Friday, June 22, 2012

Gardening in Paradise

I inherited my green thumb from my Grandma Peggy. As a child, I loved to just hang out in her small backyard. I'm not sure what the attraction was, but I suppose it reminded me of The Secret Garden.

As an adult, I've turned every yard I have owned into something special, but it has never been so easy as here in Mexico.

The seasons in the central highlands of Mexico are not what I was used to growing up in the western U.S. Our winter is usually quite dry, while the summer is when the rain comes. The hottest, driest months are mid-April to mid-June. When the rainy season finally arrives in June, it starts with a bang. The plants think it is spring and start growing faster than you can imagine.

Something is blooming in my yard year around, bringing wonderful scents blowing on the breeze that flows through my house. The lime (lemon???) blossoms start with the new year, followed quickly by the Jasmine that is climbing my back wall. When that is almost finished, the Gardenia starts and lasts the entire summer. Then the Jasmine comes back for a second time.

I have some roses and other showy flowers, but I rarely pick them for the house. They last much longer if they stay on the bushes outside, and I can see them just fine from the house.

Instead, I cut bouquets of my herbs and put them in a vase in the kitchen. They add a wonderful smell and I can cut what I need as I cook.

All of the hard work of clearing and planting is over. Weeds are not a problem because there is no room for them to grow.
I just have to trim things back now to prevent them from taking over. I hate to throw the trimmings away because most of them willl grow if they are stuck in some soil, so I give away as much as possible. Sometimes I just hang bags of plants on my front gate with a sign begging people to take them for free.

I also have a large covered patio at the back of the house and three smaller open patios plus the front walkway. In fact, I can see a patio and it's plants from every room in my house. All of them are full of more plants in pots. One of the patios also holds a fountain/fish pond, so we are serenaded with the sound of running water.

When I am working in my garden, it is like a working meditation. One hundred percent of my attention is focused on my plants. I have to set an alarm if I have an appointment because I lose track of time so easily.

I can think of no better way to relax than to lie in my hammock outside and watch the lizard family run along the wall and the butterflies and hummingbirds flying from flower to flower. I can hear the water in the fountain and the birds in the many large trees next door. The scent of the flowers can be overwhelming at times unless I'm nibbling on a leaf of one of my herbs.

Thanks for reading my blog!

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