Palm mania crosses the Alps

The milder winter temperatures enjoyed in Northern Europe as a result of climate change are encouraging a palm mania which has particularly hit the UK. The country now has the biggest number of palm enthusiasts after Spain, Italy and France.Toby Shobbrook from the Palm Centre in Richmond, Surrey, which sells about 15 species of palms that can grow outside?elaborates on just how many there are ” There are probably tens of thousands of gardeners here in the UK who have one palm, since these trees have got into the mainstream of gardening over the past few years. The hard core enthusiasts who have got quite a few palms in their garden are about 1,000.”

A recent study showed that it is possible for Trachycarpus fortunei palm seeds to germinate and survive in the wild in Switzerland and up as far north as Scandinavia and Germany.


The Chusan or Windmill Palm as it is more widely known, is probably the most hardy palm which makes it an attractive and easy addiiton to winter gardens in the Northern hemisphere. Above is a wonderful specimen I discovered at Kew Gardens this Autumn. Chusan palms are easy to obtain:

The key to selecting and maintaining your palms through winter is to source them from a specialist nursery that has the knowledge and experience of growing these attractive plants. Always check how hardy the palm you wish to buy is and how much protection it needs – if any – during the winter.There are many excellent nurseries dotted all over the UK but here is a selection to inspire you to become a palm maniac like me:

SOUTH – see review at Read review at see review at



WEST – this mail order nursery is dedicated to growing Trachycarpus wagnerianus, the Miniature Chusan Palm or “Waggie”, from seed.

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- who has written 872 posts on My Climate Change Garden.

I am not an experienced gardener - more of an enthusiastic amateur who learns by trial and error and who is keen to "manage" the effects of shifting weather patterns on my garden. Writing this blog is my passion and it has evolved over 12 years to inspire engagement with climate change outside our back doors, in our personal gardens and green spaces. My mission is to fertilise and expand this platform to grow a community of global gardeners communicating about the effects of climate change on our plants and exploring how each individual can make small changes in our lives to become more sustainable. The future of our gardens and #OurPlanet is in our hands - please plant your own seeds for our collective sustainable future.

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