This blog is for gardeners above, beyond, and below the surface. For those interested in botanical names, inventories, collection and else.

Not recommended for gardeners depending only on nurseries for the practice.

Sunday, March 25, 2012


DURING my last exile in USA, landing in  JFK 
on 7 June 1989, with me wife, we spend that week end at the Pickwick of Arms, a cute, small hotel on the west side of Manhattan,  on 59 street.

The following Monday, we took the subway 7th line, to explore Queens, between 62nd street and 82nd avenue.  This line is also known as the Orient Express, thanks to the scent of  curry and soy sauce predominant in some of its passengers, saturating the subway cars atmosphere.  On 82nd avenue, we   found a friendly real estate agent  from Uruguay,  kind enough to recommend us to a Romanian family renting their basement.

From dull, flat and ugly Queens, with excellent Colombian  pastry/coffee shops and restaurants, ethnically dominated by Mexico, Peru and Ecuador , we moved to Brooklyn.  This borough is  much more attractive in scenery, architecture, history and  more sophisticated in many ways.  In Brooklyn, ethnics groups and backgrounds were different. Soul brothers, too many from the Caribbean islands--requiring sub titles when they spoke English-- Puertoricans and Hebrews dominated the scene.

But this post is about succulents.  Living on  Wyckof, between Smith and Court street, I ordered the first  and  plant I ever bought from a catalogue.  It arrived  in good shape, bare rooted and still with your humble servant 17 years later is the senior in the whole garden.

The second, and  Agavaceae, ordered while living in Manhattan,  in 2000, is healthy and producing offspring contrary to the first, tall as hell.  

What else is new?  Not much. Perhaps the disappearance of snails, slugs and bees.  The first two, is significant since their numbers were impressive during my first four years here.  Now, there are none, even after it has rained as in the Amazon.

Gardening  with a rather wide scope, the damage some insects inflict to  plants, is normal and logical. But watching those creatures who kept us company, on a daily basis, gone, is not, natural. It can not be a good sign.

That is what taking place in the installation. At one point, I felt responsible, after washing the pavement with a mix of water/clorox.  I thought I was the culprit. The story has changed.  Their absence can not be explained only by my use of that mix.

That is that.
This post could have had an
 alternative tittle.
USA flora in Puerto Rico two cases.

Northridge Gardens
Successor To Singer's Growing Things
1995  Catalogue

9821 White Oak Avenue
Northridge, CA 91325


  1. Very interesting how you ordered those succulent plants in one place, and moved back with them. I've never done that, but I have ordered via catalog...with 1-2 cacti rotted, all 3 Sabal now dead from dryness / rocky subsoil. But many others alive! When I move some day, all will stay, I think.

  2. Your comment just reminded me of an untold anecdote. Mel Kurmnan was an auditor with the New York State Comptrollers Office.

    He used to propagate Ficus benjamina cut stems in water. The one he gave me survived like these succulents the trip.

    I planted it when it was about 3' in the Luis Munhoz Marin foundation eight years ago! I have never seen it again.

    Thanks for the feedback.