The Palm Walk
The Palm Walk is a significant vista surrounded by well-documented, population-based collections of palms covering an area of about 19 acres.
One of the most beautiful and significant landscape-design features at the Montgomery Botanical Center is the Palm Walk. In 1992, Joe Hibbard of 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.
Only 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.
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. Approaching Nell’s House, native Royal Palms flank the lawn.
The Palm Walk design includes a 50-foot wide grass vista surrounded by palms on either side.
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.
This impressive vista is looking south on the Palm Walk.
At the Serenoa, the path turns into and terminates in the formal Palm Circle composed of two rows of thick-trunked Sabal causiarum palms.
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.