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Archive for the ‘city gardening’ Category


Oh gosh, my carabao grass needs trimming again.

This is what happens when it rains almost every day  and the grass grows like crazy. Maybe I have to postpone trimming it for a week more until after I’m done visiting my doctor for another monthly check-up. I am scheduled for lab tests on the 20th of this month. Growing older, getting old, every which way you look at it, time is inching its way too fast.

Didn’t I say I am excited to see my friends tomorrow?  It’s been a while since we have seen each other last.  I just cooked  a kilo of chicken pork adobo today  which we’ll have tomorrow for lunch along with fresh veggies from the garden.  Adobo tastes so much better a day or two after when the sauce has seeped through.  It’s a Pilipino recipe that is so easy to prepare but tastes so good. I like dry adobo.  We sometimes serve it with quail eggs.

Presently listening to some old songs on YouTube. Pete’s blog post  triggered it actually.

It’s nice to go back sometimes to the 60’s music  and dream of those days when life was simple and you were younger.  Procol Harum is good in A Whiter Shade of Pale. Just finished watching some of the greatest golden hits of the 60’s. I love the Motown sounds too. There was a time when I was still working when I would bring a small cassette player with an ear phone  and listen to some music on cassette. Music One was a favorite place  to go to during lunch break.  Back home, the CD player  was of constant use.  I have compiled those sounds during the British Invasion. Nowadays though, I just rely on my small radio which I take outside when I am gardening. I could listen to the latest news and some music in between.  Music soothes the soul.  It also makes me smile.

I found these four books (they’re actually in a series) by Nora  Roberts. It’s a story of four brothers who were adopted in their younger  years. I’m in book 3  and enjoying it.  I am done with 85% of my reading challenge at Goodreads.

How was your day?

 

 

 

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PAGASA has finally declared officially yesterday that we are now into summer. They say that we really don’t have summer because we only have two seasons of the year, the dry and the wet. People got used though to calling the dry days and months summer here. It would lasts until probably the last week of May when thunderstorms in the afternoon are regular occurrence.  It is not yet that hot within the day but there are almost no clouds in the sky. For those of us who love the beach, it’s time for that much-needed dip. Just don’t forget to have sunblock in your bag. Days would be longer than nights.

Finally too, I am almost done with my gardening job – trimming the grass, weeding and replanting some of my ornamental plants.  I haven’t touched  anything outside our perimeter wall yet but I guess, the weeds outside our fence need to be uprooted too. They are growing  tall and unmanageable.  Our Santan  plants need trimming too. That would have to be postponed for a while because they are presently in bloom. I love those red flowers, they are lovely under the sun.

I haven’t blogged for two days but I noticed the decline in my views yesterday. It’s down to a little over a hundred compared to the previous five days before that where it reached more than two hundred a day. I remember that those times when I blogged every  day were the same days that my stats went  up. Really, we are only good as our last post although I noticed  that there are some posts that always stay at the top.  I have some favorites but they are no longer viewed now.  I guess participating in writing one post a day really helps. Back in 2011, I did that but it was never repeated. It was  kind of taxing thinking of what to write about every day for the entire year. Maybe in the future I’ll do it again.

I’ve put aside reading for the last three days but I am trying to catch up again with Lang Leav’s poems and Mary Oliver’s thoughts mixed with my fiction books.  It is always nice to get to know other people’s thoughts and dreams. I am inspired by their writings. Sometimes I  wonder where they get all the inspirations to write those lovely texts. I am envious.  I’ve been an admirer of  Mary Oliver for so long but I only have two of her books. A friend bought me a copy of Upstream,  (my 3rd one) her latest but we haven’t seen each other yet.  I read the reviews of the book, read some excerpts from it and I am really looking forward to have that book on hand.  I follow her on Facebook that is why I am updated.  I like almost all of her poems but this one is a favorite. Would love to share it you.  It’s called Wild Geese.

“You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting
over and over announcing your place
  in the family of things.”

It is summer now, let me correct that, it’s the beginning of the dry season here.  Would just love to enjoy the sun  and reading.

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It’s one of those days that I get to trim the carabao grass again. Although they are growing   a little slow because it is summer I need to weed out unwanted grass too.  The weather is just right for afternoon gardening. I am just halfway through,  I still have so many things to do in the garden.  It was quite windy but the sun shone brightly.

Our two jackfruit trees are bearing so may clustered fruits again. I noticed the small  fruits at the base of the second tree not knowing that the first tree has born fruits earlier.  I took one to cook in coconut cream.

The remaining five are now large enough to ripen. They were a little up the tree so we really didn’t notice them earlier.  Maybe in a month or two, I could harvest again. Every year, these two trees give us  fruits. All we do is water them every morning together with the other plants we have here plus the two Philippine lime shrubs (kalamansi)  that bear fruits all year round. They are just perfect for a small garden.  Some branches are in their flowering stage.

I am getting impatient with the lavender I planted late last year. I wonder how long it would take before it would bear flowers. The herbs I  planted at the same time are doing well. Maybe the lavender need not be watered daily but the weather is hot here so I water them every day.  Gardening is really a hit and miss thing. Sometimes you’ll see some flowers resurrecting in the heat of summer. Sometimes there are unknown plants that just sprout in a corner.  I find fulfillment in gardening though just like I do with reading and blogging.

Gardening is also a relaxing activity and growing things from seeds and branches are just wonderful.    You won’t notice the passing of time when you are in a garden. Some of my bulb plants and the Amazon lilies planted in pots are presently in bloom.  Oh to see them bloom again. What a reward!

Do you love gardening?

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Aching arms.

Blistered fingers.

Would you believe? I gardened for three hours straight this afternoon but I am finally done with trimming the carabao grass, close to the roots because sudden rains make them grow like crazy. My son joined me an hour later and took charge of re-shaping and  trimming our other plants. The Arius tree is now a perfect cone-shaped. We usually decorate it with lights during the Christmas season.  Watch your calendar, it’s sixty-three more days to go before Christmas.

Our two pets Mimi (the kitty) and Noki (the dog) are happy when we stay in the garden for a while.  I laughed when Mimi turned her face and looked at me while trimming the grass and with each snip of the garden scissors in my hands, she bobbed her head, that was crazy dancing I expect 🙂  If she could speak aside from the “meow, meow” we always get to hear when she’s hungry, maybe she would say “dance with me, let’s go crazy”.   Noki is happiest when he could run around, bark at the passersby and makes himself cozy between our Fukien tea plants.

I always bring my small radio outside when I garden. Don’t you think it is nice to listen to familiar songs and music of your younger years? There was this program aptly called Saturday Memories, an eclectic mix of 60’s, 70’s and 80’s music interspersed with OPM. OPM is an acronym for Original Pilipino Music.  Filipino singers are a talented lot. They are internationally recognized  in the music world.

I sang  along with some of the songs that I knew of old. Perfect day to garden, perfect day to enjoy music.  There was a portion of the program where they played inspirational songs and for a while there I stopped and listened. Footprints In The Sand narrated with a background music…how lovely. It’s one of those messages that make me cry, emotionally charged with  a good feeling that God will always be there no matter.  Then the inspirational poem Desiderata followed.  Until now, when I feel down, the words of  Max Ehrmann inspire me.

“Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons.

Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story….”

I think most kids of the late 60’s and 70’s are familiar with these lines. As if those were not enough, they played  You Raise Me Up.  Goose bumps to the max. I suddenly remembered Dad. They played this song at Daddy’s funeral almost nine years ago.  It is a song of faith and belief in God.  And every time I hear Josh Groban sing this, it makes me want to cry.  And Celine Dion and Andrea Bocelli’s version of The Prayer is the highlight of the afternoon. It was here that I cried.

♪♫♫I pray you’ll be our eyes
And watch us where we go
And help us to be wise
In times when we don’t know

Let this be our prayer
As we go our way
Lead us to a place
Guide us with your Grace
To a place where we’ll be safe….♫♪♫

It’s indeed a Saturday of memories.  What song made an impact in your life?

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I went back to gardening  after letting my hands heal for a few days. Goodness, I have to trim the carabao grass again, they have grown quite wild in three weeks.

This morning I was at the garden at 5am, still dark for some but it was nice to see the world unfolding with a hot cup of coffee and the company of our dog Noki.  Mimi went back to sleep besides mom as soon as I opened the door to our dirty kitchen.  Have you ever spent an early morning smelling different garden scents? The sweet aroma and spicy scent of oregano, the spicy and sharp fragrance of ginger leaves that linger,  the lemony smell of calamansi flowers and the intoxicating scent of gardenia flowers  captivate the senses. You wish you could put each scent in a bottle and maybe use them to make scented candles.

Last week, I trimmed one of our calamansi trees. Time is a gentle and  nice reminder that new life will always be something to look forward to.  Look at those healthy leaves sprouting like crazy.  It is always nice to see something growing in one’s garden.

new life

The rhizomes of the turmeric I bought at the wet market have finally produced buds.  I planted them in three pots and they are thriving nicely. It is  my first time to try cultivating turmeric in my garden.

Ginger foliage

Ginger foliage…

I only have one potted ginger and the roots are ready for harvest. I wonder if ginger produces flowers just like the turmeric. I can’t wait to see it blooms.

And these capped my early morning garden adventure, my bleeding heart blooms.

Bleeding hearts

Bleeding hearts…

It is good to be alone in a garden at dawn or dark so that all its shy presences may haunt you and possess you in a reverie of suspended thought. ~James Douglas

 

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Welcome August dear, I hope you will be kind enough to limit typhoons that visit our country when you are around.  Please, please, please, no more flash floods that wreak havoc to my peace of mind and stress to those people in a number of provinces regularly visited by storms and typhoons.  We just had three typhoons since the start of the year and I am thankful that they are not that destructive.

July, you were some kind of lazy, you know that? Uneventful long afternoons of sunny skies and sudden thunderstorms but you were kind enough to inspire me to overhaul my garden. Maybe, overhaul is such a strong word, I was inspired to dig the earth and plant more, prune one of our calamansi trees and our lone Gardenia shrub.  I got blisters on my hands and little cuts too but that’s part of a gardener’s life.  I am glad that you gave me enough time to catch up on my reading and discover books that are a delight to read.

I stopped watching the news lately because all they ever show are body counts of dead people on the streets who the authorities say are drug pushers/users but what is sad is there are those innocent victims (students and young professionals) with a promise of a bright future. Mistaken identity or were they at the wrong place at the wrong time? I hate these extra-judicial killings, they violate human rights. Social media say that there is due process when the suspect  belongs to the higher ladder of society but the ordinary man on the street is an easy target.  One thing that I know,  go to the root so the branches would die.  Goodbye July, I hope this time next year, everything would be just as peaceful as before.

Looking forward to more days of reading and since Mom is here, I know August would be a happy month. Our dog Noki is happy too because Mom is around. Our cat Mimi has found a nice bed to take a nap while  Mom watches her favorite programs.

I asked Nissa how I could post the video she took of Nate while he was dancing. The dance moves….priceless  🙂  They attended a birthday party last Saturday.  He brought home a  set of  Robocar Poli  because of his winning get-up, that of  Iron Man!

Here’s my wish for you, may your August days be happy too!

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My lovely  Ruellia

My lovely Ruellia

And it’s not enough that you trim the grass,

taking shot of a lovely bloom is a must.

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