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Archive for the ‘gardening’ Category


Aren’t I lucky? I found a sequel to the book The Bark Cutters by Nicole Alexander called A Changing Land. It is as engrossing as the first book. How I wish I could find more of her books in the future.

You know one good thing that I appreciate being on quarantine for more than two months now? I am able to attend daily live streaming of masses online. We need to have a stronger  faith in these times of uncertainties. We never know when everything goes back to normal again. We ask for the grace of strength and fidelity to you Lord.  We ask for endurance in our daily battle with this pandemic.

I spent an hour in the garden very early this morning. The silence was unhampered by  cars and motor vehicles passing by.  How lovely it is to commune with nature when silence is all around. You are alone with your thoughts and sometimes, they are rich with things that you want to do, things you want to write about and things you dream of still becoming. Your thoughts wander beyond and you think of the times walking every morning  behind the house, a  vacant space  which is now full of houses.  Silence awakens that sleeping creative side of you. And you wish everything is back to normal. But what is normal nowadays?

There is one thing positive though that the days brought us, pollution has lessened. Family bonding is an everyday affair although sometimes you get to talk only via Viber or Messenger.  it is better than nothing though. Technology certainly has its advantage in these trying times.

Be safe, Be well. Be happy 🙂

 

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I’ve missed so many comments which didn’t show on my tab the past days. That’s one of the things I don’t like about using my tab to check my posts. Unless I open my computer to check everything, I miss a lot. I told you, life has become lazy days too.

April is almost gone. Tomorrow we’ll start another month.

One thing that I am always reminded of every time the month of May sets in is the song by The Bee Gees, First of May. And I silently sing it in my head. Aside from December, May is one of my favorite months – the month of flowers and the month of Mama Mary.

♫♫♪when I was small, and Christmas trees were tall♫♪

April seemed to take a little too long, what with this pandemic, lockdown and all.  Sometimes all you think is what to have and what to cook in your next meal. There are lots of idle times and you have lots to do but you can’t start.  It’s like the days pass by and you just go with the flow. You think, when will this ends? When will we have normal lives again? When will this stop? And you feel helpless, do a lot of prayers and cling to your faith.

I talk to Nissa every day now asking how they are coping. Yesterday, her brother-in-law brought home the remains of their Papa in a sealed urn. It is supposed to stay in a columbarium but the lockdown hinders one to move normally. They take their temperature every day even if they know he didn’t die of Covid.  It’s been more than three weeks now since he got sick and died a week ago. His doctor siblings said it was bacterial and his kidneys were not functioning well. Such is life, surprises (even not good ones) are lurking nearby.

For the last three mornings, I woke up early to tend the garden. I am finally done trimming the carabao grass. The garden hose is new, we had to call the plumber who did the installation of the aircon three days ago to fix it.  My Pandakaki plants and Tagaytay cherry plants need pruning too. That has to wait until this afternoon when it is not too hot. Gardening is really a great way of  de-stressing, a therapeutic activity that does not need too much  expertise but just the love of the soil and all its environs.  It’s more of  experiments really because they say that there are no gardening mistakes, everything that you plant becomes a part of the garden.

I planted some squash seeds at the back garden and they have sprouted. What a joy to see new shoots.

Let’s just hope the month of May will flatten the curve worldwide.

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I gardened for a while this morning replanting my rain lilies, some succulents and trimmed the Fukien tea plants. It is a lovely weather to garden now. The sun is shining and yet there is a cold morning breeze blowing. Perfect 🙂

Two weeks ago, we had a left-over piece of Chayote inside the ref. It is a tropical fruit shaped like a pear, with green skin and white flesh, that is usually cooked and eaten as a vegetable. I love mixing it with tinola, sometimes with chop suey  or pancit.

What a great surprise when I saw these green shoots. It is a sun-loving perennial and all parts of it are edible from the roots to the tender tips of the vine. I hope this would grow well and bear fruits so I won’t have to buy some in the market.

 

In a few days, we would harvest our langka (jackfruit). It is getting so big now. There are more fruits growing at the base of the tree. Hopefully, we could cook them as veggies.

 

 

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Gardening is really a great way of de-stressing, a therapeutic activity that does not need too much expertise but just the love of the soil and all its environs. It’s more of experiments really because they say that there are no gardening mistakes, everything that you plant becomes a part of the garden. Every gardener knows the joys of witnessing a seed waiting to sprout or a bulb opening to light and a bud straining to unfurl.

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For gardeners out there, have you tried this? I have this old post which I wrote in May 11, 2009 and posted it at my blog Gardens and Empty Spaces. Back then “like” was not yet introduced by WordPress I think but you can comment on the post. This has earned a lot of comments.  Someone commented just yesterday. I am reposting it here.

In our trip to Zambales  a few days ago, I learned some interesting facts about growing things in one’s backyard, very common of which is the papaya plant. Papaya is a soft-wooded perennial plant that has an average lifespan of 5 years and would grow about 4 meters high. The flowering stage is from five to eight months after planting and harvesting comes around five to six months after that.

My sister-in-law is a certified farmer, she underwent a complete 6-months seminar given by the Dept. of Agriculture.  She shared with us what she learned and gave us some seeds of different vegetables which are quite easy to grow, given a small space ,even just in pots.

I was not even aware that you would be able to know whether that papaya tree in your own backyard will bear fruit or not. Most of us just wait for papaya to produce flowers before we will be able to detect whether it is a male or a female.  Papaya flowers are just like jasmine blossoms. The flowers of female papayas are close to the stems while that of the male ones produce long flowers. But we really don’t have to wait for six months before we’ll be able to know if they are worth cultivating or not.  That’s a waste of time and space, according to my sister-in-law. We know for a fact that only female papayas produce those sweet and delicious fruits. One sure way of knowing is this, papaya male plants have one straight root while those of the females are branched-out, producing two or more roots, they’re the only ones that you have to transfer and plant.  Interesting!

Tomatoes are capable of self-pollination so they grow fruits on their own. Same goes true with squash. We have planted some squash  and tomatoes in our small backyard and  they’re growing  by leaps and bounds everyday.  We also planted pechay (Pak Choi) in small pots. Eggplant seedlings are sprouting like crazy. I can’t wait, I am quite excited waiting for everything to grow.

I tried planting chayote two days ago at the back garden. We have a permanent trellis there where it could climb on. It is also known as mirliton squash,  an edible plant belonging to the gourd family Cucurbitaceae.  When cooked, chayote is usually handled like summer squash; it is generally lightly cooked to retain the crispy consistency. Let us see how it grows in the next few days.

Our back garden and that’s Noki looking at some of our cats.

Planted some sweet potato vines a couple of months ago. We use the young leaves (found at the tip of each branch) to mix with our sinigang.

 

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5:30 am

I was sitting at the garden waiting for the day to begin. The street lights were still on and it was dark still. With a mug of Swiss Miss in hand, I was also listening to the classical music on my transistor radio before the station signs in. It was one of those no-commercial break stations featuring those lovely music and passages from the Bible with corresponding reflections….lovely.

The morning is waking up. Cars and motorcycles break the silence. I got my garden shears and started  trimming the carabao grass. It has grown again in the whole month that we didn’t touch them. I stayed at the garden close to two hours and I didn’t even make a dent except trimming those so close to the concrete stepping stones.

That cleaner portion was the only thing I’ve done this morning.

I still have to trim the carabao grass here at the front of the house.

Only a grass cutter is practical here because we have lots of stepping stones  all the way from the garage up to the side of the house. I hope this afternoon won’t be too hot so I could garden again.

This is where my hanging plants are at the side of the house.

It’s a little tiring to stay in the garden when the sun is up.

 

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I just posted more photos of my small garden early this morning. You can find them all here.

While I was browsing Memories at Facebook, I saw two more shots of Nissa taken eight years ago. Nostalgic…remembering those moments. These are not official shots though.

According to Facebook, this is my most-liked photo of 2011.

 

My caption at Facebook says: I just love this, the two people so dear to me captured in a frame together. Nissa in a seemingly dream-like walk towards the altar and Lovell at a distance, a loving older son who’ll have his moment when he’ll be ordained as a deacon soon.

Back then, Lovell was still a seminarian. He has just celebrated his 7th Presbyteral Ordination a week ago.

Time flies….making memories!

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