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Une visite à la française, A Visit with the French

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Palmarum

A Visit with the French

Past and Present...

Back in September of this year, I was made aware by Jeff Searle that he would be playing host to a visit by the French Palm Society. They would be spending the second day of their 12-day South Florida November visit touring his nursery and his residence looking over palms and soaking up the plant rich atmosphere. When I was told this I instantly remembered about an earlier visit made by the society; many years back in the mid 1990's.

Time passed through the event rich month of October, where during a ride down to the Oct. 28th auction meeting of the Tropical Fern & Exotic Plant Society, I remembered I photographed said visit and that I had the photos stored somewhere in my vast material storage. It became an instant endeavour for myself (inspired by Jeff) to find the photos in time for the upcoming visit, scheduled for November 12th. After searching and digging through decades of palm society related material, film photos, negatives and so forth, I found the photos. They were in an album dedicated to the Broward County Palm & Cycad Society, who was a partial host and sponsor of one day of activities for the French Palm Society. I made sure the photos were ready for the 12th of November (last Tuesday) and waited for the French to arrive.

Before I show you the recent visit, I felt it would be interesting to present some background first, by the use of my trusty time machine. Hang on to your seats, fasten your safety belts, and hold on tight, it can get a little blurry. It was faster to photograph the 'photos' instead of scanning them in one by one. The quality is about the same, as any difference was in the print itself which any digital repair or enhancement would have taken too much time for what I had intended to do for the topic.

[time machine noise 'wrrrrr... fizzle... lights flashing.. small explosions...']

French Palm Society - Fous de Palmiers

South Florida Tour

Montgomery Botanical Center

October 1995

During one day on their visit (back then as well as recent) the society was to tour the Montgomery Botanical Center. The event was partially hosted by the Broward County Palm & Cycad Society, of which I was a board member. The BCPCS was in charge of refreshments so we brought down and arranged lunch and beverages. I was in charge of the beverages and I remember making the mistake of loading the coolers - before- unloading them. They were rather heavy. The BCPCS members arrived early in the morning and starting setting up, before the Fous de Palmiers (crazy/nuts about palms) arrived later in the morning. Their schedule was tight and as soon as they arrived they wanted to see the grounds...

- Late morning, MBC - The tour was going to be given by Dr. Larry Noblick, staff palm biologist of the center [middle of frame, white shirt, blue jeans]. I had brought my Nikon film SLR of the time with me so it only seemed natural to photograph the tour, imagine that. The tour took off from the parking area and we started looking at everything.

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- As we moved through the palm groves a problem of communication developed. Larry would identify a palm by its botanical name, speaking it with an English accent, which the French could not understand. I thought quickly to solve the problem. I dug into my backpack and took out a spare pad of paper and a marker. I began writing the names down and holding the pad up so the crowd could read it, knowing the pronunciation may be different, but in print - Latin is latin. The idea worked. These were die hard palm people and they knew the palm by its botanical name as soon as they read it.

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- With Larry Noblick (left with the then dark brown beard) naming palms and me in tow writing down and displaying the names, we moved through the Center. I took photos now and then, trying to predict when I had to change film rolls. In the left of the frame with the big grin next to Larry was tour organizer Steve Swinscoe.

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- It was perfect weather for a walk through the palms. It was a bit warm for the French but they put that aside as they were on palm overload. To the left of center, Steve had removed his shirt to cool off.

[back to the present for a second] - When I showed this photo to Steve he laughed and responded with "I still have those shorts!"

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Ryan

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Palmarum

- The pace was swift and quick as I figured they additional places to visit during the day. We stopped to examine a rare sight, a flowering Mazari Palm, Nannorrhops ritchieana. Larry is standing next to the palm explaining the unusual inflorescence, as Steve is translating.

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- The Center was as breathtaking then as it is now. There were still signs of storm damage but it had recovered greatly. The center had suffered a direct hit by Hurricane Andrew just three years prior to the tour.

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- A few hours went by quickly and the tour turned and headed back to the front area.

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- Palm touring is hunger inducing. With the majority of the tour completed, attendees worked their way back to Nell's House as the lunch buffet awaited them. Those table cloths might look familiar. If you look close, other South Florida palm people were in attendance. I will give you special points if you spot Ken Johnson.

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Ryan

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Palmarum

- The lunch spread was perfect and hit the spot. It was a treat to not only visit the Center, but to be able to have a social gathering of palm aficionados from around the world in such a palm kingdom was grand. The grey and white coolers in the center of the patio were those of mine mentioned earlier. I still have them by the way, still decorated with the orange spray paint. The oak tree on the right still had bracing on it from Hurricane Andrew.

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- Lunch is served. Attendees began forming a line at the tables. A view of the festivities from the main vista with the Coconut Grove Palmetum in behind where I was standing.

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- The last photo I took of the event showed the serious lack of chairs. But everything was fine, everyone just turned lunch into a picnic. Problem solved. After lunch, the tour attendees left the Center for parts unknown and we bid them farewell, practicing our French to the best of our ability. It was a short, but great experience during the heydays of the 90's palm world.

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Ryan

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Palmarum

18 Years Later...

- Nov. 12th, 9:42AM - With the memories of that day at Montgomery running through my head a few ideas came to mind. As I was getting everything ready for the tour in the morning, I thought the same communication problem might come up again. I grabbed a few white-erase boards and some water markers thinking I might have to do the same thing I did as a kid 18 years earlier. As I got the photo album readied for viewing just inside the main shadehouse, I heard Jeff yelling my name from the parking area by the office.

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- The French have arrived! I made my way to the office parking area to find attendees dismounting from their rental mini-vans.

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- Introductions were in order of course, and they came in sequence presented by tour organizer and now familiar face Steve Swinscoe on the right, talking with attendee Jean-Pierre Flatrès on the left. Jean-Pierre is one of two attendees not originating in France, he is from Guadeloupe and came straight to the US via a short flight.

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- Steve presented Jeff with a special gift of homemade French pâté made by an attendee and gave both of us a recent copy of the French Palm Society journal, Le Palmier. The front cover featured a photo of Coccothrinax savannarum, photographed during a society trip to Cuba back in June. The main article inside was a day to day account of their great visit to the island nation, complete with many excellent photos.

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Ryan

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- Included within the copy of La Palmier were two ornate bookmarks/society memorabilia. They also served as handy society membership sign-up cards with areas to write in your information on the back. They are very nicely done and a great idea. The one on the right featured representations of numerous stamps from around the world featuring palms.

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- After we thanked the group for their gifts, Steve gave some background information about the tour to Jeff.

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- Jeff responded with a basic schedule of what he had planned for their visit. They would tour the nursery, then head on over to Jeff's house around noon, then eat lunch at a local diner, then continue the day over at Mike Harris's residence. The group had plans for the evening including a water taxi trip down the inter-coastal.

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- Steve then translated the itinerary to the rest of the group.

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Ryan

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- With the introductions and pleasantries completed, the tour started to move through the nursery. They went down the main road down towards the shadehouses, with Jeff providing background and history about the nursery and his family's involvement in the local plant world over the years. Many of the attendees spoke at least a little English, so the translation process was quick and was sometimes not necessary.

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- The tour took refuge for a few minutes under the Royal Poinciana that shades much of the main road near the shadehouses. They took time to discuss an array of topics, from their previous tours around the world to traveling here, there and everywhere in between. Many of the attendees have extensive travel records, with some visiting Madagascar on more than one occasion. Jeff included tales from his travels and they shared with their similar experiences. They also discussed palm societies, the IPS, the Palmtalk Forum of which some of them had no knowledge of, the local palm scene, palm sales, the palm market and more.

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- Once they started moving again, Jeff guided them through the open area under the Royal Poinciana to begin the tour with the small shadehouse. The tour was a constant ongoing combination of palm gazing, questions about history and identification. The small shadehouse held such palms as the Red Sealing Wax Palm, Cyrtostachys renda and other unusual species. They also spotted the palm individuals located around the area along with non-palm specimens of note.

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- They squeezed through the area between shadehouses and ventured into one of the planting areas. There are many palms in this one area so they had to move through slowly. It was about this time when I noticed the difficulty in communicating the palm names to the attendees. I took out one of the white erase boards and started writing the names down, much to the joy of the French. They took their time looking over the Caryota zebrina in front of us.

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Ryan

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Peter Pacific

Hi Ryan, I loved the tour with the French Palm Society and the old shots of the last visit. It looks like a great time was had by all.

That is one very nice Caryota zebrine in the last photograph.

Thanks for an interesting post and wonderful commentary.

Peter

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Cindy Adair

Wonderful thread with history, people and palms!

Thanks so much and I look forward to posts from this group of palmlovers on Palmtalk in the future!

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Palmarum

- This is an example of what I was doing with the white erase board. This is the last board left from the end of the day as we were leaving from Mike Harris's residence, featuring the names of his palms. As it would appear, I would write the name down and then hold the board up, pointing at the name with my finger... then wipe it off with a wet paper towel, and repeat. What would often happen, is after an attendee would photograph a specific palm they would want to photograph the name right afterwards. I would hold the board so they can photograph it, with my finger tip next to the name. There are now a lot of French Palm Society photos out there with my fingers in them.

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- The entourage moved through slowly but with purpose. We had to remember there was a schedule in place.

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- Jeff describes the growth of some of the palms in the planting area to Steve so he could translate.

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- We cleared the planting area and entered the side road by the entrance to the main shadehouse. There was something everywhere that captured their attention.

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Ryan

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Palmarum

- Many of the palms in the landscape they knew, even without the written name. The more cold tolerant species were well known to them, including the Beccariophoenix alfredii off to the left. They moved next into the main shadehouse, where I had the table ready with the photo album.

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- Their reactions were priceless. Especially from Steve, who was seeing himself in action 18 years earlier, doing the same exact thing he was doing at this moment, guiding the tour.

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- The attendees gathered around the table viewing the past with reference to what they were doing in the present. It was nice to not only witness their reactions but to know the search to find the photo album paid off in full.

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- Of the 14 members of the current tour, only 2 of them were in attendance for the first tour, Steve of course and the attendee towards the left in the red/white stripped shirt. However, many of the current attendees recognized many of those original tour goers in the photos. The French Palm Society is a close knit group and after all these years, they still know who the people are.

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Ryan

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- "This one got divorced, moved to Thailand, remarried and went seriously nuts about palms." Stories started to unfold regarding the attendees from the first visit. With Steve's help translating, Jeff and I started to listen to all these interesting side stories.

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- As soon as they entered the shadehouse and gazed upon all the palms the tour group fanned out in all directions, on and off the sidewalk. It did not take them long to find a large specimen of Mealy Bug Palm, Dypsis mananjarensis.

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- Same grouping as above, seen from the sidewalk. Every time I turned around the attendees were vanishing into the container jungle.

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- We moved as a scattered tour, with attendees rubber-banding back and forth from one area to the next. It did not take them longer than a few seconds to find the little white tags stuck in each container group. Jeff brought attention to a section of one gallon plants to explain one part of the process of growing palms in containers. One line of palms caught the eye of one attendee and Jeff said the name, but it didn't get understood, so the attendee turned to me and I started writing the name [JOHANNESTEIJSMANNIA ALTIFRONS] as fast as I could, with her laughing about halfway through the letters.

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Ryan

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Palmarum

- Hmm... They were here a minute ago.

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- 11:17AM - The schedule for most of the day was not set in stone, to keep things easy going, but certain events planned for the evening centered on catching a river taxi at a specific time, around 4:30. It was approaching 11:30 and they wanted to eat lunch around one o'clock, with the visit to Jeff's house in between. They spent a few minutes under the white tent looking over the collection of palm display cards.

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- Ambassador Dumbo2 stops to say hello after following us for much of the morning. They moved from one shadehouse to the next, stopping to view the margin of landscaped area connecting the two houses.

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- 11:44AM - We reached the end of the second shadehouse and then turned around to work our way back to the parking area. Before leaving the shadehouses, attendee Pierre-Olivier Albano of French Guiana and President of the French Palm Society, decided there were a few palms he had to bring with him. He was the other attendee visiting from outside France.

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Ryan

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- We swung by one of the full sun sections on our way out to look at different species of Butia and other palms nearby.

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- Travel time, with a slight delay. As we were driving from the nursery to Jeff's house one of the drivers got lost. We double backed to the last intersection and waited with the other van driven by Steve - as he was giving directions over the phone. We later found out that the attendees were looking over the petting zoo on the corner (behind the vehicles) and got distracted, missing the turn. It happens.

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- 12:31PM - Jeff Searle Residence. After the vehicles regrouped, they made it down the road to Jeff's house. They had about an hour to absorb it all. They dismounted and moved inside the gates along the driveway...

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- After handing out a few bottles of water and giving access to the facilities, the tour continued through the yard. It went mostly clockwise around the edge of the property, sticking to pathways.

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Ryan

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- 12:37PM - A brief rest along the driveway brought out the dogs. They came from around the property to see what was going on. Sadie gets a pat on the head as Brindle waits for her turn. Kona does his best impression of a speed bump. Afterwards, they followed the tour around the yard.

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- The group entered the full sun area adjacent to the driveway. They went from plant to plant pausing only to ask for the name. Jeff continued the tour by identifying individuals and describing collections by genus. There are many specimens of varied genera in this area, including those of Copernicia, Coccothrinax, Pseudophoenix, Gaussia, Dypsis, Sabal, and more.

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- Jeff would keep the group moving, stopping to give a story or two about certain aspects of the garden. With Steve translating, Jeff is giving the ages of many of the palms and plants in the area, much to the surprise of the attendees.

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- They moved on along a path, through one area dominated by specific Croton collections. They reached the shed in the back, of which I was standing in front of to take the photo. The attendees knew some of the other tropical plants found along the pathways, often identifying them to genus.

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Ryan

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Palmarum

- 12:53PM - The tour wrapped around the shed and headed towards the section known as Palm Circle over to the right of the image.

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- Steve did a superb job of keeping attendees informed and moving the tour along. It was approaching one on the afternoon and I sensed they were getting hungry.

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- [cameras clicking away continuously] Upon entering Palm Circle, the group were taken back by the sight of the impressive Kerriodoxa elegans that dominates this part of the area. Like moths to a flame, they were drawn to the giant leaves.

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- They took turns posing in front of the palm, and returning the favor in kind. Off to the left, the attendee in the yellow shirt was holding up one of the leaves so they could see the glaucous underside.

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Ryan

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- 12:55PM - I moved around to try and capture what was happening on the other side of the palm. I maneuvered around in time to see the attendee in the yellow shirt still moving the fronds around.

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- He seemed quite impressed with the palm, which is not hard to do. He continued to raise the giant fans to allow fellow attendees to view the coloration underneath.

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- The bulk of the tour reached the far corner of the property, and started to turn back around to the west side of the yard. Certain attendees were still out and about taking their own tours. Jeff pointed out the fact that when he first got the property about 12 years ago, there was only one tree planted in the entire lot. We pointed out other non-palms when the tour got near them, including the Philodendron maximum on the right.

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- Crotons were mostly new to the French, and they admired them for their array of colors. They often mentioned how they would love to try and grow them, but they would not survive back in their gardens. Jeff pointed out one of his favorite cultivars, 'Monarch' to Steve.

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Ryan

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Palmarum

- We started a westward trek along the back edge of the property. Jeff was asking Pierre-Olivier about the palms in his native French Guiana and the fact many of them are not found in cultivation. It was quite interesting to hear about how much of the country has not been fully explored for palms.

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- There was something to identify around every corner. My fingers were getting tired from writing, but it was worth it.

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- 1:17PM - The tour rounded the corner near the turtle pen and made its way back towards the house. We came across one of the larger Tahina spectabilis in the yard. The attendees were truly enamored by it. They knew the story about its discovery well and it was the largest specimen they had seen so far.

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- It quickly became the next item of interest for the French, but only for a few minutes. Steve and others began to usher the group towards the front in order to make up for time.

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Ryan

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Palmarum

- 1:19PM - Back to the patio. Our time at Jeff's place was coming to an end as many were thinking about lunch and the rest of the day. As they slowly moved back to the rental cars out front, the attendees paused here and there to notice as much as they could. Jeff took a moment to point out the newly planted Cyrtostachys sp. 'Hybrid' on the left to the group. The palm was mentioned back at the nursery, but this was a key moment for them to see a large specimen up close and personal. It was doing perfectly well in the full blazing sun and they were intrigued about the idea of a cold tolerant Sealing Wax Palm relative.

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- Host Jeff Searle with fourteen members of the French Palm Society, Fous de palmiers, and of course, Brindle the dog. One of the attendees wanted a group photo and as soon as their designated photographer took their shot, I stood up on the chair and took this one.

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- Onwards to lunch. After seeing the large trees at the nursery, they could easily identify the Beccariophoenix madagascariensis 'windows' on the right.

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- "Can I go to lunch too?"

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Ryan

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Palmarum

- Jeff and I led the tour over to a local diner in Weston for lunch around 1:30 in the afternoon. Steve made sure all the attendees knew they were pressed for time and to eat quickly. They collectively ate through lunch in about an hour. Jeff and I sat with Jean-Pierre and Pierre-Olivier as we talked palms and inhaled lunch all at the same time. Near the end of lunch, Pierre-Olivier gave me one of his awesome business cards. It featured custom drawings of two palms, Manicaria saccifera on the left and Mauritia flexuosa on the right. A work of art.

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- 3:03PM - Mike Harris Residence, Palmboo Gardens - After our speedy lunch, we guided the tour over to Mike Harris's garden for a brief but enjoyable visit. The attendees dismounted and gathered along the driveway for a short introduction.

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- With Steve translating in the center, to the right of him is groundskeeper Greg K. welcoming the visitors and giving an introduction to the garden.

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- Certain visitors could not wait and darted off to the pond.

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Ryan

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akamu

Thanks for taking the time to share these photos its nice to see palm people having a great time in other parts of the world. I think the pit bull takes the cake on looking the most enthused. :)

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Palmarum

- 3:04PM - Jeff plays with one of Mike's dogs for a second as Steve was giving the attendees a time frame for their visit. They needed to leave by around four o'clock in order to make it to downtown Ft. Lauderdale for the water taxi.

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- Greg continued to describe the collections found in the garden and gave an idea of how they will proceed through on the tour. They would round the pond in the back and then cross the north side of the property, ending up in the front -- finishing back up at the house. Jeff continued to play with the dog as Jean-Pierre asked him what breed he was. Jeff told Jean-Pierre he was a "mutt" which in turn caused a little confusion. They went back and forth until Jean-Pierre figured it out, causing them both to laugh.

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- The garden tour began on the south side of the pond in an area known as 'Corypha land'. We moved through a collection of Beccariophoenix specimens and different Copernicia when we came to the first in a grouping of Corypha species. Jeff had moved ahead and had climbed this impressive Talipot Palm, Corypha umbraculifera, and was on his way down when we noticed him.

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- The French wanted photos of course, so as soon as his feet touched the ground they sent him back up with hand gestures and verbal orders. He climbed back up to where he was and turned to the attendees on my right and waved as if he was on parade.

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Ryan

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Palmarum

- He was thinking of going even higher, but after getting a closer look at the sharp petiole edges he chose not to.

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- I walked around to the backside of the palm above to capture the group as they viewed the C. umbraculifera. Jeff being himself, or at least emulating other Forum members' behavior.

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- As we moved through the section I started to notice many additions to the garden made since my last visit. Mike is always adding to his collection, including more palms and crotons where ever they may find room in his yard.

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- Passing through Corypha land, we entered the southeast corner of the property. It is an open area dedicated to full sun palms.

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Ryan

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Moose

- The lunch spread was perfect and hit the spot. It was a treat to not only visit the Center, but to be able to have a social gathering of palm aficionados from around the world in such a palm kingdom was grand. The grey and white coolers in the center of the patio were those of mine mentioned earlier. I still have them by the way, still decorated with the orange spray paint. The oak tree on the right still had bracing on it from Hurricane Andrew.

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- Lunch is served. Attendees began forming a line at the tables. A view of the festivities from the main vista with the Coconut Grove Palmetum in behind where I was standing.

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- The last photo I took of the event showed the serious lack of chairs. But everything was fine, everyone just turned lunch into a picnic. Problem solved. After lunch, the tour attendees left the Center for parts unknown and we bid them farewell, practicing our French to the best of our ability. It was a short, but great experience during the heydays of the 90's palm world.

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Ryan

An 18 year old bump - oh, you gotta love it. The pre Palm Talk era.

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Palmarum

- The tour ventured near to the waters edge. A few palms of note were located here that would benefit from an increased water supply. Jeff and Pierre-Olivier first look over the Orania ravaka on the left before moving to the Dypsis aquatilis, Jeff is pointing to.

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- Right above where we were located stood a pair of mature Metroxylon vitiense. As we were standing in the shade they produced, we noticed a few immature scale-covered fruit lying upon the ground. Each palm had a large inflorescence and were in the process of hopefully making an impressive amount of seed.

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- Attendees gathered around different palms taking a closer look as Greg and Steve pointed them out. The large cluster of Arenga australasica on the left caught their attention immediately.

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- We left the corner dominated by full sun palms and made our way down the shaded pathway along the east edge of the pond.

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Ryan

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Palmarum

- 3:23PM - Time was not on sides with the tour. We tried to keep a brisk pace but it was difficult due to the time spent on translating and writing names. On the left, Greg was identifying a palm. Then a second later he turned to me at the same time the attendees on the right came walking towards me looking for the written name. Camera down, board up.

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- A surprise was waiting for us as we rounded the next turn at the north-east corner of the property. A mature specimen of Pinanga fractiflexa was in full bloom and had a great fragrance. Jeff entered my shot to take a whiff.

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- A view of the entire palm. The fragrance was reminiscent of a gardenia mixed with an orchid, it was quite remarkable.

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- An attendee gets in close to take a macro photo of the flowers.

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Ryan

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Palmarum

- We passed through the extensive collection of Attalea species and moved towards the peninsula that juts out into the pond, beginning our westward leg of the tour.

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- 3:37PM - It was a bit crowded on the peninsula, but it was worth the careful navigation to capture the enthusiasm the French Palm Society members have for palms. A perfect clump of Euterpe oleracea is straight ahead, to the right of center and the water-edge grown Red Sealing Wax Palms, Cyrtostachys renda are on the right.

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- Towards the left, Pierre-Olivier massages the trunk of a large Orania palindan.

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- Back on the mainland, the attendees finish viewing the palms out on the peninsula as they move towards me.

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Ryan

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Palmarum

- 3:44PM - We passed under the large Banyan tree that anchors this side of the garden. I stopped to take a photo of the pond reflecting the palms on the far side. That 'line' cutting through the sky in the right of the image is one of the hanging roots reaching down from branches above.

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- The tour began to quickly run out of time. We left the Banyan tree behind and entered the open field. As I turned around to walk uphill, I noticed the arrival of the tour's host.

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- Tour Host and Forum member Mike Harris (waykoolplantz) had arrived home at this time and walked down from the house to greet his visitors. He and Steve shake hands as they exchange introductions.

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- Mike introduced himself to the group and with Steve's assistance, he welcomed the attendees to his garden.

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Ryan

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Palmarum

- 3:50PM - It was time for formals again. With guide Greg K., and hosts Mike Harris and Jeff Searle joining them, the attendees pose for another group photo beside the pond.

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- The tour had about ten minutes left to spare for the garden. They decided to take a quick jaunt through the remaining sections. One of Mike's older dogs had been hesitant to be around us, but approached as soon as they saw Mike walking nearby.

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- First stop on the last dash through the yard was the section rich with Dypsis species. Attendee Jean-Pierre notices the heavy tomentum on the leaf bases belonging to this Dypsis commersoniana.

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- Not far away resided this mature and rather tall Dypsis paludosa. It has a nice combination of crownshaft and leaf base color that was washed out slightly by the flash. The palm had an impressive inflorescence that was so large I could not back up enough to include it with the crown.

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Ryan

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Palmarum

- Here is a view of the inflorescence belonging to the Dypsis paludosa, seen from the opposite side of the palm as viewed above. It is heavily pendant under the weight and appears to be working on a small batch of seed.

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- 4:03PM - The rest of the garden was basically jogged and sprinted through as the time passed four in the afternoon. They had to go soon even with anticipating light traffic heading into the city. On the way back to the rental vans, the group encountered another fragrant palm, Chamaedorea fragrans.

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- The peak of fragrance is a tricky thing to predict with this palm. At times you can smell it from an acre away, other times you have to get real close. There was one immature staminate inflorescence that was close to opening, but not quite, so it had only a slight smell. Jeff held back part of the palm so others could get in close to smell it.

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- During the march back to the cars, I got a quick shot of a small and happy Cyphosperma balansae growing in the leaf litter.

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Ryan

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- 4:10PM - The last palm the attendees viewed in the garden was probably the most significant. As they were walking to the rental vans they took a spare second to look over the sacred Double Coconut Palm, Coco de Mer... Lodoicea maldivica. Saying the French common name made them all smile. The largest leaf is now way over my head and had developed a small divided leaf segment. The segment was probably caused by contact at some point.

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- Walking around to the other side, I took a straight on view of the large leaf blade. The attendees had started to gather in a group behind me, in front of the house.

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- Looking down into the protective seed cage, I saw that everything was growing as usual. I have no idea when to check for when the seed separates from the base, but I would not be in a hurry.

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- I stood back to capture an entire view of the palm. It is well on its way to becoming a significant specimen.

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Ryan

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- 4:11PM - The gathering in front of the house concluded the tour at Mike Harris's residence. The attendees began to bid farewell to those of us not on the tour and took some last second photos of the surroundings. Steve handed Mike a few gifts to thank him for the visit to his garden and for being a gracious host.

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- Everyone took turns shaking hands with Jeff and Mike to thank them for hosting the tour today. Jeff could not help himself and shook Mike's hand for some reason, almost knocking the precious drinkable gift out of his hand.

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- The last photo showed Jeff and Steve bidding farewell to each other a minute before the attendees had to jump into the vans and speed off.

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Jeff and I left along with the tour vans and headed back to the nursery. The French Palm Society tour had a busy schedule but included some free days. They had it planned so they had two days on, one day off, two days on, one day off and so on. This was the second day of their 12-day visit so tomorrow, Wednesday was going to be spent at the beach. I knew they were heading to the Redlands on the fourth day including a visit with Ken Johnson, and a trip to the Keys at some point. I am sure they were going to have fun on every day. It was nice to both visit with the French Palm Society Fous de Palmiers and to assist them with identification once again.

Ryan

---<

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Pedro 65

Ryan..Great thread, glorious pics, interesting commentary :greenthumb:

Jeff.. "Top Gardens" you have to show and a massive nursery to boot :greenthumb:

Steve..Waykoolplantz..Wow, you have "Way Cool Gardens", some shots very much look they are taken in Singapore. :greenthumb:

Pete :)

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