MUNDANI BOTANICAL GARDEN

 

Now exactly 24 years ago I bought an orchard of orange trees located in the slope of a mountain of the Northwest of the Majorca Island.  My idea was to make reality what had been my dream from boy:  to have a great Garden with trees worldwide. A few years later I acquired other two adjacent small orchards with the previous one and a mountain property. The Orchard-Garden counts on a system of irrigation by dripping.  The water is very rich in limestone and comes from a mountain source with several weekly hours of provision in property.  In the highest part of the orchard there is a great covered deposit with 90 tons of water and another smaller and opened deposit of 10 tons of capacity.  Of this way the irrigation is made by gravity with no need of no machinery of pumping.  Its extension is 4.823 m2, to which are due to add the 2.051 m2 of the mountain property.  The terraces measure 100 meters in length and one average of about 6 meters in width.  The terraces were built several centuries ago  in which before was a smooth mountain slope.

 

The Garden is in the low part of this small hill that, as well, comprises of another mountain higher than it continues towards the right.  The landscape is typically of Mediterranean mountain with pines (Pinus halepensis), oaks (Quercus ilex ssp. ilex), centennial olive trees (Olea europea), mediterranean buckthorn (Rhamnus alaternus), mastic trees (Pistacia lentiscus), egyptian rue (Ruta angustifolia), mediterranean heather (Erica multiflora), common myrtle (Myrtus communis), brambles (Rubus ulmifolius), common smilax (Smilax aspera), ivy (Hedera helix), flanking onion (Urginea maritima), endemic crocus (Crocus cambessedesii), several orchids (Ophrys balearica, Ophrys fusca, Ophrys speculum, Ophrys bombyliflora, Spiranthes spiralis, Himantoglossum robertianum, etc.), tears of the Virgin (Allium triquetrum), smaller celandine (Ranunculus ficaria),  grass (Ampelodesmos mauritanica) and other gramineae family plants(Oryzopsis miliacea and Brachypodium retusum), asparagus (Asparagus acutifolius and Asparagus albus), ferns (Adiantum capillus-veneris, Ceterach officinarum, Polypodium cambricum, Cheilanthes acrostica, Asplenium fontanum, Asplenium trichomanes ssp. quadrivalens, Asplenium trichomanes ssp. inexpectans, Asplenium azomanes, Asplenium majoricum, Asplenium X tubalense, etc.), rockroses (Cistus albidus), araceae family plants (Arum italicum and Arisarum vulgare), endemic cyclamen  (Cyclamen balearicum) and a long etc...

 

The climate is Mediterranean very smooth with very few frosts.  The minimum temperature average in February, the more cold month, is of 5ºC and the maximum average in August is of 35ºC. Could fit within a climatic zone 10a.  The average pluviometry is of 791 liters/m2 annual with a strong concentration of rains in Autumn. ( Average rainfall by seasons: Spring: 145 liters/m2, Summer: 97 liters/m2, Autumn: 352 liters/m2, Winter: 192 liters/m2 (Average monthly rainfall in liters / m2: see the grafic)

 

The soil is limy, argillaceous and very stony.  Its depth is very variable according to the terrace.  There are zones where the soil is very deep with several meters of thickness, whereas in other zones the limy rock shows to flower of the ground.  I have never plowed it.  Slowly it has been transformed into which in modern agriculture FOREST GROUND is called, with annual and biennial plants, dark-brown (Selaginella denticulata), and natural compost coming from the decomposition of the fallen leaves of the trees.  For the control of the grass story with the inestimable aid of 14 gooses, that takes a walk freely by all the Garden.  The plants that do not eat gooses, as they are ivies, brambles, vincas, etc, I am them starting with a grub hoe as they are born.  In the photo the tubes of the system of irrigation by dripping are appraised.  In first plane to the left is a Podocarpus neriifolius and after him a Koelreuteria paniculata;  to the right an avocado branch and next to gooses, a small Litchi sinensis obtained by aerial layer.

 

During the first years I was replacing the ill citruses and those that were dying by other trees of diverse species.  I obtained them by seeds brought by friends and same me of trips by the Iberic Peninsula, Canary Islands, France, Portugal, Italy and exotic countries like Kenya, India, Zanzíbar;  others by purchase in breeding grounds;  others by rooted stakes and cuttings coming from trees that were finding in the same Island and finally, some obtained by purchase of seeds by Internet to the U.S.A. (Pensilvania, Hawaii), France, Reunion Island , etc... Of more than 400 initial citruses still are a hundred:  orange trees, lemon trees, mandarin trees.  To some I have changed to the species and/or variety to them through grafts:  grapefruit trees, chironjas of Puerto Rico, Kumquats, Microcitrus, Limequats, etc..

 

     Opuntia amyclaea

Robinia pseudoacacia “Casque rouge”

    Fortunella margarita

                   Lucuma mammosa

                         Cereus peruvianus

        Erythrina caffra

      Cucumis metuliferus

       Helianthus tuberosus

Cyphomandra betaceae

Juglans nigra

                         Fragaria vesca

          Prunus avium

                     Eugenia uniflora

           Persea gratissima

    Opuntia linguiformis

                     Annona cherimolia

                         Allium triquetrum

                    Albizia lebbeck

                     Quercus pubescens

Passiflora alata

      Pyrus communis

At the moment there are trees, shrubs and lianas of 150 different species, without counting the annual, biennal and perennial natural plants.  Between the trees and shrubs they emphasize like very adapted the avocados, custard apple, canistel trees of Peru, common guava trees, purple strawberries guava trees,  Cas guava trees, white sapotes of Mexico, yelow sapotes, black sapotes, pitangas or cherry trees of the Surinam, carissas of South Africa, mundanis or pink cedars, plum trees of South Africa (Harpephyllum caffrum), croton of Kenya (Croton dichogamus), tree tomato of Colombia, feijoas, maracuyás, kaffir coral trees of South Africa, a baniano or fig tree of Bengal, macadamias of Australia, chayotes of Mexico, etc...  There is also an extensive sample of trees and fresher climate and Mediterranean climate shrubs: big tree, Podocarpus, disk, libocedrus, Sabal palmetto, Phoenix dactylifera and canariensis, Livistona chinensis, golden rain tree, osier, balearic boxwood , several species of oaks and holm oaks, junipers, mediterranean savines, laurels, Persea indica, myrtles, pistachios, plum trees, sour cherries, strawberry trees, pear trees, apricots, service trees, azaroles, medlars, loquats, Opuntia ficus-indica, holly, quinces, khaki, khaki of Sharon, fig trees,  european and american walnuts, walnuts of Pecan, hazels, olive trees, ashs, almonds tree, elm trees, etc...

 

When I animated myself to make the page Web of my Orchard-Garden, I was thinking many days what names to put to him, until I was decided by arbol Mundani, pink Cedar or Lazcar, highest, exotic and spectacular Acrocarpus fraxinifolius, of the Garden, that, in spite of coming from India, Burma and Malaysia, prospers magnificently in Mediterranean climate.  Mundani tree is a tropical leguminous of very fast growth, whose roots fix nitrogen atmospheric, so that its culture enriches the soil and favors the good development of the surrounding trees.  Its wood is of pink-grayish color with black small points, used for the manufacture of delicate furniture.  One quotes internationally like precious wood.  The trunk is straight and without ribbings.  It does not need to be pruned, since autopoda of natural way, falling the inferior branches by themselves.  In tropical climate it can be cut to the 10 years, since to this age it has a height and considerable thickness of trunk.  He is resistant to most of plagues.  By own experience I have observed that the phytophagous insects do not attack it;  it is not either attacked by the radicular fungus Armillaria mellea.  Of original Mundani tree, coming from a seed brought by friends of Kenya, I have obtained two clone sons:  one from a stake taken root directly in the ground in a place where before had died another tree attacked by the Armillaria mellea fungus and another one from a stake taken root in flowerpot with hormones.  Although my Mundani tree has bloomed several times, has still not materialized no fruit.  It exceeds in about 10 meters the surrounding trees and you go away to a kilometer of distance, standing out its green alive green color on the grayish one of the olive trees of the mountain.

See you photos of the Mundani tree, Acrocarpus fraxinifolius, in the Photo Gallery of Leguminous Plants  --- >

 

In the next years I hope to continue dedicating to take care of the already existing trees and to increase the collection with other species.

 

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