Monday, March 7, 2011

A Woman’s Prerogative

Is it not said that it’s a woman’s prerogative to change her mind? Well now, I’m a woman. I changed my mind. I’ll keep the blog now that I’m making a bit of progress. If not on the program, at least in my view of the program. I suppose it’s all about how one looks at things. Perspective. Yes. Guess I had a bit of a burnout.

I did feel in limbo making few decisions, simply waiting for the almighty BUCK. There was so little to report or expand upon. But… I do miss readers’ comments. However, there should be subjects to comment upon, no?  Guess I dried up. Bottom line however, is that I would hate to bore anyone. So out of respect, I retired, at least for a while.

To the present, now. I’d had great fear of losing most of my plants on account of the unusually l o n g period of freezing temps at night. The problem was that it was difficult to forecast how much or when frost would hit, It did mostly around the wee hours of the morning. To plan on covering the more fragile plants was at best a hit or miss endeavour. And also to figure out which were the more fragile ones for a newbie. I did water quasi-religiously, given that we have had no rain since the ONE day (might I say scanty?) rain in October. The days are now getting hot, not warm, but hot!  I’m seriously considering gardening in pots to facilitate moving plants out of the nights of freezing risk. We’ll see.

At our altitude, this spells dryness. Water is vital for us bipeds and all creatures great or small, and definitely plants. So to report on the plants, the bougainvillea are safe for the most part. Two out of three llamaradas also are. The guava burned (should I say froze) out save for a few leaves sprouting from the ground. Pitiable. The jury’s still out on that one. The peach tree looks… just peachy, (pardon my pun.. it’s rare than I can resist!) Lemon tree? Gone. Bamboos aren’t doing so great and probably will have to be moved. The pear tree? Wantonly dried up.

Tomorrow, Don Samuel (a gardener) will come to snip the dead branches and rebuild little “planters” and guards around the plants so that the dogs don’t get an itch to check on the “stick”. Another perspective that differs according to species. Live stems to me—sticks to dogs. Also, since I finally had a first chance to savour a fresh fig (delicious is too weak a word to describe it) I’m dying to have a fig tree. It would replace the pear tree that’s definitely defunct. I hear that there are black and white figs. Really? Can’t wait to find out. Perhaps I could plant both? See how far ambition will lead you to!

About plants. It’s quite unbelievable to witness how, despite lack of rain, unforeseen freezing nights, an almost scorching sun already in March drying up what was already unbelievably dry, mesquites, huisaches that are sporting fragrant yellow blooms, nopales and other cacti, are now springing to life in green splendour. The green hues look almost miraculous to me given the hardships that these plants must face. Where and how do they get the moisture? I used to think that in our hard to bear winters up north, we faced unusual hardships. I stand corrected. My sense of wonder was first initiated by the profusion of blooms in the Arizona desert. It goes on, unabated.

On a more practical level though, I have finally located a reasonable blacksmith “herrero” who gave me a good price on the gate. However, I had to wait three weeks longer than the date promised. For a Northerner living in Mexico, this is probably the hardest part to get used to. Time is both elastic and relative, for the giver of the service and the recipient, as well. It is harder on the receiving end… in my humble opinion. Anyway, here’s what the gate looks like. It insures privacy and is a welcome preventative method of keeping the dogs quiet. What a relief! No view for them to get excited about, be it of sheep, cows, dogs, people, cars or bicycles, action in front of the lot, across from the lot, sideways from the lot, on the street to the right, on the street to the left, on the main road (which is  w a y . . . way  d o w n), or even behind, which is stretching way out! Who would even hear anything from there?  But who was the judge? My word counted for nothing even though I’m the one who puts “kibble on the table”. They were intent on their evaluation of the situation. Now? We’re down to almost nada. I’ll bet Dona Mari, my next door neighbour, who maintains that it’s the dogs’ job to bark, is quite relieved despite her allegations to the contrary. Good grief, am I ever,though!

Anyway here’s the gate. Door, saguan, Tisha 004

The columns on each side will have to be expanded upwards and topped up with bricks for the style that I want. Later.

Also, Don Samuel who happens to be a mason besides a gardener (Mexicans are definitely multi-talented, probably owing to circumstances?) might be available to build a cement base on which to secure the middle joining rod of the gates in the ground. Right now, both sides of the gate sway noisily and a bit precariously to the winds.

More to report on the next post.

As previously stated, most comments are welcome.


Tesaje said...

I for one am glad to see you back. :-) All solo women who are finding their way thru retirement are of interest to me as I am just beginning the remaking of my life after retirement.

Don't give up on the lemon yet. They sulk rather spectacularly when stressed and could rebound. I made that mistake once and got rid of one I was sure was dead. It was not. Lemons can withstand some freezes especially with some help. A potted dwarf might be better for you anyway because you won't have trouble picking the fruit. Also, this winter was especially cold so other winters will probably be milder.

The leaves sprouting from the roots of the other plants is good. That's the way a lot of plants survive the winter so don't be too upset at the dead foliage yet. I don't know a lot about subtropical gardening but in the temperate latitudes, that is the norm and gives great pleasure as the plants awaken in the spring.

Lots of plants run their growth cycles based on light rather than temperature or moisture so some of yours starting up might be on a light cycle as the sun strengthens and days lengthen in March. You could probably research all that on the web.

Elaine said...

You don't know me,but I've enjoyed your blog for quite a while now. I just wanted to say welcome back. I was so disappointed when you said you were quiting. You've added a smile to my day.
Elaine in BC Canada

Glimmer said...

I also am glad you're back. I love the notion of moving way south in retirement.

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