Tuesday, February 24, 2015

One Naughty Hoya

I told my sister that my hoyas are very kind to me. The flowers normally open when i am at home on weekends. Sometimes though, the flowers look still young and i thought they will open in the next 1-2 days, but as i am watching them after arrival on Saturday afternoons, sometimes they start opening! It is just serendipitous, but i am so happy thinking they are really kind to me.

I work and live in the big city. The closest time i come home are Saturdays, but normally i go home every other week. I confess my hoya collections oblige me to come home often, sacrificing rest hours, expenses and other chores in my city home. I can't even go to the mall because i need to tend to my hoyas.

The thing i mentioned above is not the rule. There is one plant which has been flowering for quite sometime now when i am away. Once, the flowers already look so ripe to open but it disappointed me. It eventually opened the next day after i left. Then last weekend it heard my request.

This is Hoya soligamiana, more than 2 yrs old from cuttings. The name is from a still active professor of Biology from the Philippines' leading state university. Look at the leaves, they show some tinge of red hue courtesy of our colder nights last December-January. Those are the only cold we get in this hot tropical part of the world. At the moment it has 3 umbels, can you see the 3rd at the lower right? It has only 2 unopened flowers! And of course, there are 2 bigger umbels at the left side. All the 3 opened in succession at the same day.

This is the stage a few minutes just before they opened. The look of it beguiled me, i thought they are still immature and might need 2 more days. It is also different from other hoyas as the flowers face up, unlike most of the species. 

But look they started cracking up, showing the bright fuchsia coronas, very different from the yellowish corolla. I almost jumped in amazement, i didn't leave them until they finish showing off their hidden heart. I was expecting a scent, but i sensed none!

 They are so beautiful, i stayed there until it is already dark. Hoyas normally bloom in the late afternoon to early evening. This ensures possible pollination which are mostly the moths. They are nocturnal insects so i guess the flowers time their opening with the presence of pollinators. On the other hand, maybe the moths come at night because they know the flowers are open at that particular time, a case of chicken and egg, who knows!

The following morning the umbel looks like this. The corollas have fully reflexed fully exposing the corona, opening themselves to possible agents of preserving the species. They are so beautiful, i know you will agree.

I am just showing here other possible angles and color saturations of the flowers so you can judge for yourselves if it is really lovely. In a few more hours, they will start to fall, as they only stayed there for two days. Good things really don't last forever. We have to make the most while it is still possible.

I left for the big city on Sunday afternoon. This time i am so happy as the one hoya i have been waiting for literally bloomed in front of my eyes. Now i can rest well. Thanks Hoya soligamiana.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Garden Dwellers

I love very much to join the Macro Monday 2 meme, but my macro lens is still at the service center, has been there for months now waiting for a spare part. Oh My God, i already missed it. These photos are not macro, but i beg you to allow me post them here. Ok ok, they are close-up, haha!

 This is a scary hirsute larva of a moth, who will care to touch it. Getting the lens closer to it is scary enough!

 a jumping spider with another spider or prey below it, i wonder what it really is.

 These individual hoya flowers are just about 1 cm in diameter. I am just trying to compare them as they are supposedly of different species, but other people say they are the same with just different colors or variations. The left is Hoya pubicalyx, while right is Hoya pubicalyx 'B;ack Dragon' now called Hoya pubicorolla ssp anthracina.

the same flowers at different angle.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Revival Post

My last post here was in November 2014 for GBBD. Basically, I was out for 2 months from Pure Oxygen Generators. The story might be longer than that, full of not only excitement and delight, but also disgust and worry. The excitement and delight were from my travels to Australia and New Zealand, while disgust and worry came from my hoya collections. I am tempted to tell you the whole story, and burst my feelings here but that will totally cover the page, so i would rather not!

Two months after my last post, i am now trying again to weave some new thoughts and photos to rekindle my enthusiasm in blogging. I have just been out of the country for a month, and yet it seems like already a long time. I attended a conference in Sydney, Australia and from then on went into a long hop-on-hop-off the plane, bus, train, boats escapade.

I will be posting most of those experiences in the other blogsite Andrea in this Lifetime. As for this site, i will be continuing with my home oxygen generators, with occassional oxygen consumers! It is the end of the rainy season and plants are also almost at the end of their lives.

 Our adopted plant, gaillardia, is doing well and has not died for 3 yrs now. It just stopped flowering after the rainy season, just stay alive vegetatively to maintain the species and flowers again come rainy season. In effect it has a seasonal once a year blooming. Despite its dwindling growth compared to its sisters in its country of origin, it acclimatized here, and never fails to give me a few beautiful blooms. It is also a very photogenic subject, and i love it very much.

 Hippeastrum reticulatum var Striatifolium 'Mrs Garfield' gave me 2 blooms this year at 4 flowers/scape. It is just its 3rd year with me, not bad! At least it waited for me to go home before opening fully. It took more than a week from the emergence of the scape to the opening of the 1st flower. It can go dormant for the dry season, and i am relieved.

 The lovely striations never fail to give delight to us in the house. And the staggered opening of the flowers in the scape let us see it for a longer duration.

 This rose amazes me. It has been almost dying in a corner pot, but gained our full attention with these few flowers. There are differences in hue even in just one flower. The bloom at right hand side is more prominent, with very dark pink on top and light pink below. Isn't that amazing! It will be given more attention and preference from now on. I even gave it some fertilizers.

 This plant is lovely for the variegated leaves growing profusely. But the dainty, minute bluish flowers converging in an inflorescense are also cute, and lends nicely for macro shots. Unfortunately, my lens is in the service shop now.

 Red Pentas lanceolata, planted in a discarded iron kettle is giving a positive lift to this bare tree base. You will notice at its right the base of profusely growing Hoya diversifolia, whose stems conquered the top of the tree and showing their flowers high up there. I've shown them in previous posts.

 The red salvia might not be too abundant but they give positive aura in its corner.  Bees love them.

 Asystasia intrusa is invasive here, but it covers a wall with its cascading growth! Butterflies love going there too.

Some of my hoyas are passing through a stressful phase maybe, so i changed a few media, dismantled a few plants and cut the stems into many pieces. It will take 1-2 years again for them to flower, but at least i was able to save the species if they will decide to root again. Only this Hoya obscura is showing some buds yet. 

 In the absense of other blooms, this Impatiens balsamina never fails to provide some beauty. I only have purple (below) and lavender in the beginning, but 2nd generation seedlings produced the whites from their inter alliances. The recessive trait brings the color white, but who cares, it is lovely.

 A few cascading chrysanthemum are still giving some joy especially to the butterflies.

 My garden is not all at the positive side. I've already mentioned the hoyas I have dismantled and cut to pieces. This Hoya kerii is already a big plant growing nicely for 3 years. I was curious why it was not blooming yet, the leaves seem pathetic so i scrutinized the base. I was correct, the roots are rotten and the bases are trying to heal again. I found some very minute snails with lenght of just half a centimeter at maturity. I crushed the visible ones and disinfested the soil I hope the cuttings will grow soonest. I got 13 new cuttings from this plant.

The sad fate of this Hoya kerii is to be cut to pieces even prior to blooming. I am sorry but it didn't give me a choice, i had to give the last verdict.

GBBD for February 2015

Floral Friday Fotos