Jacaranda in the Mani

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CarolSmall

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Jacaranda in the Mani
« on: September 08, 2019, 01:13:47 PM »
I'm currently building a house in Agios Nikolaos Messinias, in the heart of the village and about 50 metres from the sea.  It will have a medium sized garden of about 1000m2.  I'd love to plant a Jacaranda in the garden but, whilst I've seen many such trees in Kalamata, I've not seen one close to my village. 

Given that they survive in Kalamata I assumed that they would survive in AN since it is, after all, about 20 miles further south.  Also, comparing the weather statistics for Kalamata and AN the average low temperature would seem to be even more favourable in AN (8c in February) than in K (6c in February).

But I have my doubts.  After all, as I said, I've not seen one around AN; and the RHS says that the minimum temperature they can tolerate is 5c - and I feel sure that from time to time the temperature must drop well below 5c, given that the average low is 8c.

Does anyone have any thoughts on this?  And, if you think a Jacaranda wouldn't work, could you recommend another tree of similar size and with a similar wow factor which would be suitable in a mediterranean style garden?
Carol Small.  Lives in Canterbury, Kent but building a house in Agios Nikolaos Messinias which will have a relatively large garden.  Worked in Investment Banking for many years, but now taking an interest in gardening and badminton.

Caroline

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Re: Jacaranda in the Mani
« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2019, 11:38:56 PM »
The received wisdom is that Jacaranda don't do well by the sea - but maybe someone with first-hand knowledge can comment? What season were you wanting it to flower?
I am establishing a garden on Waiheke Island, 35 minutes out of Auckland. The site is windy, the clay soil dries out quickly in summer and is like plasticine in winter, but it is still very rewarding. Water is an issue, as we depend on tanks. I'm looking forward to sharing ideas. Caroline

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John J

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Re: Jacaranda in the Mani
« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2019, 06:18:25 AM »
Hi Carol, welcome to the Forum.
Here in Cyprus we are situated roughly 2 km inland from the sea at an altitude of approx 30/40 m asl.
We have 4 mature Jacaranda trees (3 grown from seed). They do look spectacular when in flower but are rather messy when  they drop. The carpet of blue looks nice initially but less so when they get onto the soles of shoes and cat's paws and are trodden into the house!
As you say they will withstand a certain amount of cold but they do need protection from the wind while they establish, and as Caroline rightly says they do not appear to like coastal locations.
As for a few possible alternatives:-
Bauhinia variegata (Orchid Tree), the variety 'Candida' has white flowers.
Cercis siliquastrum (Judas Tree)
Grevillea robusta its shallow roots can be invasive.
Koelreuteria paniculata (Golden Rain Tree)
Lagunaria patersonii native of Australia, withstands coastal conditions. Spectacular when covered in waxy, pink flowers. On the down side not for nothing is it called the Cow Itch Tree as seed pods are full of highly irritant 'hairs', so careful siting is essential.
Melia azedarach tolerant of most conditions. Fragrant flowers in spring followed by poisonous berry-like seeds that create a mess when they fall.
Paulownia tomentosa (Empress Tree) Tolerant of frost. Foxglove-like flowers and giant velvety leaves. Very fast growing. Does better with some wind protection.
As I said just a few suggestions, there are several more that I'm sure would be suitable.
Cyprus Branch Head. Gardens in a field 40 m above sea level with reasonably fertile clay soil.
"Aphrodite emerged from the sea and came ashore and at her feet all manner of plants sprang forth" John Deacon (13thC AD)

Caroline

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Re: Jacaranda in the Mani
« Reply #3 on: September 09, 2019, 10:57:55 PM »
Metrosideros excelsa, Pohutukawa.  Very tough, flowers at Christmas time here in a blaze of red, but takes a while to get established.
I am establishing a garden on Waiheke Island, 35 minutes out of Auckland. The site is windy, the clay soil dries out quickly in summer and is like plasticine in winter, but it is still very rewarding. Water is an issue, as we depend on tanks. I'm looking forward to sharing ideas. Caroline

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Alisdair

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Re: Jacaranda in the Mani
« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2019, 11:37:45 AM »
Caroline, Go ahead and plant your jacaranda. Our holiday home is very close to you: on the edge of Lekftron, just above Stoupa - a few minutes' walk from the sea. We planted two jacarandas there about 25 years ago and they have grown very well in spite of the occasional salt-laden gales. I'm told they flower every year, though we're always a little too early to see them ourselves (we go only in "gardening times", early spring/late autumn/midwinter). Koelreuteria also does very well for us, as does Melia azedarach, both producing lots of self-sown seedlings.
Alisdair Aird
Gardens in SE England (Sussex); also coastal Southern Greece, and (in a very small way) South West France; MGS member (and former president); vice chairman RHS Lily Group, past chairman Cyclamen Society