Thursday, January 19, 2012

Stop and Smell the Coconut Palms

Have you ever heard the phrase "Stop and smell the roses." This well-known proverb means just what it says. Sometimes we all need to stop and take a moment to take in our surroundings and appreciate the natural beauty that is all around us. For residents of Phuket City, this probably should be transformed slightly to "Stop and smell the coconut palms."

Coconut Palms And Phuket City
The coconut palm is synonymous with Phuket City, and yet how many times do you actually take the time to appreciate them for what they are? These beautiful specimens spotlight the Phuket City landscape. You can't go anywhere without seeing one. They are so common that we almost can't help but ignore them. However, if you really stop and take a moment to look, they are actually quite beautiful. Just try to imagine Phuket City without them. It would be like an alien world, devoid of that one thing that makes it complete and whole. Coconut palms represent Phuket City majestically, and they deserve to be appreciated.

Fruitfulness of Coconut Palms
One of the greatest things about the coconut palm is that it is not limited to just one variety. Phuket City harbors many types, from the true coconut palm, complete with everyone's favorite island fruit, to the Royal Palms that spotlight the roads of Phuket City, giving it an elegance that only they could provide. They set the tone for the island and act as an instant ambassador to visitors to the city. Anyone that visits Phuket will no doubt remember the palms as the first thing that struck them about it. Then there are others, like the betel nut palm. The fruit of these has a mild narcotic effect on the imbiber, making it popular for other than aesthetic reasons. However, they are quite pretty to look at and will grow just as easily as their other palm tree family members.

The Hidden Beauty of Coconut Palms
From a gardening standpoint, coconut palms are a marvelous creation. These specimens are fighters. They can grow almost anywhere with minimal supervision. Getting a coconut palm going is as simple as finding a coconut with a green shoot pointing out of it. You put it in the ground with the shoot sticking up. Give it a little love by watering it regularly and in a few weeks, you will have a coconut tree of your own. Few trees require less work or are more resilient.

The Palm’s Family
The Royal Palm is the coconut palm's big brother, but it shares its gardener-friendly nature. You can easily grow your own Royal Palm in the ground or in a pot. If you do decide to go the pot route, make sure you choose a big one, because Royal Palms have strong roots and will outgrow smaller pots. If you don't realize it in time and transfer it to a bigger pot, expect the roots to easily snap your pot in two. The ground is probably your best bet if you aren't willing to find new and creative ways to move your Royal Palm to a new potted home. If a potted palm is your wish, you may want to consider a Golden Cane Palm. These are more pot-friendly and only grow to be two or three meters tall. This makes them an excellent choice for a small balcony or terrace.

In Phuket, it's hard to take a few steps without running into a coconut palm or one of its brothers and sisters, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't take notice when you do. Don't miss out on one of Phuket City's natural wonders. Always remember to take that extra second from time to time to take a deep breath and stop and smell the coconut palms.

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