Dear Sharon, that was very funny. The same happened to me 12 years ago but my palm grew and grew. My little incident happened down our local market; there is a plant stall there, and the owner does not know a thing about plants, he just sells anything he can get his hands on, so he had a little sign up with indoor dwarf palms £1.00p for sale. I like palms so I bought a very small one, won't grow outside, remains dwarf he told me! Duly potted the poor little thing up and put it in the bathroom window.
Except it would not stop growing; I had looked it up in the RHS book and I was sure it was a Phoenix roebelenii, it had nothing about Perry Como in the RHS book, thank goodness!
Oh well must be a bit fast in its first stage then it slows down, no it didn't, it got bigger.
The wife was now moaning as it was taking over her bit of the bathroom, I was wracking my brains where I had seen a lot of these, was it at Kew, then it dawned on me the Canary Islands! He had only sold me a tiny (not now it wasn't), Phoenix Canariensis the Canary Island Date Palm! That thing gets massive, won't grow in England they said, so don't worry about it. Might grow in Cornwall they said not here, they were all wrong, well not about the size anyway. So now in the middle of my gravel garden I have a huge date Palm. I planted it there not expecting it to live, as the European palm gets blasted a bit there and that is hardy.
Sharon are you sure you have not given my palm some of them cold cures you wrote about?
Regards from England.
p.s the picture was taken spring 2008, so it has grown even more since then.
Oh my goodness, Neil, you have Perry's big brother over there!!
Is he growing outside? I can't believe it.
Oh how funny.
Now in all honesty, my original Perry Palm grew to about 4 and a half feet. He was always potted, and in summer he lived on the porch, but in winter he came inside. I really don't think he would make it through one of our winters if I left him outside.
Perry II, is just about 3 and a half feet, and perhaps that wide. He just got a trim and a new pot, so he is looking very handsome! I have not yet fed him any cold cures, and neither did I send any to yours. Yet. There's always tomorrow!
How fun, Neil, thanks for writing and for the picture.
Dear Sharon, I have just been outside with my new camera and taken some photos of the Canary Island Triffid!
I had to plant it in the ground outside as it got too big for the bathroom, although I did not expect it to live as it is not supposed to be hardy!
!2 years later, now look! I have to cut the bottom branches off, as well!
Sharran, Only you could take a plant like that and lug it around for so many years! I feel certain
that Perry Como I is approving of Perry Como II in that happy, tropical afterlife all good palms go to. Perhaps it isn't even a coincidence that Perry Como is in your life again.
Gloria, good morning, I do get quite attached to things, don't I? I guess my plants are no exception. I vaguely remember when I buried Perry I, I hoped he would miraculously rise from the earth with all new growth, but he didn't.
Hi Juney, yes...thankfully! But isn't Neil's gorgeous! His looks like a very healthy big brother to Perry.
Yes, we do get attached to plants. I have a small cactus that I bought around 1983; he lives on our kitchen window sill among other pots of cactus. I'd be very sad if something happened to him as well as my 15-year-old candlestick cactus on the porch. He was about 10" tall when I bought him at a yard sale. He's now about 7' high.
Neil, yes, I finally realized that when I re read your first message. Thank you for clarifying. Yours is really beautiful!
Hi Biv, very attached, yes. For maybe...oh, 40 years or so, I had what I called a 'birthday cactus'. Now I know there are no birthday cacti, but I had one. It bloomed every year on my birthday, and since the original was Mom's plant when I was little, I knew it bloomed just for me. I had it for many years, until sometime last year when it finally bloomed it's last bloom just before Thanksgiving, and then it simply faded away.
Now I have no birthday cactus blooming this week, and it feels very strange. It was a holiday cactus, or some call it a Thanksgiving cactus, Schlumbergera truncata (I hope that spelling is correct)...I gave many sprigs of it away over the years; I probably could find one if I really tried.
So there is no denying the attachment. I've seen pictures of your porch candlestick cactus, and I can see why you love it. I would too.
Sharon, what a wonderful story (as usual). I get attached to things like that, too, and they all have names and personalities! I am so glad you found Perry II! He's beautiful, and looks sooo happy there in your home.
Neil, your tree is indeed gorgeous, but I am certainly glad you removed it from the bathroom in time! What a stunner!
Dear Sharon, my wife has just had me in fits of laughter! She read your article and laughed, then commented that it was a good job it is growing outside as she would not want pictures of the bathroom all over DGs!
I did not get what she meant, till she shouted for me to have a look on her laptop!
Lo and behold she had zoomed it in and it was there on Google Earth!
My palm tree on Google Earth, is nothing sacred.
Well that has made my day a plan photo of my palm via satelite.
Cannot stop laughing now, whatever next?
That does not bother me as we have a lot of naked gardeners in the UK and it is not illegal, as long as it is on your own enclosed land!
It is just the Berberis bush that puts me off!
We even have a naked cycle ride through Hyde park , which has just happened, bit cold for naked cycling.
Plus a naked half marathon.
At Brighton we have a nudist beach, this caused controversy years ago when it opened, but nobody bothers now.
There was even a program on the TV about naked gardeners, although the sight of the man cutting the grass naked, with all that whirling machinery around him, did somewhat worry me.
Although it was amusing seeing his wife attending her cactus collection in her greenhouse.
Dear Sharon, one last question for you as I was laughing so much at the time, I could not answer.
If you do not tell her I will get her to look it up on Google.
The wife wants to know who Perry Como is?
I told her he was related to the Osmonds, but she does not know who the Osmonds were either, sad isn't it.
So tell her and I will pass the message on!
I know who he was, as my mother used to watch him and Val Doonican as well.
Sarah had not got a clue who he was, that is why I was laughing, so had to tell you. I will pass the message on, but she is more into me winning some tickets to go for her to go to the Jingle Bell Ball, to watch /listen to all the latest pop stars.
Most of which I have never heard of!
I am into military music and bagpipes.
As far as I am aware Perry Como holds the biggest Criminal record list, then Val Doonican!
For musicals Julie Andrews has the biggest Criminal record list ever released upon mankind for the Sound of Music.
Max Bygraves for being born and Vera lyn for the White Cliffs of Dover!
Sharon I cannot understand why you even like Perry Como, it is not like he even gave you a little palm. you had to pay for it!
Fortunately for the sake of my sanity my Apple Mac will not allow these links, to be played, claiming the electronic cruelty to computers act!
I am sure they will play on Sarah's laptop as she uses Windows, so that does not matter.
Val Doonican rings no bells for me. All I remember about Crystal Gayle is that awful hair that looked like a cloak. I've never heard of Max Bygraves. I only remember Vera Lynn as a dancer, not as a singer.
With hair that long, a woman reminds me of Rapunzel. And can you imagine the time and effort to shampoo and dry all that? Eeew. I know that women with extra long hair love it and are very proud of it. They just don't realize how much better they'd look if it were cut and styled; it could still be long, but it wouldn't just be hanging there like a curtain.
Dear Adina, it might well be worth researching it or it might end up like mine, far too big.
However look it up Botanically, not Sharons way of Record label/ artist/ song name, for I doubt you will find out much about it on iTunes!
Only joking Sharon.
Dear Sharon, not at all for I have found the whole matter hilarious, it has kept me amused for ages, plus I would not want a tiddly little thing like that!
Normally especially with American tourists, they take great delight in telling us how small everything is that we have and how big everything is in America.
So now it is roles reversed for you have a pygmy palm named after an Italian pop star, and I have one of the same genus the size of a house.
It has been great fun Sharon and I do think that some of your readers have had a chuckle as well, and if you think about it it was roles reversed in the first place.
For you got your little palm from your pop star and it did not grow very fast when you wanted it too.
I got mine not wanting it to grow and now it looks like something out of the Palm House at Kew Gardens!
I suppose it does not matter for you have your beloved Perry and I have a local landmark that people can navigate by!
Plus we have had a laugh so that is all that matters, although if I were you I would give your palm some food, and play it some decent music.
It might even grow into a proper tree.
OK, I now must weigh in here again. I have been sharing this riotous exchange with my DH, and he wants to know where he can look on GoogleEarth to see "Neil's Fabulous Driveway Palm". Would you be willing to share longitude and latitude?
Dear imapigeon, it is not in my Driveway goodness know!
It is in the back garden, no I shall correct that, it is the back garden.
Dont worry about longitude and latitude, just type in London, you will see it.
Dear Sharon, I have in fact just sent you an e-mail picture of it from Google Earth.
The problem with Google Earth is they do not update the pictures that much, so that is an old picture as the garden has changed a lot since that was taken.
I did not say it was gigantic, but I suppose most things are compared with a pygmy palm!
MaryE, you do that! You'll have one of Perry Como's palm tree too!LOL
I googled the date tree and it seems it's the same or at least in the same Phoenix family. Thanks to Perry Como I found the name for my date tree!LOL
Thank you for that link. It is very interesting. On it I found the varieties of dates that we sell at the coop where I help. Majool, Deglet and Halwai (I hope my memory is good on the spelling).
Did you do anything special to your date seed before planting, like maybe making a little cut in the side of it to make it easier to germinate? Did you let it get dry before planting? As soon as I get another package of dates, I want to plant one, or maybe more.
Look at us, this could be a world map...:
How fun!!! Let's see if we can pick up anybody else along the way!
Perry is enjoying the sunshine, so much so that I have to keep turning him, he leans forward into the sun, then I turn him, then he does it again. I think I need to invest in his own grow light just so he doesn't have to keep leaning, or maybe he is swaying to his own sweet music...Ha! Neil...my Perry has his own rhythm!! I have a dancing, swaying Perry Palm...
Dear Sharon, a pygmy swaying to an old Italian crooner who could not sing, does not exactly fill me with excitement! I do hope your palm can dance and sway better than Perry Como could.
A Canary Island Date Palm reminds me of a hot, golden sandy, romantic beach, with crystal clear blue water.
Laying on a sun lounger drinking a freshly shaken ice cold Pina Colada, watching the majesty of the palms dancing their own rhythm amongst the clear blue skies, slowly dancing a Rumba to the whispering sea breeze.
Then as the tropical sun sets, watching the wonderful silhouettes cast amongst the silky golden sand as a local band plays live music on the beach. The intoxicating smell of the barbecue with freshly caught lobsters and wonderful steaks, washed down with another perfectly mixed Ice cold cocktail. Dancing with and amongst the palms till the early hours of the morning.
The first of the dawn suns rays filtering through the welcoming outstretched palms, softly rustling, to start another day of dancing.
I think I would prefer that to watching a dwarf palm that cannot even stand up by itself, whilst listening to a fossilized Italian on a crackling 78 wax record.
Ummmmm, Neil, you lost me when you said steak...and after all those drinks you were dancing with palms? Ummmmmmmm...well now. Perry Palm is rather thorny, so it would take more than a few cocktails to ...uh...maintain any type of cohesive rhythm if one were to dance with even just one of his larger cousins.
However, I really am so sorry that your musical education was so stifled somewhere back in your childhood. I suppose you didn't like the Beatles either. Or Elvis.
We really need to talk, Neil, we really do. Your music appreciation being only one of the subjects discussed.
And by the way, are you still hobbling about? You could not possibly dance with the palms on the golden sand till sunrise if you are hobbling.
And fossilized, oh Neil...you are fast losing ground. But maybe tomorrow will be better. I do hope so...
Seriously, my friend...be well and take care. It is fast approaching midnight here and I am the one who is losing ground.
Dear Sharon, I was brought up with the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the Who, the Hollies and Pink Floyd to name but a few.
I was also brought up on classical music, and love Mozart and Elgar, although they are a bit more modern than Perry Como!
Everyone listens to Elvis when they go to the Memphis Tandoori and Curry house in the Old Kent Road in London, I thought everyone knew that!
For the Owner Elvis Aaron Patel, dresses up in a white suit with sequins and sings "Love me tender," on Friday and Saturday nights to the Diners.
Although he cannot sing, just like the real Elvis couldn't, it is claimed that his version of "Love me tender," is in fact a bit more tender than the chicken he uses in his Curries!
It is very popular on a Saturday night as all the drunks roll out of the pubs, and go to see a real Indian Elvis, although I somehow doubt if it would do much for me.
However the beer must be strong as there are always lots of Elvis sightings in the Old Kent Road on a Saturday night.
I am currently listening to the pipes and drums of the Black Watch doing Amazing Grace with the Lone Piper on the ramparts of Edinburgh castle!
That is much more to my liking. After about ten pina coladas you could possibly dance or try to anywhere, and it would be worth the try!
At least a Canary Island palm or indeed a date palm is a real tree, not some dwarf thing full of thorns, what is the point of that? Plus you look up to a Canary Island Date palm, not down to it like a pygmy palm.
Come on Sharon, even my European palm outside my kitchen door is over 12 foot high, and that is a baby!
It is not my education that is lacking it is your poor palm, it needs counseling as it cannot ever grow to be a real palm tree, so has a complex about itself!
Plus the fact it has something to do with Perry Como, that would give anything severe mental problems!
I will get a picture of my European palm and show you what a hardy tough palm looks like.
One last question for the moment, do you sing opera to the stunted palm, after all if it likes Perry Como, it might like someone screaming at it in a language it cannot understand!
Anyone said something about Elvis? I love his music and him!LOL
Sharon, how great so many people from different countries got interested in your article!
Neil, the dancing and drinks were great, especially with the palms and the beach...my lifetime dream!LOL
Mary, I just put the seed in a pot after I ate the date. My mom was the one who first started this and still continues it . She always does that with date or lemon, orange, grapefruit seeds. Following her example, I also have a lemon and a mandarin tree, both grown from seeds. About the palms grown from a date seed, I found an information that they won't be able to produce fruits. But they are pretty anyway in our pots, aren't they?
Neil, the Pipes and Drums of the Black Watch ought to give that palm quite a boost. If you have a recording of "Highland Cathedral", that might be good for a few feet of growth. Of course, a live pipe band playing it would be even better, but failing that, a good recording will do. I think it's beautiful bagpipe tune and one that never fails to untie any knots in my soul.
Glad you enjoyed it, imapigeon! They play it quite a bit faster than I first heard it, but the pictures are magnificent! This is more like the version I heard first. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oieFS785QPk The second time I heard it, it was without the brass band, but with three live pipe bands, on a hillside at night in western Pennsylvania with the mist coming up the hills, and the stars above us. I still get chills thinking about it. It's a beautiful piece of music.
Dear Biv, yes there were a lot of suckers growing on the base, but I carefully cut them out and potted them up, for a lot of people like this palm as it is quite hardy in England.
I do not want clumps to grow as I like a clear stem, as in a palm not shrub like. It does flower every year, but I have never done anything with the seeds as I get enough plants of the suckers.
There is a small tree fern in the foreground and a larger one back from the palm, so I take the bottoms out as I do not want it to interfere with the tree ferns.
Dear Bonnie, I have lots of bagpipe music, even some from the pipes and drums from Canada.
We have six members of the Royal British Legion (my branch), who play the pipes, so they always march at the head of the parade on Remembrance Day.
The Gurkha's also have their own pipe band and they are excellent as well.
I love either the "Brown bear,' or "Scotch on the rocks." Although I like all bagpipe music, Edinburgh Castle in Scotland holds the Edinburgh Military Tattoo, this has massed bands from all over the world, and is astonishing. Especially the lone piper on the ramparts of the castle, a very moving sight!
Here is a picture of the larger tree fern just outside the kitchen door and back from the palm.
Regards to all from England.
Dear Neil, I like all bagpipe music, too, and my husband and I will go off at the drop of a hat, in search of a Highland Festival, in this country and Canada - in fact, we don't even need anyone to drop a hat. Haven't been to one in Scotland yet, but Edinburgh's Military Tattoo sounds like a destination! We also have lots of bagpipe music, and besides "Highland Cathedral", I love "Farewell to Nigg", and "The Green Hills of Tyrol". The lone piper on the ramparts of the Edinburgh Castle sounds like something I'd like to see and hear. Regards from the Hampton Roads area of Virginia.
Dear Bonnie, I have just been recording some Bagpipe music on my iMac, as there is always someone who loves it as a Christmas present or to play at Christmas.
I have one called All the Best from Scotland which is not all Bagpipes, more of a party mix with reels and ballads etc.
I burn a lot of this one onto Cd's for proples own use, as it is nice to listen too!
Edinburgh is magical as this massive Castle sat on an old volcano is a magnificent setting. To see all the lights dimmed and to hear a lone piper on the ramparts is amazing, and then a spotlight shows him as he marches along the ramparts.
I love "Scotch on the Rocks," as I saw this done by the Argyle and Sutherland Highlanders, with the Royal Marines on the drums, quite breathtaking!
So I had to buy the Cd!
Actually, there may be a very old link between Perry Como and bagpipes, according to a Scottish friend of ours, who, when he was asked where the Scottish got their bagpipes, replied in his very thick brogue which I cannot hope to duplicate here, "Off of dead Romans".