Monday, March 12, 2007

Working in the Garden, in Chacala

I guess I’m really back in the gardening mode again. I wonder if somehow I am still on the Zone 5 gardening schedule. In Zone 5, right now, I would be starting plants from seeds and cuttings, and cleaning up the garden. At least I would be working outside a little, unless there was snow on the ground or the earth was frozen.

Maybe I just needed a break. The nice thing about this part of Mexico, 22 degrees north latitude and on the Pacific Ocean, is you can grow things year around. The hard thing is learning a whole new plant world. I am still learning what grows when. And when particular plants blossoms. And so on. I guess I will be learning for years. I haven’t found any gardening magazines, in Spanish or in English, that address this climate.The Phoenix Home and Garden magazine is sort of helpful for some plants, like succulents. I am thinking a Southern Florida gardening magazine might suit my gardening needs. I am going to do a search for such a magazine. Maybe I could subscribe and then have someone re-mail it for me. Or whatever.

This morning I moved a bunch of my plants that have been in growing in pots out into the earth. Using imported dirt in planting areas, mostly. The plants are almost all cuttings from my “mother plants”. I am going to leave my biggest Desert Rose (Adenium Obesium) in it’s pot, and keep hacking away at it. Taking cuttings.

This morning I took cuttings from the unusual (for me) Portulaca plant Sheri and Nicole gave me a few weeks ago. I think I will keep it in a pot too, at least thru the rainy season (late June thru early October-sort of). Just to see how it does.

I am going to make my second trip to the new (three years old) P.V. Botanical Garden pretty soon. It’s a slightly complicated bus ride from here. Six buses each way. On my first visit the owner, Bob Price, told me you can’t grow succulents in this area. He’s an orchid man, so maybe he’s never tried succulents. But I hope he has been converted and that he is selling some. They have really good pizza there. I am looking forward to the trip. It’s a beautiful place, and worth the trip.

Some house painters from Guadalajara, a father, son, and another guy, have been staying in the downstairs room while Dona Lupe are her family stay at the restaurant, Fonda Lupita, full time now.

Anyway, the workers leave, in the back of a friend’s pickup, on Saturday afternoon, and then come back early Monday morning, ready for work. They eat at one of the working man’s restaurants. It’s 50 pesos a day for two big meals, breakfast and mid-day. They seem to snack for dinner.This morning I was fooling around, dragging one of three sacks of dirt up the staircase. Paul, a neighbor up the road, brought me the dirt from the plant nursery in La Penita. I was hoping I would get five bags, but they ran out. Rats!!!

Anyway, one of the painter guys, the father, came to the house to drop his stuff off, after his weekend in Guadalajara. He was very complimentary about my gardening efforts. It made me feel good. It’s fun to be working in front of the house and talk to people as they come by. This morning there have hardly been any giant trucks. A nice change.
I am going back down to the garden to water. I just saw the water guy, Julio, go by on his bike. That usually means he just turned the town water on. I love all the water we have this year. I feel rich. Dirt and water and plants, what more could I want? Well, a Coke, for one thing. And some semi-tropical gardening magazines would be good.

1 comment:

LostRoses said...

We went to the botanical gardens in February and I was impressed at how much everything has grown. We didn't have a lot of time to spend there as we were on a garden tour that day with the International Friendship Club, and this was just one stop among many. I can't say I noticed any succulents, though maybe Bob is trying them out in some faraway corner! I'm sure you'll make a believer out of him. Enjoy your visit!