viernes, 15 de marzo de 2013


THANKS to my training in the New York Botanical, I have kept some focus on all the issues regarding horticulture, gardening, farming, environment, reforestation, nature, habitat, flora and fauna, water, soil and air and many other issues directly/indirectly related to those things, creatures that keep us living. 

These last ten years have not been easy around here.  It seems the national pastime is not to accept criticism, to act like a fool over and over expecting new, different results.  The default on the 100 billion national debt, is just one token.

In the beginning, I believed that not having a botanical inventory at hand, would make any juan a jerk in this field, unfortunately, that is the rule, the majority of the population does not keep one, including owners of nurseries, local edible garden gurus/preachers and other people in related enterprises.

The only possible way any nature/landscape restoration can take place in the mostly sterile asphalt/concrete urban contexts in Puerto Rico is to study, propagate and plant vegetation according to their eco-region.  Contrary to custom and use: selling trees or giving them gratis to the people to be planted in the worst possible places, sidewalks for example.

Every tree in the metro zone of San Juan, has been chosen mistakenly and planted by feeble minds. It is not the exception, but the rule.  There are some Higuaca Landscape people in Guanica, a desert by isle standards, planting turf and very proud of it.  Same goes with palms, hedges and Ficus.

Inventories could solve many problems in the long run, if people started thinking, looking, considering growth habits before any planting takes place.  The other advantage of this study, is to become aware of how fashion, impositions from nurseries to the public destroy the variety, aesthetics and beauty of the scenery, not only in my context, but those in rural areas are also contaminated with the same nursery  available crap.

The first link below is our own. With over one hundred species keeping and updating the inventory allows your truly to determine how fast/slow anything growths, effects of drought, shade, humidity and diseases depending on their relation to the four cardinal points, another issue swept under the carpet.

These plants, trees, bushes, succulents, orchids, vines, moss in Sociedad Horticultural Bouret's collection are not from nurseries except, maybe five out of the over one hundred.  The garden has been a work under construction for the last five years with one great misfortune. The Guaicum officinale, me pride and joy, passed away last month after a rotation to avoid them branches to hang in the electrical wires as time went by. RIP

The most documented garden in the Caribbean is followed by the inventory from the Luis Munhoz Marin Plantation in Trujillo Alto and the University of Puerto Rico in Rio Piedras.

Let the record show that many edibles/fruit trees in the LMM plantation, --ruled by leeches-- were destroyed by the Alberto Areces Mallea/Gabriela Ocampo team, their rivals from Parque Donha Ines . Therefore, the inventory is not about what is left standing, but was there once upon a time when the god like figure in the isle politics, lived there with wife and children.

The UPR was a magnificent example of green scenery with some rudimentary beauty, since no landscape architect/arborist was there to design a plan with rules of composition, an aesthetic most, or integrated pest management or just management for  trees and surroundings. A visit there now, will let you down...It feels like Detroit, Michigan...instead of abandoned, dilapidated is the vegetation...sick, mutilated trees, ill pruned hedges too tall or too wide, cracked, uneven pavements, hell on earth if you ask me.


The last link, the Diaz/Sola family botanical inventory at Manuel Soto Aponte street in the Caguas Country, has some affective load, beyond my usual distant, cold ways regarding gardening study and research.

I met the family during my high school/college days spending lots of fun and joy times during that decade, circa 1969.  The historical significance of all these inventories is that I do not know of any one bothering to study the pathetic, dull, boring, lacking imagination  aesthetics/composition gardens, except Parque Luis Munhoz Rivera, in San Juan, the only exception, but that was seven decades ago.

The lack of research, a result of lame landscape architects copying what they see in Florida,  explains why in Puerto Rico the lobby entrance of a hotel, a school, cemetery, backyard residence, highway median all look the same with the same stupid plants hedges, palms, Ficus and turf, planted in the same copy cat way with the same stupid predictable curves,...No context is considered or used, or growth habit, irrigation/soil need and you name it.

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