Friday, September 29, 2006

Bird of Paradise and Bamboo in San Miguel

I was up early this morning and took the bus downtown. It's a block and a half walk from "home" to the bus stop, and the buses seem to come pretty often. I wanted to be the El Jardin, the zocalo, in SMA about 9:30am, so I could go on a two-hour walking tour of the buildings in the downtown area.

I was early. So I looked for a bakery I had seen listed in the SMA tourist book my home owner left for me to use. The bakery had the best sort of apple turnover I have ever eaten, and I have eaten a lot of turnovers in my day. I sat on a bench in the El Jardin ,and read the local weekly English newspaper and ate my goodies. And watched the crowd. Tonight is the start of the huge celebration of St. Miguel, including a special fireworks show that starts at 4 or 5am. I am NOT planning to attend. But I sure I will hear the sound effects.

About ten of us took the tour. I had misunderstand what the tour was about. I thought it was about the architecture of the buildings, the buildings themselves. But it turned out to be mostly about the tour leader's understanding of Mexican history. Part of the talk was offered inside the big church, La Parroquia, and delivered loud enough for all the persons praying in the sanctuary to hear every word. I was sitting near them, so I know.

So, I wandered off whenever I saw an interesting looking garden, and then caught up again, in case he said something interesting.

The Bird of Paradise plant at the top of this post was in a large interior patio, where there was also a giant Jasmine vine. It's "trunk" was made up of about 30 vines. It grew three stories up, from landing to landing, until it reached the roof, and then was spreading around the edge of the roof. Very beautiful with lots of blossoms, but the sun was coming up behind it and I couldn't get a good shot.

The Bird of Paradise was also a large plant. Maybe six feet across. I guess it was lots of different plants growing close together, rather than one plant. I think that's correct.

This bamboo plant appears to be clumper, not a spreader.
and was in the patio of the Belle Artes building.
Here is the bamboo from back across the courtyard of the Belle Arts building.
The plant had nice thick, yellowish "branches" (?). That couldn't be the right name for growing bamboo sticks. And here is of view from the inside of the arches you can see behind the bamboo. I love the rooftop gardens in San Miguel, and this one caught my eye because it seem so "architectural", sparse, different from the normal roof garden.

I am finally getting used to the mix of plants here. Many of the plants are at least annuals in Zone 5, and some are perennials there. And the tropicals are mixed right in. I have been to the Parque Juarez three times now, there is so much to see there. It's like wandering thru a wonderland. Not a lot of variety of plants, but lots of different fountains, and terraces, and steps, and a bridge, maybe more than one, over an arroyo. Even a colorful kid playground, and basketball courts. But mostly it's green and lovely. If you include the terraces going up to the art and music school I visited yesterday, it's about 3/4 of a mile of beautiful foliage. Most of the color is canna, which seems odd, but nice.

I love all the plants growing here: window boxes, roof gardens, regular gardens, garden shrines, interior patio gardens, little sidewalk gardens, pot gardens, hidden gardens inside the entries to homes. It's very beautiful and colorful. This is a wonderful climate here, at least in late September. No sweating dripping off me, and there's enough shade that I really use my umbrella. And it's only rained at night, a few times, so far.

I have been collecting cuttings from succulent plants I find growing "wild", in empty lots, in cracks in the sidewalk, etc. I have quite a few. I am hoping they will last until I can get them in the dirt back in Chacala. I have been living in Chacala for almost three years now, and every time go away to look at other towns, I can't wait to get home.


Naturegirl said...

Oh my that bird of paradise plant!! Nice to see it grow in it's natural enviroment. Here in Canada I can pay up to $30 a stem!!

Bound for Ceiba said...

I visited San Miguel De Allende a few years back and the thing I remember most (well, after the huge populations of gringos and stuff priced in dollars) is the GARDENS! Ohhhhhh, so many gardens!

I'm jealous now.

Enjoy your trip!