The Pacific Northwest Palm Epidemic

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    Since moving back to the Pacific Northwest, I’ve been taking notice of a landscaping trend that I find very unappealing. This would be the palm tree epidemic. Suddenly, I am seeing palm trees everywhere in northwest landscapes. What is up with this? These trees are symbols of sunny vacation spots like Miami or Hawaii. When I arrive in a tropical climate, I love being welcomed by palm trees signaling it’s time to let go of the day-to-day routine and order a drink with an umbrella. But when I’m strolling my neighborhood, I want to see rhododendrons, Japanese Maples, and garden beds lined with hostas and hydrangeas. I’m all for adding some elements of surprise and variety but these palm trees stick out in a very bad way (in my humble opinion.) They’re tacky. Yes, I said it.

    I’ve been trying to figure out the rationale behind this trend. Does it help people manage their seasonal affective disorder? Are these people who recently moved from a sunny location and the trees are a reminder of home? I really don’t know but I wish this trend would come to a quick halt! Am I alone on this? How do you feel about palm trees in the Pacific Northwest?

     


    March 20th, 2013 | girl has thyme | 4 Comments |

4 Responses and Counting...

  • Krysten 03.20.2013

    I think you nailed.it with tacky. We pass by a few everyday on the way to school and I alays think how awful and out of place they look.

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    girl has thyme Reply:

    They really do look out of place! They are right up there with pink flamingos in the driveway!

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  • I went to a gardening conference a few years ago and one of the speakers mentioned this gardening occurrence. Her theory was that some gardener a like to push the zones of where things will grow. I try to stick with what grows well in my zone and it’s definitely not palm trees.

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  • I disagree completely. The PNW enjoys the mildest climates in the North. I think that fact should be celebrated with landscapes that grow everything that is hardy there – which includes a few palm trees. They help to remind people of how mild their winters really are. I love seeing palm trees in the PNW. Brookings, OR landscapers can grow the same plants seen in San Francisco several hundred miles to the south.

    [Reply]

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