Tobias W. Spanner, Tizianstr. 44, 80638 München, Germany

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On a recent trip to New York City, I had the chance to visit the site of the World Trade Center disaster. I had been up on top of one of the twin towers only a couple of years before, to enjoy the impressive view over the greatest city on Earth; now there was nothing but a gigantic hole in the ground. To my surprise, most buildings around the immediate site had already been restored completely; only on a few was there still damage visible, caused by the falling debris of the WTC. Apparently a lot of the glass on the World Financial Center, including that of a glasshouse between two of the buildings, was severely damaged. I had recently seen a short article in one of the many palm magazines I get (unfortunately I have not been able to find it again), where the author talked about the palms that were housed in this glasshouse at the WFC and their destruction in the course of the 9/11 events. I am happy to report that the palms are back! In the center of the courtyard stand sixteen tall, perfect Washingtonia robusta, all the same size. As you can see from the cover of this issue, these palms in this amazing setting present a very impressive sight. I was informed that the original plants had, in fact, been so severely damaged by falling glass that they had to be replaced.

The glasshouse at the WFC with its palms is, for me, a perfect example of how palms CAN be used in indoor landscaping even in a very formal and elegant setting. Those who claim that palms make places look like cheap holiday resorts need only glance at the cover of this issue to see that this need not be the case. Palms make an immensely stronger statement than the mostly boring plants normally used in such a setting. I believe this kind of display, especially when staged in as prominent a place as the WFC, is so important for palms if they are to appear in the public eye as more than just props in a lovely Hawaii-style backdrop, complete with romantic sunset. Palms can, in fact, be used in serious and even formal landscaping. My wish is that indoor landscapers would have just a little more imagination, as demonstrated in this impressive example, and that they would learn a little more about the enormous potential of exotic plants instead of constantly resorting to the revoltingly dull and common Ficus etc. My apologies to any Ficus fans, but aren't most of them just tropical weeds? I would be very happy to hear from any of you about other such applications of palms or exotic plants in indoor landscaping, perhaps for a special feature in a future issue.

As I write this editorial for issue 46, we already have enough articles to fill Chamaerops 47 and have started editing. The first articles for issue 48 have come in as well, and if we receive more material at the current rate, I am hopeful we will be able to get 48 out to you in a few weeks. If new material continues to come in steadily, Chamaerops should soon be up-to-date. I hope you will enjoy this issue. T.S.


  02-02-23 - 10:51GMT
 What's New?
 New palm book
 Date: 24-05-2004

An Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms
by Robert Lee Riffle, Paul Craft.
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 Date: 24-05-2004
Chamaerops 48
has been published in the Members Area.
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 Date: 03-12-2002
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 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...