Martin Gibbons, c/o The Palm Centre
Chamaerops No. 6, published online 23-10-2002
on this article:
Click here to read them or to add your own.
Less is more
The more observant reader will notice that a subtle
change has taken place to Chamaerops'. Instead of the A4 format,
which was bulky, tricky to post, expensive to produce, and generally
a bit cumbersome, we've now gone over to this A5 size which, I hope
you'll agree, is neater, and easier to manage. It's also cheaper
to produce, which means we can afford to have more pages and more
colour photographs. We now have a super-sophisticated photocopier,
which takes reductions and enlargements in its stride, so this is
the look of the future and so much more convenient to read on the
Another change, that won't be so obvious, is that
we've gone green! We're now using re-cycled paper (well it's 75%
recycled paper can't find any 100% recycled stuff that our new super-sophisticated
photocopier doesn't chew up and spit out). While my green leanings
don't extend to knit-your-own-muesli or weave-your-own-yoghurt,
it does seem to make sense to use second-hand paper, instead of
the new stuff all the time. Even though it is more expensive.
A related change that we've made in that direction
here at the nursery is that we now only use Coco-peat compost. There's
been such a lot of publicity recently about the destruction of peat
wetlands and the havoc that it wreaks; we've decided to make the
change. The environmental benefit is two-fold: one, that it greatly
helps the economies of developing countries where it's produced,
and two, that it's made from a waste product that would probably
otherwise be thrown away. If you haven't tried this coco-peat compost,
do give it a try - it's wonderful! Not only is it really light and
airy, it mixes well with other composts and soil, and it wets easily.
It's also absolutely brilliant for sowing seeds since it holds the
moisture well, and yet it's still light enough to allow the air
to circulate. Essential for palms!
Enfin, les T-shirts
I'm pleased to be able to tell you that the T-shirts
have finally arrived and are being sent out at the moment. Apologies
are in order for the long delay, but first we had to wait to see
if we were going to sell enough to make it worth while ordering
them (they come from the U.S.A.). Then we had to wait while they
were made and printed. Next we had to wait for them to get to England
by surface mail (10 weeks) and finally the Post Office took 2 weeks
to deliver them here. Anyway, here they are at last, and well in
time for summer. Thanks are much in order here to Mrs Geri Prall
of the South Florida chapter of the International Palm Society for
the design, and for agreeing to organize the printing and production.
Well done & thanks!
If these editorial pages are the opportunity to
express a personal point of view, I'd like to say a few words about
my particular bête noir. It is that weather condition most
loathed by us palm growers and that is wind, in all its many forms.
I've never quite been unable to understand its function in life.
It is the most destructive of Nature's many destructive forces (unless
you count earthquakes and volcanic eruptions and we don't get too
many of them in England). How often have I sat and watched the leaves
of in inappropriately positioned Trachycarpus thrashing about, blasted
this way and that, finally hanging down, broken and crippled, having
given up the battle against vastly superior odds. The very best
Trachycarpus fortunei always grow in areas that are not cursed by
this damaging weather condition, or are at least well sheltered
from the stormy gale. So take note, pick thy spot wisely lest ye
It's nice to see the Trachycarpus flowers starting
to appear again. Actually it would be more true to say that they
first start to appear around October or November. Then, at least
in climates such as ours, they go into a rather dormant state over
the winter. However, they soon make up for lost time, and as soon
as the weather begins to warm up, they carry on growing at an incredibly
fast rate, and can grow several inches in a week. My oldest plant,
now around 10 feet (3m) tall, is this year producing no less than
9 flower heads, more than it's ever produced before. Unfortunately,
it, and the only other mature Trachycarpus I have in the garden,
are both male trees, so no seeds will be produced. Even so, it's
an annual spring event and I look forward to it.
Two practical points next: First, if you change
address, please be sure to advise the E.P.S. along with your bank,
your employer, and your wife & kids. We've had a couple of issues
returned, 'Moved - no forwarding address' and although we did subsequently
discover where to send them, it would have been much easier to arrange
it in advance. The other thing is, if your subscription is due (there
will be a form herewith if it is), please renew promptly. It all
helps to keep down costs.
Thanks now, first to Stephen Becker, who again did
most of the typing for this issue, and who sent it down on disc.
Much appreciated. Also to Philip McErlean, who wrote the article
on page 13 and who supplied wonderful photographs, one of which
I used to illustrate somebody else's article (see page 22). A bit
of a cheek really. Thanks also to all the other contributors, too
numerous to mention.
Don't forget, we're always looking for articles
from new contributors, and it would be nice if every member were
to send in, say, one article each year, after all, everyone has
some story to tell. Your turn next? Do provide photos or a sketch
or two to illustrate the piece, and do put your name on the back
of the photos, and on the article itself. Don't worry about your
English if it's not your first language, we'll sort all that out
with pleasure. Martin Gibbons
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22-05-19 - 10:37GMT
|| What's New?
|| New palm book
| Date: 24-05-2004
of Cultivated Palms
by Robert Lee Riffle, Paul Craft.
|| New: Issue 48
| Date: 24-05-2004
has been published in the Members Area.
|| Archive complete!
| Date: 03-12-2002
| All Chamaerops issues can now be found in the archive:
More than 350 articles are on-line!
|| Issues 13 to 16
| Date: 28-08-2002
| Chamaerops mags 13,
have been added to the members area. More than 250 articles are now online!
|| 42 as free pdf-file
| Date: 05-08-2002
Download! Chamaerops No. 42 can be downloaded for free to intruduce the new layout and size to
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| Date: 23-07-2002
| Chamaerops mags 17,
have been added to the members area. Now 218 articles online!
|| Book List
| Date: 28-05-2001
a look at our brand new Book List edited by Carolyn Strudwick
|| New Book
| Date: 25-01-2001
by Mario Stähler
This german book tells you all about how to cultivate your palms in Central Europe. more...