A must see for all local or visiting gardeners.

If you are a member of Fethiye Times Gardening Club, there’s no need for you to read this article as you already know all about the wonderful Palm Centre in Köyceğiz.  However, if the name means nothing to you, please read on.

The Palm Centre is unique in this area of Turkey as it is a mini botanic garden and plant nursery aimed at introducing new plants, propagating them and offering them for sale.  If you live in an apartment and don’t plan on gardening, it is still a good place to visit and the 10YTL entrance fee to the gardens gets you a guided tour – in English – plus tea/coffee and cake included.

The Centre was set up by Dr. Ragip Esener, a medical doctor who, on retirement from medicine, became a professional horticulturist.  It comprises almost twenty acres, some of them purely planted with palms, but also with beautifully laid out gardens including a cactus house and tropical greenhouse; koi pond; terrapin pond and special water beds for water lilies.  Ragip’s latest project is to create a new area dedicated to unusual plants not seen before in Turkey.

The Centre’s website can be found at www.palmiyemerkezi.com and some of the site is in English – scroll down to union jack on left side bar and you can change the language.  The Centre has a ‘Plant of the Month’ feature (in Turkish but plant names are always in Latin) which you can sign up to have e-mailed to you.  Look for the Turkish word ‘abone’ and fill out the form with your e-mail address.  Or keep reading Fethiye Times as we’ll be publishing the ‘Plant of the Month’ in English from next month.

The Palm Centre is open to the public from 1st June to end of October so why not take a day out in Köyceğiz next time you have guests from the UK and you can all enjoy the beauty of this special place.  Just follow the road along the lakeside from the centre of Köyceğiz and after a mile or so you’ll be at the Palm Centre.  Their new plant sales area is only yards from the lake and you really can’t miss it.