Sunday, October 08, 2006

Getting Ready to Move My Garden to the Chacala Playa for the Winter

The palm grove today, nothing like it will look
full of ugly motor homes, in January and February.
I will be moving from this house, in Chacala, where I have been housesitting every summer for three years to a new abode, in early November. I will be the beach again this year. Camping under a palapa with toilets and showers nearby, and electricity for lights and a refrigerator and charging various electronic devices. About 10 feet from the beach.
My campsite at Esparanza's

the rockes in this photo get covered and uncovered during the year. Almost all the time it is just sand along this part of the beach. The south end of the beach, in front of Mar de Jade, generally has rocks most of the time, so I am lucky.

So, now, I have my annual plant problem. What to do with the plants I have been growing all summer? The ones that don't care for the salty ocean breezes.
I have been collecting and growing succulents successfully on the beach in the past, so I will try to keep growing them there this year. I have about 35 pots/buckets of succulents, so that's going to be a tricky. Where to put them, etc. Especially during the busy Christmas week.My beach camp landlady, Esparanza
There aren't a lot of plants who like living with salt water spray as a plant food, so I have to figure out what to do with them: mainly Birds of Paradise, Jasmine, and some other vines.
I think I have keep some of them around my Esparaza, my beach land-lady, garden, and probably give her some too.Desert Rose, Adenium Obesium, my favorite succulent,
and hardy enough for some beach time
And I have already started giving away some of the plants I don't think will do well on the beach.
Narcissa, know as Chicha, mother of my first landlady, Aurora,
co-owner of Chico's Restaurant on the Chacala beach, and a plant lover.

Yesterday I gave Chata and Chicha (Narcissa) both Birds of Paradise. I have to find out what they are called in Spanish. And I have six more of those. I love them though, and don't really want to give them away.
Chata and one of her many handsome sons, at their home,
Mirador, overlooking the oceanChata and her husband, Isreal are both gardeners. They own the wonderful rental "Mirador",
and this is the guest palapa with hammocks, overlooking the ocean.

Socorro's, another rental owner, has been building a new long pathway along the front of her place. She is planning to put potted plants although the walkway. And I'd like to give her some plants. It's a pretty shade spot though. Faces west and in the shade in the afternoon. I'll have to think about it. I was would like to pass something onto Guia. She has more sun, so the B of P would work there I think.
Bird of Paradise
I am still struggling with the frustration of having a neighbor breaking all the branches off my landlady's beautiful new Hibiscus, which was growing wonderfully, and covered with blossoms. She broke off very bit of new growth, and it's not recovering well.I have been asking other gardeners, women, around town, how to deal with Maria. Everyone says that when they confront her she denies taking branches from their plants, even when she is caught red-handed. And apparenlty the "cuttings" never show up in her garden. The branches from this house certainly didn't.

So, for now, I am just ignoring her. And the one time we ran into each other, she looked away and I didn't say anything. I told her neighbor, (who kind of looks after the plant thief) that if she apologized and promised not to touch my plants again, I would like to start over being friends with her. Laura said she currently isn't speaking with to the plant thief because of some other bad thing she did, so that's kind of a dead-end, I guess.

It makes me so sad. Lots of people warned me not to let this woman around my plants or inside the house, because she takes things, besides plants. But I watch her closely when she visits, and the two times I caught her trying to take something, I put my hand out and said something like "Isn't that neat, it was a present from......" and she puts whatever she was going to pocket back on the table or wherever.

Laura and Lupe, and the five other women I have discussed the issue with, say this woman never admits she takes stuff. I have given her many, many things and plants, and always gave her money when she asked for it. For medication and art supplies mainly. And shoes and small religious gifts. And food. Lots of food. I am so stupid and disappointed. Oh well.


Bound for Ceiba said...

That is sad about Maria. I have known people like that - whom I tried to befriend but they still took advantage of me anyway. It's tough.

But how wonderful to be living on the beach!!!

(As long as it is safe. It IS SAFE, right???)

Mary said...

Poignant story about Maria. Not atypical in Latin American countries, I'm afraid. I, too, never know what to do under these circumstances except to try to find out how the (in my case) Panamanians respond. It sounds like you're doing that, too.

By the way, here in Panama, the bird of paradise plant is translated directly as "ave del paraiso." Interesting that they use "ave" which is generic rather than "pajaro," which I understand to mean "song bird" (at least here).

I've enjoyed your blog for some time, having discovered it through La Gringa. The colors in your photos remind me of the movie "Frida." Thanks!