
(Zone 8a)

April 6, 2008
3:30 AM

Post #4764198

Thanks, I'll take a look at the Ardesia. diehrd, how easily can you propagate a Fatsia? Woody stem cuttings? I took one I had and put it in the ground yesterday and was curious how I can propagate it around the bed.
1cros3nails4gvn
Bluffton, SC
(Zone 9a)

April 6, 2008
2:42 PM

Post #4765690

hmmm never done it, but that sound like what i would do
DebinSC
Georgetown, SC
(Zone 8a)

April 7, 2008
12:35 AM

Post #4768251

I have propagated Fatsia from softwood cuttings, but it was a slow process. Seemed to take a long time from rooting to actually becoming more than a rooted leaf. I started them in water. Might've worked better to start in in soil. Not sure.
Deb
keonikale
Lexington, SC
(Zone 8a)

April 7, 2008
12:52 AM

Post #4768351

Thanks Deb. Seems like the one we purchased a few weeks ago had sent up a smaller shoot. So maybe over time it spreads like that as well. I went ahead and split them up and they both seem fine. I may try the cutting method still though too.

We added in a number of new cannas this weekend along with a couple of Banana Cannas, Chinese Fan Palms (which I'll probably dig back up in the winter) and some Yellow Flag. Should get a whole bunch of new cannas and gingers in the mail this week, so I'll be looking forward to getting them in the ground too.

This project is a test of patience... just everything's so small at the moment. Once it establishes itself and grows in, I really think it'll look nice. I've always wanted to create a lush jungle-like atmosphere like this.
CoreHHI
Bluffton, SC
(Zone 9a)

April 7, 2008
2:40 AM

Post #4768941

Might want to throw a loquat in there. Nice foliage.

I don't think the heliconia will live for you.

Looks like a good start, tropical can be done in less than tropical locations.
ardesia
Saint Helena Island, SC
(Zone 9a)

April 7, 2008
4:22 PM

Post #4770759

About 6 or 7 years ago we had a frost here and all the philodendrons browned off. However, they came right back in the spring and were bigger than ever.

keonikale
Lexington, SC
(Zone 8a)

June 21, 2008
11:34 PM

Post #5139579

Figured it was time for an update. It's slowly growing in. By next year this should really be something jungle-like. I'm really having to fight off the Japanese Beetles this year - they're insane.

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keonikale
Lexington, SC
(Zone 8a)

June 21, 2008
11:35 PM

Post #5139581

The lower bed closeup.

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keonikale
Lexington, SC
(Zone 8a)

June 21, 2008
11:35 PM

Post #5139587

Upper bed

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keonikale
Lexington, SC
(Zone 8a)

June 21, 2008
11:36 PM

Post #5139590

Lower Bed

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keonikale
Lexington, SC
(Zone 8a)

June 21, 2008
11:36 PM

Post #5139592

And one of the front yard beds, the upper bed.

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DebinSC
Georgetown, SC
(Zone 8a)

June 22, 2008
12:45 AM

Post #5139855

Wow! It's really come along. Good job! And your front garden is beautiful, too!
keonikale
Lexington, SC
(Zone 8a)

June 22, 2008
3:03 AM

Post #5140482

Thanks. I was looking back and I realized how ugly it really used to be back there - yikes. I just need a few more evergreens in place, else it'll be ugly all winter long again. Or worse, since I'll probably put black pipe around the banana trunks. LOL, that'll be reaaal pretty.
CoreHHI
Bluffton, SC
(Zone 9a)

June 22, 2008
3:35 AM

Post #5140620

Have a few ideas for you.

http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/772/index.html

http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/53834/

Those two tree or shrubs will grow for you and I doubt anyone around you has them. They would both blend into a tropical setting.

http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/55401/
http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/59780/

Might want to check those out.

If you're after some cold hardy citrus check this out. http://www.plantfolks.com/preview/sitebuilder/Plantfolks/CitrusAvailability.html

Your making good progress, looks nice. Just thought you might want a few other ideas. I have everything I've posted in my yard BTW.


This message was edited Jun 21, 2008 11:38 PM
ardesia
Saint Helena Island, SC
(Zone 9a)

June 22, 2008
10:31 AM

Post #5141247

Corey, where did you get your Ruttya fruticosa? I had a friend send me one from Texas; they are really neatand I love the common name - Jammy Mouth.
BDunn
Sunset Beach, NC
(Zone 8a)

June 22, 2008
1:37 PM

Post #5141859

Core,
Do you have any idea where to purchase a Killarney Strawberry tree? Looks like both vendors shown have sold out or are not shipping now. Must say ... your ideas are always great!
Thanks,
Barbara
BDunn
Sunset Beach, NC
(Zone 8a)

June 22, 2008
1:38 PM

Post #5141864

Alice,
I just saw that your birthday was yesterday. Sorry I didn't notice before, but I hope you had a great day! That makes how many??????
CoreHHI
Bluffton, SC
(Zone 9a)

June 22, 2008
10:15 PM

Post #5143928

Ardesia I got the Ruttya fruticosa from a trade. I'm having a rough time with a few of my small plants so hopfully nothing kills it off.

Barbara I'm not sure where you can get a Killarney Strawberry tree right now. I started my from seed. Traded with a guy over in Europe for a few things. Not an easy seed to get going. I'm sure by the fall you can probably find one. I wouldn't mail order anything right now because of the heat. Locally I seriously doubt you could find a strawberry tree. I have seen one in Fla.

keonikale
Lexington, SC
(Zone 8a)

June 22, 2008
11:32 PM

Post #5144128

Thanks for the suggestions Core. I am definitely going to have to try and 4'oclocks. My grandmother grew them next door to my folks house and I loved them. I haven't seen them anywhere else that I can even remember.

Do I have to plant them from seed or can I just take a cutting? And how invasive are they? I seem to remember hers spreading out quite a bit.
CoreHHI
Bluffton, SC
(Zone 9a)

June 22, 2008
11:48 PM

Post #5144199

I started them from seed and they do put off a lot of seeds. I wouldn't say they're invasive but Ardesia probably does, LOL. She seems to really have it in for morning glories. They do spread but it just a matter of pulling up news ones that you don't want. If they spread into a yard the lawn mover will take care of them. I have mine in a shady spot and they haven't gotten wild on me. They also seem to do better as a group so they can use each other for support.

Let me see if I can find the thread but I asked if anyone thought 4 O'clocks were invasive and no one seemed to have a problem with them. Can't seem to find the thread.
tigerlily123
Raleigh, NC
(Zone 7b)

June 24, 2008
10:20 AM

Post #5151200

keonikale-I leave my chinese fan palms in the ground over the winter. If it goes to 17 degrees, then I wrap them, but they do fine. I would think in your zone, they would do even better! I also give mine more sun than it looks like yours is getting.
keonikale
Lexington, SC
(Zone 8a)

June 24, 2008
10:04 PM

Post #5154099

Thanks, I'll try wrapping them this year. I thought we'd lost one this past winter, but it's come back pretty strong. I think it just takes a year or so for them to get acclimated. My hostas have been the same way with the heat. Last year they fried, but this year they're great and thriving. In fact we thought we'd lost most of them, so we planted several Crotons in the front yard. The hostas ended up coming back and one actually grew right up through the middle of the Croton. It's funny looking and I like to call it my Hoston ;)
StonoRiver
Johns Island, SC

June 25, 2008
2:47 AM

Post #5155592

I've got 3 Chinese Fan Palms that I estimate were 5-7 years old when planted here. Winter die-back the first year was horrible---most of the top growth crumped, and I thought I'd made a bad mistake in my choice--- but we cut the dead stuff off in the spring, and new growth emerged. Have not had a winter-kill of any significance since that 1st yr. (2003). Some of the older leaves get brown and puny from the cold fronts that sweep through here every winter, but the plant is hardy (IMHOP) in the Charleston area. Just cut off the frost damaged fronds, and new stuff will replace it so fast you won't even notice the winter-kill. Once those roots get fully established, you're home free with the cold. I do mulch heavily though, which may help...plus, only the older leaves/fronds seem to get cold damaged (???), which makes sacrificing them a lot easier.
keonikale
Lexington, SC
(Zone 8a)

June 25, 2008
3:22 AM

Post #5155764

I think the same is true for the Sago. I put two in the ground last year and of course they were fried by the first frosts. Looked horrible. But I cut all the fronds off early this spring and they've bounced back. One looks like it never even lost all its fronds.

Thanks for the tips on the Chinese Fan Palms, I feel better about leaving the two new ones out in the ground. I plan to mulch very heavily in that bed, since I have a few zone 9'ers in there (3 Cavendish bananas and some gingers). I figure if Brian can grow what he does in Kentucky, surely I can get away with a single zone or so. I may get weak though and dig up a banana still - I did last year. At least the bulk of the banana are basjoo and can survive even a hard freeze.

I actually had a Pothos (zone 10) growing next to the house last summer. I knew it'd be toast by the second week of December, and sure enough by mid-winter it was a rotted plant. But just last week the first of two new leaves popped out from the mulch near the back deck - I couldn't believe it. Pothos survived the winter in a zone 8!! There's hope for my zone denial yet.

This message was edited Jun 24, 2008 11:25 PM
rednyr
Sumter, SC
(Zone 8a)

June 26, 2008
2:25 AM

Post #5160344

zone denial...LOL I love it! you and diehardsthner should get along famously...he is one super young man who truly loves his garden! His mom should pay him big bucks for all the landscaping he has done in the yard...I can see her trying to move...he will dig the entire yard up LOL

you have dmail on the 4 o'clocks...also...if you wanna try any daturas LMK...I have about a dozen or so left (grown from seed this winter...lilac lefluer(18-24 inches tall at this point), dbl cream dat and metal (both approx 8" at this point if i remember correctly) I can't plant in the yard...I have to say no sometime and after working all day watering at the nursery for 9 hrs it is getting harder and harder with this heat to then come home and do my own yard..or worse yet...getting up at 5am to get a jumpstart on the yard prior to working...talk about giving a whole new meaning to the words "water boy" LOL
CoreHHI
Bluffton, SC
(Zone 9a)

June 26, 2008
3:08 AM

Post #5160595

My My Momma says.
BDunn
Sunset Beach, NC
(Zone 8a)

June 26, 2008
3:23 AM

Post #5160709

Hmmm ... interesting about the chinese fan palms that tigerlily leaves in the ground in Raleigh. Wish I had the nerve so I'll be anxious to hear how it does in Cola.

Here's a tip ya'll probably already know --
When I was in the FL Panhandle I had lots of Chinese Fans in my yard and they did great all year. Bought them at the palm "store" for $35 each for fairly large ones. Now I move back to Sunset Beach and I buy one in Home Depot in the "indoor" tropical section as one of their 14" tropicals for $18 a piece. So maybe the tip is to look for certain palms in certain cities where they're considered indoor to get a good price. Mines on my screened porch, but, like I said, I'm scared to put it in the ground here. Also, it's much deeper green when it has shade.

Core, did I ever tell you I lived on HHI for 15 yrs? From 1979 - 1993 and worked for Sea Pines Real Estate. Do you know Nancy and Bill Roe up there in Bluffton? They've been there forever.
rednyr
Sumter, SC
(Zone 8a)

June 26, 2008
3:30 AM

Post #5160744

whats ur moma say core
CoreHHI
Bluffton, SC
(Zone 9a)

June 26, 2008
3:38 AM

Post #5160770

Little girl's are the Devil. LOL
rednyr
Sumter, SC
(Zone 8a)

June 26, 2008
3:45 AM

Post #5160795

HA! hate to see what she has to say about the 'big' girls LOL
keonikale
Lexington, SC
(Zone 8a)

June 26, 2008
3:58 AM

Post #5160838

LOL, I'll leave that one alone.

I imagine if I had to work with plants all day I might not be as enthusiastic about the yard myself. It's nice to come home from work though and mull around in the yard (usually I'm after Jap beetles, darn things are nuts this year). I sorta worked myself out of a hobby earlier this spring though; I'm out of room to plant much of anything else. Though I can fit those 4'oclocks in nicely I'm sure :)
ardesia
Saint Helena Island, SC
(Zone 9a)

June 26, 2008
4:04 PM

Post #5162746

OK you guys, I go away for a few days and you take my name in vain. LOL

Yes Core, I do think 4 o'clocks are invasive in the Midlands and because of the enormous root they are impossible to get rid of. I have one here and it has not spread much but, try as I have, I have never been able to get rid of it either.

HaHa Barb, thanks for the birthday wishes and at this point it is not how many but too many. But, I am eligible for Medicare now so there are pluses.

The Philodendron Selloum and the other ones with the holes (I can't remember the name, that's what happens when you get this old) are cheaper in the houseplant section than in the nursery section.

keonikale
Lexington, SC
(Zone 8a)

June 26, 2008
7:02 PM

Post #5163704

I think I put a Selloum in the ground this year - I have trouble with some of the philodendron ID's.

I also took a monstera deliciosa cutting (I think that's the one you're talking about with the holes) and put it in the ground. BUT... that's a zone 10b plant and I'll be shocked if it survives (maybe it's like the pothos though, LOL).

Funny thing about monsteras is I couldn't find them anywhere about two years ago, so I starting buying and taking cuttings of them from everywhere I found them. Now I have so many large monstera plants they are about to grow me out of house and home. Figured I'd put a few in the yard, LOL. You definitely don't see those growing outside here. But everyone loves them in the house - they give a real tropical feel to a room, especially if they are large with the holes.
DebinSC
Georgetown, SC
(Zone 8a)

June 27, 2008
1:17 AM

Post #5165502

Keonikale: I have a Selloum in ground which has survived two winters so far just fine. I have 3 monsteras in pots, that I sink into the ground for the summer. Haven't had the nerve to leave them out over winter yet, tho. They do tend to multiply, don't they. :)

I seem to have a bumper crop of those cursed Japanese Beetles here this year, too. I'm picking dozens off a wide variety of plants every evening. Grrrrr! Hate 'em!

Deb
tigerlily123
Raleigh, NC
(Zone 7b)

June 27, 2008
1:38 AM

Post #5165629

my selloum has been in the ground for 2 winters also. It doesn't come back really huge though, but i think that the drought last summer had a lot to do with the lack of growth. This summer has been pretty dry as well, and there are only 2 largish leaves showing so far.
1cros3nails4gvn
Bluffton, SC
(Zone 9a)

June 27, 2008
1:57 PM

Post #5167632

I'M BACK!!!!! (from FL, not india...yet) and how dare y'all have this awesome conversation w/o me???!!!??? lol
DebinSC
Georgetown, SC
(Zone 8a)

June 27, 2008
2:17 PM

Post #5167723

Welcome back Dhrd!
1cros3nails4gvn
Bluffton, SC
(Zone 9a)

June 27, 2008
2:41 PM

Post #5167843

thanks! i saw the hugest chinese fan palm! it was like 40' tall
DebinSC
Georgetown, SC
(Zone 8a)

June 27, 2008
3:03 PM

Post #5167962

Did you dig it and bring it back?
1cros3nails4gvn
Bluffton, SC
(Zone 9a)

June 27, 2008
3:35 PM

Post #5168093

haha i wish i could have but it was at a university and i was on a trip with the church and we were already cramped in the vans so i couldn't even bring back any dioon pups
keonikale
Lexington, SC
(Zone 8a)

June 27, 2008
3:39 PM

Post #5168112

What's a good trip without a Plantnapping? LOL

I might put a few more Selloum in the ground this summer; if that's what they really are. You know how BBStores label stuff. Guess we'll find out next Spring. I just planted my first Red Abyssinian Banana yesterday, so I'm excited to watch it grow. I still can't believe how big one of my basjoo is this year (first year in the ground after about 10 months in a pot). It's almost taller than me now.
1cros3nails4gvn
Bluffton, SC
(Zone 9a)

June 27, 2008
3:52 PM

Post #5168180

wow what have you been doing to it??
ardesia
Saint Helena Island, SC
(Zone 9a)

June 27, 2008
8:32 PM

Post #5169341

My hint to make them grow would be to always leave any dead leaves you cut off on the ground under the plant. They are supposed to be full of potassium which bananas love. A friend even chops up the stalks that are past their prime and leaves them under the plant. It looks messy but it works. The ones I had were in the 12' range and I never fed or watered them.

keonikale
Lexington, SC
(Zone 8a)

June 27, 2008
8:57 PM

Post #5169458

I'll start letting the leaves stay under the plants in the back then, I had no idea they were fertilizer.

I've been giving mine a lot of water and blood meal this year. I can't say for sure which is more beneficial, but I've given water almost daily and the fertilizer every 2 weeks or so. Even the smallest basjoo's are about 3' now - just compare in the photos, I was shocked looking back. My basjoo last year (the ONE I had then) hardly grew to 4' all summer. I thought it was the pups that were restricting its growth, but the one in the back, which isn't in any of the photos I posted, also has 3 pups (that formed in April after I planted it) and they're also around 3' tall. So maybe it's the location, but both the parent and the pups are huge. I'll have to post a photo of it next update.

This message was edited Jun 27, 2008 4:58 PM
DebinSC
Georgetown, SC
(Zone 8a)

June 27, 2008
11:40 PM

Post #5170166

I've never fertilized my basjoo either, but I do leave the dead leaves at the base. It's in nearly full shade. It's grown from 1 foot to about 6ft. This is it's 2nd summer.
Deb
keonikale
Lexington, SC
(Zone 8a)

August 14, 2008
7:09 PM

Post #5414279

The other thread reminded me to post another update. These are from the middle of July, but the Before/After stuff I thought was neat. We purchased the house Jan 2007. I'm already out of yard, or close to it.

These first two shots are of the last project we did. The back right corner was a mess of scrubby trees and vines. And it made my bed in front of it look messy. So we cleared it and brought in a ton and a half of river pebbles.

Thumbnail by keonikale
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keonikale
Lexington, SC
(Zone 8a)

August 14, 2008
7:10 PM

Post #5414282

Another view of the same project.

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keonikale
Lexington, SC
(Zone 8a)

August 14, 2008
7:11 PM

Post #5414286

OK, now the good stuff. I can't WAIT for these guys to really get big next year. All these bananas, are first year in the ground. Got pups?

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keonikale
Lexington, SC
(Zone 8a)

August 14, 2008
7:12 PM

Post #5414290

Probably the most noticeable change in the whole yard.

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keonikale
Lexington, SC
(Zone 8a)

August 14, 2008
7:13 PM

Post #5414295

Back of the house. Just moved a bunch of stuff up on the deck so it looks even more tropical now.

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keonikale
Lexington, SC
(Zone 8a)

August 14, 2008
7:14 PM

Post #5414298

Entire back.

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keonikale
Lexington, SC
(Zone 8a)

August 14, 2008
7:14 PM

Post #5414299

And finally, two collages.

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keonikale
Lexington, SC
(Zone 8a)

August 14, 2008
7:15 PM

Post #5414303

Upper left progress

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1cros3nails4gvn
Bluffton, SC
(Zone 9a)

August 14, 2008
7:22 PM

Post #5414324

that looks GREAT! thanks for the update
Tropicanna
Clemmons, NC
(Zone 7b)

August 14, 2008
7:26 PM

Post #5414333

you really did get a lot done this summer! congrats, it looks nice!
keonikale
Lexington, SC
(Zone 8a)

August 14, 2008
7:54 PM

Post #5414414

Thanks, now I just need a bigger yard. I'd probably go broke if I had a bigger yard though, lol.
rednyr
Sumter, SC
(Zone 8a)

August 15, 2008
1:23 AM

Post #5415664

now THAT is impressive! awesome foresight on how you did everything! I think you need to go in the landscaping biz...and if you need a bigger yard to play in come fill up the rest of mine LOL
keonikale
Lexington, SC
(Zone 8a)

August 15, 2008
2:57 AM

Post #5416061

lol, thanks. I'll definitely have to get me a house out in the country next time.
CoreHHI
Bluffton, SC
(Zone 9a)

August 15, 2008
3:07 AM

Post #5416096

Way to decisive. Looks like you had a plan and executed in short time.

You're making me look bad. I'm fiddling around seeds and cutting with no real direction. LOL. I'm on the 5 year plan so I'm not worried. Seems you were on the one year plan.
1cros3nails4gvn
Bluffton, SC
(Zone 9a)

August 15, 2008
3:11 AM

Post #5416118

i have no plan... i get and plant what i like where i like it
keonikale
Lexington, SC
(Zone 8a)

August 15, 2008
4:21 AM

Post #5416370

I do a lot of digging up and moving. I have moved some of the bananas a few times this year. I think I'm OCD on having it look just right, LOL.
DebinSC
Georgetown, SC
(Zone 8a)

August 16, 2008
12:26 AM

Post #5420121

My garden looks as if it was designed by a committee.
You are making us feel like slackers, Keonikale! :)
Deb
CoreHHI
Bluffton, SC
(Zone 9a)

August 16, 2008
2:35 AM

Post #5420665

The problem I have is I'm not sure exactly what everthing is going to look like when it gets bigger. I'm also not to good with timing flowering etc. Next spring I think I'll be doing a reshuffle on a lot of plants and fill in some more. See what that looks like and it will continue to the next year.
keonikale
Lexington, SC
(Zone 8a)

August 16, 2008
3:32 AM

Post #5420898

I need to get more into flowering plants; they really add something to the beds. Luckily my wife has an interest in those so it helps balance the overload of green foliage. I have probably planted bananas and cannas way to close - digging them up in a year or so will be "fun." The single banana I planted last year sent up 14 new pups this year so far, 4 of which I split off. The thing hardly grows because it has so many pups and I'm concerned a few others I put in this year may do the same. I'm literally going to have a grove if I don't split them regularly (I think I put in 12 or so this year). I just get excited planting and go overboard, lol. Mathematically that's a lot of bananas within three years. And I can't bring myself to kill the pups. So I guess I'll try and sell them.

Funny thing about having a lot of the same plant is you get to see how differently they grow. Of the 10 baby travelers palms I purchased at the start of this summer, a few are getting quite large (12" pots), several have kept together at a medium size, and one or two have remained hardly bigger than they arrived (seedling pots) - all in the same type pot (to start), soil, and conditions. I have a first year basjoo doing the same. It's hardly grown a half foot all summer, it looks like I just planted it (it actually looks like a pup, but it's not). One of my other first year bananas is getting close to 6.5' in height and it has three pups my height (I split a fourth when it was about 4' tall). It has to be the conditions I guess (some are closer to trees, and others with better water availability) - or the DNA in each plant one. Very neat to witness that.

This message was edited Aug 15, 2008 11:36 PM
Tropicanna
Clemmons, NC
(Zone 7b)

August 16, 2008
1:45 PM

Post #5421921

I play musical plants, too, I see nothing wrong with it but people will give you a hard time over it (like it will ever be "perfect"!). Basjoos I have planted throughout the yard all vary tremendously in size, but the largest musa I have now is a blue java which has grown in very full sun quite well don't think it will be hardy here but it can't go anywhere else but where it is now.

for flowering plants, my plantings are always really mixed anyway with perrenials in with the tropicals, but this year I grew a lot of annuals from seed and mixed those more than I usually do, and I like it. as much as I move plants around, it almost makes more sense to have some "temp" plants
keonikale
Lexington, SC
(Zone 8a)

August 16, 2008
5:26 PM

Post #5422797

Would blue java be hardly here? I'd love to plant some larger bananas. The basjoo I'm sure eventually will get to 10' or so here - or maybe higher? I'm discouraged about how tall they'll get since my second year basjoo is only 5' or so this year.

And the dwarf Cavendish bananas are really just fat stemmed and short - so they either must take years to grow, or mine are on the slow track one.
tigerlily123
Raleigh, NC
(Zone 7b)

August 16, 2008
5:31 PM

Post #5422811

I like putting lantanas in amonst the plants-they show a lot of color and never stop blooming if it gets dry, and they love the full sun.

The longer that you leave a banana in place, the larger the clump will be. I have a few clumps that are getting some nice size to them now. I think Tropicanna took a picture of at least one of them while she was here...Trop-do you have them downloaded?
ardesia
Saint Helena Island, SC
(Zone 9a)

August 16, 2008
5:49 PM

Post #5422881

My dwarf cavendish has been a disappointment; like yours, it is short and fat. This is it's second year in the ground and there is no sign of a flower yet.
keonikale
Lexington, SC
(Zone 8a)

August 16, 2008
8:11 PM

Post #5423316

Well at least it's not just my soil then, maybe it's the general environment. A few folks here grow bananas, but I'd swear they aren't basjoo, so now I'm curious what they are. They aren't DC either. There's so many types of musa, I can't keep them straight. I don't even have a clue as to what the one I brought back from Kauai is, despite some interesting markings on the leaves.

I think placement has a lot to do with their size; the largest basjoo are all out in the yard or next to the house where they have nothing to compete with. Alice, didn't have you have a few basjoo? How tall would you say yours got? I know your weather is a lot more favorable there for them, but I'm curious how tall they can get if the trunk is well protected.

On another subject, I did achieve two of my "never been done" before goals this year. I got the orange Bird of Paradise to bloom, and finally I got that stubborn plumeria to bloom. I couldn't believe it. Seems like neglecting them does the trick. So now I've set a new goal for the next two years to see if I can get one of my heliconia to bloom - or if I'm feeling really lucky, maybe the torch ginger, LOL - yeah right.
ardesia
Saint Helena Island, SC
(Zone 9a)

August 16, 2008
8:52 PM

Post #5423477

LOL, I did have some but they got too tall for me to groom and my neighbors complained about how messy they were. It is windy here and the leaves were always shredded and turning brown. They were pretty tall; I would guess at least 12'.

They are growing in Bluffton now. :-))))

http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/836671/
1cros3nails4gvn
Bluffton, SC
(Zone 9a)

August 16, 2008
9:28 PM

Post #5423583

when i was in lexington, the basjoo pseudostems didn't die the first year i waited til after the first frost when the leaves got droopy and ben them nown and tied them around the pseudostems, and they even put out some green (tiny bit) during the warm spells in january.
if you want any more plumies, just tell me, and when i come to lexington i'll give them to you. i got my first bop blooms this year too. do you hav a picture ofthe plumeria blooms? i can help if you ever want info on them...

plumeria pudica... blooms profusely, evergreen, nice shape to the leaves, and it grows fasrt, so prunig it down to size isnt a problem. its one of my favorites, but unfortunately, it has no scent

Thumbnail by 1cros3nails4gvn
Click the image for an enlarged view.

keonikale
Lexington, SC
(Zone 8a)

August 17, 2008
3:23 AM

Post #5424975

Wow that's a beauty. I'll take some pics once mine gets into full bloom, it just started. All three I brought back from HI bloomed, but usually that's all I get. So hopefully I've broken the curse and they'll keep blooming. Usually I loose any I bring back the first winter - but I think I have corrected all my wrongs of the past, like hibernating them.

Will try and use the basjoo leaves for insulation. I noticed last year they surrounded the trunk really well, but ended up cutting them off since it was in the front yard and looked a little messy. I probably will have to mulch the 4 in the front yard again this year. But in the back that'd leaf thing would work great - thanks for the tip on that.
Tropicanna
Clemmons, NC
(Zone 7b)

August 17, 2008
1:51 PM

Post #5425956

here's a clump of tigerlilys basjoos

from what I've read, I think blue java is hardy to zone 8, I'm leaving mine out this year because it would be too big to overwinter anyhow

Thumbnail by Tropicanna
Click the image for an enlarged view.

tigerlily123
Raleigh, NC
(Zone 7b)

August 17, 2008
2:14 PM

Post #5426039

thanks Trop-those are the sikkimensis-the basjoos are down the garden to the right. Can you find a picture where its weeded more??? lol I just hired someone that loves to weed! And someone that loves to clean house-I am in heaven!!! lol

Show some of the heliconias that are blooming in the ground too-they are cool.
keonikale
Lexington, SC
(Zone 8a)

August 17, 2008
3:47 PM

Post #5426453

Thanks, I might have to try one of those. How tall is that fence for scale?
tigerlily123
Raleigh, NC
(Zone 7b)

August 17, 2008
3:57 PM

Post #5426506

The fence is about 7' high or more
keonikale
Lexington, SC
(Zone 8a)

August 17, 2008
8:03 PM

Post #5427528

Thanks, I'll add it to the "acquire" list. As if I need another plant, lol.

Here's the plumeria, one of the best smelling I've ever had bloom. I just hope this blooming trend continues. Should I keep increasing the pot size, or let it get a little rootbound? It's in a 12" pot now I think - first time it's bloomed.

Thumbnail by keonikale
Click the image for an enlarged view.

keonikale
Lexington, SC
(Zone 8a)

August 17, 2008
8:09 PM

Post #5427549

I have another question also while we're on the topic of Bananas. I don't know what made me notice this now, versus never before, but I noticed some of my basjoo have very different colors. So like last year when I discovered one of my "basjoo" was actually a Dwarf Cavendish, I'm sorta starting to wonder if I really have all basjoo now. The very lime green one (on the far left) is the first banana I put in the ground last year. I had been fairly confident it was a basjoo - but it looks lighter green than the others. It's grown slower than I expected in the second year and I'm starting to wonder if it's something else. The one in the middle is a supposed basjoo; I purchased it from Lowe's this spring. And the one to the far right is a basjoo I purchased online last fall. The two of them (along with the other dozen or so in the back) all look the same.Both the middle and far right basjoo are HUGE compared to the lime green colored one. So are they all basjoo and is the lime green one something else? Or am I imagining things?

The image I've uploaded may not provide detail on the leaves/stem, so here's a very large 3000px version with a lot of detail:
http://www.hawaii-guide.com/images/dg_plants/Basjoo.jpg

This message was edited Aug 17, 2008 4:11 PM

Thumbnail by keonikale
Click the image for an enlarged view.

1cros3nails4gvn
Bluffton, SC
(Zone 9a)

August 17, 2008
8:45 PM

Post #5427658

i think the lime green one isnt as healthy. same thing happened at my grandparents on park road in L-town.
that plumeria, i bet is "celadine". or aztec gold. does it smell like peaches or different? if you come on the plumeria forum, you could ask clare or hetty and they would know better probably, but its hard to identify through a picture. Celadine is the kind usualy used in leis because it has good keepi ng qualith and smells the best. can you tke a picture of the plant and pot, and then one of the roots? i'd be able to tell you better then
ardesia
Saint Helena Island, SC
(Zone 9a)

August 17, 2008
9:28 PM

Post #5427796

The one on the left has the trunk of a Basjoo, judging from the photo it appears to have that typical fibrous material. That middle one has a smooth green trunk and may well be something different. I can't see the trunk on the one on the right.

If you got the plants from Lowe's they may not be as labeled. Another thought - someplace else here on DG I recently saw a discussion about the variances in tissue cultured plants. That could be what you are dealing with. It seems some growers are not refreshing their mother plants on a regular basis. They are using the same tissue too many times causing the offspring to have weaker and/or different genes.
keonikale
Lexington, SC
(Zone 8a)

August 17, 2008
9:48 PM

Post #5427882

Thanks. I'll go take some shots of the plumeria stalk and the banana trunks to help compare. I may wait until the plumeria stops flowering to photograph the roots - I'm always so cautious around flowering plumeria (probably more than I need to be).
keonikale
Lexington, SC
(Zone 8a)

August 17, 2008
9:57 PM

Post #5427935

Whoa, the trunks are different on every single banana I bought at Lowe's. How did I not notice that before. I'll post photos shortly.

My wife says the plumeria smells "lily-like."
keonikale
Lexington, SC
(Zone 8a)

August 17, 2008
10:05 PM

Post #5427975

OK, bananas first. The first three are from Lowe's and all have the sheath-like leaves that peel off. The next two are all basjoo's I purchased online (which is more legit apparently). The Lowe's banana's sorta look like Musa Ornata - but I'm guessing. Or, and how's this for ironic. They might be Blue Java's judging by other stem photos. Now that'd be almost funny.

Lowe's Musa one.

This message was edited Aug 17, 2008 6:33 PM

Thumbnail by keonikale
Click the image for an enlarged view.

keonikale
Lexington, SC
(Zone 8a)

August 17, 2008
10:06 PM

Post #5427977

Lowe's Musa 2

Thumbnail by keonikale
Click the image for an enlarged view.

keonikale
Lexington, SC
(Zone 8a)

August 17, 2008
10:06 PM

Post #5427978

Lowe's Musa 3

Thumbnail by keonikale
Click the image for an enlarged view.

keonikale
Lexington, SC
(Zone 8a)

August 17, 2008
10:07 PM

Post #5427980

Basjoo (odd color)

Thumbnail by keonikale
Click the image for an enlarged view.

keonikale
Lexington, SC
(Zone 8a)

August 17, 2008
10:07 PM

Post #5427982

Basjoo (correct color)

Thumbnail by keonikale
Click the image for an enlarged view.

keonikale
Lexington, SC
(Zone 8a)

August 17, 2008
10:09 PM

Post #5427987

So does that mean I need to dig those Lowe's bananas up and put them inside or under the house? I'd hate to loose them and I can't mulch them like I can the one's in the back - all of those are in the front of the house.

And here's two shots of the plumeria. Thank you all again for your help.

Thumbnail by keonikale
Click the image for an enlarged view.

keonikale
Lexington, SC
(Zone 8a)

August 17, 2008
10:09 PM

Post #5427989

Another plumeria shot.

Thumbnail by keonikale
Click the image for an enlarged view.

1cros3nails4gvn
Bluffton, SC
(Zone 9a)

August 17, 2008
10:35 PM

Post #5428111

there is no need t repot the plumeria, and honestly i really think that all the bananas are basjoos. the reasons they are not doing well like the other ones is the environment it is in. it could be a deficiency or not enough water or maybe even a variation. they dont grow as fast if you leave the pups on. the corm spends its energymaking a new plant instead of growing. they should be perfectly fine if left outside this winter
keonikale
Lexington, SC
(Zone 8a)

August 17, 2008
10:40 PM

Post #5428129

The stems are so different though, that puzzles me. I was trying to compare (which may or may not actually work) and I'm starting to think the stems resemble these:
http://www.gator-ventures.com/bananas/ice-cream/

How do folks ID these things in the wild? Glad that's not my job.
tigerlily123
Raleigh, NC
(Zone 7b)

August 17, 2008
11:21 PM

Post #5428330

basjoos have a red midrib-esp on the younger leaves.
1cros3nails4gvn
Bluffton, SC
(Zone 9a)

August 18, 2008
12:15 AM

Post #5428601

well, for bananas, their stems are actually just a bunch of leaf stems that are tightly packed together. these form the "trunk" or pseudostem. those things coming off the trunk are just the old leaf stems falling off, and eventually dying. this usually happens because the leaf is still attached and is pulling the lower stem away from the "trunk", or the "trunk" is getting too fat for the leaf stem. since the inside of the leaf stem is a smaller circle than the fatter trunk, it is forced off and just hangs there until it dies
1cros3nails4gvn
Bluffton, SC
(Zone 9a)

August 18, 2008
12:20 AM

Post #5428624

for me, they have those red midribs on the younger ones early in the year, then it stops appearing in the middle of the summer
keonikale
Lexington, SC
(Zone 8a)

August 18, 2008
12:41 AM

Post #5428713

Must just be a different type. I knew the leaves grew up from the stalk, it's just how they're deteriorating and falling off the main trunk that is interesting. The two I know for sure are basjoo have that fiber-like husk that slowly breaks away from the trunk while the other three have very stiff sheaths that are split away as the trunk diameter grows. Interesting.
CoreHHI
Bluffton, SC
(Zone 9a)

August 18, 2008
12:56 AM

Post #5428798

I think you got a bonus.

I don't trust the big box stores labels competely. The folks growing for them are out for volume and do things as cheap as possible. That farm very well may be growing 5 different kinds of bananas then some guy who doesn't speak English or who doesn't know plants goes out in a field, sticks a label on it and puts it in a truck.

You never know. I wouldn't worry about it. Worse case you have a dead banana or two and from the looks of things you will have more bananas then you need in a couple of years.
keonikale
Lexington, SC
(Zone 8a)

September 2, 2009
10:10 PM

Post #7018544

Figured it'd been another year and I got to thinking about this thread. Real life has kept me so busy I hardly have time to post anymore :( I miss all the garden talk. But hopefully things are getting back to normal around here.

Things surely did change for my project this past year. Thought I'd post some new pics... pretty wild when compared to just a year ago even. It's a jungle back there.

Thumbnail by keonikale
Click the image for an enlarged view.

keonikale
Lexington, SC
(Zone 8a)

September 2, 2009
10:10 PM

Post #7018546

Another, lots of banana blooms this year too. And new gingers.

Thumbnail by keonikale
Click the image for an enlarged view.

keonikale
Lexington, SC
(Zone 8a)

September 2, 2009
10:11 PM

Post #7018549

Last one

Thumbnail by keonikale
Click the image for an enlarged view.

CoreHHI
Bluffton, SC
(Zone 9a)

September 3, 2009
12:59 PM

Post #7020491

Nice, not to be critical but you have my problem. I've been trying to figure out what plants I need to put in to break up all the green. Had some issues with the EE's being so tall they block out the sunlight so a couple of plants I tried stayed green instead of changing to red or other non green colors. LOL> Good job though and I'm surprised in how good of shape those plants all look. I guess I'm a little lazy.
keonikale
Lexington, SC
(Zone 8a)

September 3, 2009
9:30 PM

Post #7022397

Yeah I definitely have to get some color in there next year. Maybe with more cannas or daylilies I'm thinking - but something to break the green.
tigerlily123
Raleigh, NC
(Zone 7b)

September 4, 2009
12:23 AM

Post #7022974

I like to use lantanas a lot in my beds-they break up the greens and they are so drought tolerant. Blue plumbagos will also bloom all summer, and I am starting to have my heliconias bloom quite a bit this summer. All of these have to be planted in the spring-but they do bloom a lot. Cannas are good, but I am so sick of the canna worms eating them if I don't remember to treat with Merit-they look like crap if I don't!
DebinSC
Georgetown, SC
(Zone 8a)

September 4, 2009
12:37 AM

Post #7023031

Wow, it really did well! Looks like Costa Rica, not Columbia. :)
keonikale
Lexington, SC
(Zone 8a)

September 4, 2009
4:23 PM

Post #7025383

Was it just me or were the canna worms really bad this year? They even went after some of my bananas, especially the Red Abyssinian. I would love to get some heliconias blooming, but I think my plants have a few more years yet. Do any of you put them in the ground? I've kept all of mine in pots thus far.
ardesia
Saint Helena Island, SC
(Zone 9a)

September 4, 2009
7:23 PM

Post #7025835

I noticed some leaf rollers on a new ginger and thought that was strange.
tigerlily123
Raleigh, NC
(Zone 7b)

September 5, 2009
12:40 PM

Post #7027970

I put some of my heliconias in the ground for the summer and then dig them up for the winter and keep them in the grhouse. Others I keep in pots all year. I try to go for types that will bloom more and faster such as psittacorums and small blooming types. Distans blooms alot for me, also dwarf jamaican.
LaLambchop
Chapin, SC
(Zone 7b)

September 7, 2009
4:29 PM

Post #7036356

Looks great! Come over next June and you can pick some daylilies to put in there. I've just planted my seed crop of 2,200. I'll only keep 200 of them so I'll need some good homes.
bonjon
Raleigh, NC

September 11, 2009
8:19 PM

Post #7052269

Oh these photos are awesome! truly inspiring what y'all have done!

have you tried looking through the Plant Delights Nursery catalogues? they are having an open house sometime soon, too, where you could go see things. I volunteer there in the botanical garden side, and often work in the colocasia/allocasia test beds.

you might want to look at their stock. because as nice as your tropicals are, I'm not seeing the variety of colors I'm used to seeing.

Tony Avent works with the best breeder in Hawaii testing crosses the Hawaiian has made here. the colors they've got going are awesome. would like to see a bit more color in your beds== but that's just me. I LOVE COLOR.
ardesia
Saint Helena Island, SC
(Zone 9a)

September 11, 2009
9:46 PM

Post #7052529

Hey Bonjon, I am going to PD on the open house day but I will be with another group that gets to visit in the morning before the public gets there. Will you be working that day?
bonjon
Raleigh, NC

September 12, 2009
9:57 PM

Post #7056425

doubtful, but then again, I can go about anytime I want...as long as I weed, spread mulch, dig...
ardesia
Saint Helena Island, SC
(Zone 9a)

September 12, 2009
10:05 PM

Post #7056448

...but what a fun place to weed, dig, etc. LOL
bonjon
Raleigh, NC

September 12, 2009
10:12 PM

Post #7056475

you would think so, but in heat, no place is fun! LOL which day are you going? they usually have it for like two weekends in a row.
ardesia
Saint Helena Island, SC
(Zone 9a)

September 12, 2009
10:30 PM

Post #7056559

Our tour begins at 7am on Friday, the 25th. I'll be the one who is yawning. LOL
bonjon
Raleigh, NC

September 13, 2009
6:18 PM

Post #7059386

LOL - well, you won't be alone in that habit!

If I can make it over there then, I'll see if I can get permission to walk you through the Colocasia test beds. I have been ill for a while and don't know what their status is, though.
ardesia
Saint Helena Island, SC
(Zone 9a)

September 13, 2009
7:45 PM

Post #7059616

That would be lovely but if you are not feeling well please do not worry about it. I'll be with the GWA group.

Maybe you can tell me why my colocasias and alocasias shrink over the years. They start out fine and achieve their normal height then each year therafter they get smaller and smaller until they are miniatures.
alice
bonjon
Raleigh, NC

September 14, 2009
3:21 AM

Post #7061442

that's a good question for Tony or his staff. bet Jeremy would know, or Todd.
ardesia
Saint Helena Island, SC
(Zone 9a)

September 14, 2009
11:21 AM

Post #7062096

I'll be sure to ask for them. Thanks.
jlj072174
Raleigh, NC
(Zone 8a)

September 22, 2009
2:57 PM

Post #7091645

BonJon -- I'll have to keep an eye out for you when I'm down there next. I have so many things in my yard from PDN. My hubby lets out a loud sigh when the catalog comes in the mail because our yard is overflowing with tropicals, but I return that same sigh when he starts talking about motorcycle parts and working on cars (his hobbies).

I forgot the open house was happening, as I've been ill the last week and a half. Hopefully, my energy will be up to come down there this weekend. It's a beautiful place to visit! And I don't mind stimulating the economy when I'm there either, LOL.
bonjon
Raleigh, NC

September 22, 2009
3:21 PM

Post #7091740

their volunteers don't necessarily show up at the open houses. we show up to weed, mulch, dig, that sort of thing. when public is no where near.

several men's gardening clubs are the volunteers during open houses.
jlj072174
Raleigh, NC
(Zone 8a)

September 22, 2009
3:24 PM

Post #7091750

Bummer. I'll probably be there anyway. I need to get my before-winter itch scratched. :-)
StonoRiver
Johns Island, SC

June 25, 2010
8:21 PM

Post #7921066

My experience with "big box stores" (Lowe's, Home Depot, Walmart, etc.) has been absolutely miserable to date. Those people are more concerned with "throughput" than they are with "output".Their business model is TOTALLY dependent on volume and suckers! Ask a simple question about a plant's requirements (water, light, drainage, fertilization, etc., and they look at you real funny, like you must be some kind of weirdo to be asking such things---like, what are those things???). The big box stores buy from some pretty reputable growers, and receive really good material. But that's where it stops! All downhill from there. They don't even water the plants properly. You can beat their ineptitude by finding out when their respective growers deliver, (so far, they've been willing to share those data) and meet the delivery trucks. Pick out your plants on arrival, buy them, and carry them home. You'll pay their "list price" for them, but you'll be getting a real live plant...and still somewhat discounted from local growers. I personally prefer staying "local" whenever possibile...
CoreHHI
Bluffton, SC
(Zone 9a)

June 25, 2010
8:41 PM

Post #7921116

Lowe's in Bluffton Wednesday deliveries. LOL. Close to my house so that's usually when I look things over.

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