Monday, August 07, 2006

Gardening Lessons in Chacala

This is a strangler fig growing around another tree
at the site of the oldest construction in Chacala

Just had a day and a half of rain, which is very unusual for Chacala. It rarely rans before early evening here. I just went back through my little weather notebook for the past 32 months and only found 4 times when it rained before six in the evening. Generally it's later, after dark.

Anyway, this morning the sun is shining and it's comfortably breezy and nice. I just came in from the veranda of this house, where I fool around with my pots and plants. And also where I do my hand laundry (everything but sheets and towels, which go to the lavenderia for a machine wash).

I was just out there starting my washing when I got distracted by one of the plants. I don't know what it's called. It is large light green succulent type leaves and it's growing very quickly. At the end of each of about 11 of the leaves, small growths have started, with little roots and leaves.

Berta, my most reliable source of plant info in Chacala was just here and she told me to tuck the little babies into the dirt so they can start growing. She also said the a large, tall shoot will come out of the middle of the plant. The stem with have a large flower. I tried to ask Berta if the plant only blossomed once, or how often it blossoms. Or when. But the questions were too complex for my Spanish I guess.

The limon tree (limes) is covered with limes right now. I am giving them away, and using them to lime/ice/water coolers. The tree has been here for two years, in a large pot and is about 10 feet tall. I had to cut it cut at the start of summer, but it's still producing fruit. I haven't figured out the growing season for limons yet. Mangos are three months starting in May, papayas are year round, pina's have a first harvest, generally one large fruit and then two smaller harvests with smaller fruit. I think they start over with new plants after the third harvest. I ask people about the seasons of different fruits, and often people don't know (or don't understand the question), but ffruit is available from different areas of Mexico at different times, which confuses the issue.

The butterflies are everywhere right now. All colors. My favorite at the month is black with intricate white designs all over the wings, which touches of red on the body and head. Really beautiful. Makes me think of snow drops. Every one is different.

No comments: