The Plant Kingdom and Dress Code for Gardening in the Rainy Season

Greetings again from western Mexico. As the title states, it is now the rainy season, resulting in changes in the way I garden. It does not rain all day every day, but for most days, it will rain off and on.

Normally you will have creatures flitting about, or crawling about, drinking nectar, collecting pollen, eating leaves, etc., etc. – your hummingbirds and an assortment of other types of birds, bees, ants, and so forth. We also now have an overabundance of flies in addition to the normal tiny biting things that you don’t even see half the time. What you do end up seeing are the pin-prick holes and welts on your skin after they bite, which you notice once that area starts to itch.

And so, as a result, this is my gardening outfit:

 

IMG_4659Kerchief on my head to keep those pesky flies out of my hair and ears. Long-sleeved shirt to keep the little biters off my arms. Gloves to protect my hands from spiny plants waiting to impale my fingers, or crawly things hiding at the base of plants or in the dirt. No scorpions during the wet season, but still there are worms, probably an occasional spider and who knows what else.

Long pants to protect against spiny things, creatures and dirt. My beloved Skechers sneakers which are used solely for gardening and my morning walks as they get hopelessly dirty and often wet.

Sometimes, when it becomes unbearably hot, I will wear short sleeves, but the long pants and sleeves do a good job of protecting my skin against the sun. And when it gets too buggy, I put repellent on what little skin is showing.

Since this is the first rainy season I have experienced while living in my house, I am discovering new plants and fruits that I had not seen before with the explosion of growth that comes from the generous supply of rain water falling on my garden.

I woke up one morning to find white lilies when I had no idea that the leaves were part of a lily plant –

IMG_4648       My avocado is now producing its bounty having been pruned and now watered.  It is difficult to see the avocados as they blend in perfectly with the leaves, but I have been able to make out 4 avocados so far.

The guayaba japonesa – Japanese Guava – is producing multitudes of green fruit which turn red when ready for picking:

IMG_4541

 

The pink lilies and bird of paradise plants continue to bloom as always, but now other pink flowers are also beginning to show themselves:

There is an explosion of green coffee berries on my coffee trees, which will eventually ripen into red berries ready for picking. However, since it takes 8 pounds of berries to make one pound of coffee, I’ll still have to buy 99% of my coffee from the local growers, though it will be fun to try to process what little I have in my own house.

IMG_4619And then there is my pumpkin patch. I planted about 10 seeds, and the vines are taking over that corner of the property, including winding their way around tree trunks. I see quite a few flowers and lots of large green leaves that haven’t been eaten by insects, so I imagine I will have a nice supply of pumpkins from which I can make homemade pumpkin pie, instead of having to use camotes or go all the way to Guadalajara to find store-bought pumpkin pie or cans of pumpkin.

My neighbors can also make jack-o’lanterns from real pumpkins – I do see plastic ones occasionally…..

IMG_4636I still have hope to see chayotes from the vines. They are covering the frame so much so that the grass underneath has plenty of shade, the vines are reaching up into nearby trees, and I see lots of flowers which hopefully will turn into the edible chayotes now that fertile soil has been mixed into the soil at the base of the vines.

And I am still waiting to see the flowers on my banana trees which will indicate that the long-awaited bananas will finally appear, with each tree producing enough to feed my entire street.

And finally, there is my moon garden – the malla sombra is providing much-needed shade while allowing the rain to nourish the plants. The dead plants have been removed with new plants added – 4 grayish-white succulents and 6 gardenia plants which are providing a very nice perfume.

When my Queen of the Night finally blooms, that will be a separate and special posting all to itself, but meanwhile, here is my beautiful moon garden as it is right now:

IMG_4613And finally, a few random pictures of other flowers to finish this off:

IMG_4632And a pleasant good evening from all of us at Casa Paty – me, Peach and Ginger. Hasta luego y buenas noches…..

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