Designing with Palms
By Jason Dewees
Photographs by Caitlin Atkinson
A love letter to the palm, horticulturist Dewees has written a comprehensive guide to unleashing the power of the frond. While most readers will learn of many previously unfamiliar species, this is not intended to be an encyclopedia of the family, but rather a guide to featuring these useful and striking plants in unexpected ways. Half the book describes, with a wealth of drool-inducing photos, the many settings—mostly open to the public--where he has explored palms in all their diversity. Dewees shares his deep knowledge of palm cultivation, biology and lore, including some myth-busting, leaving the reader feeling confident to add some tropical touches to their landscape. The last 145 pages offer an alphabetical “Portfolio of Palm Species” with specific cultural needs of each plant, its size, and features (both good and not so good). And I must mention a helpful element of the format which summarizes “uses and effects” and “alternative species” for each plant, giving a quick thumbnail for comparison, what a good thought! Garden Design Magazine’s review sums it up: After reading it’s nearly impossible not to have newfound appreciation for palms.