12 August 2007


If you ever wondered just how tropical it might feel in Montréal on a summer day, with heat and humidity in great abundance, your wonder just might take a beating from this summer's folly of installing palm trees as sidewalk plants in our Gay Village.

It isn't that it doesn't get, as I have already said, hot and humid enough in the city during the summer months. In fact, I have marvelled for years that people move their distinctly tropical houseplants outside to their balconies and stairwells for several months with nothing but positive results. The folly might have been in the timing.

At the beginning of May, my sister was visiting me from Australia. Within days of our taking this picture in Québec City:

(yes, that would be snow upon which she is standing, albeit the very last of the snow to be found there), crews were installing the large palm trees on the four corners of Amherst and Ste-Catherine in the Village:

(Remember this second one, as I have an August photo of the same tree a bit later.)

We flew off to British Columbia to surprise my middle sister for her belated 50th birthday and while we were there the overnight temperatures in Montréal descended to about 3°C. Now I am no horticultural expert, especially with respect to palms, but I suspect that this was somewhat less than ideal for our large sidewalk decorations.

This is the worst result, and would be even scarier if it were not for the large green tree behind it that actually belongs in this climate:

And remember that second palm pictured above in May? Here it is now, still looking a little less than lush after weeks of hot and humid weather:

Now, lest we think I am just an evil critic of my neighbourhood's decorating decisions, let me point out that they also installed dozens of much more manageably-sized palms in large boxes and pots along the commercial streets of the neighbourhood. While some of those seem to be involved in life-and-death struggles with their companion plants:


...others look very balanced and quite lovely:

See?! I ended on a positive note! ;-)

1 comment:

more research for women said...

balance in outdoor gardening has never been my strength! I guess you have to keep them alive first!