What the Garden Looks Like Today

We really have not made a great deal of changes to the garden, well I guess I need to take that back. We have had to chop down dead branches on almost every tree, cut foot long grass from the entire area and now pull weeds but have not put a great deal of money into the yard only time and hard work. So to look back on the garden and then look at today’s photos you would say we have done a great deal of work cleaning it up. First what it looked like beforehand, this was the first time we had seen the property back in May.

San Jacinto Clemente 4.28.2012 020

San Jacinto Clemente 4.28.2012 021

San Jacinto Clemente 4.28.2012 022

I look back and you can’t even see the fence at the back of the garden it was so overgrown.  Here are todays pictures.

San Clemente 12.4.2012 002

San Clemente 12.4.2012 003

San Clemente 12.4.2012 005

Boy can I see a difference. And we have just begun…wait until we put in some furniture and I finish with making planters on the sidewalk…


A Tree Planted in Clemente

Yes, I know what you are saying, another tree! One of my readers, Yusuf said that a fig tree would be a good addition to my grove of already mature trees, it would grow fast and would produce some fine fruit. I could not agree more with the fruit part, but yet another tree.

While living in Playas the guardian of our rental home, Oswaldo would come by and bring me bags of these wonderful fruits. I became quite creative in my use of them besides just popping them into my mouth. One day I wrapped bacon around them and put them in the oven, cooked them until the bacon was crispy, what an excellent breakfast. Then I made jam using cinnamon sticks, star anise and the panela sugar it was exceptional. And the neighbors like it as well.

Right now I need to finish pruning the trees, decide if I want to keep the grass or rip it up and bring in good soil and some manure. Then I can decide where this tree will be planted, where I will put my herb garden and what flowering bushes I want to plant to cascade over the fence…my biggest problem is the amount of space I have in this yard…all these trees…I want paths under them, I want flowers around the trunks and well you see I am in somewhat of a bind in trying to figure out what the next step would be.  Now I am turning to my friend Keith who has a great deal of experience with tropical trees from his own Florida garden. The past few weeks have not been great for getting much done because of the festival and so many other distractions. Maybe this week Keith and I can sit down and come up with a plan. Joe and I (well I did a lot of standing, moving  branches not really trimming) trimmed back the dead wood from the one tree. Joe also trimmed up all the trees so it is possible to walk around without having your hair pulled out of your head. There are only a few branches left that are too high for Joe and the huge guava that is at the back of the yard, not sure what we need to do on that.

Fredy just told me that he is getting soil for his papaya farm and if I wanted to order some good soil he would be happy to add my order to his and have it delivered to my house. An offer I have taken very serious and put my order in the same day.

Any suggestions or help would be greatly appreciated!!!

El Jardín de Árboles Frutales

One of the many projects I have planned over the next several months includes the garden.

There are several sticks holding up limbs probably when they were laden with fruit the last time. It really makes the yard look unkempt, they must go!

With its 13-14 fruit trees (I am not sure if the palm tree happens to be a coconut palm that is why I am not sure about the number), in a space 33′ wide by 21′ deep. Some trees have so much dead wood the tree actually looks like the entire tree is dead, then you look at the branches that are so intertwining that you don’t know where one tree stops and another starts. For all of that they are all bearing fruit, are flowering and actually look like they are doing pretty well. What will happen when they are fertilized, watered and trimmed regularly, I should have more than enough fruit.

This is the cherry tree, my one neighbor goes crazy for these little fruits.

The pomegranate has several fruits as well as flowers.

Look at the bunches of mandarina on just this one limb, I hope my neighbors are willing to help eat these when they get ripe, because it looks like there will be way too many for Joe and I to eat.

So many flowers, if all of these flowers become limons I will be able to supply the entire neighborhood for months.

I have started a garden plan in my mind, so far it looks like we will be trimming up the trees to be able to walk underneath them, top them off so that we can reach the fruit without having to higher a cherry-picker ha ha. Next we are considering removing all the grass and amending the soil with soil from the mountains and manure.  Then the real fun part starts, I would like to put gravel and winding paths made from brick like a little garden under and around the trees, plant flowers around the tree trunks, add a table and chairs to the septic cap and put a herb garden in on the one side and plant azaleas on the road side of the yard. One of my biggest dilemmas is whether I should plant several different colors or just pick one fabulous hot color for this spot. The herb plants that I brought up from Playas don’t seem to be doing that well, but I have seen many plants at the market in Charapoto so hopefully I will be able to replace those that don’t make it. And I know my friends Mary and John (hint hint) will help me with some seeds or fledgling plants because their choice of dill, rosemary, chives, hot peppers and so many more are just doing beautifully in their patio garden along with their exceptional assortment of tea and miniature roses.  I think both John and Mary have green thumbs, I just hope my garden looks half as nice as theirs when we have done some work on it.

Some New Plants for My Patio Garden

Friday of last week while Joe and I were taking a trip by bus up to Guayaquil, Joe spotted a nice garden store we had not found before. Of course we were whizzing by at the speed of light, bus drivers in Ecuador really move, so I was not able to even get a peek before we were well past it. It ate at me all weekend wondering what I was missing. So yesterday morning I dropped by to take a look. It was a very impressive garden store, it has mighty coconut palms outside the gates that Daniel told me went for $100 each. We walked inside to find a very nice selection of flowering shrubs, bushes and many of what I would consider house plants.

I completed the re-potting and watering and here is the end result. I love all the beautiful flowers that are available. Now if anyone wants cuttings just let me know.

One last photo of just the flowers on this one plant, hope it makes your world a bit brighter today – it sure brightened up mine.

First Aid for my Coconut Palms

For months I continued to procrastinate on re-potting my two coconut palms. The pots I had them in were just a tiny bit bigger than the actually coconut and when I potted them I knew it was a mistake, but they survived. This week I purchased huge rubber pots and finally moved them. The pots were inexpensive at $7 a piece. I came across a man behind the mercado with a small plant stand who also sells potting soil. It is the lightest potting soil I have ever seen. Mostly ground leaves, not twigs or pine cones like some that I have purchased in the past. A 40 lb feed sack was $3. I could not resist purchasing four herb plants including two types of basil, local oregano and mint. Before the afternoon was over I had re-potted the two palms, one flowing vine (that I am not sure is going to make it) and all four herb plants.

And while I was at the store that sells plastic items I found one of those wooden beach chairs that Joe loves so. When I delivered it to Joe you would have thought I had given him a million dollars. We do have simple tastes these days and the smallest kindness goes a long way.

My plants actually looked better in just a few days. It is not necessary to plant herbs here as fresh herbs are very inexpensive and plentiful at the mercado as well as the grocery stores but having my own mint in the back yard whenever I want to make a mojito or add a few leaves to a  salad really makes me happy.

Adding to my plant treasure my friend Miguel came by a few days ago with four hot pepper plants.

Now I will allow the palm trees to settle in and then I will fertilize the heck out of them to see what they really can do…