Monday, November 17, 2014

November Plants Showcase!

I almost forgot again the Plants Fiesta this month! OMG i almost panicked when i realized it is already the 17th of the month. I checked the GBBD Site at Maydreams Gardens and there still are places for linking. There is still a possibility that some people will see my post. Yes, i hope for that. Meantime, i still have to resize and put watermarks on them. Wow, i really am pressured.

I realized i have all the colors of the rainbow, ROYGBIV.

Red: Pentas lanceolata

 Reddish: Caesalpinia pulcherrima

Orange: Crossandra infundibuliformis

Orange: marigolds - Tagetes erecta

 Orange with purplish undersides: Vanda orchid

 Yellow: Chrysanthemum

Violet: Asystasia intrusa

Violet: Impatiens balsamina

Now my hoyas currently in bloom:

Orange: Hoya bifunda

 Yellow: Hoya buotii (yellow form)

Violet: Hoya buotii (purplish form)

If you are looking for Blue and Indigo, you will be disappointed like me, because they are seldom seen in the hot tropics. But we have the full blue sky, so that suffices our need for blue flowers, haha!

 This is not included in my Colors of the Rainbow, but i am sure you will be delighted too in seeing my Hoya diversifolia all blooming on top of our lanzones trees. The trees are more than 12 ft tall. Every side of the tree is covered and the flowers seem to be all smiling at all those who look up.

Do you know why they are smiling? Because to appreciate them, we get the risk of having stiff necks. Enjoy my friends.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Intensity in my Veins

Red flows throughout my veins, and its intensity shows on me! I am purely intense, will you still ask for more? 

Monday, October 20, 2014

Wonder of Wonders in the Shore

This is the Bay that i always see on the first leg of my series of rides to the big city where i work and live. My home in the province is in the uplands, but the jeepneys taking us to the bus terminals are parked near this beach. At the other side of the bay is the international port, and that red thing we see is a very big cargo ship. I literally traverse the left side of the bay to the bus terminal beyond that red cargo ship, and my travel takes a bit more than one hour. Bus ride to the big city is another 2.5 hours.

 Brownish color of the water is due to the iron-rich soil brought by water down to the sea during heavy rains. This however eventually settles when the water gets smooth.

To the right from where i stand are debris brought by floods from the uplands. You can still see the reddish-brown stones rich in iron. The small cliff beyond the debris file is actually called "Pulang Bato", translated as Red Rock. That big mountain at the back is actually a big island, also inhabited, and reached by motor boats in 30 minutes. Wonder of wonders, i have not been to this island. If this happens in another farther away land, i wouldn't stay still until i can reach it. 

There is now a perennial yacht parked in that part of the bay. It has already been there for almost a year now. It is owned by someone in Manila and used only to cater visiting friends. In contrast, there is a parked old boat at the beach, owned by a local resident.

 To the left of the beach are private houses, sometimes built literally on the shoreline. Our Law prohibits such use of government property, however another "wonder of wonders", they are allowed by local government. If only i can implement the law, they will all totally vacate the 8 meter space from the shoreline, and it will be as pristine as it used to be, when people are not yet inhabiting this place. That is if i can implement the law, but i am not the implementer! That is the problem. So i will be perennially disappointed with our beach eyesores.

 These are the jeepneys i mentioned above, that will deliver us to the other side of the bay to the bus terminals. Our jeepneys are well-known and small replicas are made into gifts for our foreign visiting friends. The above sample is not as ostentatious as the original ones. But the colorful sides and designs are always there. Sometimes, the design depicts the country the owner worked for as OFW. The above side design looks like an old building in Rome! But the curtain in front is a different one, i haven't yet seen our Philippine flag used as a jeepney curtain. But maybe that is against the law.

Tall coconut trees make our skyline. And our beaches are normally lined with these trees, now very tall and difficult to get the fruits. Dwarf varieties now replaced the tall ones, and they provide accessible young coconuts to quench thirsts of the owners. Visitors can also easily sample the sweet coconut water from young fruits, a readily available treat in this part of the world.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

October Bloom Day

I will be presenting a different style now for GBBD. As i have been posting mostly single close-up flowers, it is now the chance of the whole plants to be seen, be it like a wilderness, a soon-to-be forest, a chaotic grassy corner or an overgrown bush. I am too engrossed lately with my hoya garden chores because 2 weekends per month are not enough to do everything in my hoya garden. They include propagation, disentanglement of embracing shoots/stems, media addition/improvement, watering, pruning, and a lot more. But most of all, it is photographing and looking at them which takes most of the time. 

So the plants and blooms that follow might not be the nicest looking ones in my garden, but i will still share them with you, direct from their natural location.

These Coleus blumei photos (above and below) are of the same variety from the same cutting, but the top is shaded and the bottom receives direct sun. You might be divided in your choices, but that's alright, beauty is still in the eye of the beholder. That rule still stands!

Can you guess what flower is this? We are at the height of our rainy season, the height of prolific growths of our vines. This native gourd, Luffa sp., is conquering every plant its tendrils can cling too. It has already enveloped a small guyabano tree, a duranta hedge and already trying to reach half of the lanzones tree. Someone will say it is a bit invasive, but we allow it because it can only do that during the rainy months. After fruiting, it will immediately wilt and die. Mother loves them as vegetables, so we let them be. Mother is 84.5 years old!

This anthurium produced those dark pinks during rainy months, but they are very pale pink during the dry season. It almost died last April but recovered well. We don't repot it at all, just allow it through the years in its small pot. 

The Chrysothemis pulchellia is lovely when restricted in pots. However, they get invasive if allowed. It has persistent modified root that can hold food even when the above ground parts dried. When it rained again, it suddenly resume its vigor. Those flowers also produce a lot of seeds that grow everywhere when the rains come. I normally pull those small seedlings, consider them as weeds. But they are beautiful, do you agree?

This is an alien species, a foreigner, trying painstakingly to acclimatize in our dry environment. But in 3 years it is still alive and giving me so much delight for photography. I put it in shaded areas during the dry months, or at daytime and transfer them again outside at night for the cold and humidity. This rainy months my two gaillardia plants (Gaillardia pulchella) bask in the sun and enjoy the rains, and i bask in their beauty in return.

The seedheads don't produce seeds though. Maybe our resident insects are not familiar with it or don't like its nectar so the ovules are left unpollinated. It has been flowering for two seasons now, but i still haven't seen any insect nor butterfly alight on it.

Duranta erecta is a very favored nectar plant by bees and butterflies. Even if it is already tall, i don't prune it so i can watch the butterflies coming over. It is drought resistant too, and it is mainly the only flowering plant that sustains the insects during the dry season.

This is my mother's garden. Marigolds and impatiens mixed with each other thriving healthily. Marigolds are known to be insect repellants, i just am not sure which insects it repels. I see moths, bees and butterflies alighting on them, and their leaves are infested with leaf miners.

And this is again my mother's ampalaya plants. They are planted adjacent to my hoya garden and twines favorably to the strings holding my black nets. I just don't mind, i just remove the tendrils trying to invade my hoyas, anyway they will die after fruiting, which coincide with the end of the rainy season. Next time this will be clear. By the way, i have harvested a lot of ampalaya fruits from this plants.

Those variegated alternanthera guards the entrance to a cement stairs at the bottom of the property. I've planted hibiscus and other flowering plants there, but our goats' kids always eat them. At least they don't like eating this plant, so it grows luxuriously.

Above is a part of my hoya garden. My mother's garden is at the right side of the house, and my hoya garden is at the left. They are both nice to watch when i am having breakfast at the terrace. Mine is a makeshift location, as you can see i just put water pipes there to hang the hoya pots. I cannot get a welder yet to make a hanging house for my hoyas, but that is a formal quarter i envision to have before they get overly crowded in this place. I purposely allowed a Hoya diversifolia to grow up a lanzones tree, and now that it is already blooming, we all have stiff necks looking at the blooms. And of course, i cannot take photos of those blooms up there!

This is a portion of my hoya jungle, i need more space for them. And to satisfy your longing to see the blooms,  and to substantiate posting for Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day here are some of the blooms in my hoya garden. These are just to give you a peep, and more of the real ones will be in the next post.

 Hoya odorata

 Hoya siariae 

Hoya buotii 

So those are some plant nooks in our area and some blooms we have for this October. Next month i will be posting the conventional close-up shots again. Enjoy GBBD. 

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Constantly Moving Furs

Dogs were absent with us for about 4 years. That is after a not so pleasant experience with our last dog, who died before its time because of inhuman acts of supposed-to-be human beings. So now my sister received two puppies again, and they are so active and loving. My sister has a small house a few meters from us, but she regularly bring these puppies to our own house. 

They just can't contain themselves whenever they see us. A symptom that regularly happens with them when i touch their heads and while they are thumping ang moving so happily, is that they pee a little bit at a time. My sister said they don't behave like that with her. That is what i call they can't contain themselves when they see me. Maybe that is only because they don't see more often. 

They keep on moving, kissing my legs, and want to be carried up. As soon as you carry them close to your chest, they just stop moving and feel so contentedly peaceful and loved. They are so very cute!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Gaillardia Parade

My gaillardia plant also known as firewheel, Indian blanket, Indian blanketflower, or sundance (Gaillardia pulchella)  is from the generosity of a blogger friend from Illinois, who gave me some seeds and plants through the mail. This has been with us here in the tropics for 3 years. I was afraid at first that it might not survive our very long and hot dry season, but careful attention propelled it through another rainy season. Additional extra care also made it acclimatize and survive for 3 years, not neglecting to give me a few flowers for the last two years during the rainy months. 

It wilts so much during the day, but recover after watering at sundown. It really is a hardy plant. However, the growth is much slower producing only a few stems compared to its ancestors in the US, where probably it is much happier. 

a young bud slightly showing the petal color

even just the sepals are lovely enough

Nothing gives me so much delight in photographing a flower, than this gaillardia. It is very photogenic in all stages of growth, and at whatever angle of its profile. It will win easily any photographer's heart. The sunflower is a very much photographed flower, but for me gaillardia is more beautiful.

 the very vivid petal colors attract every discerning eye

 look at those lacelike peticoat as its petals

even at the later stages when some petals are already gone, it is still lovely

and look at that seed head, isn't it so wonderful

At the base of those structures are the developing seeds, however probably its pollinators are not yet here in our area, other insects have not been detecting it yet. No seeds developed yet from my two plants. 

Morning humidity gave some sparkles on those hairlike appendages.

I haven't shown here the whole plant or the leaves, but they are beautiful too.  Trust me, every angle, every stage of maturity, and every plant part is lovely for photos.