Okay, I know I am in an apartment on the 9th floor but I just cannot live anywhere without having a herb garden. So our apartment for three months in Montevideo is no different from any other home we have had.
From left to right: thyme, basil, sage and mint. What I really want is cilantro as I miss that so much and of course oregano. I have figured out buying the live plants is so much more economical than buying fresh-cut herbs each week. And picking from the plant well you can’t get much fresher.
Joe has found two spice stores for me one is only about five blocks from the apartment. They even sell vanilla pods, what a find. I will need to stock up on those for sure.
I am having a grand time cooking with all the spices and herbs I have available to me.
Our time in Ecuador has been filled with small adventures, most of those adventures came while meeting new folks because of the blog. While we were still living in Salinas a reader Yusuf starting corresponding this was back in April 2011. He has followed our blog almost from the first post so I consider him a dear and treasured friend at this point.
When we bought this home and I was posting of the itty bitty yard with all its trees he suggested a fig. Where was I going to put a fig but when I saw one for sale while at the mercado in Charapoto what do you think I did, yes you are correct I bought it, what was one more tree in our yard. It was a bitty thing and it has grown slowly. I’m thinking it will never bear fruit in our lifetime, well I was totally wrong.
I was shocked to see the one and only fig on the ground a few days later but just assumed the tree to just to young to bear fruit but maybe next season. I have high hopes for fig marmalade.
Yusuf, thanks for your wonderful advice, suggestions and counsel for the past years. We are blessed to have met folks like you on our journey.
The beach here has almost no beach at high tide so I walk on the road when the tide is high which is often. My walking routine starts at 6am because once the sun come up I find it too hot for a brisk walk. I have taken these walking opportunities to take some photos of the beautiful flowers around town.
Happy New Year, Feliz Año Nuevo to all our family and friends.
The other day while watering my plants I took a good look at my naranjilla plant (gift given to me by Deborah Millard just a few months ago) and was very surprised to see it was in flower. It is so small I just did not feel it would start to bear fruit for years, much less in a handful of months.
From searching online it looks like even this little plant can have fruit. Not sure if I should allow it to continue to fruit or get rid of the flowers so that the tree itself would strengthen, if anyone has any experience with naranjilla let me know what you think.
So yesterday I took the great photos of the bush in bloom next to our porch, this afternoon the gardener came in and cut it down to around three feet…Almost all of the flowers are gone and it looks a bit sad to me.
Well it did need a trim, you need to have a good outlook when you are renting. Yet another reason for us to find our own home soon!
Friday of last week while Joe and I were taking a trip by bus up to Guayaquil, Joe spotted a nice garden store we had not found before. Of course we were whizzing by at the speed of light, bus drivers in Ecuador really move, so I was not able to even get a peek before we were well past it. It ate at me all weekend wondering what I was missing. So yesterday morning I dropped by to take a look. It was a very impressive garden store, it has mighty coconut palms outside the gates that Daniel told me went for $100 each. We walked inside to find a very nice selection of flowering shrubs, bushes and many of what I would consider house plants.
I completed the re-potting and watering and here is the end result. I love all the beautiful flowers that are available. Now if anyone wants cuttings just let me know.
One last photo of just the flowers on this one plant, hope it makes your world a bit brighter today – it sure brightened up mine.
For months I continued to procrastinate on re-potting my two coconut palms. The pots I had them in were just a tiny bit bigger than the actually coconut and when I potted them I knew it was a mistake, but they survived. This week I purchased huge rubber pots and finally moved them. The pots were inexpensive at $7 a piece. I came across a man behind the mercado with a small plant stand who also sells potting soil. It is the lightest potting soil I have ever seen. Mostly ground leaves, not twigs or pine cones like some that I have purchased in the past. A 40 lb feed sack was $3. I could not resist purchasing four herb plants including two types of basil, local oregano and mint. Before the afternoon was over I had re-potted the two palms, one flowing vine (that I am not sure is going to make it) and all four herb plants.
And while I was at the store that sells plastic items I found one of those wooden beach chairs that Joe loves so. When I delivered it to Joe you would have thought I had given him a million dollars. We do have simple tastes these days and the smallest kindness goes a long way.
My plants actually looked better in just a few days. It is not necessary to plant herbs here as fresh herbs are very inexpensive and plentiful at the mercado as well as the grocery stores but having my own mint in the back yard whenever I want to make a mojito or add a few leaves to a salad really makes me happy.
Adding to my plant treasure my friend Miguel came by a few days ago with four hot pepper plants.
Now I will allow the palm trees to settle in and then I will fertilize the heck out of them to see what they really can do…