Many of you who have been by home know that I am a bit fanatical about landscaping, especially drought tolerant Mediterranean style plant material. Years ago we had a front triangle planter island that had a Crepe Myrtle that was planted with the house before changing to the Mediterranean style. The house was a Rossmoor Classic bluish/grey stucco before we remodeled. When I transformed the house, I thought the Crepe Myrtle would work well as it was a mature tree but I decided against this. I started looking for something more exotic.
Bismarckia Nobilis, also known as a Madagascar Blue Palm, is a very dramatic plant with greyish/green leaves. It is very slow growing but will often reach 50 feet or more. I had a hard time finding a plant larger than very small 5 or 15 gallon containers in the local area but eventually found a 36 inch box in Chino. This was expensive and a challenge to get to my home but worth it.
We dug out the entire planter to remove the old clay and amended the soil with gypsum, sand, grow power and amended soil to top it off. The gypsum and sand help to continue breaking up the old clay in the bottom of the hole. The tree looked huge in the box and then looked small when in the ground. Now, 6 years later, it has shown tremendous growth from the original planting. Seeing this tree in person is the best way to really get a feel for how dramatic it is. If you are in Rossmoor at Rush Park driving on Silverfox, you will dead end on Blume and you can’t miss the Bismarckia Nobilis.
I have had several people stop by to see what kind of palm it is. This has also happened with our Arbutus Marinus, also known as a Strawberry Tree, near our garage which has turned out to be a masterpiece. It was one of the first planted in Rossmoor and we have seen the copy-caters plant their own. I will take this as flattery of a nice plant choice.