Tuesday, July 31, 2012


THE READING of the Galloping Gardener, Hattat and Cleve West, in addition to me regular gardening bloggers or not,  has left me spirit in a rather uneasy mood of creativity. For the last 15 days, I have been planting, relocating, editing,  weeding and trimming this or that.

With lots of pondering and no photos taken.  Now the news in detail.
The Cucurbita, has returned. I thought it would pass away but it did not after the featured pumpkin.  I did some research finding our soil, sandy as hell is the best for this edible. Also having both, female and male flowers, something not very Catholic if you ask me.. It goes airborne up instead of laying flat  thanks to the nature of our garden.

A rectangle.  That is one of the reasons I always thought something missing in the installation. It is boxed in. No matter what I do, or you for that matter, it is always enclosed in straight lines. Depth is not difficult to reach, however, I believe what makes a garden wholesome is the sum of wide and narrow angles to view, even better if there are inclinations for a tromp'oleil here or there.

At any rate, I was able to create a couple of curves in the west garden in a really high bed in front of the house. Barleria repens made it possible, not I.  This plant is essentially a ground cover, discovered by  yours truly while doing time in the LMM Plantation and Parque Donha Ines, an embezzlement Meca,*,  circa 2003.  I thought it could only be propagated by division, but I was mistaken, it is one of those self sown creatures, able and willing to grow on any cracks, weed like.

Barleria repens deserves a single post, I promise for a near future. After all how many plant there could start flat, transforming itself into a hedge, a column or anything in between, with a little help and  support and trimming. 

Finally, having a boxed in garden has some advantages. Unwanted weed  seeds are not flown as they would in wide open spaces.  As a result, my weeding activity is almost none, contrary to a majority of gardeners dedicating long hours to it and  thousands if not millions of words in blogs about how much they hate it or their secrets on the subject.

In our garden, broad leaf weeds are welcome any time if they have a nice appearance with/without bonus flowers.  I have liberated myself. The garden, concrete and all is opened to anyjuan, squatters included if they look cool and add something to the signature and aesthetics on me mind.

   that is that

  * http://www.flmm.org/

Saturday, July 28, 2012


ONE thing disturbs your humble servant every time I see that Faberge egg looking glass structure in London, ruining the sky line and the crooked BANKIA building in Spain they are so ugly, Puertorican architects, architecture comes to mind.

But let pesimism aside, lets look at the positive if you really believe running, jumping, shooting, throwing and walking for a medal has any social/moral value beside all the crap before and after is told regarding human effort and such..  

Another positive is knowing the butchery in Syria, the financial chaos in Spain moving to the abysm with the speed of Greece will take second or third place.

The National Inquirer aspect of the games will also be interesting,. The amount of athletes kicked out for using enhancement performance drugs or their freedom of speech as in the Greek girl being 'racist'.  I calculate between ten/15 percent athletes  will be caught now or later. So far most of those caught so far most are from countries in the former Soviet block, a reminder of East Germany dominant decades  with their butch/man looking female athletes from the Cold War days, when the Olympics were also the capital versus the social/comnunist way of life.

Finally, CONGRATULATIONS to England. The 12,000 millions of sterling pounds were well spent. How many countries can display their perception of the self, history, their own in four or five hours?  I was astounded by the 7 'polluting' chimneys...the Industial Revolution....is responsible for the earth warming or not?

that is that. 

a note for the editor
Mr. Culson, better win that
gold medal or do not COME BACK.
Remember BAREA!  

Thursday, July 26, 2012


I HAVE been interested in the concept of gardening for quite a while.  Like any language, a garden develops in time and space.  Not many write/talk about this.  A while ago I tried to work on the idea but later lost interest in the subject.

There are 2 or 3 kinds of gardeners, including those gardening for hire in the design/maintenance departments.  From me stance, there is an abysmal separation between gardeners  stuck into hedges/lawn/manicured/high maintenance gardens with only ornamental/aesthetics/interests and....

The edible gardening school, these seem only interested in sustainable agriculture, organic this or that and that is the end of it. Screw aesthetics.

The third group is capable of taking the best from each school, without any complications. One can design, plant an edible garden with some aesthetics to show without any extra sweat. Digging a hole to place a plant always require the same effort and similar tools. Only the type of soil or concrete is different.

That been written,  there are 2 or 3 considerations as to what makes a conscious gardener.  The urban/rural/suburbia context, proximity to the ocean, altitude, humidity, drought/wet seasons, surrounding flora and fauna.

Most people with a garden or plants at random at home do not worry about the waste of irrigation or pollution with fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides since the lush vegetation is what matters.

When I mean most people, please keep in mind golf courses. Who cares about the environmental destruction lawn maintenance requirements  have created and will create?   There is nothing more sterile than lawns

Never mind the gas/oil/propane/diesel/electricity wasted in them lawns. Blowers, trimmers and lawnmowers.  You will be forgiven ONLY if you used a push mower, goats, cows or horses to keep it neat. 

I used to have an intense dislike for people disconnected from their surroundings, in particular nature.  I thought it was a matter of  lacking any
sensibility, but  perhaps it is more complicated.  People cruel to animals and children have the same disease.

But it could be a matter of preferences and tendencies like those shown toward science, math, philosophy, theology and religion.  Liking one, makes the second or third irrelevant to one's life. 

I wonder what the world everywhere would be like if those fanatics blowing each other in pieces for religion, instead, were planting at least something to drink as in juices or eating as lettuce or tomatoes, favorites of many bloggers.

If bible freaks instead of knocking at your door and harassing people with their preach  were planting and swapping their produce among themselves and those they wish to recruit, instead all the silly worry about the after life, while the earth is totally destroyed.

Horticulture alone will not help. People have to stop propagating like rabbits, something religion tends to promote, no matter how many starve to death as a consequence.  Too often, one can watch the news with famines in Africa or elsewhere as if there is nothing anyjuan could do to stop it, eliminate it or reduce it significantly. 

Now just the tittle is left. Contemplation is fine, I have learned from many blogs in which pretty manicured gardens are shared with admiration. They are mostly in USA, France, England, Italy or Spain, but rarely anywhere else.

These beauties are never questioned in terms of  cost of maintenance in money, time, effort, how they improve or destroy the habitats for endemic/native flora and fauna.

That is why I put myself into the praxis bag, understanding that not every one can plant, diagnose what is wrong with any plant, prune and trim without making noise or pollution.

In brief, some contemplation with lots of praxis would help to improve our  existence in the little time/space we live and considering other creatures making that existence possible, pollinators for instance,  instead of the opposite,  its destruction in every imaginable way.   




Saturday, July 21, 2012


 ONE MONTH ago --check the link if you may--             
I wrote about this Plumeria new residence from the north garden to the east one.

It look healthy but somewhat crooked and uneven with a V shape branch that with time will probably break apart.

Before surgery I made up my mind in  terms of the final look, since I have no intention of going through to the procedure  a third time.

I took about an hour. The cut with a pruning saw, making sure of the correct angle for a fast scaring.  Removal of the Turnera, Rhoeo, Pedilanthus and Ruellia, hand digging around the trunk to remove soil  and final lift with a spade. 

The branch with flowers was planted and already found a new home within  90 days...

It certainly looks better, without a tutor since the walls will help to keep it straight... .

Words of wisdom from Chairman Cajan:
 You can make a crook/bended tree grow 
straight if you act in a timely fashion.


I  MOSTLY watch the BBC or RTV for news*.  Thank god for both. The have mostly well dress, efficient, not posing,  nice looking women. Handsome men with nice speech patterns and voice. The women from the former empire, are ethnics from those far away natural resources and cheap labor producing countries of yesterday.  In the bull fighting and San Fermin following country, they look like models in a runway, sitting  
down of course.  Sorry, no ethnics in Spain.

The news from England are mostly about Asia, Africa, Arabs and Hebrews.
I am getting pretty sick and tired of hearing and watching news about Syria.  But wait,  it seems the majority of the state soldiers are Sunnis..  If you have some collective or individual memory, you probably remember that in one of those countries with AK/AN in their names, they blow  each other up in weddings or going to church to praise Allah and whatever theological differences.

So there goes their fight for 'freedom' and 'better future'. It requires no more debate or pondering. Never mind the return of cold war former enemies China, Russia and USA with opposing views as to resolution possibilities. Only weapons manufacturers are happy these days in those latitudes.

In Spain, their news are mostly about themselves. Sports and the financial bankruptcy, created by embezzlement and avarice that became an epidemic for the last twenty years in most countries with significant power and economies. That on one hand, on the other, the high interest rates they will have to pay their banking, state and financial sectors good will saviors.  There are not many news about those getting rich lending to save the poor in this vale of tears.

On top, those not unemployed, retired with pensions paying more for food, gas, electricity, public transport, rent, alcohol, smokes and else, in addition of receiving less for salaries and pension.  What will the unemployed do, I can not imagine, in Spain and everywhere else.

That brings this report to the end.  Looking at the starving kids from Africa I thought of how simple the solution to starvation is: no children. Period. The good heart countries in the recent past giving food away for charity or guilt or both, could no longer be able to do that.  They will have no food to spare and even less money.. 

That jungle rule, survival of the fittest, will become a mantra everywhere.  Those who think migrating to some other country than their own may help, will do so. Good luck.

that is that 

*  In Puerto Rico men and women in the local news look like
puercas/puercos de Juan Bobo, fat, squat, with ugly
squeaky or too grave voices. Artificial speech exaggerating
the pronunciation or R's ans S's pretending to be sophisticated,
a 7 out of 10 in most channels.  Their clothes and accessories 
make the women look like indigent elementary  public school  teachers.
Men can not afford a tailor, their suit always looking
of the cheap persuasion.  Bless their heart.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


 WHERE planting is concerned small gardens concentrate the mind. Focus on those which are reliable, which perform well and which if possible, contribute interest over an extended period.  Trees for example, may be chosen not just for leaf but also for flower, interesting bark and possible fall color.  Shrubs to include are those which, in addition to unusual flowers, produce berries at the year's end or which may be evergreen.  Both of course, make excellent hosts for all manners of climbers, not least clematis.  Even perennial flowers may have particularly fine foliage to be followed with unusual and dramatic seed heads.. 

Take advantage of any vertical surfaces. to double as supporters for climbing plants.  Horizontals too, such as the uppermost area of shrubs, fixed ropes and wires. The very tops of boundary walls and fences, may all be employed as homes to climbers. Planting need not be confined to traditional borders.  Raised beds, forming attractive features in their own right, may be used to accomodate a whole range of plants for which there may otherwise be insuficient space.

They are especially good for alpines and those subjects which are in need of sharp drainage.  All manner of containers from terracota pots
and classical urns to troughs and discarded sinks, can be employed either singly or in groups to form attractive, colorful arrangements.

An advantage to this type of gardening is that pots may be set aside, or replanted,  once their season of interest has passed.  Do not overlook the potential of exterior walls, as well as being clothed by climbers, they may be furnished with hanging pots, baskets or window boxes to lift and brighten what might be dismissed as uninteresting facades.

Gardening in a 
Lance Hattatt
pages 14-15
Parragon Publishing


I usually write/say what is necessary in the beginning,  this time I went the other way.  The book was a present, I  checked it out, 4 years ago and put aside not meaning much at the time for your humble servant.

What a pleasure it was reading it again slowly, with the feeling I was looking at an x ray of the garden, my views and practice, without ever thinking or imagining like this.

You certainly  noticed It was not written by me, the language, vocabulary, tone, register, the whole. Perhaps the best is a lack of superlatives and exaggeration.  Simple and clear. 

While reading, I decided to illustrate with  photos  of my Caribbean garden what  the British author describes as some of the elements of the small garden, that inventory apart, mine seems to comply perfectly.

that is that

Friday, July 13, 2012


YOU may  remember the arrival of our subject in the tittle nine weeks ago.  The consequences in the garden and the constant testing
of yours truly patience.  Titania gave some suggestions and support.

What do you know?  In a conversation with me wife, a former co-worker of yours truly, started a conversation about this intercontinental people's gardener or Mr. Congeniality if you prefer.

Lalo came into the picture and Missis Baba Portalatin, the mentioned co-worker-- no relation to the mythical and legendary thief  Ali Baba--, noticed the shape of his ears,  spots on face and body, giving her expert opinion, since she has one.

Our hero is mixed with Jack Russel Terrier. His pain in the arse personality, hyper activity cured with Ritalin in children of similar condition with ADD, is defined, described as Flamboyant personality.

The constant biting, playful and not so, the archaeological activity digging holes in me garden, rhythmic running with intermittent jumps Bambi like, and high jumps in moments of excitement.

Not a nice picture for a grouch, with a need for extreme quiet and peace at home.

There is more about Lalo and his personality. An incredible capacity to forgive is shown when noticing the bastards who left him sick  five or six houses up the street, when they pass in front of our house, greeting them as if nothing ever happened.

On top, the mail man likes Lalo, calls him by his name, showing some unusual friendliness, that is mutual. Believe it or not.

Lalo requires lots of attention, I making an effort to comply.  In other departments, after relocating some plants in the south garden, now I am into pot exchange.  Since Lalo jumps at anything calling his attention, flimsy pots are constantly on  the ground, screwing the plants once in a while...Well, they are now in concrete pots

Anolis lizards will have to be alert, since our companion, enjoys jumping on them with some sort of happiness, squashing them. The same goes for anything flying: bees, flies, beetles. His eye/ear coordination is so acute, he follows their flight in the dark.

That is that.

You may check Lalo's debut in youtube:


Monday, July 9, 2012


THERE  is an evident tendency in television lately.
At least in USA, cup cakes competitions, restaurant impossible, bar rescue, swamp people, gold diggers, men vesus food (eating like a hog),  porn and Cajun pawn shops, all aimed at white folks or rednecks if you prefer. Gardening has been forgotten in their one track riff raff oriented mind/world.

I propose  Garden Police. In this show, I would be the chief judge. Traveling conditions and salary is

Participants will not,  be humiliated with cynical comments at all or be interviewed. or speak, who cares about your opinions if the composition, plant selection speaks for you for your landscape designer, landscape architect or yourself.

My proposal is simple. As in the cup cakes tv show,  your garden will be strictly judged on aesthetics or presentation value for your geographic region.

But in my educated opinion, what will determine a winner are the following:  cost of men/hours doing the maintenance for the month/year. 

How much oil/gas/propane/diesel/electricity is used in any power tools for the keep up.

How much water it requires to keep the installation alive during the year/seasons, along with pesticide, herbicide and fertilizer. 

Some rules will be designed  to judge in specific eco-regions since the aesthetics, appearance of a garden in desert/rain forest situations and places in between are not necessarily the same.  Not for the untrained eye. Also in terms of pollution, water usage in a desert garden requires more and less of each.

The botanical inventory, including plants, insects, birds and such. If you have animals of companion hanging x amount of hours in the garden, you get a bonus, since some pets or aoc tend to disturb, destroy, damage.

Measures will be important to determine the percentage of lawns, hedges, topiaries as a whole.
The more of each, less chance to win.

Gardens with palm trees of any kind except those I accept will receive a demerit to be add at the end.

Trees, bushes, plants and vines  providing fruit and/or fragrance will get a bonus.

Now you have the picture or photo of the concept.
Meanwhile take a deep breath, how would you and your garden measure up?

The prizes would vary. A cup cake from Karen me wife friend/entrepeneur  with one or two Antigonum the barista made espresso coffee or a round trip to gualt disney world in Florida, even if you live in Florida. 

Everyjuan can participate it does not matter if your garden is an acre or more or 450 square meters.


Wednesday, July 4, 2012

4 JULY 2012 POST

IT Seems that everyjuan went to the beach to eat the classical menu of hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken, potato salad like there is no tomorrow washed down with the usual beer or soda pop.

I considered doing the same, following the gregarious herd, but decided otherwise. to be productive, in my own eyes.

Two out of 3 chairs were restored. One of  teak, left to go. One was found recently on a street nearby during my strolls,  The original photo is below with the tall blue/gray grass.

Linseed oil does the trick, with a little sanding, one inch brush and that was that. The one used for grass  pot was reinforced with  a yellow nylon string.

After that, with some time left I decided to share the squatters situation at home and seven houses up the street, where  someone decided to occupy the residence shown in the photos. There are no windows for ventilation, water or electricity.

The fellow, from a foreign isle, has a vehicle as anyjuan can see. Things have changed since my younger days...

In the USA, people in the 1960's had some political views and skills to restore
abandoned buildings left to rot by avaricious landlords not interested/willing to pay back taxes.  Often the police proceeded to kick them squatters butts...since the status quo preferred to let the buildings rot, rather than fix them.

About the tittle, I can say that USA lost all  prestige and power it had during the 1950's.  Korea and Vietnam were part of their own domino theory during the Cold War, more recently in countries with  names ending in  'tan' or 'ak/an'.  Almost every country in America the continent, had its butt kicked, actually injured. The most recent was Panama, where thousands of natives were murdered to arrest Noriega, a former friend.  After every kick, slap, kill, democracy was the sound off, that has not changed.

Even if one has affection for the people, cuisine, movies, music,
scenery, literature and  culture, has received love and affection from them ladies, job opportunities impossible here, the truth is their government, financial, banking, commercial entities ruined their population standards of living with the trend to move every damned industry to far away cheap labor oceans.  and effectively killed 'the better future' for themselves and new arrivals.

Capital has no love for fatherlands or motherlands. That is the sad truth. The USA has no other way to go but down, just like those countries in Europe, following their economic modes...Now is England's Barclays....Who's next?

Monday, July 2, 2012


PAIN  in the arse, the heat and drought. Fortunately, down here we have had some rather timid showers, the kind lasting 10 or less minutes, cleaning the Saharan dust in most leaves, with a little cooling effect on the predominant concrete/asphalt.

Since the last feature, I have been into gardening activities like irrigating,  over five hundred gallons, a dry wall style paving in Diva's former water closet with miss match materials collected and chosen by texture/color or the hell of it..

Some Guerrilla Activity took place in the San Carlos, stop 27, recently. After the most recent and first trimmer raid, everything was almost bare, but nature, vegetation always returns with a little help from your friend. 

I planted 3 Poliscyas and  20  beans from seeds. Their flowers are pretty, their taste meaningless.
There is new gueto/inner city grafic aggression or

The bastards practicing this expensive attacks--cans of spray paint go for $9 and over-- pull out my plants and those growing naturally to paint or so their works of art can be seen clearly.

In the most documented garden, I laid the pavement at left,  hoping to have some plants growing in betweenies soon.

In addition, a nice looking wild DK grass, planted for Diva's palate moons ago,  has been promoted to ring side status. It has a green/blue color and coarse, razor blade edges. It was an element missing in the collection, height and fluffyness.

The tittle?  One of those movies from Spain our Moderland,  that marks one's life. It could have never been made in USA--the story spinning around ugly people--where everyjuan has to look pretty and artificial as in Hollywood.

I may add that in the country who gave hot dogs to humanity, using the term FEO=UGLY, would create much debate, since you can not use nigger or deaf or blind. It is visually impaired. The film would probably have created hot debates within the human rights vigilantes. It would be: Que se mueran those lacking beauty.

The movie is certainly odd in terms of dialogue, plot and action. The humour is reduntdantlly hillarious. The photography, acting, music, landscapes and direction superb! Sorry no shots, rapes, mayhem or special effects with cars in mid air, policemen and such.


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