Saturday, August 19, 2006

Gardening in San Miguel

This past week the Down to Earth Garden Club met at Fran's house. Our guest speaker was Alfonso Alarcon. I've written about Alfonso before, here and here. He is a charming man with an artist's eye in the garden. For this garden club meeting he was telling us about the parasite plants that can kill. There is one called Mexican Mistletoe....that is what he is holding. It is the broad leaf plant that has grafted to a limb of a mesquite tree. The mistletoe looks beautiful right now in the tops of the trees because it has orange blossoms but as it spreads it will kill the tree. The only way to get rid of it is to have the limbs where it has grafted cut out of the tree. It is spread by birds eating the fruit that comes after the flowers and then doing what birds do after they eat. Unfortunately there are many trees across the town that have this parasite.

This is about the third or fourth meeting for this group and it is interesting because you usually think of garden clubs being mostly women but at this meeting the ratio was about 50/50. Although I think we are all interested in making our patios and terraces attractive, there is a real interest in native plants, reforestation, herbs, vegetables and fruit trees. This is going to be an interesting and educational group and I'm looking forward to future meetings.

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