A Tree Planted in Clemente

Yes, I know what you are saying, another tree! One of my readers, Yusuf said that a fig tree would be a good addition to my grove of already mature trees, it would grow fast and would produce some fine fruit. I could not agree more with the fruit part, but yet another tree.

While living in Playas the guardian of our rental home, Oswaldo would come by and bring me bags of these wonderful fruits. I became quite creative in my use of them besides just popping them into my mouth. One day I wrapped bacon around them and put them in the oven, cooked them until the bacon was crispy, what an excellent breakfast. Then I made jam using cinnamon sticks, star anise and the panela sugar it was exceptional. And the neighbors like it as well.

Right now I need to finish pruning the trees, decide if I want to keep the grass or rip it up and bring in good soil and some manure. Then I can decide where this tree will be planted, where I will put my herb garden and what flowering bushes I want to plant to cascade over the fence…my biggest problem is the amount of space I have in this yard…all these trees…I want paths under them, I want flowers around the trunks and well you see I am in somewhat of a bind in trying to figure out what the next step would be.  Now I am turning to my friend Keith who has a great deal of experience with tropical trees from his own Florida garden. The past few weeks have not been great for getting much done because of the festival and so many other distractions. Maybe this week Keith and I can sit down and come up with a plan. Joe and I (well I did a lot of standing, moving  branches not really trimming) trimmed back the dead wood from the one tree. Joe also trimmed up all the trees so it is possible to walk around without having your hair pulled out of your head. There are only a few branches left that are too high for Joe and the huge guava that is at the back of the yard, not sure what we need to do on that.

Fredy just told me that he is getting soil for his papaya farm and if I wanted to order some good soil he would be happy to add my order to his and have it delivered to my house. An offer I have taken very serious and put my order in the same day.

Any suggestions or help would be greatly appreciated!!!

17 thoughts on “A Tree Planted in Clemente

  1. The guayava/guava is a cousin of the crape myrtle, and lends to the same sculptural beauty. It should transform into a beauty, and you can use the extremely-hard wood for some future creative project. Or not!

    Not only is the guayava leaf infusion good for ’emergency’ dysentery- illness, but it is also helpful in treating dengue and malaria! The latest research is fascinating.

    • Yusuf, now when the tree starts producing I will let you know and you will need to come help with the harvest and of course the eating!!!

  2. Pingback: Morning Update – Tuesday, September 18, 2012 « South of Zero

  3. Nan, I’ve been reading your blog for a few months and I hope to meet you when we arrive in Ecuador for our first visit this winter. I want to give you a link to an idea that expands upon your bacon-wrapped fig recipe:


    A friend in Mexico, Michael Warshauer, gets the luscious figs grown in the Patzcuaro region, splits them vertically, slides in a slice of good goat cheese, wraps them in bacon and grills them until the bacon is done. Then he drizzles on a balsamic vinegar reduction and provides more of the sauce for dipping. It’s a deliciously unexpected combination of sweet, salty and savory flavors, and although it sounds complicated, it’s actually quite easy to do. The hardest part is getting the bacon crisp, so I am eager to try your method of cooking them in the oven.

    • Hola Geni, This recipe sounds just decadent adding the balsamic makes it so special. Thanks for the comment and the link — BBQing them will add yet another flavor and to me it is all about the flavor, be well, Nancy

  4. Hi Nancy from Steve at South of Zero. From my experience of 50yrs.landscaping, this is what I would do. Ditch the grass. Everything starts with sun and soil. Figure where your sun-shade lines are. These lines will change as your trees fill out after trimming and as the sun shifts with the seasons. After bringing in your soil mark the ground where the trees drip lines are (outside diameter of the leafage & height ) Once you’ve established where the shade is what’s left (sun) is your herb garden ahd flowering bushes.Trees need their space so don’t overplant. Herb gardens are great in raised beds. There easy to work and save the back. Rectangles that are 4 ft. across make for an easy reach of only 2 ft. from either side and adjust the height to suit you. Make the top wide enough to sit on and your good to go. We are finally moving to Ecuador. So unless escrow falls out in the next 2 1/2 weeks we’ll be there sometime in Nov. FINALLY Hope to see your garden soon. Steve

    • Steve, thank you so much for your info on our little grove and garden combo…when you and Mary get to Ecuador you will need to come up to our little paradise and take a good look at how small this yard is compared to the number of trees that have been planted…I am being VERY optimistic that I can fit a herb and flower garden! I just spoke to Fredy about my grass issue, the sand that is our soil and other considerations in getting it to look pretty. He feels that the grass needs to be killed, augment the soil and put down some good fertilizer not manure after the grass is dead. I want to plant flowers at the base of each tree, add a covering of rock to stop the dust/mud and put in pathways under the trees as well as flowering bushes on the road side of the property and a herb garden on the opposite side…This is a work in progress! Wish I could fit raised beds but I just do not have the room. Nancy

  5. Hi Nancy it’s me again. I would be remiss if I didn’t tell you about what I consider the most important part of the whole project. How it looks. Sight lines are the key. Stand on your front porch after you’ve marked where the trees are, herb garden shrubs etc. Then from the street walk from both directions carefully looking to see where everything is positioned. Is the herb garden angled right, does it look better 2ft. to the left on a slightly different angle. Does one of your trees when it’s 4ft. taller block a view. You would be amazed how these slight changes effect the look of your garden and the view you get. Fine tuning the design like this insures that what you see for years always pleases your eye.

    • Steve, I agree what I have been doing is standing back while Joe is lopping off branches to see if he is cutting in to far or leaving branches hanging out too far. We really needed to do a lot of cutting, there are 14 trees in this little space, the limbs are crossing over each other and there is no air or light coming through most of the trees. They are pretty healthy considering the conditions they are in. One of our neighbors already approached us because there was so much small developing fruit that we cut off these trees. I calmly told her that next year there would be more fruit than she could eat, especially the cherries which I told her were just for her. I hope that pacified her. I guess this yard has been the supplier of citrus fruit for the neighborhood, I don’t want to stop that I just want a healthy garden where Joe and I can enjoy some outdoor time along with the trees. Nancy

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