We have absolutely enjoyed this meeting. It has been a few years since I visited Aquinas High School and Joe’s own garden and everything has taken leaps in growth.
The driveway to the school is a long stretch planted with palms and .... bougainvilliers in bloom planted in the ground. At the parking lot, as you are facing the school, numerous crown of thorns and plumerias, a beautiful variegated oleander all in blooms are the first ones to welcome you in this magnificent display. In the distance, Borneo giant and a very gracious chamaerops vulcano are waving at you. And a big smile from Joe who welcome you and give you a list of all his numerous plantings of palms and citrus and everything in between and who tells you “ this is the perfect season to visit here, trees are loaded with seeds, citrus have plenty of fruits, so help yourself and dig what you want to take home. I will have a shovel to help if needed”. Tom McClendon, now that he is almost a neighbor of Joe, was there as well to provide numerous informations on everything including in the citrus field which he knows so well.
Mature palms with huge trunks all around, citrus loaded with fruits indeed.
It is hard for me to choose one or a few in particular because I would give a good home to all his plantings at any time 😋 but if I had to choose a few the ones topping them all for me were the 2 magnificent brahea armata at the school with probably...... a butiaxjubaea of big size, sabal causiarum too ! At Joe’s home, a giant taitungensis with a trunk identical to a mature sabal (yes, that big !) and a wonderful gorgeous Nannhorrops ritchiana that Joe has grown from seeds no less.
Thank you Joe for having all of us and for your generosity AND thank you as well to all the nice students you have to help you make this place as fabulous as it is.