Ok, so on the Huntington tour today, I had a family – father, mother, daughter, son -- from Central Mexico, near Monterrey. And the father, aside from being a total dish, knew everything about every succulent that grows in the Americas.
We had a bet about the euphorbia. I said they were only indigenous to the Old World; he claimed some came from Mexico. We made other bets along the way about this and that, and sealed them by shaking hands, over and over. “You’re wrong.” “No, you’re wrong.”
But we were in total agreement on convergent evolution.
I liked this family immensely. They’re visiting every desert garden in California, and have already made the trip to LotusLand, with some side trips to the wine country. In addition to the usual succulent garden suspects, they’re also stopping in Anza Borrego and Joshua Tree. Apparently, their private collection back home is pretty extensive.
When I asked my usual stumper question about the five Mediterranean climates in the world, he immediately named them, but added Argentina.
“You’re wrong,” I said. “No, you’re wrong,” he said.
I think he is the great grandson of Don Evaristo. I know he’s descended from the family that owned the oldest winery in the Americas, Casa Madero. Likely, because we argued about wine, and there were other indications as well, he is the current owner.
He asked how we’d settle all these bets, and what was at stake. I said they were bets of honor.
Turns out, I was wrong about the euphorbia. Upon my honor. But I was right about Argentina.
The other family on the tour – a mother and father originally from China and daughter born here, translated some of the Chinese characters in the Chinese Garden. “This one is a poem. It says, ‘When something gives you pleasure, you should paint a picture.’”