Paradise Palm. A city escape within the city. One of my favorite little shops in downtown Salt Lake City.
I discovered it once upon a rainy, cold, winter day about three years ago before I lived in Salt Lake City when I was driving through and I needed to stop somewhere because the weather was pretty hard to drive in. I remember passing this shop on my hurried (because it was so cold) walk from Ken Sander’s Rare Books back to my car when the wind practically blew me into this cozy reserve.
The instant I walked in the quaint red door, I was welcomed by the scent of “paradise.” I kid you not, it smelled like Hawaii. My chilled red nose and ears were immediately made warm again and there was nothing but every shade of green coming from every corner of my eyes. It was a delight to the senses! It was like being transported by magic to another place.
I began walking around, with no one to be seen (yet). Faint music was playing in the background – a mellow kind of classic rock n roll. I saw orchids. Ferns. Hanging plants. And then a big golden brown friendly dog came out from behind a giant palm tree and paid his sniffing respects. Bonsai trees, succulents, cacti, trees of every kind. And then a friendly hello and a warm smile from a man who appeared to own all these glorious plants. He welcomed me and told me to walk around and even take a seat at one of the complimentary lawn chairs nestled among some other shorter palm trees in the corner.
Where the hell was I? This place seemed unreal – especially after escaping mother nature’s biting cold only a moment ago. I was the only customer in the shop and there was something so intimate and charming about it. The owner asked me if I had any questions and all I think I managed to ask was “what is this place?” in a bewildered and delighted tone.
I bought a plant or two and made friends with the owner. And needless to say, I have been back many a time or two, either by myself or just to introduce everyone I know to the place.
I’ve decided every city needs a giant plant shop. With imported plants, and trees up to 20 feet tall. It’s a breath of fresh air for city dwellers.
If you live in Salt Lake City or are just passing through, you would be missing out if you didn’t make a stop inside paradise…Paradise Palm.