Sunday, March 14, 2021


 This is Part of the Reason We Moved Here!

One of Three Bougainvillea Plants in Our Garden

    The cold weather in Oregon drove us to spend winters RVing in México for many years until one day we realized we didn’t want to return to the United States. The warm weather, beautiful colors and textures, and the simple life make us happy here.

Colors and Textures Run Wild in Our Tropical Garden

     I love gardening here in Sayulita—the weather allows me to garden year-round. Warmth and humidity keep the plants green and colorful. A weekly watering using my drip irrigation system keeps the plants healthy and minimizes the amount of water we use—an important factor in a town with a limited water supply.

     I wasn’t a fan of orange and yellow in the garden until we moved here. Now I see them as sunny, happy colors and love that they attract the hummingbirds.

     Amazingly, our tropical garden doesn’t require much work. A heavy pruning before the rainy season starts in June keeps it under control. Three months of nightly rain in the summer gives everything a nice growth spurt. I appreciate that the rain usually comes during the night leaving the days bright and the air clear.

     We live four blocks from the Pacific Ocean, sheltered by hills covered with coconut palms and parota trees—this is significant for our tropical plants to grow well. Years ago, I was walking on the beach in San Carlos, Sonora when I stopped to talk to an older lady working in her beachside garden. As I admired her flowers and cacti, she explained to me that it is difficult to grow much next to the ocean because the salty air and windy conditions allow a limited variety of plants to thrive. That was a lesson I tucked away for future reference.

      Chachalacas visit our garden when the palm berries turn red and ripe. Yesterday, one discovered it was time to eat these delicacies and hid in the palm tree. After a few minutes of his quiet “wheet-wheet” calls, there were three of these large pheasant-like birds hiding in the tree. They are camera-shy, so it was challenging to capture a photo of them, but if you look closely, you will see all three waiting for me to leave so they can strip the berries from the hanging branches.

      In the evenings, as we settle onto our covered patio with a glass of wine, we enjoy our wild, colorful, low-maintenance tropical garden and know we chose the right place to retire. Bella agrees. There’s just enough room for her to chase her football and retrieve it for treats.

      After five runs, she rests in the plants where she can get a head-rub and back-scratch from the leaves. A tiny casita, a small garden, a simple life, and sunny, blue-sky weather year-round—this is what we wanted when we retired early and moved to México. I'm grateful to have been able to retire before the age of 59.

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