Fig or a Palm?

Grant K. Gibson
A fiddle leaf fig? 

David Lawrence
Or a palm? 

A fig has a more free-flowing unruly vibe … 
Tom Scheerer
Whereas you can pot a palm, or palm leaves. Tropical but restrained. 
Palm leaves are heavily featured in all types of design – and with good reason – they look fantastic. Like this “Southwind” wallpaper by Meg Braff. 
Or in these now famous walls designed by Tom Scheerer at the Lyford Cay Club. 
I don’t know what it is about a Fiddle Leaf Fig though … unrestrained and wild, architectural.  A bit trendy these days, but I think there will be no beating it against a grasscloth backdrop in the study in Charleston. 

Because that is one thing to keep in mind in the discussion of palm v. fig. If you’re talking Charleston, there is no escaping the palm leaf. The palmetto tree is featured on the state flag of South Carolina, and palmetto trees line the streets (and our porch). 
Now that I think about it, for me the discussion of palm v. fig is over, because when you walk out the study door onto the porch, you’re staring right into these leaves. So I guess I already have my palm. 

Photos courtesy of Grant K. Gibson, House Beautiful & Town and Country

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