Steve Swinscoe with a report of a wonderfully
palmy day. by Steve Swinscoe, Manatte, 32460 Le Houga, France Chamaerops No. 04, published online 23-11-2002
Hot, humid and heavenly! On the palm trail at Kew
The day that we had all been looking forward to
came at last! Saturday July 20th dawned bright and balmy over London
- a good omen for things to come on Palm Day at Kew. Wearing my
favourite blue shorts and colour coordinated T-shirt emblazoned
with multi-coloured palms, I set off through the leafy and flowery
suburbs of London Town confident that, appropriately attired, no
one could doubt my claim as a true blue European Palm Society Palm
Nut and Fou de Palmiers.
Kew Gardens (or to give it its proper title: The
Royal Botanic Gardens) is located in the western suburb of Richmond
and was founded in 1840. It covers 121 hectares and has on its grounds
and in its glasshouses over 30,000 types of plant from all over
the globe. Thus, probably the most extensive collection of any botanic
garden in the world. This was my first visit and I assure you, I'll
be back for more. The day before my departure from home in France
I received the programme of the day's events and my name badge.
After parking my car and spotting fellow Fous de Palmiers we headed
for Jodrell Gate and the Jodrell Lecture Theatre, around the corner
from the main entrance to the gardens. Jodrell was to serve as our
base of operations for the day's events. From 10 10.30 am Martin
Gibbons, editor of 'Chamaerops', greeted us at the door, ticked
our names on the list of people who had signed up for the day, and
invited us to enjoy coffee and biscuits.
We had the opportunity then to chat with friends
made on previous occasions and to be introduced or to introduce
ourselves to others whose names we were often familiar with from
what they had written. At last we were to see them in the flesh.
In all we were a grand total of 86 members of E.P.S. and Fous de
Palmiers. France was well represented with a total of 17 members
present, and in addition there were members from Belgium, Holland,
Germany and Sweden as well, of course as England, Ireland, Scotland
and Wales. Isn't it wonderful that a family of plants can draw so
many people together from so many different places to share their
enthusiasm, experience and knowledge?