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A grand new garden and a trip to the Plant Sale

The PSSC’s May 2014 meeting was held on Saturday, May 31, 2014 in “North County” San Diego.

The first stop was the home and garden of Bill Shafer in Cardiff-by-the-Sea; the second was the Plant

Sale at the San Diego Botanical Garden (fka Quail Botanical Garden) in Encinitas.

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The Shafer garden at 1340 Belleview Ave., Cardiff-by-the Sea, California, made its debut on the

PSSC scene with a bang.

This wasn’t one of those gardens with a little slice of sea view in the distance you had to crane and

squint and barely see; this place has an unimpeded view of 180 degrees of sea from the back yard.

That oceanic proximity gave the garden its high humidity, which makes it a happy home for the palms

of New Caledonia. There were a number of nice young specimens of Burretokentia, Cyphophoenix

and others. One of the crowning glories of this collection was the Shafers’ mature, seeding 25-foot-
tall-plus Chambeyronia macrocarpa, which were planted as 5-gallon plants eight years ago. That’s a

growth rate like an Archontophoenix. Wow.

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There were other lovely well-matured gems. One is a mature Hyophorbe verschaffeltii with about 3

feet of trunk, perfect as anything you’d find in Florida or Hawaii. Another is a Hedyscepe cantur-
buryana, no trunk yet, but getting there, and marking my calendar for a visit in a few more years when

it begins to hit its full glory. Still another is a nice, large Dypsis “Tri-Bear” which is a cross between

Dypsis leptocheilos and Dypsis decaryi, which results in a palm with a fantastic fuzzy red crownshaft,

with about two feet of trunk, for now. Yet another was a fine “Foxy Lady” hybrid between Vetchia

arecina and Wodetya bifurcata, which was about 30 feet tall, the tallest palm in the garden. A real

stunner was a Ravenea moorei, 3 feet tall and full grown and full of beauty in a small place.

There were smaller jewels, too, including two Dypsis marojejyi, or “Madagascar Foxtail” which,

though not trunking yet, show all the attributes that make us drool: the fully plumose leaves, with

reddish-pink new growth.


Thanks to our gracious hosts for having us, and we look forward to the day we can return and drool

some more over this great garden.

After a morning at the Shafer garden, we all roared up the coast to the San Diego Botanical Garden,

where the annual plant sale was set up in the parking lot. If you were a PSSC member, you got a nice,

deep discount for parking, plus a chance to ogle the plants, including palms, for sale by the vendors.

That afternoon, we had a brief meeting, plus a presentation by Phil Bergman’s son.

Thanks to all who attended, and hope to see you in Ventura in July!

Happy palm growing.

Dave Bleistein, PSSC president.