Friday, August 18, 2006

Buying an Oleander

This cattle drive is a regular occurence on the road between Chacala and Las Varas. But it was not the reason I didn't get to the Friday tianguis (street market) this morning. I stayed home because I was hoping the electric company workmen would show up and finish the permanent wiring. But, no such luck.

This afternoon I was washing my tee shirts on the veranda when I heard someone calling me. It turned out to be Maria and her little grandaughter, letting me know the plant lady had shown up. She's the one that sells plants at the tianguis, so I went down. Maria always comes up to get me because I always give her plant money. Plus, I think she likes being the bearer of good news. And I like sharing with her. She's really fun to be around. About 4'8" and full of energy, ideas, and spirit. And a gardener,and an artist. She makes the paper banners for town events, and pinatas made, and grave decorations for Day of the Dead, and for Guadalupe celebrations.

Anyway, we walked down the street to where the plant truck was parked under a shady tree.
And was surrounded by ladies looking over the selection. And Butcho, Maria's husband, was there with his wheelbarrow, just in case anyone (me) wanted their plants carried home. I am the only woman around town (I think) without a husband, brother, son, cousin, father-in-law, uncle, or nephew (thank God!), waiting in the wings to give me a hand. So other people seem to kind of fill in. It seems like everytime I think, "oh...I think I will need help with this" someone shows up, just in the nick of time. Heavy sacks of good soil, or whatever.

Anyway, I got an oleander plant. Nice big one with deep pink blossoms. Expensive for Chacala. 40 pesos/3.60USD. I only have the oleander cuttings I am experimenting with, so it'll be nice to have a big blossoming plant.

Except I don't have any pots left. But I do have some potting soil. I'll figure something out tomorrow. My Mom would be amazed to know I remember all the plants at our house. My mother wasn't a plant person. But a gardener, Tak, came every week until my brother was big enough to mow the lawn. Mom let Tak do whatever he wanted, so it looked pretty good, even years after he didn't come anymore. Especially the oleander and poinsetta.


Deborah Midkiff said...

I want you to know, if you don't already, that Oleander's are very poisonous if eaten. I don't know how toxic they are if you are trimming and then put your finger in your mouth, though. I read of a woman that ground the roots into a tea to get rid of her husband. I just want you to be aware of this in case a child or baby comes to visit and puts a leaf or flower in his mouth. They are very beautiful plants and are hardy. The transportation Department in CA plants Oleanders along the median on the freeway.

LostRoses said...

I'm delighted to discover your blog! Not sure where Chacala is but I think I've been to Los Varas on the way to San Blas so I can kind of locate you on the map in my head.

I've been reading some of your previous posts and wonder if in your search for reference materials for gardening there if you have been to the Botanical Garden of Vallarta south of Puerto Vallarta on the road to El Tuito? It just opened last November and the fellow who owns it, Bob Price (along with his mother Betty) is a walking encyclopedia on gardening and plants in Mexico. What he doesn't know is available in his extensive library of garden books available for all to peruse in the large Plantation House on the grounds, which also is a restaurant. I bet you'd have a great time there on a day trip and could get lots of information.

I can't wait to re-visit it next February. Happy gardening!