A couple of weeks back Trevena Cross received a container of small palms from Spain – a lovely assortment of very affordable but very striking palms that would fit perfectly into any subtropical planting scheme or seaside garden. They can be found across the garden centre, some grouped together and others simply dotted about, helping to create our very own subtropical look across the centre!
Hardy (some extremely hardy!) and able to create that ‘wow factor’ statement in a garden, they have been chosen because we at Trevena Cross believe them to be the ultimate in palms, for a UK (especially Cornish!) climate.
So what’s up for grabs?
Chamaerops humilis: A tough, evergreen palm, which forms a rounded clump of fan shaped exotic foliage, with that classic Mediterranean look (ultimate height approx. 2m). It withstands salt laden winds well making it a great choice for coastal gardens. A great focal point in a large pot or in the garden, in a sunny, free-draining position.
Chamaerops humilis ‘Vulcano’: A striking, compact version of this tough, evergreen palm, which forms a rounded clump of tight, fan shaped exotic foliage, with that classic Mediterranean look (ultimate height approx. 2m). Slower growing than the standard. It withstands salt laden winds well making it a great choice for coastal gardens. A great focal point in a large pot or in the garden, in a sunny, free-draining position.
Chamaerops humilis ‘Cerifera’: A blue/silver foliage variety of this tough, evergreen palm, which forms a rounded clump of fan shaped exotic foliage, with that classic Mediterranean look (ultimate height approx. 2m). Must see full sun to achieve the blue colour! Slower growing than the standard. It withstands salt laden winds well making it a great choice for coastal gardens. A great focal point in a large pot or in the garden, in a sunny, free-draining position.
Trachycarpus wagnerianus: A rare, very tough hardy palm – in fact toughest of the palms – and variant of Trachycarpus fortunei, that withstands salt winds, making it the perfect single, trunk forming palm tree for seaside gardens (ultimate height approx. 2m). It is slower growing than Trachycarpus fortunei but with stouter, tougher leaves that do not get damaged by wind gales, making it great for exposed positions, in a large or small garden.
Trachcycarpus fortunei: These ones have been brought down from our nursery – Also known as a Chusan Palm, this very hardy evergreen palm will provide a wonderful sub-tropical look (ultimate height approx. 12m). It forms an un-branched, single stemmed hairy trunk with large fan shaped dark green leaves. Small yellow flowers in early summer are often followed by blue-black fruit in autumn. It enjoys a good well drained soil in full sun or dappled shade. Great in all but the most exposed gardens.
Phoenix canariensis: A classic evergreen palm for that subtropical/ Mediterranean look, or as a lawn specimen (ultimate height approx. 4.5-6m). A great display of mature specimens (more than 100yrs old) can be seen on Tresco in the Isles of Scilly! Best positioned on a sunny, free draining slope. Grows well by the coast after a first year establishing (when it may appear to have taken a battering – but it will recover!)
Yucca elephantipes: This upright shrub/tree may have several trunks growing up from near ground level, on which, branches of stiff leathery leaves, up to 1m in length are borne (ultimate height approx. 8-12m). Flower spikes up to 1m in length can appear in summer on mature specimens for additional interest. Best overwintered indoors in a cool conservatory, where it is not at risk of frosts.
Butia capitata: Butia capitata or the Jelly Palm are slow-growing, eye catching ornamental palms with attractive, graceful arching branches of grey-green fronds extending from a single trunk (ultimate height approx. 3-6m). A lovely specimen in a sunny spot and well drained soil. It should be protected from severe frosts while it is still growing to maturity.
Cordyline australis: Although not officially a palm, this ‘Cornish palm’ is a great coastal plant, tolerating salt-laden winds well (ultimate height approx. 4-8m). Its lovely sword shaped leaves create a lovely tropical look – perfect for a Mediterranean style garden. Hardy, requiring protection from the harshest of frosts with coverage of the leaves. Choose a sunny, well drained site for this one to thrive.
Cordyline australis Torbay Dazzler: An attractive evergreen ‘cabbage palm’ tree with variegated cream foliage (ultimate height approx. 2.5-4m). A lovely focal point in a pot or a mixed herbaceous or seaside border. Grows on a single trunk until flowering – it then may initiate more trunks. Enjoys a sunny position in a well-drained soil.
Along for the ride also came a limited number of two Agave varieites – just as a nod to the succulents!.. And as great additions to our existing selection of succulents, which can be found in the Cacti & Succulent greenhouse, as well as dotted around the centre…
Agave ferox: A rosette forming, evergreen perennial succulent, capable of growing up to 4m! Hooked spines edge the grey/green fleshy leaves, with clusters of green-yellow flowers developing eventually (after many years.). Requires a very free draining sandy soil (with grit mixed through to aid drainage if possible) in full sun. Drought tolerant once established but ensure to water while establishing. Require little maintenance after that. Protect from the coldest temperatures/frosts in winter.
Agave montana: A beautiful architectural, rosette forming plant known as the ‘Mountain Agave’ (ultimate height approx. 1.5m). Originating in the mountainous regions of Mexico, it fairs well in the British climate, used to cooler temperatures than its cousins. Like other Agaves, it still enjoys a sunny spot in a very well drained sandy soil, and although hardier than most, it is still recommended to protect in the winter/coldest temperatures.
So next time you’re visiting – be sure to keep an eye out for the new range of smaller exotica (although we’re pretty sure that they will do the job of catching your eye all by themselves!)