SATURDAY, September 20, 2014

Surf City, USA -- Huntington Beach, Orange County

Two great gardens in Surf City, USA, aka as Huntington Beach, Orange County
Saturday September 20, 2014
The meeting was in Huntington Beach at the homes of Alex Kutas and Carl Hartman.  These gentlemen have both been palm enthusiasts for close to 3 decades and these are mature gardens.  The palm society last visited their homes and gardens about 15 years ago.

This was an exceptionally interesting meeting as both gardens are grown with very different philosophies.  Alex is very meticulous and his garden is designed to display the palms in a very organized fashion.  Carl, on the other hand, has embraced the dense jungle approach.  The contrast was fun to observe back to back!

The meeting started at the home of Carl and Elise Hartman.  Carl started his garden in 1994, and as mentioned above, has a very densely planted garden.  His soil is quite dense with heavy clay, so this has been an ongoing challenge.  Success has been through trial and error.  Amongst the well over 100 species, his garden is remarkable for many mature trees including Clinostigma harlandii (“supposedly harlandii”), a flowering Wallichia disticha, Caryota kiriwongensis, Pritchardia kaalae, and Bismarkia nobilis (blue), Veitchia arecina, and Laccospadix australasica.  Carl also loves the oddities like the aurea and variegated deviants.  Many mature cycads also coexist along with unusual and odd understory plantings and caudiciforms. 

Just a short walk away was our second stop, the home of Alex and Maria Kutas.  Alex has been into palms for 30 years. When Alex moved into his home he had a blank slate and decided to plant his now three decade old garden.  According to Carl, “my good friend Alex is much smarter than me.  While I’ve replaced my soil in an ongoing futile, in a shovel by shovel fashion, Alex removed a large volume of his poor soil and replaced it with appropriate medium from the get go.  I’ve always been jealous of his foresight!!”  Alex changes the look periodically as palms get too big and messy, with either replacement or relocation.  This has included mature species that have become so large that they had to go. Some of Alex's favorites are Caliptronoma dulcis, Acanthophoenix crinita and a variety of Hyophorbe.  Alex notes, "I’m definitely of the mind set that my garden can always be better and I see it as a constant work in progress”.

Casey Quinn, Orange County Chair

Lovely Dypsis.jpg
Clustering Dypsis.jpg

9:30 AM Board of Directors Meeting at the Hartman residence
11:00 AM Public tour of the Hartman garden
11:45 AM Depart from Hartman garden and go to Kutas garden.
12:10 PM Potluck Lunch at Kutas garden; wolf down food, schmooze.
1:30 PM General Meeting
2:00 PM Plant auction
3:00 PM Adjournment

There was a great auction at this meeting. Thanks for your donations!

Happy palm growing!

Pritchardtia crown.jpg