Monday, September 25, 2006

Part 2: Viveros in San Miguel de Allende

This morning I went roaming around looking for one particular vivero I had seen from the bus. I finally gave up on finding that one, and I started walking to the next one, which I thought was near the new, giant, Pollo Feliz restaurant. "Happy Chicken" restaurants are everywhere in Nayarit and Jalisco. Anyway, it was further than i thought, and when a taxi driver blinked his lights at me, which means "Do you want a taxi?", I nodded, and he came around and took me to the nursery. For what appears to be the standard 20 pesos. He was about my age, and had worked in Mexicali, driving semi's up into California, for about twenty years. No English, or else he was shy.
The nursery, called Magueye Vivero, could have been anywhere in the States. Very different from yesterday's vivero, which was a temporary place with a couple of plastic shelters on a dirt field. This was a very nice set-up with lots of plants, and pots, and shrubs and trees.
And great prices, even better than yesterday. I paid 54pesos (about $5US), for five suuculent plants, one of which had a bunch of babies. I can't remember to word for succulent babies. And two other plants that I haven't seen before in Mexico: an "ice" plant, and something else. Plus another pot full of babies. I was very happy, and the worker, Jorge, who helped me pick out my selection was very sweet.
I saw he was going thru the section for each different kind of plant, and picking out the nicest and largest for me. And of course, he seem to love the idea of being photographed. And this time I remembered to bring my giant plant plastic bag, bolsa, which saved me alot of hassleThis is definitely a plant nursery, not a "garden center". The only extra gardening-type merchandise I noticed was many, many stacks of colorful pots stored in a big, open shed. No potting soil or chemicals or tools or geegaws. But I noticed two more viveros on the way around town later on, and they looked a litte more like retail operations.
After paid and packed up, I walked across the highway, which was part of a huge, really huge traffic circle, where three main highways meet. Went to the new, giant, modern Polla Feliz restaurant. My mental budget for this trip calls for eating out three times. Two down, one to go. I think I will try El Grotto later in the week. All the reviews say their pizza is excellent. Of course, there may be a new pizza-phobic owner there by now.I walked back across the highway, taking a photo of the planting dividers, which are mini-gardens. Not every creative, but attractive, I thought. The waitress at Happy Chicken had given me a take-out bag since I hadn't finished my 1/2 chickenhen I got to the bus stop in front of the nursery, Jorge, the nursery guy came out, and carefully handed me a little packet. It was some succulent starts. Pretty nice of him. And I gave him my take-out bag of chicken. Pretty good trade, at least for me.

The same taxi driver who brought me to the vivero saw me from across the highway, and tooted at me. I was waiting for the bus, but was dreading walking the last, uphill, bit with my heavy plant bag. So I waved and got a $20peso ride home. It was worth it
Here are my new plants. When I was growing up in L.A. we called this one an ice plant, but I don't supposed that's the Latin name, or whatever.

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