Martin Gibbons, c/o The Palm Centre

By the time you read this, Christmas will be over for another year, and 1998 will be upon us. Although January and February often bring the coldest and consequently the most dangerous weather for us palm enthusiasts, I always look forward to the turn of the year because it seems that even after the first couple of weeks the evenings are already getting lighter, there is a feeling of coming out of the gloom instead of going into it and it seems like just a matter of time before spring is here. Unfortunately as soon as spring does arrive, I go into a tailspin of a panic in the sure and certain knowledge that it will be over almost before it's begun and before we know where we are it will be next Christmas.

So before we leave 1997 let's look buck at the various events that made it such a great year for us palm people. Firstly, and on a personal note, The Palm Centre moved location to its new and much bigger site. The move took place in early April and the precise details are best forgotten, though I do remember frantic weeks of painting and decorating, unplanting and replanting, fixing shelves and shade houses, polytunnels and planning permissions, irrigation and invitations, and moving so many plants: Archontophoenix and Zombia, Areca and Zalacca, Arenga and Zamia.

No sooner was the new nursery up and running but it was time to leave for our Indian trip. Meeting 12 enthusiasts at Heathrow and getting them hack there in one piece, with all those flights, trips and visits, coach and bus tours, exotic meals with exotic friends, in between was a challenge but a most enjoyable one. Shortly after our breathless return Richard Darlow and friends were off to Cornwall for what sounds like an equally enjoyable trip to the southwest of England where they saw an unbelievable number of exotic plants.

While this was going on the International Palm Society held its midterm meeting in the U.K., beginning with a get-together at The Palm Centre (in the pouring rain), and continuing over the next few days with the more serious business of board meetings etc, interspersed with trips to Kew, Leonardslee, Wisley etc., and rounded off with a trip to the south of France where our brother-inpalms Jacques organised more events.

With spring already a memory and summer well on its way, another meeting of the EPS took place, this one in Germany, at the famous Palmengarten in Frankfurt, in June. Well attended by over 70 members, it included tours of the glasshouses and grounds, as well as slide shows and talks. It seems it may become an annual event.

Our main meeting of the year was of course our get-together in Spain, our fourth such gathering, the others having been at Kew, the south of France, and Rome. Originally it had been considered impossible to organise meetings for a group whose members were so widely spread but where there's a will there's a way, and these days it doesn't seem to be a barrier.

What other palmy events will 1997 be remembered for? Well, for one thing, the new species Trachycarpus oreophilus from Thailand, was published formally in the October issue of Principes, the journal of the International Palm Society, and T. latisectus likewise in the Edinburgh Journal of Botany. This completes the 8 species which we currently see as making up the genus.

Four issues of Chamaerops will have been published and distributed, this being no 28, marking the end of our 7th year. It's the year when our translators worked overtime to get the magazine translated into French and German, so that many non-English speaking members will no longer be at a disadvantage. Italian and Spanish versions are still on the drawing board, watch this space!

Finally, the weather: a freaky and sometimes bitterly cold winter, an unpredictable spring, with lots of sun but lots of rain, finally working itself out into a long, hot summer, with occasional torrential downpours. Perfect palm weather! All in all, not a bad year for palm lovers everywhere.

So, with fond memories of '97, may I wish you all the happiest of Happy New Years, and all the best for '98. Martin Gibbons, Editor.


  02-02-23 - 12:30GMT
 What's New?
 New palm book
 Date: 24-05-2004

An Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms
by Robert Lee Riffle, Paul Craft.
 New: Issue 48
 Date: 24-05-2004
Chamaerops 48
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, 14, 15 and 16 have been added to the members area. More than 250 articles are now online!
 42 as free pdf-file
 Date: 05-08-2002
Free Download! Chamaerops No. 42 can be downloaded for free to intruduce the new layout and size to our visitors
 Issues 17 to 20
 Date: 23-07-2002
Chamaerops mags 17, 18, 19 and 20 have been added to the members area. Now 218 articles online!
 Book List
 Date: 28-05-2001
Take a look at our brand new Book List edited by Carolyn Strudwick
 New Book
 Date: 25-01-2001
'Palmen in Mitteleuropa'
by Mario Stähler
This german book tells you all about how to cultivate your palms in Central Europe. more...