Friday, May 6, 2011


WELL, to be more precise if I include the days when I lived in Savarona, before the invasion, during college, it should be: It started 3 decades and seven years ago.  That is when my prodigious career propagating and planting really started.

In total ignorance of those technical issues that now separate yours truly from the people, populace, architects, landscape architects, environmentalists,  and every gardener for hire into maintenance and installation, down these here pastures.

Some taste has been around all the time. I never liked those soft round rocks placed in lines as borders or as dry beds. I prefer flat rocks, rough and preferably orange/yellow. However, I remember collecting some rare green rocks in Ponce, (never to be seen again) when highway 10 between Arecibo and La Perla del Sur,  was being built for my first installation in Savarona. It was perhaps eight square feet. Only one photo from that era exist, and is here through a scanner.

I did composting then, and unable to make my soil since the yard was ninety five percent concrete, I mixed nursery soil with dry leaves constantly, having earth worms in every pot.

The collection then was not remarkable for obvious reasons, consisting mostly of plants adequate for shade and humid conditions, even though Caguas was already a concrete/asphalt hell.

Fast forward to 2002. Lomas Verdes, calle Pavona en Bayamon City.  The two story house was our residence for some time before we moved to Paseo del Bosque. These walk ups are not far from where we live now.

At any rate, recently arrived from the Big Apple, I got into it, with enthusiasm and energy. I bought a STIHL trimmer, the most powerful, not started for the last five years and with less than one hundred hours. Later a push mower still in good shape and sharp. Reel mowers cut in a clean and fancy way that is evident to even the ignorant. In one of the photos, you will notice the grass in two levels. The lower was done with it, the other with the Stihl.

I spent around a year trying to have landscaping maintenance work steady, but the invader competition, distances, cost of fuel, traveling made it silly. That was the end of my gardening for hire days.

The collection in Lomas Verdes was somewhat unusual thanks to the over sixty species Rengui, my in law, had collected and propagated during forty two years, plus twenty or so I added during my stay there.  In Caribbean Botanical Review you may find the actual inventory if interested.

I was an ignorant fool then for a year or two. I slowly became aware of what a remarkable stupidity hedges, lawns and palm trees are for the environment, flora and fauna.  It is abominable to pollute air, water, soil, plus noise, with gas, oil, propane, diesel or electricity. Add the irrigation, water waste. 

The pictures tell the story.  All my previous installations were destroyed: Savarona, Lomas Verdes and  Fundacion Luis Munhoz Marin.

Paseo del Bosque is not included since all my plants were in fiberglass pots and most are already planted in our Patrimony for the Flora and Fauna in Santurce, Nueva Kiskeya, Puerto Rico.

I thought that going back in time will allow some readers to keep gardening in focus. That in one hand, in the other, it keeps me doing what I do best, reinventing the parallelogram and squashing dissidents without the pertinent argument. 


The apparent anger displayed often in this space 
is not gratiutous.

In this post just a little token of my personal experience regarding the environment. Now multiply what happened in Lomas Verdes by a million times in  Puerto Rico, one very close by, is Parque Donha Ines at a cost of over eight million toletes. The destruction magnified, not in a private residential scale but the whole isle.

And some hicks wonder if I change personas, perhaps wondering if  this could be written by a ghost?

apaga e idos.

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