I just couldn't walk away from this last month without posting pictures of the backyard of my in-laws' house in Morelos. It's one of my favorite places ever, as long as the temperature is less than 104 degrees (but, for those days, there's always shade. Or the hose).
This first picture, with the purple and green potted plants are plants that I borrowed from my mother-in-law and planted in pots in my patio. And hoo-Nelly, have they taken over! I just saved my Gerber daisy from the purple stuff, and am hoping that the poinsetta will hold its own. But that delicate-looking green plant that surrounds the purple monster is menthol (or alcanfor as Mario's mom says). When my sister-in-law suffered from a cold for months on end, some of the menthol was cut, put in a vase in Lili's room, and was rumored to have some positive effect. After all, it is the main ingredient in Vick's VapoRub, right? (Well, let me dream that it is.) Sitting in our patio, I rubbed a menthol leaf for Mario, made him smell it and said, "Ah . . . it smells like Jojutla." After smelling it he looked a me a bit shocked and asked, "How did you do that?" Yeah, I'm that good.
And, like I mentioned in my first post from Morelos, there are bananas growing in the backyard. Bananas are almost always in season.
The red fruit below is called "Bull's Balls". It's edible, but I have yet to try it as I just can't get past the name.
And that tall, skinny tree on the right is a papaya tree. If you've never seen a papaya, they're roughly the size of a small watermelon. And they hang from the top of that skinny tree. I still can't figure that one out.
Also residing in the backyard are a lime tree, a mandarin orange tree, and a regular orange tree that grows sweet oranges on one side and sour oranges on the other (thanks to the magic of grafting). All this in the space of a four-car garage. Like I've said before, plants just like to grow in Morelos.
A few years ago, she also had a chocolate tree. This was, by far, my favorite plant in the backyard. My mother-in-law had hung a wreath of individually-wrapped chocolates from one of the lime tree's branches, and as we sat under the tree and had ganas for some chocolate, we just reached up, pulled off a chocolate and munched away.
Unfortunately, the chocolate tree hasn't bared fruit for some time now. Then again, the middle of the summer isn't quite the season for chocolate.