Phil Bergman - Southwest
Written by The Mulch
My nursery is Jungle Music Palms and Cycads. We specialize in rare and hard to find palms and cycads. We also propagate and grow an assortment of tropical plants like Heliconia, Philodendron, Ti, Alocasia, Bromeliads, etc. Our nursery is located in Encinitas, CA at 450 Ocean View Ave, 92024. We're open Monday through Saturday and are about two minutes off Freeway 5.Please tell us briefly about your favorite cause/business/product in which you are involved that you would like to share with the general public and why.
Our goal is to help people create a tropical appearing paradise in their own yards. It is not difficult to do, but most people need guidance and advice. The biggest challenge for enthusiasts is knowing what species to plant and how to care for them. Our staff together has had over sixty years experience with rare palms and cycads and we've helped thousands of people achieve the garden of their dreams. We also can recommend species where there are height limitations or concerns about water consumption. It's a common misconception that a tropical looking yard has to be a "water wasting yard".
Briefly describe the climate where you garden now (climate zone, state, area) and any other areas where you have gardened in the past.
Both my personal garden and our nursery are in a coastal climate where daytime highs average 72 to 75 degrees in the summer and winter cold temperatures are in the lower 30 degrees F.
How long have you been gardening?
What triggered your interest?
A friend suggested that I plant my new home's garden with tropical plants such as palms.
What is your specialty, expertise or claim to fame?
Tropicals, palms & cycads.
What formal education do you have?
What is your favorite garden or plant-related topic? Tell us a little about them.
I very much enjoy it when a new person is totally enthusiastic about creating a beautiful garden and I can help them with that. I often sit down with clients for an hour or two just to go over possible species that would suite their home environment.
What is your biggest gardening pet peeve? Tell us about it.
I don't really have any particular "pet peeve". Rather, I'm impressed that most customers to the nursery really want to learn and already show up with some type of appreciation for unusual plant material.
How much time per week do you spend gardening?
As it's my profession (nurseryman), I'd estimate 60 hours a week.
What gardening or horticultural clubs, societies, or organizations (or any other interest) do you belong to?
I am the past President of the International Palm Society and the Palm Society of Southern California. I am still active in those two groups and also a member of various other botanical groups including the Cycad Society. I also write a lot of articles for the Internet that are available for review at our website: www.JungleMusic.net
What do you like most about gardening?
Creating a diverse garden with lots of variation in the species utilized. This includes species of different colors, shapes, heights and textures.
What do you dislike most about gardening?
What individual has influenced your gardening interest the most? How?
John Dransfield, Kew Botanical Gardens.
What is your favorite place or activity in the garden?
Looking down into the canopy of the garden. My personal garden is below my home. I enjoy looking down from an overhead deck; it's a totally different perspective and quite beautiful.
What is your favorite time in the garden?
What is your favorite public or private garden in the world? Why?
Fairchild Tropical Garden and Foster Botanical Garden. Both have a great selection of rare species of palms and cycads.
What is your favorite color in the garden?
Green and blue, side by side.
If you could grow only one plant, what would it be?
Right now, Encephalartos horridus, but my answer would probably change day to day.
What plant have you tried to grow that has given you the most trouble? Or, what plant would you like to grow and can't, and why?
Cyrtostachys renda, the Red Sealing Wax Palm. We're too cold.
What is the one question about gardening you would really like people to ask you?
What do you think I can grow in my area?
And what's the answer?
It depends on their area. Let's sit down and talk.
What is a garden myth you hear frequently which you know is untrue?
That it's difficult to design and create a beautiful tropical garden.
And, what is the reality?
Actually, it's quite simple if you have the right knowledge.
What group or kind of person do you think would benefit most from the advice you can give on gardening?
People who like tropical plants.
Would you like to participate, or can you recommend someone who you think should? We're always looking for more expert gardeners to tell about their philosophies and give their plant recommendations contact us and we'll get started (it's easy and a great way to promote yourself).