Thursday, August 30, 2012


IF YOU are a regular on these pastures you may remember I was trained in the NY Botanical Garden in Commercial Horticulture Landscaping  Management, the classes for the certificate of 162 hours are similar in many aspects to those for a degree in agronomy.

SO what? If you are a landscape architect, garden designer, gardener, plantsperson, garden writer, monitor or dirt environmentalist  or anything related but not mentioned.

 Simple. Any type of gardening in the long run cost money one way or the other.  Please remember that energy spent trimming/pruning
planting equals money if you are working for somejuan else. However if Juan is working for you it is  at your expense..

This beautiful photo demonstrate a paradigmatic installation anywhere in Puerto Rico, rainforest or desert like eco-region.  Everything, no matter where you go is the same with little variation in the inventory (about 15 species), even the stupid curves are the same. The lawns are always cut too short,  to save a little money with less maintenance visits to the proprietor.

Since the proprietor does not know elbow from arse, this practice kills the lawn eventually, lacking height to photosinthetize. For the maintenance company is cool, since a new lawn is a fresh chance for billing.*

When you plant anything so close to a lawn, the blow/cut companies or individuals will screw up what is not lawn, trees, bushes and plants. What do they care?  and forget about placing anything as a border/ costs money.

Money, money...If you are a banker, stock broker, real estate speculator  or similar, skip this post, the state/politicians in your country will pay, or the IMF, you will always have money no matter if you embezzle it or is lost in toxic loans, at least in the Eurozone.

If you are not, please take this into consideration. Noise and pollution, strangers in your property once or twice a month, making your life and of that of your neighbors miserable with trucks, trimmers, blowers, lawnmowers. A lawnmower on, for an hour,  pollutes as much as an automobile  driven in a 20 mile ride (CO2).

How does one should calculate the billing, individual or company?
The cost to the customer should include: the cost of oil, gas, propane, including the time and distance to and from the site where the work is to be done,  depreciation of equipment, trucks and else, men/hour, and anything that cost money.  Once this is done you determine how much the fool on the hill hiring you is going to pay by day, not hours.  The wise ones have two rates, one for trimming/pruning one for lawns.

In Puerto Rico, most gardeners/butchers for hire get  50 USA dollars a day.  In the majority of the cases there is  no social security, days off except Sunday, vacation, sick time, just like cheap labor is treated anywhere in the world. There is not much difference in the private or public sector..  Forget about security equipment when using trimmers or pesticides, it cost money. 

The advantage of having some training mentioned above is that  any views are not capricious, arbitrary; when any garden sucks, in  nine out ten, they are also costly and polluting.  There are variables in  aesthetics, but that is second fiddle in my opinion. Another handicap stink gardens have, is a lack of connection with the flora, fauna, eco-region context surrounding, just a caricature.

One post in mind: The Impossible Dream or looking for some beauty on this neck of the concrete/asphalt garden installations.

that is that

* Working with David Ramirez, operating in the Alto Apolo housing projects moons ago, I noticed too many white flies on the Ixoras to be installed in some property.  When told of the problem he stated:
' Do not worry, just plant them, later I will drop by, spray some and get a little money on the side'. 


  1. Self-serving, money-grubbing folks need to get out of this field. It is ruining everything. We need to expose such traits.

    What is odd to me, is they could make just as much or more money by simply doing plant spacing, practices well, then doing more work for more people.

  2. That is a strong point. Doing better work without any rush to do poorly five yards a day!

    One problem remains, gardeners refusing to follow intelligent
    practices, saving money, eliminating ALL possibilities of polluting with their flora and fauna in mind.

    Which reminds your humble servant that educating children is a waste of time, since only adults, highway and housing developers destroy the environment big time. The focus is wrong and a waste of time, besides being entertaining and educational for the participants, something I can not deny.


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