The Pure Pleasure of Palms

You know how some people like the sight of a great big dirty cocktail while they're on holiday? And others prefer the image of a deserted beach with nothin' but a naked sky and a cerulean blue sea between them and life?

Well, we love the sight of one thing.

The strangely comforting lean of a humble palm tree.

{Illustration at very top by the supremely talented Sara Midda. Do look for her books this Christmas. They're beautiful.}

Any palm tree will do. In fact, you could just grab a log, toss some fronds on the top and we'd be happy staring at it.

Palm trees are a curious kind of tropical tonic. And also strangely hypnotic, don't you think? Toss a hammock between two and see how fast you fall asleep.

It can't be long before the world finds out about the secret pleasures of palms. I know coconut water is being hailed as the hot new remedy for life but I'm sure they're going to find a way of distilling the rest of the tree's by-products, too.

Palms. Mother Nature got it perfect with this one.

{Both images directly above and the one below by me, from Florida and the Whitsunday Islands}


Royal Palm Tree Plantation, Molokai

Old Town Key West. Where palms meet colonial architecture.  {Pic: Me}

India Hicks' Palm Frond earrings. {Via India Hicks' online store, The Sugar Mill –}

Doris Duke at her Hawaiian home Shangri La. These glorious photos are now showing as part of the Doris Duke Shangri La exhibition at New York's Museum of Arts and Design before travelling to the Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach and the Honolulu Academy of the Arts.

The Moorings, on the Florida Keys, which was built on an old coconut plantation. They've kept all the palms, and the trees make the most delightful garden to walk through. {Another image badly taken by me as it's was so dark, and I'd probably had a cocktail or three.}

Antique French table lamps from 1st Dibs, via Hollister Hovey.

The Moorings,  Florida Keys.  {Pic: Me}

Islands Magazine.

Hamilton Island's Catseye Beach.  {Pic: Me}

 A palm tree swing. The Koh Chang Grand Lagoona Resort.

Harbour Island at 8am, by India Hicks, from her always inspiration and often humorous blog {}

A palm tree-lined bathroom at Goldeneye Jamaica, the former home of Ian Fleming (the creator of James Bond). {Via Goldeneye –}

Agatha Christie's quirky journey through the tropics. 

Oscar de la Renta's magnificent 'palm garden' on his Dominican Republic estate. {Via AD}

Taschen's enormous (and enormously fascinating) Book of Palms, which is as heavy as a 100-year-old date palm.
Manuel Canovas' beautiful Bahamas fabric.

A simple but glamorous Oyster Bay beach house designed by Christine Murphy. {Via House Beautiful}

Elizabeth Taylor's former home in Palm Springs. My friend lived right next door to this extraordinary estate. She didn't tell me this until I noticed the Japanese tourist buses pulling up outside. When she did reveal who her neighbour was, she allowed me to sneak down to the bottom of the yard and peer over the fence. (So unladylike!) There were 30 (I kid you not – 30) gardeners fussing with the palms. That was more astonishing that see the Nikon cameras flashing out the front.

One of the now-iconic image of CZ Guest beside her Florida pool. One of my favourite photos. {Via Life}

Palm stilettos. Perfect for tropical nights. {Via Tommy Ton}

Albert Park, Melbourne, on a balmy summer's night.
 {Pic: Me}

A party at the always fantastic Lorelei Cabana Bar on the Florida Keys.  {Pic: Me}

And lastly, a palm tree coffee... So fantastic.
{Unsure of source but wish I knew.}

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