March PSSC Meeting

Saturday March 18, 2017

The Palm Society of Southern California will hold its March meeting at two gardens in central Orange County. Both of these gardens are great examples of what you can accomplish on small suburban lots.

The first stop will be at the home and garden of long time PCCS member Ralph Velez at 15461 Devonshire Cir., Westminster.  The second garden to be visited is that of our President, Larry Black, at 9166 Sara River Cir. Fountain Valley CA 92708.

Ralph is an original member of the Palm Society since it was founded more than 50 years ago.  Palm enthusiasts from around the world have toured his garden, and Huell Howser of PBS had a show about it.  He started his palm garden in 1962, and is still adding new species to his garden. Several years ago, Ralph added a large greenhouse where he has added many tropical palms that can only be found in greenhouses outside the tropics.

Currently, Ralph has approximately 250 different species in his garden and greenhouse.  Many of Ralph=s palms are among the most mature and tallest of their species growing in California such as Nannorrhops, Howea, Attalea, Hyophorbe, Zombia and several Dypsis and Chamaedorea.  To enter Ralph=s garden, you leave suburban O.C. behind and find yourself engulfed by his palms. There are so many to see that you=ll see something different each time you visit.

Larry and Sue Black started their palm garden after a few trips to Hawaii and wanted a tropical looking garden around their pool, which expanded over the years from the backyard to the front yard, with approximately 200 different species in the ground.  Larry has focused mostly the most unusual palms, with a few common types for canopy.  Larry is growing nearly 40 different species of Chamaedorea, 20-plus species of Dypsis, several species of Ptychosperma and many palms not often seen in other gardens.  Some highlights include a large Dypsis lanceolata, Allagoptera (Polyandrococos) caudescens, Foxy Ladies, Dypsis arenarum and Wallichia disticha to name a few. Don=t miss his magnificent Dypsis ambositrae, forming a trunk.

Directions to Ralph's home: From the north or south bound 405 Fwy., exit Brookhurst St. and head north for approx. 2 miles to McFadden Ave.  Turn right on McFadden Ave. for approx. 200 ft. and then turn left on Nottingham Ave.

From the 22 Fwy., exit Brookhurst St. and head south for approx. 2 miles to McFadden Ave.  Turn left on McFadden Ave. for approx. 200 ft. and then turn left on Nottingham St.

Ralph's home is at the corner of Nottingham and Devonshire Cir., though it=s very easy to spot even from a distance. It's the one with the towering palms!

Directions from Ralph's home to Larry's home: Head west on Nottingham and turn right on McFadden Ave. Then turn left on Brookhurst St.  Head south on Brookhurst St. for approx. 3 miles to Ellis Ave.  Turn right on Ellis Ave. for about 1 mile to Mt. Stewart Cir.  Turn right on Mt. Stewart Cir and then right on Sara River Cir.  There is plenty of parking.

This will be a potluck meeting: bring your favorite dish to share. If you cooked it, great! If you didn't, great anyway! Soup, salad, dessert, your grandma's favorite recipe.

There will be an auction with rare palms donated by PSSC members and others. There will also be a raffle; buy tickets and win palms! Also, a rare palm will be raffled off in a separate drawing to all who attend the meeting to the end.


9:30 a.m. PSSC Board meeting at Ralph's place - all welcome to attend

10:00 a.m. self-guided tours of Ralph's garden - feast your eyes!

11:30 a.m. Leave Ralph's garden and roar off to Larry's

12:00 noon. Potluck lunch - chicken will be provided

1:00 p.m. General meeting and auction

3:30 p.m. Adjourn