Thursday, June 14, 2012

Rainy Season Begins in the Hot Tropics

I have been telling everyone about our dry season getting hotter and more stressful every year! Two years ago many of our fruits trees died, of course that is over and above the plants smaller and less tough than the trees. This year it was again tough, but unusual typhoon visits during the dry season brought at least one rainy day each in the months of March and May. Thanks to the La Nina phenomenon from the Pacific Ocean, our parched lands and thirsty plants got a slight drink. These unusual rains pacified the trees, but brought very high humidity to animals, which to me feels like being in the oven at 8:00 in the morning. So those of us who are working in big buildings do not venture outdoors unless it is already dark or early evening.

Even if we were officially declared to have started the rainy season in June first, our property in the province seems like it is still in the dry season. However, a lot of plants and bulbs already broke dormancy from the mentioned unusual rains, which gave the picture of a rainy season garden but without the rain! So these plants and flowers describe our unconventional weather and climate this year.

 The red-orange amaryllis, Hipeastrum puniceum, blooms but not simulteneously, and not as lush than when there are more rains during our normal rainy season.


The blood lily, Haemanthus or Scadoxus multiflorus, also joined the bandwagon but also not as beautiful as when there is plenty of water.
 This used cast iron kettle discard has been planted with these bulbs for already three years. The last two years gave simultaneous blooms, but not this time. You can see there are still bulbs just starting to sprout, but apparently not producing flowers.

 At least those planted in the ground bloomed at the same time like the above. I am glad that the weeds died out after emergence. That is the beauty of less rain and too much sunlight, weeds will be lessened. Last year the above red blooms have very dark background of green weeds.


 Our 'kasupanggil' or red Clerodendrum intermedium, braved the heat. It is bushy and maybe have deeper roots to support it. Just a slight 1-day rain was able to sustain the flowers to emerge and even produce fruits.

The fruits above are still at the green stage, while those below already turned blue, ripe and ready for the next planting. This flower is loved so much by butterflies and bees, so very well pollinated.

 Another bulb, whose dormancy is broken by the slight rains during the dry season is our 'katunggal', Proiphys amboinensis. It flowered for the first time last year producing only two umbels. I remember posting this last year asking for its elusive identity. Now it has 4 umbels, 2 already spent with seeds and two still in bloom.

 Above and below show the developing fruits. I wonder if they will push through, as i remember reading in Jacqui's post that it matures slowly for many months. I hope they can still tolerate the dryness and wait for the real rains. I love this plants, can you see its resemblance to the temperate zone hostas.

 The next photos will tell you about its struggle during the hot and dry months. Because their roots are deeper, they were not able to partake with the slight rains. The flowers are short and very much less than when able to get enough rain water.

 Caesalpinia pulcherrima, trying hard to produce flowers. I already cut back its stems to be ready for good growths when the rains come.

 Duranta erecta/ repens, still producing flowers, but also not as prolific as during the rainy season. This is also very much loved by the insects and butterflies, most especially because there are not much flowers around for them to choose from.

 Many twigs already produced fruits, the above are the mature ones. I am delaying its cut-back for the butterflies to still have their nectar in this time of lack. When there are more flowers already, i will cut the branches too.

Above is Salvia splendens, which look so unpresentable this time. It still struggles to flower during the dry season.  Even during the rainy season it doesn't give the lushness and flowering shown when it is planted in colder climates.

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41 comments:

  1. Thank you for your visit and comment!!
    Welcome to my Guildwood garden blog in Toronto, Canada.
    You have posted beautiful pictures!!
    - Cheers Gisela.

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  2. How many of these plants are native for you and how many are not? Just curious - I'm familiar with many of them from my years in Mobile, Alabama, where we could grow them, but they were not (of course) native. They sure seem spectacularly lush for you, despite the drought of the last several years!

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    1. Hi Gaia, that's a good question. Even if the plants seem to have been here since time began, it is amazing that most of them are introduced. I am sure of the Clerodendrum intermedium and Proiphys amboinensis as ours, although this bulb is also native to Queensland and Malaysia. The rest of my posts are from somewhere else and amusingly they have common names from there which are inherited like 'pride of Barbados' for Caesalpinia pulcherrima and African blood lily for Scadoxus multiflorus.

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  3. Nice Andrea!!! We've had the same situation here in Tucson. We're waiting for our rains to get here and in about a week or two they should arrive. The moisture is slowly rising which will trigger those afternoon storms we get. Meanwhile I am trying to get everything ready in the garden for those rains. We have several projects going on.....and isn't it amazing what a little rain(not from our hoses) will do to the plants in a short amount of time? Just came back from vacation and am catching up in the blogger world:) Glad to read your posts again. All my best. Kreesh:)

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  4. Wow! What lovely colors you captured! I love the red bottle-brush-like blooms.

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  5. These are sheer magic. !Lovely photographs.

    In India too rain is awaited. Please send some this way too! Our flowers re waiting to bloom, but no rain here.:-)

    Thanks for sharing.

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  6. Very nice! We grow some of the same plants since we both live in hot climates. Happy GBBD!
    David/:0)

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  7. It's firery red today! I love the purple duranta and its golden fruits. The blue fruits of the clerodendrum are outstanding. I can't think of any other blue fruits except blueberries but it is almost black in colour. The weather in my place is very hot and dry, no rains but a bit hazy. I just read that there a moderate earthquake has occurred with magnitude 5.8 Richter scale in Mindanao, Philippine at 9.14 am today.

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    1. Hi Autumn Belle, that duranta is the only blue flowers we have at home. It is blue not purple, we have the lavender which is called golden duranta because of its leaves. I dont like it because the flowers are so light and not as plenty as the blue. Yes those fruits of Clerodendrum is nice, as long as you don't smell the leaves. I think we have the same temps in KL, but when i was there in April i felt it was hotter than in Manila. I haven't heard of that earthquake, maybe coz it is just light and maybe far from land. Thanks for the concern!

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  8. great shots from wonderful flowers! :)

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  9. Very beautiful flowers in hot colors! You have more challenges with the heat than we have here in Norway.
    Nice to be familiar with the plant life in the country where my daughter in law has grown up.
    Thanks for sharing

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    1. Oh am glad to meet you, i am sure your daughter in law has a lot of adjustments to do in terms of temperatures! My cousin spent also a lot of years as a nurse in Oslo and now already retired. I was in Lund, Sweden for a month a few years ago, it was spring but i really had difficulty staying sane at 6-8C, hahaha! Thanks for visiting.

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  10. Its really hot red in your garden.
    I guess the heat is catching up in all the regions as its also very hot & humid in the nights.
    Currently there are some haze spells here & there as it didn't rain for many days now.

    I have nominated you for the Versatile Blogger award. Check it out in my latest post. You have a great day!

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  11. so many lovely flowers. I enjoyed it a lot.

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  12. Wonderful shots, all of them! MY absolute favorite is the blood lily - i NEVER SAW THIS SPECTACULAR FLOWER BEFORE.

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  13. Andrea I am in love with those red flowers especially the ones in the first few photos...just so striking in all the green.

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  14. Wonderful set of flower shots!

    Cacti can live in small pots once they are used to rocky grounds. They thrive with lots of sunshine and not much water. The blooming depends on how old they are... :-)

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  15. I hope you get some real rain soon! It's amazing how beautiful your flowers are anyway.

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  16. Very beautiful flowers! Many that I am not acquainted with, so I learned a lot. I do grow amarylis, but only indoors as it is too cold to grow outdoors here. I wish I could send you some rain--we've had an over-abundance of it here in the Pacific Northwest of the United States!

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  17. aloha,

    i love that beautiful blood lilly, i forget you do get a very dry season, even though your plants still look great.

    thanks for the wonderful garden tour :)

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  18. A pure explosion of colors that impress me! I wish you a wonderful sunny weekend last spring this year! Julie ♥

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  19. Wow, all your flowers? I would love your yard (garden)! Thanks for sharing, and keep cool (smile).

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  20. The weather is always quite a challenge. The red flowers you feature here are so beautiful and interesting. I wish you better weather as the season continues.

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  21. So far our dry season has not been too bad. We've had just a little bit of rain since April, just enough to keep the bushland and the grass green. Of course our dry happens from around mid-Autumn through to early Summer here, which is a little different to you. You've certainly got some fabulous fiery reds on show at the moment. Then there's the wonderful Duranta. They do so very well through the dry, don't they? Love the Proiphys!

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  22. So pretty! I love the orange blooms!

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  23. marvelous series! these flowers remind me of my grandmother's garden. i have seen the bulb (katungal) in my lola's garden but didn't know it has flowers--delightful! i love the duranta repens.

    singapore daisy

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  24. Aack! I'm coming for a home visit next week and you tell me the rainy season has started! I so crave a swim in Batangas! Hope I'll be able to do that. And I can't wait to see what's blooming in Manila. This is a rich post, Andrea, so much you share. People like you who are hands on with plants will be more sensitive to the changing climate.

    [My links work, but I haven't yet linked to those meme posts that aren't up yet. So I will link Mellow Yellow this coming Monday. :-) ]

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    1. Oh Francisca, you really are in time for the not so friendly neighborhood conditions during the dry season, i mean some street flooding in some areas! But i am sure you are in one of the best areas here. Yes i can be more sensitive to the changing seasons, but not to the changing climate. I might know plants in theory but i am not actually living with them, as most of the time i am in the big city.

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  25. thanks for sharing your beauties with us :)

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  26. That's a whole lot of red in you garden! I love your hippeastrum and scadoxus. Too bad bulbous plants don't flower as often as I would like them too.

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  27. Also, I've nominated you for the Versatile Garden award. You deserve it!

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    1. Sorry Aaron, some people gave that award earlier, but i am not inclined to continue the thread. But thanks the same!

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  28. Wonderful series! I never saw a blood lily.

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  29. lovely flowers. We used to have a lot of the lirio and lollipop flowers in our place in Batangas.

    ~Imelda

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    1. Hi Imelda, where in Batangas were you from? We have lots of them too, that my mother sometimes try to erradicate to no avail. Thanks for dropping by.

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  30. What wonderfully vibrant flowers! Lovely shots.

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  31. Fantastic shots, Andrea!

    Thank you for participating in Floral Friday Fotos!

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  32. beautiful series of flowers. i could almost smell them from here. :)

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