Monday, June 5, 2017

Getting In Touch With My Inner Farmer

            Getting In Touch With My Inner Farmer
            Two weeks ago I had declared, “New window glass all around; new patio roof; I love it all. These are my final projects. My home is complete. My garden is full and lush. No more projects!”

            This isn’t a full-blown project. Really. Honest. Sorta.

            It began with a bedraggled hibiscus. She hadn’t flourished since she’d been planted, several months ago. Her sister plants were “blooming healthy”, to borrow a British expression. Leo, my partner in digging dirt, asked if I wanted to go to Centro Vivero to get a replacement.

            “Sure, and as long as we are there, what about replacing those plants outside the wall, the ones I bought on the street from a pick-up truck. Poor things are last gaspers.”

            The space outside my wall, ah, yes. When I arrived here, a year and a few months ago, run-away bougainvillea had reached treacherous vine-y branches over the wall to choke out trees and grasp plants of all sorts on the inside garden. We had viciously pruned said bougainvillea until finally, each color now nestled, armloads of riotous blooms, atop the garden wall, creating bountiful beauty on each side.

            However, we had dug up the next several feet of ground outside my wall to install a new drain field. Replacement soil has finally quit sinking into holes but is bare and ugly. The poorly pick-up plants, including an avocado tree and two canela (cinnamon), almost goners, create the far boundary of my “commons” area. I maintain this weed-infested patch of ugly, about 18 meters wide. Beyond that is parking area and our dirt road.

            So, on the designated trip-to-vivero day, I stood in the center of the strip with Leo, list in hand. “One hibiscus.” Check. What do you think about replacing these last-gaspers with Plumbago? Plumbago grows quickly with blue flowers year-round.”

            With Leo’s blessing, I added to the list, “Seven Plumbago.” Check. “Fertilizer.” Check. “New dirt; how many bags, Leo?” “Tierra—ten bags.” Check. “Compost—five bags.” Check.

            “What about the grass, Leo. This patch is disgusting. Do you have something like Weed and Feed in Mexico?” I added that to the list. “Should we plant seed or buy sod.”

            See how easily a simple need for one hibiscus replacement plant simply got out of hand? After the weed-killer has done its work, then new soil and compost must be spread. A dirty job. Then we’ll wait for the seasonal rains to start and ask David to lay the sod.

            When we pulled into the vivero, David was on hand to help us. I chose the Plumbago, a new yellow hibiscus, gave David the rest of my list, emptied my wallet and turned to leave. Just then a perfectly stunning and bold Magnolia jumped into my pathway. She begged, pleaded to come home with me. Really, she sounded most pathetic. And Beautiful. I had little choice.

            “This is it, David. This is my last trip to the vivero. I cannot buy more plants.”

            “That make me very sad,” he said with a full-face grin.

            “I haven’t room for another tree or flower,” I countered and climbed into Leo’s Jeep.

            “See you next week.” David waved.

Sondra Ashton
HDN: Looking out my back door

June 1, 2017

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