Trying My Hand at Planting

I wanted to share with you a few plants that have started to spring up in my garden. First and foremost a special thank you to Liz for bringing a horseradish root on the plane with her when she visited a few weeks ago. I cut it in half not wanting to ruin the entire root and followed the instructions I found on the internet. I planted it on an angle and it has started to grow. Now I am not sure that it will continue to thrive here because of how warm it is but I have faith that I am supposed to have a horseradish plant.

San Clemente 3.24.2013 034

Next to the horseradish plant I planted several cloves of garlic. They are springing up but again I am not sure they will do well in this heat so I am going to clip the tops and add to salads for a nice garlicky hit.

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I have also planted a few knobs of ginger and again they are starting to sprout so keep your fingers crossed that they will grow for us.

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I also planted the seeds from a Hawaiian papaya – they tend to be a bit sweeter than the big ones. I know they need to be thinned out but I just cannot make myself destroy these little babies just yet, maybe next week I will be ready to pull them up.

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I have several dill plants that are doing their best to make it. We could sure use some fresh dill for my mother’s chicken soup recipe.

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Now here are the bouganvilla plants that I cut from beautiful red-flowered plants growing on the fence of Vista Azul. I planted them months ago before the rain started and they did nothing for so long I thought they were dead. Look at those beautiful red flowers, these have the long spikes and will be added security on our wall on the street side of our property.

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Well, off to re-pot all my potted plants. Max our neighbor brought me two huge sacks of soil from his farm. It is so black and rich I know my potted plants will just go wild for it. Now all I need is that old straw hat my Dad would wear in his garden…………….

San Clemente 3.24a.2013 002

25 thoughts on “Trying My Hand at Planting

  1. Your plants look nice. I don’t know how you can get them to grow in this heat. I love plants and have a few here in the states. I just planted 3 tomato plants and 4 knock out rose bushes. The weather here is back and forth. It is warm one day, cool the next and then cold the next. I got hail last week and frezzing for the next week. I am so ready to return to Ecuador. Be thankful for the heat! Enjoy planting!! Tell Max “hello” for me. Hope you and Joe are doing great!.

    • Karen, I am not sure if any of these plants will make it in this heat but it is worth a try, so try I am…hope you get some spring weather soon, all my friends and family up North are over the snow and cold weather also…Nancy

  2. great job..I finally got a bag of dirt and will be planting seeds sometime this week. I’m glad your seeds didn’t flood out with all the rain. I still have a bit of dried dill that I can share until our plants start providing 🙂

    • Hey Mary and John, I finished both bags of soil this morning and Max is going to refill the sacks tomorrow for me. I may ask for a bit of your dill until mine is big enough to pick, I am getting very excited about horseradish and dill, Yahoo!!! Nancy

    • David, what I need is a big Farm Hat that is what Joe calls it and he is right, one that covers the entire head, shades the face and the back of the neck as well…now where will I find the perfect hat???

  3. A caution via Wikipedia about horseradish, “Horseradish left undisturbed in the garden spreads via underground shoots and can become invasive.”

    • William, thanks for your comment. I don’t think there will be a problem with it being undisturbed, it is a valuable commodity here in Ecuador. The supermarkets just don’t carry the prepared fresh horseradish in the jars like back in the states – you can find the horseradish sauce with the mayo. I have never seen a root at any Mercado that we have visited…I know of at least six folks that are dying to get a few pieces from me already and I don’t know if this is going to grow in this climate. I will keep you posted, N

  4. Hi Nancy, thank you so much for a great blog. What kind of heat are you talking about? Garlic does fine in 100 plus. I’ve never tried to grow horseradish so your on your own, but my guess is they’ll do fine. Lots of water and perhaps a bit of shade should bring sucess.

    Take care and good luck.


    • Hi Marc, Thanks for your comment. This time of year it has been pretty hot in the 90’s everyday and humid. We have not had rain in several weeks, the ground is dry and some of my beds even have crakes in them from how dry the soil is. Our home is only 3 houses from the water with the salt and sand in the air, with the hot hot sun the horseradish plant may not grow that great here. Not sure if horseradish needs the cold frozen ground to keep it from taking over like William comment below stated…Joe’s mother had a horseradish plant in the yard in Pennsylvania that came back every year no matter how cold or how much snow they had. Folks I have talked to here that have attempted to grow it from the root have not had much success. I am keeping my fingers crossed in hopes of sharing my treasure!!! Nancy

  5. Can you grow bouganvilla from a cutting? There are so many beautiful colors around here I could have a good time with that! Good luck with your other plants. I’m getting planting fever too, just bought some herbs. I tossed papaya seeds in the garden months ago and now I have a number of small plants. I was planning to transplant them. Does that work? I don’t want to thin them either. Think of all the potential papayas that would never come to be!

    • Hi Kris, Yes, the picture before the last one is of bouganvilla’s that I took cuttings from a plant on the VistaAzul fence down the street. The only thing you need to do is get a good woody piece and be patient because they take a long time to start to leaf out…but two out of the 6 cuttings have some nice growth the others have very tiny leaves but if we get a little more rain in April they should take off as well. Cross your fingers for me okay? In Panama you should be able to put almost anything in the ground during the rainy season and it will grow. My entire yard was empty of plants when we moved to Dolega at the end of the 3 1/2 years the place was filled with flowing plants, vines and anything I could get my hands on I planted. You should have no trouble transplanting just be sure to do it in the rainy…Good luck let me know how you do. Nancy Happy Easter

      • Ahh my goodness, I will have to try that! There are so many beautiful colors around here. I am waiting for the rainy season to do lots of things in the yard. I figure it’s easier for the plants, and for me when I don’t need to water everything every day. Thanks for the tips and encouragement, and I’ll cross my fingers for your horseradish and other garden projects!

        • Kris, you will do great, start checking out the plants and flowers you love…so when the rains starts you will be ready to clip a few cuttings and just jam them in the ground, you will be amazed just how fast they start to grow and your cost was ZERO just a bit of work and time. If you can find the lovely border plant called “Tea Lo” not sure I am spelling it correctly, it is a tea plant, grows very low with dark green leaves and small purple flowers, makes a great border and when you cut it back you can make a wonderful tea from it. I will find the correct spelling and send you the name. The horseradish has almost doubled in size this week, it has started to sprout from the other end as well…my concern is that it needs the cold weather and will not grow as well here because of the heat…only time will tell. Some days I wish I had a little more room but then I think I would be spending ALL day in the yard and get nothing else done. N

          • I’ve already started to look around with the idea of returning with my cutters 😀 I know what you mean. I could play in the garden all the time, and it’s good to limit the room I’m allowed so i don’t go totally nuts.

  6. Hola Nancy,

    We made it to Crucita and we feel like the coast of Ecuador is a special place. I am looking for a place to retire. I have read some about Vistazul that is supposed to be in/near San Clemente. Can you tell me anything about it, know anyone who lives there, etc? Thanks so much, enjoy your Easter Best,



    • Good Morning Linda, Vistazul is located in San Clemente across the street from the PalmAzul hotel the hotel is right on the beach about 6 or 8 blocks from downtown. I do know a few folks that live there. It is a townhouse development not large, they are three story units with the third story being a roof deck with most if not all with a view of the ocean. This is their website it gives you a general idea of what the place looks like.

      I have not seen any of the units myself, I have been told that they are nice. I do know a few folks that rent theirs out when they are not using them. Let me know if you are interested in more info and I will let you know what I find out, Nancy

  7. If you could ask any owners if they know of any problems with the development or HOA that would be nice to know beforehand. Also, any one wanting to sell?

    • Hi Linda, I am having a gentlemen by the name of Mike contact you on your email. He lives in Vistazul and can answer your questions, Nancy

          • Mike is being very helpful. Thanks again for that connection. On another note, do you know anything about bus service between Crucita and San Clemente?
            We are thinking of coming for a quick look at the area.
            Best, Linda

            • Hi Linda, happy that Mike could help you. I have not been to Crucita but maybe a bus going to Bahia passes through that area on its way to Bahia. If so that would be your best bet getting off outside of town near the Catholic church…before it makes the turn up into the mountains…I know that Rania del Camino and Cuactur bus lines pass in front of our town several times a day going into Bahia. Nancy

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