Monday, April 04, 2011

A visit to The Palm Centre

This large Jubaea chilensis dominates the entrance to the car park.
Nestled into the former walled garden of Ham House near Richmond, West London is The Palm Centre. Despite its name Palms are not the only plants on sale, over the years we have bought a good selection of bamboos, ferns and of course palms.

We called in on Saturday morning before our trip to Kew, as we knew they have had several new deliveries recently.

One palm that we were particularly looking forward to seeing was Lytocaryum weddellianum, the miniature coconut palm. We knew in advance that they had had a delivery of these, and were not disappointed with the selection. The only problem was which one to choose, sometimes you see a selection of plants and its easy to choose the one you want, but we had real trouble deciding between a tall one and a very lush but smaller trunked one. In the end we decided to go with the heart and get the more lush plant, and now its home. I'm sure we made the right decision. Lytocaryum weddellianum is not a hardy palm tree, but will take some cooler temperatures and can cope with low light levels. We won't be planting this out but keeping it in a pot and moving it into an outbuilding for winter.
A row of Lytocaryum weddellianum. We eventually made a decision!

A greenhouse packed full of ferns
A recent delivery of Chamaerops humilis var. cerifera were particularly impressive
A large selection of Trachycarpus fortunei
We had planned to have quite a quick visit to the nursery, but ended up spending nearly two hours looking round, and as you can see we ended up with a car full again, although Mark at least didn't have to have a plant in the front of the car with him.

A car full of palms
The Palm Centre


  1. You know it's so different then what we see up North here. I know they're all over down there but I always think of them being inside plants. Bet you can't wait to get them where you want them.
    Goldenray Yorkies

  2. talk about impulse shopping! nice work! that place seemed like they had just about everything.

  3. I am so curious of that miniature coconut palm, as you described it. I wonder what it will be like when already old. BTW, which one of you is Filipino, is it Mark? Those are lots of plants in the nursery, amazed at the number of private gardens they will go to! Thanks.

  4. I love the way they wrap them for you. Nurseries here would never dream of doing that but it must be so much easier to get them home.

  5. Impressive plant packaging! Of course you stayed 2 hours - that place looks like a home from home for you two...

  6. This place looks fantastic...and the selection that you came away with looks quite impressive as well.

  7. It's a disease, I .. Need.. More.. Plants.. And this time palm trees! Looks like fun. Palm tree mania! We don't really have any nurseries like that on Vancouver Island, it's probably a good thing.. :)

  8. Shopping! Yippee! And what a great selection you had! I know how hard that must have been to decide. Looks like you got a trunk load, though.

  9. Thanks Cher, can't wait indeed! Managed to plant out a couple already, still thinking where to place one or two more, the rest will remain in pots.

    Janine, it was an impulse shop but thorougly enjoyed every moment of it. Really pleased with our purchases. They pretty much have everything that can be feasibly grown outdoors in the UK, and some houseplants too.

    Andrea, the miniature coconut palm is originally from the rainforests of Brazil. Apparently the maximum height is only up to 8' tall and remains slender trunked. The size makes for a good houseplant, in here at least :-)

    Missy, Janet, it's just a massive cling film wrapped around the palms for easy transport, simple but very effective. Janet, it's like being a kid lost in a sweetshop! :-)

    Jim, thank you so much! Honoured by the award! :-)

    College Gardener, it's a fantastic place indeed, and seems to improve every year.

  10. Haha Nat, agree with what you've said :-) There are a few members on British exotic forums from Vancouver Island and they have the same palms, there might be one or two palm nurseries lurking there.

    HolleyGarden, making decisions can be tricky at times. So many beautiful plants to choose, spoilt for choice!

  11. Exciting selections! Wish I had room for more. There are two outside the window I'm now facing, which the original owner of the house planted.
    I thank him all the time, though we've never met.
    Jubaea chilensis is a magnificent tree -- whenever I encounter a mature specimen it fills me with delight....

  12. Droool.....what a great GC! I like the look of those silvery Chammys.

    It's a bit of a family joke that one day I shall become like that elderly priest character in Father Ted (Father Jack), who sits in his chair all day and shouts 'Drink!' etc...Only I shall shout 'PLANTS!" LOL


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