Martin Gibbons, c/o The Palm Centre
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Chamaerops No. 16, published online 23-08-2002
Where to start this particular editorial? Yes, of
course: with my usual apology for the issue being late. This one
must be a record, caused by a 7-week trip to Asia in October/November,
followed by a 2-week trip to Morocco and Spain in December/January.
All very hard work of course and don't anyone dare mention that
word 'holiday'. Asia was actually great fun, though exhausting,
in those 7 weeks we crammed in China, Thailand, Burma, Nepal, Sikkim,
and Pakistan. We took 17 flights and drove some 6000 kilometres.
It was too much and too far and we were rather glad to return to
Europe, especially as we picked up a 'bug' (no, not the Mealy kind)
However, during our time away we saw, among other
palms, Wallichia disticha, Phoenix rupicola (both wild and cultivated,
in Sikkim), Nannorrhops ritchiana (millions of them, but almost
all cut to the bone, for their useful leaves, in Pakistan), and,
best of all, some new species of Trachycarpus, which you will be
able to read about in due course. Two of these, we can claim full
credit for, since their discovery was as a direct result of our
painstaking research and study. One, at least, is likely to be fully
hardy, so definitely a candidate for use as an ornamental here,
as well as on the continent. It will certainly give Trachycarpus
fortunei a run for its money!
Morocco and Spain were also most enjoyable, the
former for the blue Chamaerops humilis which grow in a few locations,
at high altitude, in the Atlas Mountains. They really are blue,
as blue as Brahea armata, and considerably more hardy, and faster
growing. Another exciting addition for the garden. Finally, to friends
in Spain for a few days' relaxation by the pool in the palm garden.
Gosh, it's a tough life!
A final word on the lateness of this issue: the
next one won't be far behind! We have so many good articles in store
that it might even be on time. Don't take that as an excuse not
to contribute though, we will always need more articles. This is
perhaps the spot to remind members that letters are always welcome
too, on any topic, complimentary or critical. It never ceases to
amaze me that so many people are quite happy to read the magazine
every quarter yet never dream of putting pen to paper.
Meeting En France
For European palm enthusiasts the big event of 1994
was our wonderfully successful meeting in the south of France in
September. It was a very good turnout and I think everyone had a
great time. You can read the write-up by Steve Swinscoe and Tony
King elsewhere in this issue so I won't elaborate. But we certainly
saw some palms! By the end of the four days most of us were suffering
from palm burnout.
On a less happy note, it was very unfortunate that
a number of us were ripped off by the hotel in Menton, and I should
take some blame for suggesting we 'pay now, sort it out later'.
Unfortunately, despite several letters, faxes and phone calls both
from me and from our good friends of the 'Fous' they refuse to budge
and hand back the money they overcharged us. It was only recently
I realized I was banging my head against a wall and gave up. We
all know which hotel it was, and we won't be staying there again.
I would just like to add my personal thanks to all
who helped organize the event, especially to Jacques Deleuze of
Corsica to whom all participants owe a debt of gratitude. Merci,
The Chamaerops binders have been very well received
by those who have purchased them. It's the quality, you know. Holding
24 issues, and blocked and printed with our logo and the name of
our society in gold, they cost a mere £6.95 including post
& packing for UK members-and £8.50 for those sur le continent.
Phone to order!
You may be interested to know that my own garden
is to appear on TV, on the BBC's 'Gardener's World' sometime around
the end of February. How does he do it? I hear you ask. Well you
can't keep news about Parajubaea cocoides growing in England a secret
for long. So if you want to see and hear me prattling on about our
favourite topic, as well as the designer of the garden on his favourite
topic, don't miss!
One of the articles waiting to go into Chamaerops
is on Phormiums. I want to publish it but I don't have any photographs
to accompany it. So if you do, please send one (or some) along.
P11 see that you get the credit when the article is published and
promise to return them afterwards. Thanks!
Vorsprung Durch Technik
Um unseren deutschen Mitgliedern die umstandlichen
und teuren (Überweisungen der Mitgliedsbeiträge etc. nach
England zu ersparen, haben wir nun auch in Deutschland ein Konto
eingerichtet: "The European Palm Society", c/o Tobias
W. Spanner -Sonderkonto-Kto.Nr. 33 64 50-802; BLZ 700 100 80. Postbank
München. Alle Zahlungen an die EPS können in Zuknnft auch
an dieses Konto gerichtet werden. Der Mitgliedsbeitrag von £15
entspricht DM 37,-. Martin Gibbons
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