Sunday, 12 February 2012

Don't take palms for granted

Palms are an essential part of our garden. When we first began the garden we planted dozens of palms of different varieties - some in groves to provide shade, some in a line to form a screen or windbreak and some as individual specimens. The original ones are now about 5 years old and, while most are still not at their mature height, they are the tallest plants in our garden.
David from Tropical Texana asked me to show some of our palms. He made me realise that lately the only time I really think about the palms is when I'm collecting fallen palm fronds.

Palms form the skeleton and the background to the garden.

They tower over the rest of the garden plants, providing a layered effect as well as shade.

They compliment their underplanting of cycads, philodenrons, etc

They keep growing happily, even while the plants at their base get all the attention,
but, palms can also be feature plants.

Maybe I need to look UP more often.

The Bismark Palm demands attention with it's huge grey fan-shaped leaves.
Even though this palm is still young, its fronds are almost 2 metres wide already.

The triangle palm attracts attention with its shape.
The fronds grow from the trunk as a perfect triangle. 

Its trunk's not bad either.

...and when it comes to unusual trunks,
guess how the Red Neck Palm got its name.

Red, you said.
The Red Latin Palm has red fronds.
When they first form they are completely red, then change to green with red highlights as they age.

The Alexandra's seeds attract attention as well

especially from the local birds.

The inflorescence begins like this and then changes to red or orange as the seeds form.

 There is such a variety of colour, shape and texture in palm fronds.

I really shouldn't take them for granted.
Thanks David for reminding me. 


  1. We do tend to take our Palms for granted here don't we? You've done a great job in highlighting just how valuable they are in our tropical gardens.

    I just love that Red Latin Palm. That's one I don't have in my own garden. Another Palm I've been wanting to get for ages now is the Lipstick Palm. Just have to find a spot for it!

    Of course there's always the down side as well. Picking up those untidy fronds ... that's a never ending job!!!

  2. Drool!!! I LOVE your palms and in your location it becomes a backbone plant rather a prized feature one but their role is indispensable indeed. Gorgeous plants and a gorgeous garden!

  3. What a nice post! and me too, I lately see our palms just as high maintenance plants. Your post reminds me, I should step back and admire them more often.

  4. You have a lovely garden Missy, it is nice to stay there even if you always have to contend with those fall-offs! I love the red palm too. You should also get a Madagascar palm or travelers' palm, although it looks more like a banana with fronds showing like a big fan. In addition to the stalks falling off, i don't like those small nuts when they dehisce and fall on the ground. At least bigger nuts don't give those much problems.

  5. Palms .... (sigh) How I would love a garden I could grow palms in. (sigh)! Such lovely plants.

  6. A great selection of palms and a very beautiful garden. I think that bismarkia are one of the most stunning feature plants there are for our climate. Sadly mine didn't survive transplanting when I landscaped, but yours is gorgeous.

  7. Yet another reason not to take your palms for granted: for me they would barely make it out of their nursery pots to grow a few months in cold, clammy soil before dying an undignified death under a heap of snow. They're Strictly houseplants here.

    Christine in Alaska, no palms


I would love to know what you think and appreciate your comments.


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