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Sunday, March 25, 2012

Terry Mikel Joins Xtremehorticulture Blog

Hello, my name is Terry Mikel and I had a position similar to Robert Morris' for the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension in Maricopa County (Phoenix is the main city).  Over the years Robert and I have developed a relationship both professionally and personally.  He kindly asked me if I might help a bit while he's off on another one of his fascinating adventures, this time in Afghanistan.

In our conversations I would like to help with some with queries from the lower desert regions and maybe banter a bit with him on some of the issues that might arise.  We don't necessarily agree on everything or how to do everything.  That might add some spice and will keep both of us honest.

Additionally he thought some explanation about my 'facename' would be in order.  It's pretty simple, like almost every gardener, plant person or human I have certain unexplainable favorite plants and for me the Genus Puya is one.  It goes back years to when Dr. Bill Feldman, Director of the Boyce Thompson Arboretum (we were graduate students together) called me to come out and see him.  He did not say why and when I got there we took a walk through the cactus area and off the trail to behind a rock formation.  Coming around the rock there it was, a Puya berteroniana in full bloom.  It was the first time it had bloomed and until then they weren't sure which Puya it was.  It was spectacular and my passing knowledge of the Genus changed to a real passion for it.  They are in a terrestrial growing sub-family of the Bromeliad Family growing in the Andes Mountains from the foothill up to about 9,000'.  A cousin grows in the Chihuahaun Desert called Hectia.  One reason I like them is the one reason for most of my favorite plants, they don't look like much and the bloom comes as a surprise with little regard for weather,  conditions or our inputs in general.  That's what cool about Puyas for me.

Check them out and see the strange and wondrous diversity of the Genus Puya and you folks in the higher desert will have a much easier time growing them if the want strikes you.

Any way I am honored Robert asked me to join you all and I look forward to interacting back and forth.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Terry!
    Good to see you here! I wish both you and Bob well on your new adventure!