Even when a gardener lives in a cold climate, he wants a palm tree. The image of its wide fronds sends the mind wandering into tropical paradise; though in reality the person might be bundled up in front of a roaring fire.
For gardeners who live in an outdoor climate where palms can thrive year-round and the landscape is wide-spread, you are sure to find ideas to match your region at your local Master Gardener extension. I found such a demonstration garden late last year when I visited the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners in Clark County-Las Vegas.
Their demonstration gardens are filled with flowers, food, and, yes, this time with a Palm Demonstration garden. If you live in the desert, such as in Las Vegas surrounded by the Mojave Desert climate, you will find palm-tree ideas worthy of your consideration.
The Palm Demonstration garden space at the Master Garden Extension matched in equal grandeur to the breath and width typical of palm trees. The courtyard was composed by wide sidewalks made of white concrete. They edged the planting beds and created a round bed in the center, where each grew several palms.
Rock palm (Brahea dulcis) is also called a desert palm. The blue rock palm (also called the Sombrero palm) is a tender perennial with bluish green leaves. Hardy in zones 8 – 10, the plants grow 10 – 12 feet tall and require spacing of 6 – 8 feet.
Ribbon fan palm (Livistona decipiens) is a slow to medium grower and has low tolerance to salt.
Dwarf palmetto is one of the most frost and cold tolerant, which even in a Las Vegas winter can be an issue. Hardy as far north as zone 6b, the plant requires hot summers to survive the cold.
Palms trees cast broad shadows across a landscape. The shade is enough for gardeners and plants, a like, to keep the stay-gardening spirit in the desert going.