Quiet, a magician is at work in your Royal Gardens. Urbano Chi, the Head Gardener has over 35 years of experience in landscaping, a talent for getting the best out of people and a deep affection for plants. He uses his wisdom and skills to coax a colorful show of blooms any time of the year.
Originally from Tizimín in northern Yucatán, Urbano moved to Cancún in 1977. “I joined Royal Resorts in 1988 as head gardener at The Royal Caribbean,” says Urbano, “People soon began to notice my work and the managers liked the improvements I was making around the grounds so much that they put me in charge of the gardens at The Royal Mayan, giving me a year to set them in order. I was able to achieve this in three months! The Royal Islander followed, then The Royal Sands and finally The Royal Cancun. I have a wide knowledge of plants and I never tire of studying them. I am always searching for beauty and trying different plant and color combinations to create eye-catching displays.
“I am in charge of 60 gardeners at the different resorts and I share my experience with them, teaching them propagation or pruning techniques and the application of fertilizers and pesticides,” says Urbano, “In recent years, we began to recycle garden and kitchen waste to make compost for the gardens and of course we now use green products wherever we can to protect the environment.
Urbano has this advice for gardeners: “If you want a top quality garden you have to care for your plants. They need four things: water, fertilizer, attention and love. If you don’t give them all four, they will not flourish. Plants are like babies – they need to be nurtured. If you look after a plant it will show its gratitude by growing stronger and living longer.” He adds, “I know the difference between delivering a pretty garden and a pretty garden that also stays healthy. We always prune shrubs such as hibiscus and ixora, and plant cuttings on days with a full moon, which helps protect them against disease. On the other hand, palm trees must be planted when the moon is waning. You should start fertilizing your plants in March when warmer temperatures are conducive to flowering and that way you can prolong the season. After Hurricane Wilma in 2005, we nursed the gardens back to health and we only had to replace around 190 plants at three of the resorts!
“I really want our members to enjoy the Royal gardens and I hope that we can make them more beautiful with every year that passes.”