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Design

This Stunning Small Tree Creates a Garden All by Itself

Photo: courtesy of Flora Grubb

Name: ‘Clara’ blue hesper palm (Brahea armata ‘Clara’)

Zones: 8b–11

Size: 30 feet tall and 15 feet wide

Conditions: Full sun to partial shade; well-drained soil

Native Range: Sonora, Mexico

My son and I had been shopping for houses in Berkeley, California, for a few months when we first laid eyes on a perfect, tiny, one-story house with a giant picture window facing the not-so-perfect front yard (comprised entirely of concrete with a small scruffy lawn). As soon as we moved in, we set to work on the front landscape, removing all of the concrete. We soon had a blank slate—and a big picture window gazing right onto the street.

The situation called for a big splurge, so we installed a large ‘Clara’ blue hesper palm between the house and the street. It was a splurge not only because of the cost of this fairly uncommon tree but also because of…

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