Saturday, August 31, 2013

It's been a hot week

Here in Long Beach, we usually get a couple of hot weeks during the end of August, and they rolled in right on time.  We closed the windows, turned on our window ACs (we have two of them, woo hoo!), set up the fans and just figured we'd be in the house for the day, maybe catch up on some tv watching on Netflix....and darned if the power didn't go out!  At the same time, I saw this ad on CL free for a Chinese fan palm (Livistona Chinensis), and the guy said to come on out, so we loaded up some gloves and ropes and took off.

He said in his ad that this tree was about 18" in diameter (trunk) and about 5' tall and weighed about 400 pounds and we'd need a truck and some rope.  On the drive over, we talked about how we thought he was probably not close to how much it weighed - people are always saying how big or heavy something is on CL and it's always no big deal.  I mean, it's a big deal to them, but not to us.

But this guy knew what he was talking about!  This tree was huge!  It took the three of us multiple tries to figure out how to get it on our truck, but we finally did.
Even this picture cannot capture how tall it was.  Hmmm...maybe this one:

Just for scale, I'm 5'5".  It was really really big and really really heavy.

Then the guy gave us a tour around his property. He's all involved in the Palm Society, and he invited us to the meetings.  He knew a ton of stuff about palms, but after touring his property and seeing his trees, we were pretty scared that this tree was going to end up enormous!  All his trees were huge, it was like a jungle in there.  And the scariest part - he'd only been there about 11 years, so all of the trees were about 10-11 years old, and seriously, they were huge.

But, after looking at a lot of information online about this tree, I feel confident that it is going to be the one we need for our yard, and that it won't grow as huge as some of his crazy large trees.

Getting it OUT of the truck was a  lot easier than loading it up.  We got it rolled out, loaded on a dolly and plopped into its new home in no time.  Well, we did have to take a time out to cut a couple of branches on the avocado tree, but that was just a little blip.

That avocado tree will be leaving sometime in the next year or so.  It's a very messy tree, it drops leaves and branches and avocados all over the yard, and we don't want it making a mess for our future pool.  We want a tropical type of backyard, so this tree is going to take it's place.  It will take about a year for it to get fuller and recover from the transplant, but I think by this time next year it will be a gorgeous full palm.  Here's a pic of what we are looking forward to:

Even if it grows fast, it will take 10-12 years to get too large, and we are not afraid to remove it if it becomes unworkable.  The guy who we got it from said, "sometimes, a chain saw is the best solution."  And that's a guy who is ALL about palms.

Another thing we worked on for the yard is something I saw on Pinterest -- I want to attract birds and butterflies, and I thought if I added a birdbath to the front maybe I'd get some birds visiting.  So I was looking around to see a DIY birdbath, and I ran across this one:
Not really what we need fro the front yard, but I liked it anyway -- so last week we did a thrift shop run and bought a few vases, bowls and platters, and this is what we came up with:

A little fancier than most of the stuff we like, but it's sparkly and nice and hopefully, it will give the birds a second thought when they fly by.  Behind that is a cordyline plant that we got off CL, but right now he's looking kind of wilted.  Hopefully, both the palm and the cordyline will bounce back and we'll continue to collect plants for next year's big backyard project. 

Oh, and by the time we got home and got this tree in the ground, the power was back on, and we've been relaxing in the AC since then!

Livistona ChinensisLi
Livistona Chinensis

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