Sunday, December 31, 2006

Morninglory Tree???

I think I found a Morning Glory tree, right next door. Here are some photos. If this is the correct plant, I will start watching to collectible seed pods. The homeowner said she hasn't pruned the branches off, only cut them back. Let me know if this is the right plant.

Today a woman who is a landscaper designer in Berkeley borrowed my Tropical Gardening book, from the Fairchild Center. She is maybe helping some people who built a nice cottage sized house here in Chacalato select some trees and shrubs, or at least give them some ideas. It was hard to let the book go, even for a few days, but it was nice to be around someone who talks plants, in English.

We talked about Traveller’s Palms and Bird of Paradise plants being in the same family, and about the name of the peeling red trees that look something like the Madrone, on the West Coast in the U.S.

Today a family, friends of my landlady’s, came by to store some stuff here. Under the staircase behind the house. They will be back for Semana Santa, Easter week. They wanted to wash their car, using water from the facuet for this house. I helped them hook up my hose, so they could spray their car. Just as we got things set up, the town water went off. They just shrugged. I showed them the big trash can we store water in for when there’s no town water And they bucketed water out for car washing. Then, as they finished the town water when back on and they started watering my pots.
As a thank you for helping them store their stuff, etc. I think. Anyway, I had already watered the pots and didn’t want any more water on them so I turned off the facuet (they couldn’t see what I had done). And they thought the town water had gone off again, so they piled in their car and left. They had a nice little VW station wagon. I don’t thinks it’s a model they sell in the U.S.. I really liked it.

I started some succulent cuttings today. I am waiting for a guy, a friend of my old neighbor, Jesus, to come by with some sacks of dirt. It may never happen.

We have been having some cold nights. In the low sixties. People are wearing sweaters, etc.

Morninglory Tree???

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Puttering Around the "Garden",in Chacala

Yesterday I replanted some plants that have squished together, growing in pots, for the last several months.And then planted a couple of plants that I bought at the street market/tianguis last Friday.
And planted some aloes my neighbor Aurora shared with me.And planted three packets of seeds: sunflowers, nasturiums, and coleus.And pruned back one large oregano plant. To see if it would still go to seed after I pruned it. I left the other plants alone as controls. Of course, it doesn’t really matter anyway, since they reseed all the time. There are about a dozen large plants around this house, all going to seed at the moment.Everything seems to work a little differently in this climate. I still haven’t figured out if there is a start to the growing season, like April/May in Zone 5. Shrubs and trees start blossoming in the last part of the rainy season. Maybe September/October. And various other plants start blossoming later. But right now I don’t think there are any plants just starting to blossom.

Some plants blossom continuously, I think. Like vinca, and hibiscus, and roses, and allamanda and bird of Paradise, Uxora, Plumbago, Thunbergia and Desert Rose. Even the bougainvillea only seems to takes occasional breaks between blossoming periods..
Today went I was walking home from Majahua I took some photos of a tree that I really like. It has these long sturdy seed pods, and when they pop open, the insides of the pods have these nice grooved places where the seeds developed. I looked around on the ground for a good example of this, but the seed pods haven’t started falling yet, at least on this tree. I can’t remember what it’s called right now, but I am going to ask Beto, my neighbor, in a minute.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Morninglory Tree

Someone has asked about seeds from a morningglory tree plant, and these are photos of one of the plants near my home. I am posting the photos so he can see if I have the correct plant.

I think I didn't take photos of the crucial trunk area, but i will later today. My neighbor's plant is more tree-like and take phots of that plant another wild one later today. Andee

Sunday, December 24, 2006

My Landlady's Garden, in Chacala

Tomorrow is going to be a gardening day for me. I have dirt, plants, pot, and some bare ground. What more could I want for Christmas.
I was out on the roof overhang, outside my patio wall this morning. Trying, not very successfully to take a photo of a little-bitty two masted skiff zipping around the bay. After I gave up on that project (it turned out I had the wrong focus thing selected), I looked down to the ground and took these photos of Dona Lupe's plants, and my plants in buckets. Kind of strange looking, but, whatever.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Comments on this blog

I think I have fixed the problem with posting Comments on this blog. Please give it a try and let me know if you can't post a comment. My email address is gardenerinmexico at Thanks. I really appreciate comments. Andee

Plants Around Chacala

In my other blog My Life in Chacala, I showed some photos of Euloia harvesting Mata, the plant from which the make a tea drink called Jamaica here in Chacala. And maybe in many parts of Mexico. And I am showing a couple more here. Euloaia is the novio, esposo (boyfriend or husband), not sure which, of my landlady. He let me take photos of his processing Mata plants, the blossoms of which are used to make Jamaica tea. A sweet, ususally cold drink that is very popular in Chacala. I don't know if the name Mata is a local name, or a formal name for this plant
We also looked at one of my plants. Well, what used to be one of my plants. Actually a bucketful of my plants. When I was giving plants away in preparation for moving to the beach, Lupe came up to pick up her choice of plants, she put these plants together in one of the buckets, to make it easier to carry home. And they just stayed there. They look okay though.
I am happy I didn’t move to the beach, although I am visiting at Esparanza’s, my beach landlady, almost everyday. I kind I wish I had held off giving my plants away, until I knew for sure where I was moving. But it’s working out okay, and I can get suttings from my old plants whenever I want.

Today some visiting Canadians went to the tianguis in La Penita. They asked if I wanted something from the market, and I asked a bag of dirt. I didn’t expect them to remember. Or thought maybe the Vivero/nursery would be closed for a couple hours for lunch before they got there. But they remembered!!! Hooray. Time for some more transplants. I will be in Las Varas tomorrow, and will get some more cheap pots. I can’t wait to shift things around, and also to plant some stuff in the ground.I got some plant seeds last week, Coleus and some peppers, and something else. Maybe I will plant them tomorrow.I love it that there is so much to learn about plants here. Today a women visiting from Utah showed me a seed pod from a tree here. She wondered what it was called, and I couldn’t remember. We looked in my PV area plant book and couldn’t find it.
And then she and I inspected a tree near my house. It seems to have giant seed pods growing on it . I am going to take a photo tomorrow, and ask my neighbors what it’s called.

While we were taking photos of his drying racks he also showed me a small stand of Cana, which seems to be Sugar Cane. He cut me a piece and it seemed like Sugar Cane, but who knows.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Visiting My Plants at Their New Homes

I was over at Socorro’s today. She lives in the part of Chacala near where I have lived the past three summers. People call this part of town “arriba”, as in when they are asking the collectivo driver to take them all the way home. It kind of feels like home to me.

Anyway, I was leaving Socorro a note about a woman who has changed her arrival dates. She wants to come to stay at Socorro’s about a month earlier than originally planned. So far it has taken six round-trip walks and three internet trips to get the change arranged. This is another person who somehow can’t afford to pay $9 US a night for a room with a private bath. Anyway……Guia lives next door to Socorro, and is one of the people I shared my plants with when I moved to to my new place. Today Guia showed me how my old plants were doing. The vine with the mauve flowers had grown about six feet in that last couple of months.And the coleus had tripled in size and colored up very nicely.The Bird of Paradise has grown alot, with about 10 new stems coming up. Looked great. And so did the other plants.Guia was very sweet, explaining to me why the plants were looking so good. Water and more or less sun.

I really like being around Guia. She works hard at various jobs and always manages to have a smile on her face. And she knows and sings all the songs that are sung on the various perinigraciones around town for special days like Guadalupe’s Day and San Rafael’s Day. And the Posada too.

I also spent some time a few days ago with my neighbor, (and original landlady in Chacala), Aurora. We pruned her roses and tidied up and watered her plants. She does a great job of keep the plants at her place looking good. She has four rental units, and everything always is nice and tidy, inside and out.

My landlady’s plants are looking better than ever. Her husband has been watering regularly and everything is growing quickly. Her roses look wonderful this season, and so do the other plants.

My plants are looking good, but I don’t seem to be very focused on plants right now. Today at the Las Varas tianguis I bought three plastic pots, 8 pesos each. They are very vivid colors. I don’t know what I was thinking. I need to get some nice soil, but I will have to wait until my next money comes in.

Then I will transplant all the plants that are doubled and tripled up into their own pots. They are all growing very quickly, and I think I will separate them out so each pot has only one kind of plant.

I am hoping to get some more plants next week, from the nurseries and my neighbors. Plus my landlady has several pots that can be divided, and we are going to do that next week after I get the dirt.