June 15. Time To Work!
Some of you may be wondering why the hell I'm doing all of this. Good question. Since we lost everything on the 2 acre plot of land to the 2010 flood, I'm fresh out of options on where to stay when we retire over here. We sold the land after the flood. It was so low and the water table so high, we were just asking for future disasters. Everything in and around Bangkok is at sea level at most. Land is also terribly expensive in Bangkok or near it. You don't start getting into the higher elevations until you are in the outer provinces and they are expensive as well. So we decided we'd stay with the folks. They gave me control of the yard and my plan is to turn it into a small fruit paradise.
But back to my story...I only had mango scions of 2 Lemon Zest, 2 Edwards, and 1 St Maui. I split these onto 3 separate trees. I had some water shoots to graft onto for all but one. This last one I did a bark graft with a Lemon Zest as you see in the picture above. While I am writing this, I have no idea how each of these are progressing. They were still green when I left.
Here are the 2 Mexican garcinias just planted. As you can see, I get down in the dirt! That's pa in the background. He worked his ass off all day as well.
June 16. Searching for more plants.
June 17. More nurseries
Below is the famous JJ Market in dowtown Bangkok. Plants are sold on Wednesdays and Thursdays. All kinds. Stalls are packed from one end of the loop to the other. And it's long!
I can honestly say that this was probably the hottest effing day of the trip. Walking on the blacktop was like walking across a grill on high heat. It radiated off of every surface and came at you like a runaway truck. You couldn't dodge it. You couldn't avoid it. Shade only gave you a very small break.
We didn't buy anything but we did run into Supranee. She ships plants all over the world and had shipped plants to my buddy Warren in Florida a few times. Very nice lady to spend time with. She gave out good advice for dealing with the Thai agriculture folks when I bring my plants in for inspection. She's also keeping an eye out for pulasan plants for me. 99.99% of the people we spoke to had never even heard of pulasan.
So the rest of the day was trekking from nursery to nursery to nursery and failing each time. We stopped at one of ma's favorite nurseries and nosed around a bit. We ended up purchasing a big monthong durian tree, ordering an even larger puangmanee durian, getting another mango tree...one that ma just had to have you understand, and a grafted mangosteen. Why? Why the hell not?
We stopped at a nursery that mom had not visited before. The Narong Nursery. A really cool place. Big and busy. They had grafted trees of nearly every type from small to extremely large. The owner has been there for 36 years. He was 60 years old. Does all the grafting himself. Would have been a wonderful source of growing knowledge but he had no help that day and couldn't spare but a second here and there.
At his home, he had forty varieties of durian growing before the 2010 flood. Now he has three. That sucks. After the flood, he grafted hundreds of durians and donated them to farmers who lost all their trees. He had some maprangs but had only grafted them four days ago and would not sell them to us after being told they were going back to the states. He said no way would the new grafts survive being bare rooted. But mom did purchase another mango that she had to have. I denote a pattern here.
At the end of the day, we tried one more spot. This was another outdoor mall/market spot and had a huge section of nurseries all packed together. A smaller version of JJ Market but under shade cloth. We found some maprangs finally, but only two and not four like I wanted. It's not that I did not want them. The others were just way too large. But as I thought of the six total plants I now have and their size, six is probably plenty...especially when there is a huge chance they get confiscated in Chicago by US Customs & Border Protection. Or...loss from the bare rooting and any number of issues that kills perfectly fine plants. These maprangs were a "new variety" that had fruit as large as mayong chid. We'll see. I had to stand there and listen to the translation of the young woman saying how no maprang will survive bare root shipping. I know how most plants are shipped over here and I had no intention of copying their methods.
No one had any puangmanee durian.
June 18. More work in the yard.
We'll not much I can do about it. We had to be cleaned up and ready to go to lunch to meet friends by 11:00. So we got busy digging more holes and putting plants into the ground. Just dug out this hole that was 6 feet away from a cut down coconut tree. Holy shit! The roots even that far away damn near killed me trying to dig down thru them.
This hose was just what the good doctor needed. It could reach anywhere in the yard, with the brand spanking new, gentle-as-rain shower nozzle. It could also reach all of the plants across the street. We replaced the hardware on another hose and we called it a day.
We're all having fun and I'm sure the folks are just happy having their daughter close at hand. We are all certainly spending a lot of quality time together. And that ain't bad.
Okay...that ends part 2. Three more to go! Check out my next blog by clicking on the following: Part 3, which covers our trip to Rayong.