SOME TIME ago, Don Miguel, a tall, blue eyes, 84 years old neighbor, began a chatting routine mostly in the mornings while I was planting, watering, weeding or pruning some of my plants known to the habitual readers, in the already listed twice, inventory in front of the house. What a sentence!
All this started in May 08, I got to visit his garden with similar lay out. Not much to mention
about his, other than I got to help him once pruning a bush showing signs of machete surgery and sprayed some herbicide on the cement cracks, some other time.
One morning in July, Don Miguel gave me an orchid, planted in a plastic butter cup. He was on his way down to visit his sister at the nursing home where she hangs out. This plant, not of my favorites, had a plastic shopping bag around. I was unable to figure out why, until I took it off.. When I did, there was a colony of fire ants, hundreds in the root system. Believe or not.
You may wonder if he was aware of this fact, was he bitten, did he see them at any time?
I have to say that at that age, the answer could be yes/no/maybe. The thing is that after
removing the bag, I spent about fifteen minutes or more, spraying the lonely orchid roots with
dish soap water to see If I could exterminate these creatures of God. Yes I was bitten and
irritated at the amount of time spent in the cleaning.
After removing the soapy water, the orchid appeared rather sad, burned out. I thought this
patient had a possibility of fifty fifty, considering that it had survived all those fire ants, and placed it with a string on a branch of a pink Frangipani. A couple of months later, I noticed the white roots grasping the branch with certain affection.
A couple of weeks ago I saw the flower stems coming out. A great feeling of pleasure
came over, something rare, considering that orchids are not my thing. However,since it was a present, with the conditions mentioned, it is really worthy of appreciation among
my growing collection.
BONUS I imagine that some serious gardeners share my intense dislike of gingers, heliconias, bromeliads and the top two: PALMS, LAWNS, or your own. The first, for the absurd over use in Puerto Rico. The questionable beauty.......and you better have a big yard with the first two. They will take it whole! Bromeliads are not easy to handle except with gloves and long sleeves, you can keep them and admire them all you want.
Palms...the beauty of a palm tree is only noticeable at a distance. In the mentioned island,
the mentally challenged plant them, any kind, beside a wall, five feet or less from a building,
or in silly arrangements in high ways, side walks. These people orphaned of ideas forget the eventual size of the palm, the fronds size, the hundred of seeds. Sure, you have guessed, there is no maintenance, the fronds hang out forever until falling, the seeds a mess...
Lawns are sterile. Please erase the tittle of environmentalist/ecologist believer from your curriculum vitae if you use: herbicides, pesticides,fungicides, fertilizer, oil and gasoline to maintain your lawn. Sorry, this applies to you, if you play/follow golf, since all the above applies. You are screwing up the air, water, soil with pollutants and disturbing the peace with
noise to our/yours flora/fauna. In addition wasting water with irrigation. Get a substitute, a meadow, or ground cover... There are tens of possibilties. Or cut the
lawn with a push lawn mower and get a nice work out.
You may disagree. Please do so with some criteria, express yourself. But make sure It goes
beyond silly selfish preferences or questionable aesthetics. Put the argument in context: people/earth/flora/fauna.
See you lator alligators........