I did a double take when I glanced at the magazine photos of our sunken garden as it was in 2003. Surely, I thought, the Chusan palms can’t have grown THAT much. Back then they were stubbly little things, no more than 4ft tall. Now they are at least 12 feet. That’s a foot a year. Some going.
Chusan palms are hardy anywhere in England, but they seem particularly suited to this part of the north west. A sign of just how hardy they are can be seen at the Newby Bridge Hotel, where I planted two of them in 1997. The climate there, at the southern tip of Lake Windermere is much colder and much wetter than it is here in Grange, but both are perfectly happy.
The ground around my Chusan Palms (Trachycarpus Fortuneii) is now spattered with yellow seeds which have fallen from the flowers. Some of these will germinate and its a comforting thought that they may, in my lifetime, grow into substantial trees- quite a different story from the Sago palms about which I wrote last week – Cycad Seeds