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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Rock and Roll in Uruguay

This is not about music of any sort, actually. In fact it is about rocks and plants, but I thought "Rock and Roll" was a more eye-catching title, so I went with it (got your attention, didn't it?).

Today I visited Carmine Russo, providers of natural stone products in Montevideo. I went to order 3 large treads to make them safer to step on, for the entry steps to our upper patio. We could have used marble, granite or slate. We chose slate for safety and also because we have a lot of stone in the walls of the house. The picture at the right is a sample of their showroom.

I needed 3 pieces of stone: 45 cm x 194 cm and 3 cm thick (18" x 76" x 1 1/8"). I am having them made with a large bullnose finish on the front and they will be in 2 pieces for each step. The total cost came to $336. That was about $100 cheaper than granite and I think it will be a more durable and suitable material for steps. I don't know if this is less or much, much more than I would pay in the U.S., since I have never bought that type of stone before. I would be curious if anyone has a comparison price.

Anyway, the showroom was fantastic and I could go with stone for just about any use, after seeing the variety of colors and texture.

On the way home Denise wanted me to pick up some mint plants, because ants don't like mint. So I stopped at PachaMama's Vivero (nursery). I couldn't buy the mint because they had 7 different varieties, and I am not authorized to make executive level decisions such as that. In fact, he had any plant you could want: 17 colors of cherry tomatoes, about 25-50 varieties of peppers, all the fruit trees you could ask for and much, much more. I will have to take Denise back (with a trailer and lots of money). Just to give you an idea of prices- the fruit trees (all grafted and about 4-5' in height) were about 200 pesos (under $7). He also had an extensive collection of cactus and succulents. Denise will have a field day. We plan to plant our fruit trees espalier style. We will set up posts and run wire between them and train the tree branches onto the wires, no more than 5' high. That way the fruit is easily harvested and we can run irrigation lines along the guide wires. This is a very civilized way to grow fruit. Don't worry, we will also build a "cage" to keep birds from gathering the harvest.

1 comment:

Joanne said...

Hi Wally and Denisee! I'm so glad to be able to contact you guys. We sure miss you. Everyone is fine out here. The kids are growing up, and it seems like we are growing old:)

We have added four more members to the family and hope to add one more.

Look forward to hearing from you guys real soon.