When I decided to clear the lot next to me that had been a repository of all of the junk and building debris of the neighborhood for the nineteen years I have lived here as well as many years before, I had no idea how much it would take to try to make a garden out of that lot. After six months which consisted of weeks of cutting the plants that had overtaken it, then 5 hours of bulldozing and leveling, then another week to put up a fence to repel further efforts to repel passing cows as well as those accustomed to dumping junk on it. Since then, we’ve moved plants from my own gardens and purchased different exotic grasses from a local vivero. A new super weed-whacker has assisted Pasiano with his efforts to keep the grass at an acceptable level. Yolanda’s family’s efforts to grow a small field of corn in one corner was thwarted by moles and rats and squirrels, who promptly dug up all the corn that was planted. Well, most of it. Twelve plants remain. These pictures represent our efforts so far, which look feeble, but represent a lot of work and an accumulation of dreams which will, I hope, swell over the coming years. Next will be a large arbor to furnish relief from the sun for Pasiano and a place to sit to observe the view.
As usual, click on photos to enlarge.
This is what the lot looked like after removing truckloads of weeds and during the bulldozing process.
This is my present view of the lot from my studio.
What is left of Yolanda’s crop of corn.
The pampas grass has survived its transplant and plumed out
The agave from my garden has accepted its new place and decided to bloom and the palm tree whose leaves were cropped off by marauding cows before the fence went up, has put out new branches.
The hearty many-branched zinnia volunteered to join the garden and Paciano has plans to use the seed to spread its bounty.
Now I just need to decide where to put the arbor so it will provide both shade from the afternoon sun for Paciano and a good view for whomever else decides to sit under it.
I’ve been trying to find a place for this hardwood carving of my husband’s for 19 years! It just didn’t go in the doggie domain. It needed its own space. A couple of months ago, I went over the dark wood with a white wash, then painted and wiped or sanded off the claws, eyes and letters. I wanted it to look weathered and friendlier than the rich dark wood had looked. Then it sat in my studio. A month later, I drilled and screwed in screws and wire on the back to hang it from. But where to hang it? The pistachio tree next to my hammock already had a Soleri bell and a little painting of a prehispanic figure in the knothole. (Thanks, Jesus Lopez Vega.) Then as I was walking up to the house, I pulled at the trunk of one of the really tall palms and the wood just gave way in my hands. I peeled off a few of the leaf shafts still clinging to the tree and voila! A space just right for the carving. Today I found a big nail and hung it, sorta tucking it in to the frond shafts. Perfect. With the color, it sorta blends into the tree, but as you get closer, you can read the message, “And Owl Moved to Some Other Tree.” R.I.P. Bob. I hope you are watching.
Click on photos to enlarge and read captions.
Can you see Bob’s carving?
You can probably see it now, but can you read what it says?
Does this line sound familiar? Do you think Owl has find his right perch?
Two of my favorite people share today as a birthday. One is Forgottenman, who has, I hope, already received his photo tributes via Jibjab, but now I’m thinking about my Mother, who would have been 110 today if she had lived.
Recently I read a letter where she mentioned how when I was a baby I used to pick the heads off flowers and bring them to her. Misguided then, as I still am now in some matters, I have nonetheless learned to leave the flowers where they grow. I took a little walk in my garden today, Mother, imagining you were here with me, seeking out the flowers that are less profuse now than they were a few months ago.
Winter comes to Mexico as well, and although it cuts a less-wide swath, our cold snap seems to have inhibited the hibiscus and even the poinsettias, that should be fully in bloom by now. This is what you would have seen if you had been able to take my walk with me. If you click on the first photo, all of the photos will enlarge and you can go through them as a slide series and also read their captions:
This little begonia is easily overlooked.
Berries on the heavenly bamboo will need to substitute for holly.
This orange thunbergia is beautifully invasive.
The lipstick plant seems to bloom year round but is hard to photograph.
All of my jade plants are flowering, many of the blooms gone to seed.
This is the only hibiscus presently blooming, other than the large bush next to the wall, where most of the blooms are growing on the side that droops over my neighbor’s wall.
These thunbergia are on of the hardest flowers to photograph. I don’t know why.
Morrie and Diego are very interested in this new little rock garden at the junction of the two brick pathways because it was a section they used to pretty consistently dig up, either to eat grass or to bury their bones. Now they are somewhat mystified by what has sprung un in their playgeround, even a month after the planting.
I almost missed these papaya blooms. In another month I hope to be eating the fruit beneath them.
A vine on the post supporting the terrace roof had grown so big that it totally blocked off access to the sidewalk from the terrace. Going down to turn off water to the pool, as a result, was a tricky and dangerous business, especially at night, when I had to step off onto an uneven area of dirt and plants. I also had a whole set of lawn furniture I couldn’t use because the yard incline was too severe, the back legs sunk into the dirt, and I tipped over backwards when I sat down on them. Lastly, the junction of the two brick pathways had become a favorite digging site for the dogs. Solution? A little brickwork and a few plants.
Please click on first photo to see captions and enlarge all photos.
The maestros at work.
Wedding of the ways.
Parting of the ways.
Fourteen small shrubs and a few smooth stones filled out the junction
Morrie and Diego no longer dig. But they find the manure in the dirt very tasty. Then they come up and kiss their mom on the lips. No, I’m not a volunary recpient, but they are fast.
Payday makes for a happy maestro
I meant for this to be a bit more irregular. I can’t decide if it looks more like a footprint or a peanut.
A place in the shade. Scrabble, anyone?
(This post was done at the request of Forgottenman, who has been dying to see what is going on.)
Look at all those spendthrifts paying for the view as though it is a contest to spend their cash anew on hotel after hotel, on safaris, tours and cruises–— climbing up Mount Everest, amassing scrapes and bruises. I’ll keep my money in my pocket. I’ve worked for it too hard, and simply do my viewing here in my backyard.