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.

sábado, 26 de septiembre de 2009


THE PICTURES to the right show two acts of guerrilla. One of planting, one of trim/pruning. The second provided a rare not to repeat, experience. To taste for the first time some Puertorican grapes from the vine at the center bottom of the picture. This vine belongs not to the abandoned house that I until recently gave aesthetic maintenance, but to Ms. Laborde the president of the Residents Association, a real unkempt mess.

The pictures show the classical before and after, with just one intention.
How the prairie/cottage style could become a little more formal with some
cuts. I love the first, for its wild, lively appearance. The second is sterile,
stiff, not alive. In my evident humble opinion. If you want to research start looking carefully at ZEN gardens and watch what happens as in the song.

After a while ZEN/formal gardens seem very stiff and UNNATURAL, not to get into
maintenance issues. I just read a little about one ZEN garden in a
template neck of the woods requiring 14 daily hours of maintenance. I am
against such waste of energy, fuel, money and time.

Back on tracks when practicing guerrilla horticultural/ gardening in Puerto Rico, be aware that illiterate fools will weed whack anything not
recognized. That is why I made the experiment of planting a Pandanus,
and Maguey, a known agave on my first guerrilla. ON the second act, a week ago I planted two trees of DK name, but fast growth. One besides
the surviving Maguey and one in the shade as understory of a bunch of
Albizias not far. I may go to irrigate today.

IF you are to go planting the guerrilla way and do not water, you certainly
wasted your time, unless planting CACTI. So keep it in mind, how far do you plant, do you need to drive to get there? How often will you have to water? The other consideration, even before you plant anything, develop
that christian virtue of resignation. One day, when least expected, your
creature, the one you nurtured since a seed, may be gone. Nothing but but weed whacker traces or trimmer for the uninitiated.

There is no philosophy here, but it looks nice in the tittle. Me garden keeps developing with little or no casualties. Just growing, changing.
As these few pictures demonstrate. If you take your time and go all the way
down you will have a chance to see the developments. I thank those readers who take their time to visit, leaving or not your comments. If you
have share the link also. To all of you. THANKS! Time to go...


If you liked this article,
take a minute and check
upinthebreadfruittree.blogspot.com, or anglospano review

jueves, 24 de septiembre de 2009


I THOUGHT everything was said and done in Puerto Rico. Particularly in all those issues
regarding environment, ecology, garden installations, horticultural creative criticism, but I was
mistaken. Fortunately the capacity to be surprised, positively or as in this case negatively is
a sure sign of being alert, alive and kicking.

On the night of the 21 of September some Tarita Rodriguez from the MUSEO DE ARTE CONTEMPORANEO sent an email to a far away, distant in the Rincon wild west vicinity
edible gardens colleague, requesting information about people just like yours truly. Humble,
with Pulitzer writing skills, into horticulture and such in the URBAN CONTEXT.

Your humble servant, happy as clam, at the possibility of sharing my certainly common place know how,
sent a link of your favorite blog, reminding her that in the past I had offered this so
easy to find skills and background to the MUSEUM, without response. Tarita, remained in a PUERCA SORDA mode, with no response. You, dear reader have no idea how irritated I get
when I perceive such lack of manners/education, I this kind of situation.

The inquiry was to find out about people into planting, as myself or in any other kind of context
for a project called: "Siembras Urbanas". Another group from SPAIN, BASURAMA.org is/was also involved in this new environmental recycling bandwagon chapter. I gave not much thought to the first message, from our wild west heroine or the one sent to TARITA and cohorts, six of them. NONE responded and one was rejected! I should not have been surprised considering
that the tribalism down here is so intense, that even agencies requesting volunteers for this
or that lack the manners to respond, at least to say...sorry we are full.

The next day 22, I went for my almost daily four miles strolls, my ecotourist trips
in the dangerous, dirty, uneven, with puddles, garbage, weeds, sidewalks of the metro area. After
a coffee an toast in one of those native joints I kept on. Three blocks later, I noticed the BUS STOP in front of an architectural jewel, the Central High School, something unusual, odd, ugly as hell, as if thrown by some jerk/jerkette without notion of what I thought/think ART is could/should be. I could be mistaken, it is not the first time.



If you are immune to this king of aberrations, please notice the following:

There are two tires besides a bench in another bus stop. What does it look
to you, art or garbage, even if the ribbons are cute?

The cutest and perhaps the one defeating the
INTENTION, honestly,
I got no idea of what this could be. Either in terms of the ENVIRONMENT,

The cutest is that rubber boot stuck with SANSEVERIA leaves!
I am almost six decades old in PUERTO RICO no one plants
anything, in any kind of shoe/boot, however in USA is pretty usual.
That is one. The other is sticking plants, leaves of plants as if they
were planted! Are they just thrown to create this natural atmosphere? Original?
Art? What the hell should the onlookers think of this?

Instead of using this BUS STOP in front of a building
with WELFARE SERVICES, if there is any artistic merit
in the concept, missed by yours truly, validating these
ugly crap, then it should HAVE BEEN INSTALLED IN FRONT
Their sidewalk is four times as wide, with better light and

The humble has written.
More info: adm1@museocontemporaneo.org

Tarita did not bother
to respond until I abrasively/bluntly, expressed to her, much less delicately, what you
have just read.
Enjoy the pictures!

domingo, 20 de septiembre de 2009


THE Building Developers and Housing Construction Industry leave Puerto Ricos' environment pretty much as RIO TINTO, leaves the environment of Australia, bare,
and destroyed. With some differences. Australia is huge, the immediate damage to flora and fauna, is not as is not as wide and deep as the one taking place here. Down there the mining areas
are mostly in desert, down here, the construction madness is in the mountains, valleys
and sea shores, urban and country areas, close by.

Every week their faithful client, the daily shopper 'El Nuevo Dia', publishes a segment,
CONSTRUCTION. Lets see how many I count for this week, 81 PROJECTS! These are
concrete walk ups, houses and condos a pandemic spreading in all cardinal points including the island municipalities Vieques and Culebra.

The prices range between 200,000 and 3,000,000 USA dollars. Everyone is in this
quick buck scheme, banks and mortgage originators to name two. In the government,
a truly reliable accomplice regarding permits to build what you need where you want
no matter if environmental issues like flooding, landslides, erosion could take place,
they get your permit in time, if you scratch their back adequately.

In PUERTO RICO there is no systematic maintenance in ANY aspect of public works.
All is improvised and one could name, roads, highways, water distribution, sewage and on and on. Imagine
what will the result to this pipes be with so much pressure to handle. Housing Developers and their accomplices think these problems will be resolved by themselves. Let's wait and see what the drinkable water situation will turn into in the next five years as a consequence of the construction fever.

Perhaps because they are stupid, village idiots, wear blindfolds, are myopic or the blind leading the blind, THE ENVIRONMENTAL intelligentsia in the asphalt concrete
isle, insist on cleaning beaches, rivers, streams and ponds on one hand!

On the other, preaching, repeating until you get nausea, to plant trees or to recycle,
to turn the water or electricity off and that is that. These jerks are AFRAID of grabbing the horns by the bull, denouncing the massive, 24/7 destruction of our
surroundings. NOT that it would change anything. But the gesture will show some
balls, excuse me guts.

I went recently to visit virtually, a new group of this environmental species spreading as spores, mentioned. ARBOLES DE PUERTO RICO, is their nominative. Apparently a result of inbreeding
between Bosque San Patricio and Junte Ambiental. You can find them in Face book.
Caveat emptor. if you write in a similar way touching similar subjects, the CENSOR,
will fall upon you. That is why, this blog is necessary. Since I can not be bought, have
no relatives in those industries destroying our surroundings, I denounce.

I tell and holler this self proclaimed environmentalists to cut the crap! Study, observe,
research, walk by the Metro Area of San Juan and start cleaning gutters, sidewalks and above all CANHO MARTIN PENHA, also part of the estuaries that is still receiving raw SEWAGE and no BEACH CLEANER SCUBA DOGG, has ever noticed!


Gloriosa Rotchshildiana
Cavalinna maritima
Ipomoea alba
Turnera subulata, diffusa, ulmifolia
Star of Bethlehem
Calliandra Haemathocephalla,
some Plumerias,
Dipteranthus prostatus
are in bloom.

Perhaps the most hilarious of all environmental
preachers, Maria Falcon, should be honored.
With her repugnant squeaky, artificial, mysterious
inflections, intonation while at speak. She always
present endemic idyllic, picturesque rivers, streams, ponds, mountains,dams, trees, this and that with such admiration. This contemplative, SIERRA CLUB
like stance is important. One day when all that Maria
films weekly is destroyed, we can always go to the movies
or comfortably seat at home, air conditioned on and watch

jueves, 17 de septiembre de 2009



If Man has benefited immeasurably by his association with the dog, what you may ask
has the dog got out of it? His scroll has, of course, been heavily charged with punishments: he has known the muzzle, the leash, and the tether; he has suffered the indignities of the show bench, the tin can on the tail, the ribbon in the hair, his love life
with the other sex of his species has been regulated by the frigid hand of authority, his digestion ruined by the macaroons and marshmallows of doting women.

The list of his woes could be continued indefinitely. But he has also had his fun, for he
has been privileged to live with and study at close range the only creature with reason,
the most unreasonable of creatures.

The dog has got more out of Man than Man has got out of the dog, for the clearly demonstrable reason that Man is the more laughable of the two animals. The dog has long been bemused by the singular activities and curious practices of men, cocking his head inquiringly to one side, intently watching and listening to the strangest goings-on in the world. He has seen men sing together and fight one another in the same evening. He has watched them go to bed when is time to get up, and get up when is time to go to bed.

He has observed them destroying the soil in vast areas, and nurturing it in small patches. He has stood by while men built strong and solid houses for rest and quiet,
and then filled them with lights and bells and machinery. His sensitive nose, which can detect what's cooking in the next township, has caught at one and same time the bewildering smells of the hospital and the munitions factory. He has seen men raise up great cities to heaven and blow them to hell.

Mr. Thurber was also a remarkable cartoonist, friend of E.B. White, another great
writer from USA. You could certainly investigate about his life in the web. Along with
Saul Bellow and George Orwell some of my favorite writers.

I know, If I read such, why there is no evidence in what I write? Such is life, the popular expression nowadays in Puerto Rico, USA. On the other hand I wanted to pay a tribute to our dog DIVA, a boxer/Doberman mix. A great character, playing mood most of the time from the boxer, the symmetry, agility, body of the Doberman.

Diva admires our garden often smelling the flowers, looking for some sweet grass to chew. However, what she really loves is Cyperus, as much as Mimi, our passed away
siamese cat. Both enjoy the smell and the taste of this plant used to make paper in other prairies. And that is that.
And that is that.

miércoles, 16 de septiembre de 2009


IN FEBRUARY of the current I presented a complaint against the COLEGIO SAGRADO CORAZON, parada 27, SANTURCE, or Sacred Cardiovascular Muscle, considering the callousness, lack of respect for the vicinity that the former catholic school, now a diploma factory, demonstrates daily, 24/7.

The employee from the Environmental Quality Board, came with an assistant to measure the constant humming noise from their air conditioning feeders and the
air extractor from their illegal cafeteria in the BARAT building, less than a hundred
feet from our backyard wall.

Before that, I had to present another complaint against the same culprit, for the stench at 6AM, in my one hundred species garden, of pepper, roasted pig or chicken.
All this yummy aromas emanating from their air extractor, without maintenance, noisy as hell, without any worry or care from the Sacred Cardiovascular Muscle or the owner of the cafeteria, apparently a foreigner.

Back to the studio. THE noise was measured with a tool resembling an universal
remote control with the mike on top, during thirty minutes. Apparently, the levels
of NOISE, are not above the limits of the law. I do not know yet. However, the tittle,
is meaningful because NOISE is constant, with many variables consequence of this
illegal for profits cafeteria.

Trucks start arriving for delivery at 5AM, even though the cafeteria opens at six. The employees, illegal or not start throwing objects right after that. The pollution/noise from these diesel trucks last for as long as the delivery, the employees car alarms are
activated from the trucks. The security guards spin around this area in their gas motorcycles or four track vehicles creating more noise and pollution 24/7. If you walk ten houses up the street you can appreciate the one hundred times worst humming from the swimming pool water filters.

Very close by the pool, their basketball court serves as concert noise hall with any excuse, for whatever reason the Sacred Cardiovascular Muscle celebrates anything
at high decibels without any respect to the right to enjoy their property, quiet of many senior citizens living in the Eduardo Conde Avenue, Barbe and Bouret Street.

Beyond the State of Law, there is nothing one can do(the Dean of Administration,
President's Office and Legal Office have been notified), except some exemplary violent
actions that are possible theoretically, fictionally. Unfortunately, it will be destructive,
not positive, without any certain PEACE and QUIET in the long run.

This may not be part of our area of expertise, however a garden without quiet is pretty
much like that old bumper sticker that lesbians stuck to their automobiles in Northampton, MA, the Pioneer Valley, some time ago: A woman needs a man, like a fish needs a bicycle.


The mentioned employee
noticed a fruit among
my plant collection.
It resembled a pumpkin
to this somewhat friendly
government employee.
However it is an ORANGE,
a graft, in a fiberglass pot.
This shows how disconnected
real people are to nature, flora and
Besides that, really hard to believe for
yours truly, encountering a human being
who has no idea of the difference between a tree
and a vine. How any kind of
pumpkin grows in our cement/asphalt

martes, 8 de septiembre de 2009


FEW DAYS AGO I went strolling by the cracked, uneven, dangerous sidewalks of
the San Juan Metro Area. There is a decent park, Stella Maris in a wealthy sector
of the city by El Condado. A nice variety of trees, a good sized lawn covered area
where there is evidence of children playing, scalped spots consequence of compacted

In Puerto Rico, USA, there is no one, anywhere, that I know of, with core aerators
to decompact the soil. This includes baseball parks, other sport grounds, except maybe in silly, wasteful, GOLF grounds. There are knife, spike and core aerators.
They have a cylinder with the mentioned possibilities cutting or making holes
in the soil to allow water and oxygen to penetrate the compacted surface.

Some are attached to a tractor, others are self propelled. Heavy, noisy, and polluting, as all tools using gas/oil for lawn maintenance are. Core aerators plugs out soil, about four inches long without compacting the soil. When you are finished, your lawn looks as if a heavy geese air attack has taken place. However with a rake or irrigation all is solved.

Compaction is one thing, thatch is another. If your lawn is cut properly, at 2" when it
reaches 3", and you finish with a rake instead of blower, you will not have this problem. The cut leaves left will decompose creating a source of
nutrition. However if you are the average, ignorant Joe six pack character in Puerto Rico with a lawn, you will cut it lawn at two when it reaches four or six inches, with the known results or the opposite, at the ground level.

When lawns/grass is cut at ground level, as if you are going to play golf, it stresses any plant, besides looking like crap/manure, take your pick. If not cut properly you build
a layer of thatch. It stops water from reaching the roots, decreasing the oxygen that should reach them. Grass is just another plant, it requires certain length to photosynthesize and grow. Why do you think GOLF is the greater polluter of our environment? Their lawns demand huge amounts of fertilizer, fungicide, herbicide and insecticide since their 'lush' lawns, are under abusive stress (length/frequent cuts) constantly needing increased performance drugs just like steroids for athletes . Where do you think all these pollutants land? Water streams, , lakes, aquifiers and the ocean? Correct!

Back to the studio. In Stella Maris there is a nice collection of trees: Delonix regia, Terminalia catappa, a huge Mahogany, Ficus and Ilan-Ilan. In the vine deparment there are maybe five Petreas, a wonderful vine reminder of Wisterias. However, in the few places one can find this impressive vine, there is the same problem. The square
spaces are too small for a healthy growth and compacted; therefore they look like crap since oxygen and water barely reaches them. As any other problem with vegetation here, custom and use.

There is a bronze bust of Miguel de Cervantes the one and only, placed in 1960. One
rarely finds sculptures in this kind of park. But not everything is good. A fountain,
is found. The type allowing children to cool off. This one is out of service and clogged.
It is now a mosquito cultivating pond, believe it or not. Fortunately there is no bathroom at all, considering my previous review on the water closets in Puerto Rico,
it is a plus, not a minus.

Moving to the right of the Stella Maris on Luchetti St, one finds nice, big houses, abandoned houses, in the over $700,000 range, built in the sixties and later. There
is also the intrusive overwhelming ugly, expensive condos and a real, rare, phenomenal, out of this world space! A DOG PARK!

This park not far from the Luchetti School is of a nice design, no shade, except some
sort of gazebo for maybe six people at a time. The lawn is well kept. NO sign of dog
poop evident at the time. However, even though there is a sign with huge letters
forbidding dogs without leashes, two were in sight. A gigantic great Dane and a seven month old puppy. In a country notorious for the treatment to pets in general, (abandoned with ease in any space) this
is the only park to take one's dog for socializing and else for free.

Bonus for Native Islanders

On the way back, in a corner
at Ponce de Leon Avenue, by
1rst Bank, I felt a strange
fragrance out of the blue.
I moved back, look around and there.
A row of old Murrayas paniculatas in both
sides of this street all in bloom.
A nice surprise, unusual
around the concrete/asphalt.
The sweet subtle smell of this
forgotten, nice architecture,
put aside tree, was memorable. They
have been replaced by FICUS for hedges
by the cretins in the nursery and
landscape, gardening business.
If you think I exaggerate, put it in context yourself.
When I walk, no matter the direction, besides the everlasting, exhausting, ugliness,
there is stench of piss, garbage, greasy food, animal or
human waste, sewage and else, here and there,
but not perfume, not like this.
I am aware that Hawaii, Miami, Cancun, Marbella, Canary Islands, to name a few, have
had the same destructive experience with building developers.
Puerto Rico is not the only one, victim of avarice
and environmental destruction/pollution.
Time to go.

jueves, 3 de septiembre de 2009


BEING CRITICAL of everyone and everything that surrounds me, more often than not, creates intense feelings of frustration, almost resignation, desires to throw the towel. I imagine many
people with similar virtue/defect go through the same motions/sensations just like the salty waves of your favorite ocean or sea.

But as I get older, paying attention, opened eyes, is all one needs to keep some faith, hope. It really exists beyond silly bibles or the other two important cults preaching for the after life, to live happily
down there. Egyptian pyramids come to mind. Destroying the EARTH as quickly as possible would be the premise. That way we all die. According to your actions or whatever rules one
is to follow heaven or hell is what expect you.

That is why I see no Jehovas, Adventists my favorite to pick on doing volunteer work in Puerto Rico to clean streets, beaches, public areas, or planting
the trees, plants, ground covers, bushes of my collection as Horticultural Guerrilla recommends.
When one lives for the after life, the life that goes on is meaningless, the environment is meaningless. That is why one should imagine for just a moment, an acid trip if you prefer...
How your country, any where would be doing if instead wasting time in church daily, trying to
convince your neighbor that Mennonites or Amish are cooler than Presbyterians/Episcopalians.

After this unusual? introduction, BRAZIL has some kind of competition to unite, create conscience of the existence and presence of its ABORIGINALS. Seen on a documentary from
Spain, (rtv.es/docu.tv) as usual, thirty five ethnic groups get together to celebrate their life, to compete with a
meaningful purpose. The idea is twenty years old. Thanks for this intelligent Brazilian who
thought of it.

Since Brazil is HUGE, some aboriginals have to travel for four days, by boat, road, plane to reach
the site for the competition moved annually for this celebration. Bow and arrow, blowpipes and rope pulling are the competition modalities. The first two, part of their survival skills of daily life.

The reason to organize this event, is to allow these peoples to connect, to be aware of each others
life achievements, skills. Otherwise, as expressed by this admirable organizer, their existence will not be recorded or remembered. Rarely, have I seen anything more stimulating regarding what I have chosen to do. Protect, improve as an individual my surroundings.

These people live in a wet, hot, dangerous environment, pure nature. Almost naked, barefooted.
With a simple, non arrogant sense of self, manifested in expressions as: We are real Indians, we
have our language, we are stronger than the white man because we eat yucca, maize and drink honey.

Some were show boating, not their skills at competing, but as part of their war/dance/spiritual
rituals, manifestations of their self, their ways singing and dancing. This group the happier, most
expressive, smiling constantly, showing their merry ways later became worried when word came to them about some spirits being angry at their village. All was turned around and decided to return to their far away village. Later we see their children playing, the reason of their concern.

SO WHAT? May some reader wonder. I tell you what. When have you seen an effort, similar to those of saving gorillas, whales, dolphins, turtles, bears, seals, forests, rivers dedicated to help (keeping the distance), the aboriginals of the WORLD? Will never be close? That is why.

In the same documentary a plantation the size of Puerto Rico is shown, with soy...The useful,
beautiful forest destroyed to plant such a vulgar plant, that could be planted anywhere else,
in poor soils lasting three years at the most.

But is time to go. Check this out. The end of the documentary takes place at a time when these
people are swimming at the beach, for the first time of their life. Their impressions were around
the water moving constantly, getting tired as a consequence on one hand, on the other the lack
of trees or a shore to keep a sense of orientation.

Not far from this place, a monument to the arrival of the Portuguese to BRAZIL is shown. There are blocks of granite or marble where the aboriginals seat, chatting, changing impressions and a humongous CROSS.

What do you think of all this?.. asks the interviewer to the aboriginals. One responds without any visible excitement on his face, his voice: The CROSS symbolizes to us, all the destruction, robbery of our land, evil ways of the white men, who took everything we had.


Any story about BRAZIL will not
be complete without mentioning the beauty
of their women of all colors that I would
like to embrace and all...
Caipirinhas, raddizio, Jobim, Ben, Caymi,
Fafa de Belen, Toquinho, Eumir Deodato, Sergio Mendes,
Mercia, Clara Nunes, Joao Gilberto, Chico Buarque, Muito Elizeh,
Nana Vasconcelos, Egberto Gismonti and many others
whose music I still have in LP format.
If the people of Lanzarote do not send me an honorary citizen
passport, I will certainly request it to the people of
Brazil for their music, geography and else.