Friday, July 14, 2006

Searching for Succulents in Patzcuaro Michoacan Mexico

I have been in Patzcuaro for three days now. I am staying at a wonderful little hotel, called Posada de al Salud. It has that name because it's right across a plaza from the Basilica de la Salud. A very old and beautiful Cathedral where once a month the sick and infirm come from special prayers and healing.
The patios here are filled with lots of more tropical plants, including a hibiscus and bouganvilleas. But my search here is for succulent plants. The 10 year old taxi driver (he wasn't really ten but he was small and very young looking) told me where some nurseries are in town, and said he knew because his mother is a teacher and loves to garden.

I don't think I would be comfortable living and gardening in the coastal mountains of Mexico. It's too cold and too high (5,000-7,000 feet) around Morelia and Patzcuaro, and I like the tropical plants much better than the plants here. Although they seem to be able to grow alot of tender plants within the protected climate of the patios that are part of each house (and most hotels and restaurants and stores). Succulents too.

I haven't seem to be able to get it together to look for nurseries around Patzcuaro. Everytime I started thinking about finding a taxi and heading out it started raining. So I ended up window shopping, and somehow ended up in a patio surrounded by gift-y shops. The patio was full of orchids and a few succulents. The owner, Felipe, showed me almost all his plants. One of the two succulents was a lovely plant with wide flat leaves and a beautiful pink blossom growing out of the center. Felipe said the fuzzy furry looking blossom would grow to about six or eight inches. He wanted alot of money for it. Instead I took the other succulent, which I am going to find the name for on the Web.
Orchid in a tree or orchid tree in Patzcuaro
(courtesy of Ann C.)
(Later) During my last afternoon in Patzcuaro I returned to the tiny orchid nursery off the grand plaza, to pass on a lovely Spanish gardening magazine, to Felipe, the owner. And guess, what? He had a some succulent starts for me, that he had gotten from home. He said he was going to bring them up to the hotele after he closed up. Pretty neat.

Then I went back to the internet place to wait out another rainstorm. When I asked if they had a restroom, the young man sent me upstairs to a kind of open area where there were a whole bunch of different succulent plants growing. I went back downstairs, and asked the young man whose plants they were. I said I wished I could take a couple of little pieces of some of the plants. He went upstairs with me, and helped me take a few pieces. I don't know who the plants actually belong to.

I managed to bring home 10 succulent starts and one large plant. On the bus. Overnight.
Everything looks good so far, but it's too soon to tell, really. At least I was forced to let the starts heal over a little. Usually I am so anxious to get the cuttings in the ground I don't wait long enough, and they rot.

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