Bismarkia nobilis

O Tannenbaum

Ever since we moved to Oceanside, we have had a living Christmas tree. After Christmas, those trees are planted into the garden. For the first couple of years, it was easy – there was plenty of room and I still hadn’t decided how to utilize all of the space for a garden. That first year was a Blue Spruce (Picea pungens) and it soon found itself right in the middle of the cutting garden.

Picea Pungens
Picea Pungens

Quickly, one criterion for their selection became that they had to be of restricted mature size. A couple more pines and another spruce have since made the list. Then we decided that there was little reason why they even needed to look like a traditional Christmas tree. Why not evergreen shrubs? Last year, the height of our ‘tree’ was only 2 feet. Juniperus pfitzeriana ‘Gold Lace’ performed wonderfully.

This year, we have even departed from the notion of a traditional evergreen shrub, although we have in some senses regressed on some of the previous criteria – it is a tree and it can grow to 20′ to 50′ tall, with a width of 11′ to 15′. So what is different?

Well, it is a palm. Bismarkia noblis was a plant that we purchased a couple of months ago and has been in the house ever since. It is a little sensitive and only just hardy for us. It had also been grown as a house plant, so was going to need considerable adaptation to being outside and we decided to delay that until spring.

We had not planned to be around for Christmas, but with bad weather approaching, we decided to stay put. However, all of our Christmas decorations are in storage and so these are all the pitiful decorations we could manage. Still – it is the thought that counts.

The Complete list so far

2015 – Picea Pungens

2016 – Pinus thunbergii ‘Thunderhead’

2017 – Picea pungens ‘Gebelle’s Golden Spring’

2018 – Pinus parviflora ‘Cleary’

2019 – Pinus densiflora ‘Golden Ghost’

2020 – Juniperus pfitzeriana ‘Gold Lace’

2021 – Bismarkia nobilis

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