The palms that grow in our New Zealand climate are those rare species that can tolerate colder climates. The Cotton palm, Jelly palm, Date palm and Fan palm are all able to manage not only the cooler climes but can also handle the stormy coastal winds and even light frosts.
Palm leaves can be long and divided, like giant fern leaves – called ‘feather palms, or they can be rounded and fan shaped – called ‘fan palms’. Palms are exceptional specimens to use in the landscape design when desiring to create a ‘tropical’ feeling in the garden – that relaxed and ‘beachy’ look that gives the illusion that you are living on a desert island. Sit on a lounger under the palm and call for a Pina Colada!
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And then there are the Cycads. These prehistoric plants are thought to have been a delicacy of the Dinosaurs! Imagine a creature eating a Cycad. Sounds like sacrilege. But these wonderful, ancient and slow growing gymnosperms are well worth including in the landscape design or in containers if you are a patient sort.
A tough and hardy deciduous shrub with an arching network of bare branches that usually have thorns. In winter these are covered with clusters of tight buds that open out to double pink flowers. Nice complementary fresh green foliage. Very showy, good for floral art. Easy to grow.