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Martin Gibbons, c/o The Palm Centre
Chamaerops No. 16, published online 23-08-2002

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Late Start

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) in Pakistan.

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, Jacques!

Binder Reminder

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!

Garden News

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!

Phormium Photos

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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