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Many are those who – like Tommy was not all that long ago – know little about tropical palms, plants and flowers.  As a result, shortly after Ola Brisa Gardens was initiated he began to share that which he had learned and come to know, firsthand, with hands in the soil.  As a professional writer, a natural venue was a recurring, published article – hence the creation of “Planting Roots in Mexico”.  This light but informative column has now appeared and been read – on a weekly or monthly basis – in the Manzanillo Sun, PV Mirror and Vallarta Tribune for several years now.

The following are merely my thoughts on a few of the botanical books available to enhance one’s awareness of tropical and sub-tropical gardening. Many can be purchased through Amazon Book – some for as little as a penny!

Amazon and I use different criteria in evaluating books. Mine are practicality, readability, quality of information contained, photography and – most of all – application to outdoor tropical gardening. Hence our ratings are sometimes different.

My ratings are thus: 5 palms – excellent, a “need to have”; 4 palms – Very good, certainly a fine addition to your tropical plants library; 3 palms – Good, nice with substantive information and a fine complementing book; 2 palms – Marginal, some good data but perhaps dated, poorly laid out, not fully researched or simply difficult to digest; 1 palm – Not recommended

Be it simply hours upon hours of time spent with the plants and, hence, experiential based, no few comparisons and analysis of the efforts/ideas attempted by others that have failed, no few, personal trial and error endeavors or just blind luck, I seem to have stumbled upon a few solutions for general – and specific – tropical garden problems.  Most of these are wholly original but have been implemented successfully here in our Ola Brisa Gardens.

  • “The Palm Reader”

One can – and, perhaps, should – be wildly enthusiastic about certain things.  Foremost for me , of course, is My Patty who is, by far, the best of everything in my life!  But beyond all that constitutes the team of us, I admit to another rather intense craving (she often calls it “Tommy’s obsession”).  That is my desire to learn all that I can about those nearly 2,500 different varieties of plants that comprise the Arecaceaefamily.  Or more simply stated, I’ve an almost embarrassingly, unabashed passion for palm trees!  Accordingly, this rather “basic information” series is dedicated to various aspects relative thereto.