hmmm maybe, but when some photos of the ones taken last year and I posted them on another forum, someone from the south coast (around Southampton area) commented on how good they look here in comparison to there.. they must have been trippin' right?
It depends where the person lived... Phoenix canariensis
will only grow literally right on the coast, even on the south coast. In 2010 specimens were killed just a short way inland, any off Portsea Island only survived in protected areas & by the time you got a few miles inland all were killed. They wont grow in my Mum's garden without protection for example, so if that person lived inland of Southampton they would be impressive as they probably wont survive where they live at all...
In 1947 and 1963 temperatures didn't go below -8C here, the minimum was -7.2C, but I have my doubts even CIDPs in Torquay or Southsea would have got through the relentless week after week of cold, even if it wasn't that cold ultimately as a final temperature. The problem with those hard winters, was not the absolute minimum figure but the fact it rolled on for weeks and months, even down south. No way would a Phoenix canariensis_Phoenix canariensis_CIDP survive those conditions anywhere unless it was seriously well protected. Would CIDPs have survived the -7.2C here.. of course not.
But they did
survive those winters on the south coast though. The old mature specimen in Torquay is testament to that & it would have been too big to protect, as it was already more than 50 years old when 1947 came around. Also the large mature ones on Tresco survived the -7C in 1987, they were damaged, but recovered. Maybe ones planted on the south coast are able to recover better or quicker before the next winter comes round?
FWIW the specimens up this way have put some appreciable growth on in recent years, particularly the West Kirby specimens, that have now really filled out - but it's your choice whether you choose to believe/accept that.. but CIDPs will never be anything but an isolated thing here.. and I accept that, because people just don't have faith that they will survive. Here someone sees a palm tree and thinks 'no that will die here'.
I will however get fresh photos of the palms, once CIDPs get to certain size they grow fast - actually, it seems they like relatively cool summers, as opposed to overly hot summers. Slow and steady is better than dead.
I can be certain of one thing though.. in my own garden, Phoenix canariensis_Phoenix canariensis_CIDP is impossible, and will always be so.. unless I move to the lower part of town, or near the coast.
Summer temperatures aren't even that bad here.. we have a mean maximum of 21C at the height of the summer, which is ok - yes nothing as warm as the south coast, but were talking comfortable growing temperatures where it matters.
I think you need comparison shots side by side to show the growth, as the photos I have seen don't look like they have grown very much from previous photos posted. If you look at ones side by side a few years apart of specimens on the south coast the growth rate is considerable & I would go as far as to say they are fast growing. One theory is that they need a certain mean annual temperature for optimum growth & summer minimum temeratures are more important than maximums. Portsmouth has average lows of 15C in July & August, which is the same as central London & higher minimum temperatures the rest of the year ensure they rarely stop growing altogether, so they slowly chug along in the colder months & don't go dormant & need to be 'kick started' into growth again...
I'm not saying it isn't possible to grow them in more sheltered & milder areas in the north, but I am still not certain that they will ever reach maturity (ie a large trunking palm)... But again I don't say this to put anyone off, I have grown ridiculous things in my garden over the years, which even the Scilly Isles wouldn't have risked! Many things died, but some things did grow well for several years (until the winters of 2009/2010) I don't see anything wrong with enjoying a palm in your garden for 'X' amount of years & knowing it will never be a tall trunking specimen in your own garden. Gardners in parts of Florida have this mindset, they will get a bad frost every few years that will kill coconuts & queen palms, but they simply plant new ones & enjoy them for a few years until the next bad winter. Too many people in the UK will lose a palm in a cold winter & say "They wont grow in my garden, so I wont plant any more" when they should be saying "That died in that cold winter, I will plant another & enjoy it until the next cold winter". If we inject some realism that certain species of palm will never be big enough to swing on a hammock from in our gardens, then we can simply enjoy growing these palms in our gardens at whatever size & stage of growth they are & the longer they survive & the bigger they get is a bonus