The Palm Walk is a
significant vista surrounded by well-documented, population-based
collections of palms covering an area of about 19 acres. This
impressive vista is looking south on the Palm Walk.
One of the most beautiful and
landscape-design features at Montgomery Botanical Center (MBC) is the
Palm Walk. In 1992, the multidisciplinary design firm of Sasaki
Associates, Inc. created a long-term Master Site Plan for Montgomery
Botanical. One major landscape project within the Master Site Plan was
the creation of the Palm Walk.
The Palm Walk design includes a 50-foot
wide grass vista
surrounded by palms on either side. MBC's Palm Walk begins at the main
house with a long vista into a grove of silver-blue leaved Bismarckia
nobilis palms with a backdrop of taller dark-green Washingtonia
filifera palms. At the Bismarckia terminus, one can gaze
further south down a second vista into a group of blue-green leaved Serenoa
repens with a backdrop of dark-green Arenga microcarpa. At
the Serenoa, the path turns into and terminates in the formal
Palm Circle composed of two rows of thick-trunked Sabal causiarum palms.
wild-collected material is allowed in the Palm Walk
and an accession must contain at least seven plants. (Accessions
containing fewer than seven plants are planted elsewhere at MBC). It is
estimated that the Palm Walk will contain over 5,000 specimens when the
walk is fully planted. The Walk is divided into nine parts defined by
the main vista path and various east/west roads on the property with
additional paths allowing easy access to the collection. The main path
is close to 1,740 feet in length (1/3 mile or 1/2 kilometer).
Montgomery Botanical Center's Palm Walk covers approximately 19 acres.
In the center foreground is Corypha taliera, which
is now extinct in the wild, and was collected from India by Shri Dhar
in 1996. To the back left are Livistona
muelleri and to the
back right are Livistona lanuginosa,
both collected from
Australia by John Dowe in 1996.
Ridge Road is a part of the Palm
Walk. On the
left is Livistona saribus
collected in Vietnam by Si-Lin
Yang in 1994 and Livistona decipiens
collected from Australia
by John Dowe in 1996. On the right are Caryota rumphiana collected
from the Papua New Guinea by Rolf Kyburz in 1996 and Dictyosperma album
collected from Reunion Island in 1995 by Montgomery Botanical Center's
palm biologist, Dr. Larry Noblick.
In 1996, the
first palms were planted at the entrance of
the Palm Walk. Since then, an average of 400 palms have been added each
year. The Palm Circle, near its southern terminus, was planted in 2001
with Sabal causiarum palms grown from seed collected in Puerto
Rico. It will be years before the thick trunks of those palms become
apparent and significant enough to foster an appreciation for this
circular planting. However, the high quality of the material used to
create the beautifully landscaped Palm Circle is typical of the
landscaping at MBC, and especially of the Palm Walk. Montgomery
Botanical Center strives for its scientifically valuable collections to
be planted in a way that promotes exemplary landscape design.