Spanning the globe with frequent and once in a while readers. I am interested in collecting, propagating plants, landscape management practices, ecology, environment, flora/fauna, in essence Nature. This blog is written in a blunt, abrasive fashion with consistent critical views on these subjects and others that may be related...or not.

miércoles, 22 de julio de 2009


IT HAS BEEN mentioned before. Some plants require to be relocated to better quarters for different reasons. In this case, the growth of the Bouganvillea and Murrayas, centers of the installation, in the west garden, made unnecessary
the Hibiscus and Polyscias. There are two
varieties of the first and three of the second, now planted in the south garden. The hibiscus will provide nectar for bees, hummingbirds and Spindalis, both will offer shade, quiet and lots of privacy. The Polyscias can grow up to twenty feed. There are 114 species of them. Not found in nurseries down here, I recommend them for their vertical growth and problem free maintenance.


TAKEN FROM fine Gardening
August 1999
by Dr. Susan Verhoek

Latin plant names are usually chosen by botanists because of some connection with the plant. Botanical names such as Claytonia virginica, Viola missouriensis,
Pieris japonica, Linnacea borealis, and Aquilegia alpina reveal where these plants originally grew in the wild. For example, Linnaea borealis--borealis meaning northern in Latin--grows as far north as USDA Hardines Zone 2.

Some latin names signify bloom times. In Latin, vernalis means spring, so Hamamelis vernalis would be a good witch hazel for spring bloom. Adonis aestivalis, which is commonly known as summer adonis, provides good summer
color, while Colchicum autumnale brightens the garden in fall, and Eranthis hyemalis produces its bright yellow flowers in late winter.

Many names are descriptive and are based on the same Latin words that provides
adjectives in English. Rosa multiflora has multiple flowers, just as Clintonia uniflora has one. Leaf shape is also an obvious source for names. Zelkova serrata has leaf edges with small teeth. The edges of the leaves of Yucca filamentosa come apart as curling threads. Oak trees belong to the genus Quercus, so the oak leaf hydrangea is aptly named Hydrangea quercifolia.

Other names reveal useful economic aspects of a plant. Cultivated plants are frequently sativus, while edible plants are edulis. You could wash your clothes
or hair with any plant named saponifera, but beware of the ones called somniferum, as they will put you to sleep.

Healing herbs are sometimes dubbed officinalis or officinarum. And while the leaves of Ilex paraguariensis are used to make tea in Paraguay, tea of Ilex vomitoria is probably best avoided. Even the reactions of botanists to certain plants become apparent. Consider the obviously frustrated botanists responsible for the spiny-leaved genus Damnacanthus or the species name exasperatus.

sábado, 18 de julio de 2009


IT HAS BEEN a while since we touched the subject. Bad news first, RIP, Oregano, a bush resistant to drought, spent three years with us. Apparently of old age. Mangifera indica. A short stay for this grafted tree
bought in some distant nursery. A gift, of some vascular disease, probably
with it from the beginning.


If you do not live in Puerto Rico, use vines in any space requiring privacy, or any other
as you see fit. This will eliminate the real possibility of coming home one day and
discover your treasure all stressed out, after being cut off by the heineous hand of your barbarian neighbor.

If you plant a tree or a palm too close to any wall or property shared by others it is your FAULT. No one should plant anything at random without any knowlegde/notion of how wide any tree, bush palm may grow in five, ten, fifteen years. Consider also the amount of organic waste that will fall from the branches, trunk and so forth. Seeds, leaves, fruit, palm fronds.

They are a pain in the ass in pavement, side walks, not only making ugly the surroundings, but
also hazardous when wet, even in dry situations some are slippery. If you do not know anything,
about anything in this regard you can blame the landscape fellow, company that planted it.
I believe one should claim in court any loses due to someone's ignorance. However, your position will not stand in court if the problem was caused by your ignorance. Is no excuse.

That is why vines and climbers present less risks and problems of maintenance, even if your neighbor sabotage your beautifying efforts. The vine will come back over and over, unless is poisoned, another possibility.

This two vines, have nice flowers. The first a bright red star shaped flower; the Clitoria with a blue indigo pea like flower make a great combination, since flowers do not clash, nor the size of the leaves itself, a great match. If you design or buy spiral tutors they grow within that shape creating a nice, attractive form in your garden.


If you enjoy making your own juice, the second is a great option to enhance your garden. You get privacy, a beautiful, rare flower with some Christian myth about the shape
that I am not going to discuss here, but you can find anywhere. It explains the other
name for this vine: Passion Fruit. The intense yellow tangy juice seems to help to keep your blood pleasure down. Research if that is your bag. I am happy knowing everything else.

The first as I wrote a while ago is extremely rare. I have the only plant I have ever seen. The first Oerstedii I ever saw in one of my strolls, from which I got the seeds, is totally dead. It grows fast. I was surprised to see it coming along so nicely. One of the rarities of this vine, is that the leaves are fragile with the color and texture of a tomato plant. Instead of fruits, it develops pods that in color and texture may remind one of Poppys. Another amazing characteristic of the flower is the form. It is exactly in details to the Passion fruit but one third of its size.


This rare climber, was found by the sea, in the sand, fully exposed to sun and intense salty breeze. Planted from seeds in pods, like any bean, but bigger and thicker. It looks better by itself since the leaves are thick, as they should growing in such habitats. The flowers are pink.


I HAVE not found an Ipomea that I do not like, except Bejuco de puerco. Do not plant it except for erosion control. This vine has the annoying tendency to grow like
grass and will ruin your garden unless you get rid of it.

Finally, if you like the hearted shape of the Ipomoeas, try to plant species of the same size. I made the mistake of planting a bunch of seeds I had collected for over a year. I confess not to like the effect of small leaves/big leaves together, It does not matter to me, if the flowers are or not beautiful, the visual effect is not attractive.

These vines appear in the pictures to the right (Jessica and Gisela). Since not many people will get to see them, this aesthetic handicap does not matter much. One final note. Having vines in pots, it is not too smart. I know. Since they have so many leaves exposed to sun/wind, with this frying pan heat they look stressed out every afternoon, either you water them or pay the price.

jueves, 16 de julio de 2009


SOMEHOW, I woke up with those wild west towns in mind. You may take your pick, John Wayne or Clint Eastwood ones. The classical come with optional whore house, blacksmith, stables, barber shop, saloon, church, sheriff office, dry goods and hardware store.

Lets see how this pattern is repeated in Puerto Rico. Some avaricious HOUSING DEVELOPER with engineers, landscape architects, agronomists as acomplices present a 'plan' to ARPE, 007RN, to build fifty, hundred, five hundred houses, a Caribbean skyscraper or walk up, any where in the main island or its territories.

My experience from what I see, or from what the media presents every time a new scam is denounced, it that with the right connections, with the appropriate bribes, you can build anywhere, right by the ocean or dried swamps, swamps, or areas prone to floods.

Forget about the pressure this unreasonable, exploitative manner to conduct business and development puts in the environment. Even though Gonzalez Bauza, the obscure, sinister
ghost from Gramas Lindas, is still stuck with my tree inventory. As usual criticizing my unique stance about the fools in the puddle, or the 'simplistic fashion' of doing it, no inventory of flora/fauna is done. If he has any inventory please publish them in the internationally known
well read, with tons of readers, blog of his.

If any reader from those far away places reading this blog ocassionally would like to help me
to get rid of this resistant pest, please send an email to: sales@gramaslindas.com, yamir@gramaslindas.com or info@tropicgardens.com. Please REQUEST the source of tree inventories that apparently Mr. Bauza and no one else has. Or any biometric report. I would
appreciate it.

Wild west towns and those somewhat tamed were practical. One arrived in the horse, tying it to
the available spot, got a shot of bourbon or whiskey and went on your thing. In any of the housing projects built and planned during the last fifty years in Puerto Rico, (copied from
the originals in Long Island, by Levitt and Sons) THERE WAS NEVER, room for stores or any kind, hospitals or schools, doctor offices, lawyers, locksmiths to name a few in any plan. No room for future needs except in very few, with the fingers of both hands.

As a result, the residences built for families were used as such for some time. Later, those houses, preferably on main roads with lots of traffic, would be transformed in any fashion imaginable to accommodate whatever the property owner wanted. Pizza places, bars, pool halls, offices of every kind, cashier/check shops, pawnshops and any other type of store you could imagine.

The front yard of these houses with turf originally, became parking lots for the business in question. Since there was no design in the road to allow this kind of entering/exiting of cars
constantly, it is almost impossible to travel from one direction to the other with the amount of cars entering or leaving the premises, blocking the right of way, creating pretty picturesque traffic jams day and night.

If the New York Times is correct in Jakarta, the amount of cars has reached the point of no return. Even though a system of car pooling was created, similar to the one in California to avoid single passenger cars creating waste and jams, it has failed. Even though it is useful and has created jobs for people getting paid to travel in cars, too many vehicles for the roads.

I bet that Puerto Rico will be in similar situation in less than five years. Yesterday I went to do my usual ecotourist trip to the COUNTRY OF CAGUAS, a valley known in the past for tobbacco, sugar cane and coffee in the outskirts. The amount of cars in every direction at such hour, is nighmarish. Thank god I do not have to drive!

To close here, the environment will not be rescued, saved, helped unless we get rid of housing developers, roads and cars. I do not care what you say/write. Colective means of transportation
is the only way. Why should every person have a house and a car? That is what created the housing crisis in first place in USA, besides the scams from banks, mortgage originators, real estate brokers. Not every person have the means to pay for mortgages, built rentals for those
and avoid the tendency in Puerto Rico. Avarice dictates what you pay. Any shitty, apartment recently built, with many construction deffects (vices of construction) cost on average $250,000 USA.

The Jakarta Way? Well, twenty years or so Jakarta had a crazy boom of financial prosperity reflected in the avarice of construction developers and speculators. Skyscrappers real ones
were built and never finished. In some there are trees growing thirty, forty feet high among
the walls and floors.

Puerto Rico? Lets wait and see. If there are fifty thousand apartments in inventory and the idiots continue building apartments left and right at $300,000 and up, even with the cool money laundering going on in this USA territory, the market will never absorb such amount of empty apartments.
Puerto Rico the Jakarta of the Caribbean. Lets wait and see. If am mistaken, better for all.

miércoles, 15 de julio de 2009


"ONE OF THE, easiest activities to take on is reforestation. Calls the attention thanks to the memories of El Yunque reforestation. A project should be implemented to plant trees in our roads and urban spaces using unemployed youth, and displaced workers. They could be trained in landscaping design and self employment and after this training to start their own business of landscaping and reforestation.

Green Brigades could be organized for reforestation, with VESTS (emphasis mine) related to this project. In a municipality of Chile, some time ago, I noticed the positive
effect among the citizens of these type of vests among workers of direct help to the citizens.

If a wide project of reforestation is developed we would have created new businesses, new jobs, a coolest country, a project of benefit for Puerto Rico and a heritage for the generation of our grandchildren. A tree takes five years to grow enough to offer shade and could live for over one hundred years. The question is, could we plant 2 million trees in highways and urban spaces to enjoy their shade in 2014?"

el nuevo dia
Nicolas Munhoz
page 45
14 July 2005

In my view, Nicolas, an obscure economist has surely planted a lot of beans and tomatoes in his life. When I thought I had seen/read/observed any possible sign of non-sense, Francisco Vacas, the editor, allow this manure to appear on this daily shopper, passing as a newspaper.

Nicolas was in memory lane mode about a reforestation that took place after some hurricane
in depression times. NOT the mental, the economic from the thirties.

I will not get in the facts of trees lasting a hundred years or growing in five. He should have read some manual about threes lasting 1o or less and growing in thirty. There is no understanding of
the issues, reality of watching television, reading newspapers or observing trees in sidewalks.

The most hillarious part is the one about the VESTS. It is a great injection of positivism in some
municipality in Chile to watch workers wearing some lame, cheap vest as is always the case, to make one feel optimistic.

This is the third side of the coin in Puerto Rico. Good intentions in a vacuum. If you look at the pictures appearing on this blog, or if walking by Ponce de Leon Avenue, or reading about my
inventory of trees you will have the picture of the future of any tree in Puerto Rico in the urban context.

Most empty headed goody goody people with good intentions repeats this crap like a mantra, expecting everyone to believe it. Unfortunately, most islander inhabitants believe it.

Time to go with a question: Why if the world is overpopulated every ignorant fool writing about things they do not grasp, often end "to leave something for our grandchildren". Their grandchildren will certainly be happy having shade instead of some fat bank account.

domingo, 12 de julio de 2009


BAD NEWS FOLKS.. something rare in this wonder isle. We went the ecoturist way, to the beach in the tittle. It is a historical place since I saw the Atlantic Ocean at the age of eight for the first time then. I remember the blue, intense blue a moment never forgotten. Later, I have visited Luquillo, perhaps ten times in thirty years, perhaps less since I am not fond of the sauna heat, sun screens and all the paraphernalia that goes with the BEACH.

Too many children, fat, obese, noisy ones, with fat, obese parents. Perhaps five out of ten people down here belong to that segment of the population. It is like watching babi-rusas down at the Bronx Zoo.

The water was nice, there were perhaps ten tourists, white/blonds, surely there are others colored; for every thousand isle inhabitants. The music, makes you puke REGUETON for some time too loud as always the case, some tolerable regue, and most noticeable, the amount of people with their own radios in five different stations
all the way up seems to be decaying, IPODS? No money for batteries? That is a good
one, keep a tally.

The service of renting the chairs/umbrellas, pathetic. One guy picks your license, puts a white sticker, writes C/U, ten bucks the umbrella and five for the chair. To pick up your license is the TRIP. Since it is not in alphabetical order but in a stack kept together with a rubber band, the poor dumb fellow goes to every damn driving license at random until he finds yours. Then you walk with the poor overworked
fellow to pick the umbrella. At least this guy had a smile and earned his deserved

The walk to the bathrooms in paths made out of concrete, some with fake bricks were
all full of...make a guess...sand, garbage, tropical almond seeds, and else. No one has
swept these in weeks or months. The palm fronds are hanging or have dropped, on the sand, on the roads, everywhere you can look. The grass is all umkempt. The gutters, pavement with gravel, sand, plastic bags flying, cups, cans and so on.

The recycling bins up to the rim, plastic, glass and aluminum falling on the ground,
but there is no reason to be surprised. Ladies and Gentlemen. Who is in charge of the
maintenance of this dirty beach with tons of dead dry algae, drift wood and else by
the water? The ones and only PARQUES NACIONALES, in a tense struggle to defeat in stupidity the 007 RN and FIDEICOMISO DE CONSERVACION in any relevant issue regarding maintenance of green areas/environment/habitats.

Do not go anywhere..do not touch your mouse. The beginning of this adventure starts with the traffic jam to enter. There is just ONE LANE, with two silly, not two bright employees, in their ugly dark green uniforms. Instead of four, easily accommodated in the same booth, and TWO LANES, possible just with opening the exit, closed at this rush hour. Believe it or not.

WELL, the bathrooms at this beach, or any other public establishment in Puerto Rico such as baseball, basketball stadiums, public schools are a shame. Intense urea fumes in the atmosphere, clogged pipes, urine puddles all over, turds on guard and no toilet paper in sight. One has to see, smell to believe such barbaric potty training failure on one hand. A sign of the cracks in family structure and modern motherhood. I am fiftyseven years old. To watch this sick behavior/indifference
from the public/authorities tells a lot about discipline and priorities of the inhabitants. To witness the same patterns after that original trip to the Atlantic is not amusing.

The other reality, is the incompetent officers, in PARQUES NACIONALES, where are the supervisors? Does any body cares? That is why I express my criticism with such candor. There is nothing to hide. The time for accountability has arrived. Why is the top beach in the NORTH, forgotten by the volunteers environmental garbage collectors segment of the twenty tribes with their niches? Too bad for wrapped in the flag characters, PR inhabitants. Some seem to LOVE this, others
demand that you love it, I can not, will not. As Tina that ugly one, sang: What's love got to do with it?

I write more. When those mystics started EL YUNQUE campaign to have it, (destined to disappear under HOUSING DEVELOPERS MERCENARIES) ES), included in a 7th wonder competition, I let it slide. If this country can not keep clean public toilets in a beach of such exposure, beauty and its surroundings, what the hell will they do with a SEVENTH WONDER?

Unless these day dreamers really think the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT in charge of El Yunque and other National Parks installations will remain responsible forever to protect what evidently, judging from my experience, the clowns in government and Parques Nacionales, Fideicomiso and Recursos Naturales (007RN) can not, will not care for. It is time to call a spade, a spade.

And that is that...Another failed trip to the beach... Not a better toilet story than my post on GUANICA with portable toilets to the rim in MAY 2009: Friday, Saturday and Sunday....Puerto Rico, had a bumper sticker: TAKE IT OR LEAVE IT.
I humbly add, take the blinders off, it is what it is.


LOTS of beach fans seems unable to enjoy their stay
unless they bring a barbecue with dogs, burgers or chicken. Like
a security blanket.
The smoke in your eyes, fumes, charcoal, pollution. Where do you think this
hot charcoal refuse and ashes go? From hundreds of people?
You are correct! Right in the trunk of the trees and palms where their fat asses
had spent the day!


YOU probably noticed that our garden, its four cardinal points, is surrounded by concrete on the ground and the walls. In Santurce, many decades ago, became fashionable to pour concrete on every possible space in the backyard and
around the houses. Just to avoid the weeding. Many houses pretty or not, made out of concrete or cinder blocks.

If the house is over ten feet high as ours, you are fortunate to receive some ventilation during the day/night, if there is any, or is not blocked by higher structures. Otherwise,you better get a fan/air conditioning if you have
the resources. For the buying and the monthly billing. Otherwise think positive, how
many people have a full house sauna?

To fight concrete refracting heat and noise, I have chosen
different plants for the different areas with the same principles. I am not going to
spend my spare time pruning/trimming silly hedges. Instead I will plant the chosen
ones in such a way that when reaching adulthood the height will create a wall to stop others from looking and viceversa for privacy.

It is necessary to point that concrete is also the worst medium for acoustics. It increases the resonance, particularly of bass sounds. Every structure becomes a resonance chamber. One can hear the shitty common place music all the way up,
children/adolescents hollering, Mah, reminding me of a cow, conversations and else.

In the front of the house or west side, Murraya Paniculata. This bush can grow up to
twenty feet. It has small dark shiny leaves. White flowers, red seeds,
great for birds. The soft fragrance of the flowers is similar to: lemon, gardenia and Frangipani in its subtlety, contrary to the overwhelming sweet of Nerius oleander and Ilan-Ilan.

The ones I planted are about 3/4 feet tall, about a year old, and grow slowly. These bushes with a singular beauty fell in disgrace when plant propagators/garden installers decided to plant a TREE,
Ficus of any kind, but most popular is Benjamina, for hedges! This stupidity makes
YOU property owner who does your own gardening a hedge slave for life. Or your
finances will suffer, paying gardeners for hire. All because the Murraya grows slowly.

My plan is to let them grow straight or be substituted by other submisive cousins without any pruning ever. I want a natural wall with their tendency to round tops,
when left alone. I noticed that the populace believe that pruning whatever comes growing of the ground is MANDATORY.

For this reason in Puerto Rico, USA, and that fifty states country, you see the same
wasteful habit. It is pathetic to see the natural shape of a Calistemon/Bottle brush, nice wild/rebelious growing Pleomeles, or any other tree/bush with weeping tendencies growth become an ice cream cone. In this godforsakenisle is also common to see Arecas, those stupid looking palms, become a topiary!

Now back with the Murrayas, they will provide shade, fragrance, privacy decreasing the noise from the street. There is a wait some years but I am not in a rush. In gardening, waiting patiently is one of the virtues that one can get, learn, or refine at
least in the garden.

North/South sides of the garden, check the pictures in the right side of the blog if you
may, there are different vines, mentioned before. Also one Murraya, two Bouganvilleas, fast growers. There is one over ten feet high in 18 months in the west. These will also provide, shade, noise reduction and lots of color.

Finally the east side, perhaps my favorite side since it has the most of the bare ground in the house. There are 3 species of Frangipani, between twelve inches and seven feet tall. They are white, yellow and yellow/pink/white. Guaiacum, Arica papayas, Dracaena, Cadillo, Polyscia fruticosa and Hibiscus. Of the last two there are tree species of each. In essence the same principles are in mind. Privacy, fragance and quiet.

One thing to consider when planting along walls is future growth habits. In Puerto
Rico, machete yielding neighbors will dismember your vegetation without a blink.
I wil make certain that the branches grow in the direction of the driveway. With the vines on the fence, the risk is the same, but I do not worry. A vine can not be mutilated unles is one of those developing hard wood with time. In the tropics
Petreas come to mind.

And the environment, biodiversity, habitat, where are they exactly is it in this picture? Jaha, bilingual laugh. Contrary to isle crusaders of the third kind, every stone is in place in my granite tower. Everything mentioned so far, plus the other eighty species, help spiders, lizards, birds, bees that visit my garden daily or live in the ground:
centipedes and earth worms.

Now is time to go. Thanks for dropping by. Until next.

sábado, 11 de julio de 2009


12 August 2007


Our debut. First in a series denouncing Cuban Alberto Areces Mallea, Phd and Mexican olmec princess wife. 15 acres of forest/ground destroyed. In eco/environmental disaster conspiracy with the following: Fundacion Luis Munhoz Marin,
www.flmm.org, 007RN, www.drna.gobierno.pr/,
FLMM Board of Directors, Municipality of Trujillo Alto and other accomplices, photos have not been published (75). There is no soil analysis, no record of insecticides, pesticides used as mandatory
by Federal Law,
and possible fraud of a non agronomist signing documents as such, nor
is the mandatory inventory of FLORA/FAUNA, required before ANY
wood restoration, reforestation in any educated circle.

16 AUGUST 2007


The precarious situation for customers of services in
landscape installation and maintenance in Puerto Rico.
Total anarchy, without any protection for this segment of
the population, scams and rip offs.

21 August 2007


Lawn substitution for gardeners and readers not willing to
pollute water, air, soil or disturb the quiet with gas/oil
operating machines.

22 August 2007


The importance of physical condition and stamina while
practicing pragmatic horticulture.

23 August 2007


Critical observations of this overeater a la Pavarotti 'gardener'
of PASEO DEL BOSQUE, en Santurce. Partner with Rodriguez
Bou, the Madman Architect. Description of ingnorant practices
and names of the vegetation destroyed by this pillsbury looking

This starts a new trend to inform readers who have no idea of how
this more humble day by day blog started. Also to suggest environmental theoreticians without rudimentary notions of this wide subject, crusaders of this persuasion to place in their blogs the Caveat emptor clause.
Since they do not: plant, read, propagate, walk or write about
relevant issues other than a dead one. Thanks for the fun times.

The environment is not what I believe it should be, but what these poor quality pictures demonstrate. Ignore this reality if you may, but this is more responsible than weeping, beating a dead horse on the head...and or
collecting signatures from the convenient air conditioned room of your residence/office.

The monkey knows the tree which is climbed.
Or the higher the monkey climbs the more
it will be exposed.


DO NOT KNOW... In this field one has to multi task, the obssesion with 007RN, shows once again, the blindfolds of this obscure group, ignorant MYSTICS of essential
notions of what biodiversity, environment, habitats and everything else is.

They can not identify the average mutilated tree in our urban context( except in the mall of their preference) or determine if sick, planted, taken care off correctly. Is all for entertainment purposes. I suggest to this credential less preachy, touchy fellows that either they educate themselves, get some workshops to write with some authority beyond the sentimental, flimsy moods that caused the 1000 futile ones.

To show our readers in far away lands the reality of urban trees, the environment now and certainly what it will be in the future some pictures result of the First Tree Inventory of the Rio San Juan Area in Ponce de Leon Avenue. I dedicate this effort
to our Crusaders with the Blindfold, The Lesperians.
They do not walk in our streets. They never mention the subject perhaps because I, your humble servant have.

Marvel at Rio: This ugly construction created some reaction
initially when some Mahogany trees were cut off from the premises.
Students chained themselves to the fence, they appeared on the news.
Here is the result. Nothing changed. Rio Piedras used to be a charming place. Now is a ghost town, just missing the tumble weeds. This park was ugly,
from the start, Puerto Rico could be the only place where restoring
results in an uglier version, more expensive than what it used to be. In addition of lost somewhat old but shady Mahogany trees versus dead ugly, dry,
palm trees.

No trees/The lesperians do not see them: during my ten miles
walk on three days during the inventory of around 700 trees and
90 empty spaces I mentioned all the issues and problems with the
standing trees. Where are the trees that should be in these squares?
Should others be planted? The thing I still do not get is the silence
of the crusaders mentioned and every other fool in that bag about

The metal cilinder: This is a bonus for the fifty or so islander
inhabitants that visit the blog. It is is on the Vertical Garden istallation
mentioned before at Western Bank. What is the point?
These metallic aberrations fixed to the ground and trunk will strangle
the palm since there is no space for growth in the future.
Believe it or not.

jueves, 9 de julio de 2009


I WILL GET later to the tittle. Meanwhile, if you come here to read about gardens,
horticulture, maintenance and such my apologies, I have neglected to inform this
reader segment on such happenings. But some of the stories to be told are new, even
if the plants have been with me for some time now, the Thevetia and Zamia for example. It will be a nice change of pace. Going out of our residence becomes a pain in the ass, environmentally wise as I will mention later.

Ipomoea alba, this climber was a seed exchange, mentioned before, if interested as the exact time that was planted go back in time. The flower diameter is about six inches. It begins to open between four thirty and five daily, one can see it completely opened the morning after, for a short while. Even when it fades is beautiful, it closes tightly and falls. Thanks
to Hazel Topoleski in Texas, I have this unique vine/climber, related to Bejuco de Puerco, another Ipomoea with a tendency I dislike a lot, it grows on the ground as grass or other invasives, ruining the effect.
Please go from the bottom up, not hard to figure out.

Zamia, from Bayamon, by division. The original, old, twice as big was inside, a problem with exterior plants. It got the worst plague of scales
I have ever thing in decades. This one is about five years, the pot was a present from a former IRS, coworker infatuated with his AUDI. A nice
fellow, great humor, do not know what will become of him if that car ever gets scratched or stolen.

Gisela and Jessica Trellis, these are made with nylon strings. The
T pipes as you could have guessed were for clothing lines. The second trellis looks much better as an upside down sail. If you look carefully the p strings are one on top of the other. The visual effect will be similar as
those highways with many levels and angles. There is a spider in residence where the two top strings are closer to each other, a bonus for any gardener, and some competition to the fourteen lizards of all colors between dark/brown/black to pale cream and sizes that
accompany me daily when I water them plants.

Most of the vines are assorted Ipomoeas I collected for the last 2/3 years, t among them
Clitorea ternatea, a favorite, and a rare one Cavalinna maritima. Advise to the wise gardener, these vines transpire a lot, even with moderate heat.
I do not suggest to plant them in pots at all, too much watering required.

The women with the actual names, were two blondes. One a senior, the other a junior. Nice blue eyes Teutonic all the way...unannounced envoys who God only knows what happened to them. Brought memories of old
refried hyppies.

Thevetia and Bixa orellana, the first is from a seed I collected, planted
in front of a cemetery in Villa Palmeras, where an old lady sell flowers
for the occasion in front of her house. I have never seen this tree that could grow up to forty feet high in my life. Later, during the last four
years I have seem some old specimens. I tell you what, unless you do not
mind sweeping leaves, seeds and flowers in the hundreds, do not plant it
in an urban context close to any paved areas.

Bixa orellana is a great conversation piece, the flowers are pretty, particularly a pink variety that is not the one I have. The native indians
used it for coloring food and other activities that you can research for sure.
I do not like the shape and size of the leaves and will not be able to plant
it anywhere in the yard for aesthetics reasons. I can not help it. But I know if I had double the area to garden, it would have it in a spot away from the rest.


I have been thinking that to call , define, describe yourself as environmentalist demands
getting rid of your lawn, palms and hedges. Why? Unless you cut your grass with a herd of goats
or other rummiants of your preference, or a push mower, some can be used with horses, you
are polluting the environment in the following manner: gas, oil fumes, or spilled on the
ground, water. You are making noise, disturbing the peace for neighbors, flora and fauna.
If you are a LAWN FREAK, surely using fertilizers, insecticides, herbicides and fungicides
to keep your sterile good for nothing lawn lush and green, you are forgive me for being
so blunt, not my nature, screwin it up everything for everyone....and CLAIMING to be
an environmentalist. Unless you are a CATHOLIC, I inform you that one can not
be half a vegetarian, or cross the bridge just one half. PRACTICE WHAT YOU PREACH,
plant something, learn something about the environment, perhaps a dozen botanical names,
share it with your worthy constituents, go out and SMELL THE ROSES.

If what I have claimed to be the first inventory of trees in the Metro Area of San Juan is not,
then is the second. Certainly, the great society of islander arborists could find
if the claim is valid or not. I wrote it is the first, and so it will be until
something different appears.

miércoles, 8 de julio de 2009


ENDEMISMOTRASNOCHADO HAS accomplished a feat that no one else has claimed in modern or past times. The first complete INVENTORY of palms, trees
planted on both sidewalks from Rio Piedras ' Ghost Town' to Miramar, San Juan. Area.

If you are of the lesperian persuassion, (an obscure cult of make believe environmentalists) see it your way, this feat it is like eating four hundred hot dogs on the Fourth of July at Nathan's, in the world famous Brooklyn Coney Island Park, in fifteen minutes. With a little difference, the walking of fourteen miles (maybe more) helped me get thiner/handsome with ten pounds less.

Another slight difference is that once upon a time, the matriarch defined collecting
signatures through the web as 'DOING SOMETHING'. Diminutive, Paul Bayman, biologist, member of the Sierra Club with similar skills/resume, defined my views as 'mere whining'.. Well Pablito what do you say know? After all, you give tours about trees but seem unable to see sick/mutilated trees and the indifference unwilling to denounce/correct, give guidance, having some credentials, missing some courage in the University
of Puerto Rico? Oh, pardon moi, perhaps it is not in your job description or in the
Civic Ladies Position of the Sierra Club. Deaf/blind/mute apparently on this issues.
Ooopps, I just remembered of the promiscuous relation between Sierritos/Fideicomisos de Conservacion. Forget my words please, it can not be helped.

One thing is certain. I do not ENJOY when others hit a wall after the facts, there is no happiness here, (the will is similar), just a great desire to squash the responsibles ones of every ecocriminal activity soon or surely later.

KEEPING the focus, the Botanical Garden, theoretically is full of entomologists,
botanists, arborists and such. What are these scientists into? No one knows, is a well kept secret or mistery. There is not
a web page with the inventory of botanical names of what they have planted in their green pastures, or their discoveries, and/or research available for people as your truly.

Parques Nacionales, 007 Recursos Naturales (007RN), Fideicomiso de Conservacion, are crippled on the same leg (Spanish saying). How many employees are in these four good for nothing, government agencies. Five thousand, 1, 2 before
the firings/forced retirement? NO ONE thought of the relevance of a TREE INVENTORY EVER? Even though this notorious trilogy of agencies should be the ones setting trends, informing, educating the populace? If you offer me a position
I do it for free. I have the credentials and burning desire to be an Ilustrated Despot
in charge of your dead brains staff and managerial personnel.

Well I made the first inventory ever in our history, that I know of at least in fifty years. Horray for me...Thanks to the readers who have follow this adventure. Now, if you have a similar situation in your country, nobody listening, do the same...The environment will appreciate it...


Almacigos 4
DK 1
Pitheloubium dulce 1
Eucaliptos 6
Lagerstromia 4


Almacigos 111
Empty Spaces 1
Mutilated 2
Totals 130

Now that hatched chickens have been counted, It is pertinent to measure these
trees, with necessary recommendations as to which ones should be eliminated, uprooted for
growth defects or diseases. Later to plant the best species in the almost one hundred empty spaces, of mysteriously disappeared ones.

On my next posts, I will mention some anecdotes of what has been learned in the process. To the readers in countries with similar situations, an invitation to do something, go out yourself. What you do not know ask, search, investigate.

Words of Wisdom

Genghis Khan that marvelous
conqueror, forgave many things
from his opponents, except one:
Do not shoot the messenger

Sorry! I did not study

lunes, 6 de julio de 2009


What I had in mind was to go out either to continue the tree inventory from
Sagrado Corazon toward San Juan or to Rio, to picture perhaps the biggest, most
magnificent trees in that ghost town and a couple of Terminalia catappas in the
Hato Rey area, or Golden Mile, as in money, banking before the crisis.

However, the weather today is just like Maine, Vermont or MA, "it was a dark and
stormy night", dark, almost black clouds, lightning and thunder abundant and rather cool. The rain is on an off, but not like the far east, with months of rhinos and elephants constant fall.

Here it would be nice to wonder, why some of the Western non aboriginal cultures, developed in places with less than thirty inches of rain, perhaps a little more. I declare that in that bag, I find much more attractive the religion, culture, diet,
architecture of Thailand, India, Japan, China, do not ask why. Perhaps is the tone of skin color of their women, the curves in the buildings the opposite of straight, dull, squares and rectangles.

Back to rain and such, I am not fond of rain forests at all, always crowded with
hollering parents/children. Ruining the experience. In Puerto Rico there is one. EL YUNQUE, some islander mystics, have this inexplicable campaign to have it
chosen as some wonder of the world! Evidently, these mystic monks, in charge with the silly good intentions, of the 1000 signatures, that I often perceive, and others seem blind to, have not seen the amazing traffic jams every spring/summer/fall in places like YELLOWSTONE, of
hundred thousands of people not moving anywhere in a line of cars, with the motor on, air conditioning on, exhaust fumes polluting the air with carbon monoxide, creating noise, affecting flora and fauna: what they go to admire!

But that is me, perhaps you think differently, and see something positive in this mentally challenged behavior. I do not see any little good in such situations. In
brief there, is too much people on earth. When the herd decides at the same time
to do the same things, laugh at their own lame jokes, scratch each other backs, perhaps an urge consequence of being gregarious, (a disease
I am inmune to) air pollution, noise and violence as in road rage erupts.

If this campaign to have EL YUNQUE, about fortyfive minutes in odd hour conditions from our residence, is successful, and a YUNQUE pandemic erupts,
I can see the traffic jams, just like those in Manhattan, New York, by the George
Washington bridge during the morning and evening rush hours: a total noisy,
polluting nightmare. An there it goes...the seventh wonder...ruined by goody goody
people with good intentions blind to actions and consequences.

sábado, 4 de julio de 2009


FAR AWAY READER, if you visit once in a while, please check Magha the Amusing
Magician, post to get in the mood. Meanwhile this article promises a new world of
entertainment. For this reason, I remind those new arrivals that my writing style is
a result of the influence of James Joyce, Dubliners, Garcia Marquez, One Hundred,
Oracio Quiroga and Poe short stories, Miller, Tropic of Cancer, George Orwell, Shooting and elephant. That name dropping is enough for now, since my writing
skills are evidence of these writers, Jaha bilingual laugh, quite the contrary.

WARNING, this report may reach new lengths wordy wise, for that reason I will go as usual, OR use the two or three parts structure, if needed. NOW music please. The original tv theme written by that marvelous Argentinian, Lalo Schiffrin, composer of some the hottest movies/tv themes, MISSION IMPOSSIBLE, or the one in Dragnet, TAKE THE A TRAIN or CARAVAN, composed by fellow bright islander, JUAN TIZOL, when in Duke Ellington's band.

Why? I mentioned it already
. This is different and we need some imaginary music, perhaps some Balveine in a sniffter, Moctezuma tequila, lemon/salt, or some
Jameson stright up, and a San Miguel from Spain/Phillipines or Guiness as chasers
to make this adventure more pleasant.

Without any further redue...I sent an email to the banking people, WESTERN BANK,
victims and/or partners in the VERTICAL GARDEN discussed twice previously in your 'humble' servant's blog. The multiple responses came machine gun fashion. They responded I responded, and so on. However, something was wrong. Very wrong. The last person responding pretended not to know what I what writing about.

Imagine if in front of your residence/building there is a ridiculous huge construction,
that has taken almost a year to finish. With a VERTICAL GARDEN, statue,
fountains, palms and such...Well this gentleman whose words will be translated with
my known limitations in such tasks, soon, asked moi what garden I was writing about. Well ladies and gentlemen, if you do not mind I will start with the last communication and later, if possible, the first 2 or 3, it is a real trip. It has certainly surpassed to my surprise the Magha Garcia's adventure with her too messengers who
came unanounced, Jessica and Gisela.

I tried to translate with the necessary smoothness from one language to the other,
if you are not happy with it, too bad. An idea of how this bank officer mind works is sufficient.
It represents how islanders in such high positions and lower think, react, handle
the language, no matter their rank/education.

"Ay don Raul, (keyboard operator other nick) with all my spirit and energy, I did not intend to offend you, It was just a courtesy, of an umbrella (emphasis mine).

Apparently you and I do not understand each other and I would not like that you do not understand me and much less not to understand you.

As you wish, that we continue or end our relation.

But from my heart It would be very important that your recommendations if you still wish to do so, to accept you as you are, to accept your recommendations, to respect you, to admire you as a human being and as
'Creative Horticultural Critic' known in five continents.

Because your friendship will help me grow and above all your wisdom."

yourself in my position. This gentleman is the VP in Public Relations of Westernbank. I sent a warning/criticisms, the link of the blog, and some relevant miscellaneous information. The V G costs easily, $1,000,000 bucks, with all the paraphernalia, not mentioned, but evident. He pretends not to know what I am talking about, and shortly afterward (in the next chapter) offers me from the kindness of his banking heart, driven by avarice and interest: a six bucks umbrella, out of the blue. With the instructions to call to pick it up!

Now assuming my information is correct, I will put arbitrarily a price of $5o,ooo dollars. That is a small amount considering the cost of the instalation, not finished yet, and the cost of maintenance. This vicepresident of the bank offers me a SIX DOLLARS CHINESE UMBRELLA, and that is that. If any reader would like to confirm,
please may call: 787-450-3538. I told it was different. Wait until you read
the first email. A mescaline/acid trip, Mother Theresa kind of....
Part ll, appearing shortly, very shortly on up in the breadfruit tree..

jueves, 2 de julio de 2009


WATCHING our surroundings with a critical eye, helps to to expand the perspective with an open focus. However, far away reader, in those countries with similar situations, it is necessary to step out of the office,
your backyard, away from trivial informative blogs, with a newspaper syndrome behavior, or teacher in a classroom committee like reasoning
for every action or intention.

I reiterate. One can do something relevant any where. Instead of collecting signatures
for el PETITION, I go out count the trees, observe what is going on and inform. Today I counted the trees on the left side (right side found in
entradas antiguas 06/16/09) of the avenue.


Amacigos 97
Palms 11
Vomitel 3
Empty spaces 16
Ucar 1


Tabebuias 18
Palms in concrete pots 15
Palms in sidewalk 28


Tabebuias 25
Palms 1
Ucar 1
Empty spaces 18

TOTALS: 97 Almacigos, 55 Palms, 43 Tabebuias, 2 Ucar, 3 Vomitel =200
Empty spaces: 34

Observations: Comparing the appearance of Almacigos and Tabebuias in size, the first look
healthier and brake the sidewalk, or lift it, easier than the second. The top is wider and provide
more shade. It is worth mentioning that Tabebuias are more exposed to sun/heat than the first,
through out the avenue, partially explaining their shitty looks, particularly as one moves closer
to el Canho Martin Penha, shortly after the Prudencio Rivera St. ALL these trees branches have been mutilated by machete or chainsaws, most are being strangled at the buttress by metalic square frames to keep the pavers in place.

28 of the Palms were planted recently by common scam artists in front of the Banco Popular
Fine Arts Cinemas in the sidewalk. The metalic grilles at the base are exactly
as the diameter of the installed palms. How would they grow with such barrier, who knows?

I visited the vertical garden (entradas antiguas, 06/04/09), on the premises of the Western Bank.
The Ripsalis like hanging plants are passsing away already. As one moves behind this vertical
monstrosity, the amount of chicken wire exposed is much higher and not even flat. A few ugly
Bromeliads, and Ferns are seen. It gives the impression that these fools have only six species
of plants to choose from. One has to see it to believe it. Caribe Landcapers whatever has the worst installation in my book now. But knowing what these people can accomplish given the opportunity and the big bucks, I am certain that something greater is in the making.

Last but not least the amount of Empty Spaces, is significant in statistics, it does not matter
how the trees were killed, mutilated or destroyed. The result is the same. But since no one
but yours truly makes inventories, how would you know when to substitute them? Or which
other species should be used with better aesthetics effect and resistance to these brutal conditions of heat, carbon monoxide, sun, no irrigation, surrounded by concrete/asphalt in five feet by four spaces? With illiterate private/public employees yielding machetes/chainsaws, cutting left and right branches in the wrong place?

I hope this simple post offer options to those worried about similar issues. One does not have to go to Harvard to create and develop solutions to problems that affect/annoy us. The inventory would be more scientific with two people working at once. One counts, one measures trunk diameter and height and width. There are more technological ways to do things, but in our
countries, those without snow, mostly heat, this could help improve the quality of our cities and
urban context. With a little vision and effort. Collecting signatures for dead trees, when there
are so many trees alive, ignored and destroyed daily, is a whimsical silly, attitude.