Monday, June 16, 2014

Blooms Despite the Long Dry Season

I am already late posting this for GBBD in June, i have the risk that only very few will open my link! But i warn you, all of this you will miss if you will ignore my lateness, haha! Come and let's join appreciating my addiction that someone refers to as a disease. Can you imagine that....a disease! And i can relate to its being very contagious. This disease is very virulent. I warned you, huh!

These are some of my hoya collection. Some are already ongoing bloomers, but most are first timers. So they are really mostly expected and it indeed is very exciting for the buds to bloom. Remember i am living in the big city and go home only about 2 weekends a month, so it is timely if i can see them still open, or already open.

 This is one of my two Hoya obscura. This one is more reddish than the other one. Even at this still bud stage, it is already enticing, don't you think so?

This is just partially open flowers of the top plant. They are so lovely indeed. However, i was not able to wait for them to fully open. I hope i can see that stage next time.

This is my second Hoya obscura. The flowers are more yellow-orange than red compared to the first plant. It is a very prolific bloomer with a lot of umbels per plant. The scent is also overwhelmingly loud, not bad but if lessened a bit will be more irrepressible. 

 This is the fully open flowers of the 2nd Hoya obscura. Don't you think it's perfect!

 This Hoya incrassata/crassicaulis has been blooming intermittently for the last 2 years. The umbels are mostly so thick that the habit of the flowers to reflex cannot happen anymore. Those colored corollas remains open showing the brightly colored edges, that make them more amazing and beautiful.

 An amazing serendipity also occurred with my 2nd plant of Hoya incrassata/crassicaulis. You might not believe this, but the above plant came from the same mother plant as the former Hoya incrassata/crassicaulis. The latter is purely yellow without the brownish corolla edges. If you ask me why, i can just surmise that this is one of the cases for chimera. It rarely happens, but in ornamentals it is very much favored. Anything unusual or not following the normal patterns are more favored in flowers.

 Hoya meliflua is into its first blooming, but there are several umbels that opened either simultaneously or staggeredly. The above one is at the optimum stage of blooming, while that below is already at the more advanced stage.

 This is more dull and with less nectar than the previous photo. Insects sipping the nectar are absent also. In 2-3 days the flowers will already abscise.

 Above is Hoya pubicalyx. it also has very big umbels compact umbels. Unfortunate of most unfortunates, they are either still closed or already spent when i go home. The lovely thing though is that my niece and nephew send me the blooming photo whenever they open. How wonderful serendipity that can be, and the sent photo to me is below.

This is the Hoya pubicalyx when fully in bloom. I have at 5 plants like this but only 3 are growing peduncles and buds at present. It might already be very common, but its beauty cannot be lessened with that.

 This last 3 photos are of Hoya fungii, the two are still closed and the last one already at the height of its fullness. This is the biggest umbel among my blooming hoyas at present. The open stage is around 11 cm.

It doesn't look so big in diameter in this photo, but it left only a small space open  near the stem.

Bees and ants are its common visitors. They cannot resist the fragrance, and when they tasted the nectar, they just opted to stay there. Can you blame them!

 Hoya 'Iris Marie', in its 2nd umbel bloom. The first time aborted most of the flowers leaving only two in the umbel. I was not able to see that previous 2 flower blooms, but they sent me the photos. This time it opened exactly the afternoon i just arrived. It was a grand consolation to appease my tiring trip home. And when you come closer, the scent is comparable to a very subtle ladies' perfume, but don't ask me which one, as i think there is none concocted from it yet. I am sure you will love it the moment you smell that fragrance. I assure you, trust me!

There goes my Hoya parade. I hope you can still open my link at GBBD. Please see other posts in that site by Carol at Maydream's Garden.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Yellow Enumeration

I have been telling you a few times, or yes i admit it is nearly complaining, that sometimes i get bored with our orange and red colors. It is not actually the flowers, i must clarify, but the colors! Seeing them all the time somehow saturates our brain, or maybe the emotion through our eyes. So i deliberately chose other colors in one post, now it is the yellow. It is surprizing that we have a lot of them too. These are actually just some of them, i still remember some that are not flowering these days. They might not be exceptionally unique, but putting them in isolation like this, separated from the orange and reds, make them somehow special.

This Hoya buotii has been blooming in our care for two years. It gives a few blooming peduncles, then rest a few weeks and then bloom again. It is a very lovely hoya for me, although it only lasted for 3 days. 

Hoya crassicaulis also produces a very lovely umbel. The individual flowers might not be as big as the Hoya buotii, but the umbel tends to be very full into an almost perfect sphere. Moreover, it gives a very sweet subtle lemony scent that attracts me as well as the bees, ants and moths.

This is a not so open yet cosmos, Cosmos bipinnatus

 and who will forget the yellow hibiscus? It has wide blooms as big as a saucer!

 Turnera subulata is almost a fixture now in our gardens. It is hot and drought tolerant, so we always see them around. It competes with the oranges and reds. And if not properly regulated, it tends to be invasive in our area. The seeds are scattered around and wait till the rains come. This will be with us for a long time to give the yellows more prominence.

This might be considered an outlier, exception to the group, but it is wanted around. If only we can multiply them faster, then our scale insect problems will be finished.

 Floral Friday Fotos

Monday, June 2, 2014

If only raindance works!

In the past years, our dry season is terminated by a heavy downpour in May. In fact some old people have the term "Agua de Mayo" or May Water that is believed to have some therapeutic powers. So they drink a little cupfull of the first rain in May to assuage whatever ailment they are having during the dry season. But that is a thing of the past. In the cities, pollution will not render the first rains to be suited for drinking. But of course only very old traditional folks in the province believe that anyway! 

This year when  "climate change" is already a common new word fashion, it is already June and we haven't had the rainy season yet. There are a few bursts of  ten-minute drizzle in very small areas, but do not quench the thirsty plants. The following photos are all in our garden in the province, and they will speak for themselves. We all hope that we get the much needed rain this early June. If only raindance works, we will all do it every weekend!

 scorched leaf of a palm tree 

 drooping and almost dead leaves of crotons or Codiaum variegatum

i hope this croton will still be able to wait for the rains

Hoya diversifolia climbing a fruit tree, despite the little watering still gets yellowed leaves

 other leaves of Hoya incrassata/crassicaulis showed yellowing with burned patches

 Hoya pubicalyx is also not spared, scorched, yellowed and burned

 birds' nest fern or Asplenium nidus lost all the leaves, hopefully the body and roots can be regained

the leafless extremities at the back of this tree is a full tree that didn't make it through this dry season

This is not our garden but some grasses and bananas near the end of our property also turned brown. Bananas will not recover again, but suckers from other plants will continue. Our fruit trees are also suffering, although i don't have the photos taken. Hopefully, this will not affect our food industry much!