Archive for March, 2009

Palms of Switzerland Männedorf

March 16, 2009

Palms of Switzerland Männedorf/ZH

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On our second day of Palm Hunting, we encountered probably one of the most spectacular palms ranging between 9 and 10 meters in height. Unfortunately, the owners were not available. So our story will follow as soon as we can reach the proud parents of these babies!

The first stop is in Männedorf, although the location is close to 400 meters above water level, the palms have been planted in a very protected location. With a southern exposure they receive the warmth of the sun’s rays from morning till evening, and through the earlier years when they were first installed, the wall behind them protected them from the fierce winter winds.

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We spoke with the owner, and it seems to be the trend, these palms were also brought back from Tecine, barely two years old, seedlings, dug up from a customer’s garden down in the south of Switzerland. They lost a few specimens over the years to the winter. In the early stages, first 5 years or so, they would wrap them up for winter, to protect the young growth from the snow. These palms are commonly known to withstand up to minus 15 degrees Celsius. But the snow, when it piles up on the leaves, can cause breakage, not to mention the heart of the palm is very tender and too much snow, over a long periond of time can cause severe damage to the new leaves soon to sprout. These palms were originally planted back in 1979, approximately 30 years ago.

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Aside the palm cluster, directly facing the street, is a beautiful Ficus, or Fig tree. As the garden is raised behind both the palms and the Ficus, they are nestled into a very warm and cultivating location. I imagine these palms will live a very long happy life.

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Within a few steps we took a turn down a smaller street and found garden after garden just peppered full of palms. Just incredible!!!

The Veiw of Palm Garden Drive:)

The Veiw of Palm Garden Drive:)

On this stop, only walking distance from the first location, we came upon the tallest specimen we have seen to date. This miraculous beast is definitely 9 when not 10 meters tall. Also planted directly next to the house, a two story at that, that has protected this baby for many, many years. We were unable to speak with the owners, but as soon as we get the story we will let you all know! In the same garden there were 3 other palm plantings. Directly across from the largest, some what exposed is a compact 4 to 5 meter specimen. And close to the entrance, also directly on the wall, a nice multiple stem specimen, much shorter than the other two, but nonetheless breath taking.

There was a garden directly before this one which was also covered with palms of every imaginable size, from 3 to 5 years old to probably 20 when not 30 year old palms. The tallest here were also between 4 and 5 meters. And in the same garden, we found two lovely specimens surrounding the entrance to the patio. Easily measuring 5 meters in height.

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This entire street is also sunken down off the main road, thus providing the entire area another form of protection from winds, as well as creating a warm spot, or microclimate being so close to the lake. In the last few pics you see the view from the Lake of Zürich, which these palms enjoy the whole day long 🙂

To Date the Tallest Trachycarpus fortuneii

To Date the Tallest Trachycarpus fortuneii

* Palms and a Fig

* Palms and a Fig

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A few gardens right down the Street, notice the enclave where the house are Located; totally protected!

A few gardens right down the Street, notice the enclave where the houses are Located; totally protected!

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The Veiw the Palms have of the Lake!

The Veiw the Palms have of the Lake!

The Palms of Switzerland

March 14, 2009

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Hi, we just got back from our first journey photographing the palms of Switzerland. We started in the town of Herrliberg. Here right across from the lake of Zürich, we found a small palm farm! We had the oppurtunity to speak with the owner of this garden and ask him a few questions.

After saying hello, I explained that I come from Miami and that I am fascinated with the palms he has grown in his garden, and if would answer a few of my questions for this report. He was very proud of his palms and proceeded to tell me their story.

I asked him if he personally planted all these palms, the latin name for them is Trachycarpus fortuneii, they call them here in native lanquage, the Tessiner Palms, why, because they typically are found in the south of Switzerland, an area that is known as Tecine, pronounced Tessin. He told me that he had planted these together with a relative, his brother in law. That for over twenty-five years ago, he and his brother brought them back to Herrliberg from the south of Switzerland and planted each and every one of them. He also explained that because of their protected location, there was no need to use any type of winter protection, as in most cases, the palms are wrapped up and protected from the cold winter winds and freezing temperatures. This occurs whenever they are planted in an open unprotected location, which is rare, but it does happen.

He also went on to explain that the palms were barely a foot high, a little over 30cm., when they installed them in the garden. They now range between 3 to 5 or even 6 meters tall. Incredible!!!

The owner was very proud about the triple trunked palm you will see in the pictures. He explained how after the first few years the originally palm they planted froze during a very cold winter, they just left the palm there and watched to see what would happen. Well, to his surprise, the palm sprouted new babies, and not just one but three, sprouting out from the original trunk of the frozen palm and now they are even producing seeds! Around the base of this triple you will alos notice seedlings, there are anywhere between 2 to 4 years old and are just part of the decoration for now.

Of course this is a residential garden, located directly next to a restaurant parking lot. But thoughts kept flying in my head as to what an excellent location this would be to raise and cutivate palms that are already aclimitized to this colder northern climate! Well enjoy the pics and I will be on the road again tomorrow search for the tallest palms north of the Swiss Alps! Have an excellent Weekend and look forward to showing some more incredible Palm Stories as they develop!

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What a Veiw they have of the Lake!!!

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And the few spectacular examples that are surrounding the entrance to this residence!

Ok Here We Go!

March 13, 2009

Well after a small time spent in preparation I am getting this Blog Up and Running!

My name is Rocky Bradley, I was born and raised in Miami, Florida. And for the last twenty years living in Switzerland!

Landscaping and Interiorscaping are my passions and I have spent my whole life being surrounded by plants, nurseries and people! As of January last year I have become the proud owner of my second discus hernia, occupational hazard as a Landscaper, thus I have had to stop working in my field and begin creating alternatives for income.
Well as a native Floridian, living not far from the Lake of Zürich, one of my favorite hobbies is locating Palms planted in the landscapes and gardens here in the area where we live. Behind each and every single palm, there is a story. These stories tend to be quite interesting as well as informing to anyone who is interested in cultivating palms in cold climates, such as Switzerland.

For the next few days and weeks, we will be scouting the area, and reporting back to you with every new palm planting we have located, as well as the story behing the original planting! In some cases, the palms have been inherited by their present owners and then the reasearch and story behind the palm and reasons for planting, tend to be challenging to trace back to their origins. But we will keep you all informed and also provide pictures and descriptions that you all can follow this amazing trend that has been growing in Europe over the past few decades!

I wish you all Another Day in Paradise! And look forward to keeping you informed about the Palms of Switzerland!

Have a Fantastic Afternoon and Look Forward to Seeing You Soon!
Sincererly,
Rocky Bradley