Most people have a really bad sense of design when it comes to placing palm trees. That or they like the look of a putt putt course. Palms too often add the air of mini-golf or cheesy resort.
Palms should fit into gardens as they do in the wild. They’re not just for the beach either. In my home state, they live on the river islands in downtown Columbia palms naturally occur under oaks along the river. Even further inland, dwarf palmetto grows hundreds of miles inland.
In cities and suburbs, old palms often end up standing alone surrounded by grass or pavement. They can be grand that way but often are just sad. We can save the palms! Palms can add texture, color and evergreen leaves to any garden. The design, placement, contrast and integration of palms into a garden takes skill and an artistic eye.
Keep watch for a new book, Designing with Palms. It will explore the topic and it will have photographs from one of South Carolina’s most beautiful gardens, a private garden that will be on the SC Garden Fall tour Oct. 6,7 along with other killer Aiken, SC gardens. (click for ticket info).
A recent garden design project involved moving three mature palms. For decades, they tall but isolated. They were in a line, surrounded by grass at the edge of a road. It was a very 1950’s planting style. We dug them and moved them to a new garden in the back yard, where they’ll be a part of the garden. After all those years, these palms get to be near other plants. Touching. Boy, they needed a hug.
Here’s a video showing how we moved one of those palms.
Leave a reply below with the name the kind of palm in the video and we’ll put your name in a hat to win one of our new JenksFarmer Plantsman t-shirts!