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Posts Tagged ‘cactus’

Who knew that there was an amazing garden, built on a former garbage dump, and open to the public in Xoxocotlán? Not me, until a friend mentioned it and invited me on a field trip to visit.

Thus, a few days ago, I found myself at Vives Verdes — a delightful labor of love — a marriage of plants, recycling, art, education, and the environment.

Nine years ago architect, Francisco Martínez began a project of landscaping a healing, artistic, and environmental garden — not only utilizing plants, but also converting found objects into planters and whimsical art.

Vives Verdes incorporates more than 200 species and 2000 plants — mostly from Oaxaca, but also from other arid climates throughout the world.

A water catchment system utilizing paths, beds, and ponds irrigate the garden and no chemicals are used.

Vives Verde is open to the public and school groups. It is located in the Las Culturas neighborhood of Santa Cruz Xoxocotlán, Oaxaca.

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Yesterday morning…

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Cleistocactus

There are days when light and shadows paint the garden and I sigh at Mother Nature’s artistry.

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Act two of this year’s night blooming cereus extravaganza began the night of April 22…

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Continued the night of April 26…

Night blooming cereus flower

And, it looks like there will be more in a week or two!

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Last night my night blooming cereus welcomed me home.

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Seriously!

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… from my rooftop garden in the city.

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Opuntia – April 2017

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Lizard on the terraza – June 2017

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A feathered friend watching from a distance – June 2017

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Hibiscus flower this morning – June 2017

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Yesterday morning, as I made the rounds bidding each of my plants a “muy buenos días,” peeking out from the bottom of one of my garden pots…

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A star looked up and wished me a very good morning.

A Quaqua mammillaris flower for Cee’s photo challenge.

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How could I have missed three flowers on my night blooming cereus a few nights ago???  I don’t know, but I did.  However, yesterday afternoon…

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My opuntia microdasys surprised and delighted me!

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Opening the door onto my terrace this morning, I was greeted with more pitahaya flowers glowing in the morning light.  In the background, rain drops glistened on unripened fruit, as their dry spent flowers continued to cling to the fruit of their late night labor.Pitaya flower with unripe green fruit in backgroundBehind the chain link fence, one of my ripe Dragon Fruit is so close and yet so far.Red ripe Pitaya fruitHowever, there is more to come; blossoms preparing to burst open — for just one night.Two Pitaya blossomsFrom tenacious roots and branches of my previous post to fleeting flowers to long ripening fruit; such is the life of the pitahaya.

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One of the apartments in this higgledy piggledy complex is being readied for a new occupant.  Opening the door to begin the job, Luci was greeted with an unexpected wall hanging.IMG_1815She ran upstairs, laughing and calling me to come down and see what she had discovered.  Hmmm…  Rapunzel’s tresses?  If so, like everyone else suffering Oaxaca’s hard water, she needs to start using a good hair-conditioner.

IMG_1817Of course, closer inspection revealed it to be the roots of something.  A tree, perhaps?  But, there are no trees in the vicinity and, in reality, it seemed to be coming from my terrace.  I dashed upstairs, as Luci came outside to stand and point to where the fibrous cascade seemed to be coming from.  P1130530Yikes, on the west wall, the culprit was exposed; the roots of one of my pitahaya had grown into the concrete!!!

IMG_1821Alas, the pitahaya’s tenacity could not be allowed to continue; the garden shears came out and the problem was nipped at its root.  The same was done below, leaving golden tresses lying on the ground waiting to be swept away.

P1130510All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

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Late last night, twelve buds on my pitahaya burst open; my favorite the cluster of four at the top of the eight foot tall chain link fence.

P1130210cropB&WAlas, now, less than twenty hours after their night-blooming show began, they are no more.  Hopefully, the brilliant white flowers with their sweet scent attracted the desired pollinators, Dragon Fruit will begin forming at the base of the blossoms, the fruit will ripen to a blush red, and be ready to pick in 45 days (más o menos).

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Yesterday, on the terrace of my neighbor, his Echinopsis eyriesii was putting on quite a show…

P1090361P1090362P1090360P1090359Listening to the Putamayo World Music Hour’s tribute to mothers and sending mothers everywhere wishes for peace, justice, love, and much joy.

And, the librarian in me can’t resist adding a couple of Mother’s Day reference sources:

¡Feliz día de la madre!

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Remember the night my Pitahaya (aka, Dragon fruit) blossom was ready for her close-up?  Three months later, here she is…

Pitahaya fruit

Though there is fruit, flowers continue to put on their bloomin’ after-dark show.

Pitahaya flower and fruit

Their beauty never ceases to enchant.

Pitahaya flower

From terrace to table…

2 halves of Pitahaya fruit

My version of “farm fresh.”

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Several mornings ago, after a day and night of rain, I went out on the terrace to check on the garden and found…

Pitaya flower with rain drops

Yikes, one of my Pitahaya (Hylocereus undatus – aka, Dragon fruit) had bloomed overnight!  Must be a relative of my other Night Blooming Cereus.

Two years ago, the original cuttings had been laying in the campo of a friend in San Martín Tilcajete.  When Chris (Oaxaca-The Year After) asked if we could have some, the answer was, “¡Por supuesto!”  Loving the wall of Pitahaya at Centro Académico y Cultural San Pablo, six months later, with the original five cuttings becoming fifteen, I could use them to begin to screen the chain link fence at the new Casita Colibrí.  I kept pruning and sticking them in the planter boxes.

Pitahaya climbing chain link fence

June 2, 2014, 8:40 AM

And now, they have begun blooming.  Having missed the “night-blooming” of my first flower, I was determined not to miss the unfolding of the second blossom, seen above near the top of the pole, providing the weather cooperated.  It did!

Pitahaya blossom

June 2, 2014, 7:20 PM

Pitahaya flower

June 2, 2014, 8:40 PM

Pitahaya flower, side view

June 2, 2014, 11:00 PM

By the next day, it had closed, never to reopen again.

Pitahaya flower closed

June 2, 2014, 2:54 PM

However, there will be fruit…

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Everyday and everywhere there is something to see…

shadows from cactus & portico on orange wall

if we just open our eyes.

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You can cut all the flowers but you cannot keep spring from coming. –Pablo Neruda

Flor de mayo; May Flower

Spring has returned. The Earth is like a child that knows poems.  –Rainer Maria Rilke

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Every spring is the only spring, a perpetual astonishment. –Ellis Peters

Pseudobombax ellipticum, Shaving Brush Tree

Spring is nature’s way of saying, ‘Let’s party!‘  –Robin Williams

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