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Archive for the ‘gardens’ Category


The Gardener (Mary Oliver)

Have I lived enough?
Have I loved enough?
Have I considered Right Action enough, have I
come to any conclusion?
Have I experienced happiness with sufficient gratitude?
Have I endured loneliness with grace?

I say this, or perhaps I’m just thinking it.
Actually, I probably think too much.

Then I step out into the garden,
where the gardener, who is said to be a simple man,
is tending his children, the roses.

I just love these words from Mary Oliver. She is one of my favorite poets. Yesterday, I  harvested almost a kilo of kalamansi (Philippine lime). There were plenty more but I was afraid to use the ladder to pick them.

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Morning exercise…..gardening!

Whew! That was quite a heavy downpour last night saturating the garden.  It rains almost every day now either late at night or early in the morning.

It’s the perfect time to tend the garden for a while. I noticed some shoots of my yellow Iris  growing with small roots. Have to cut them and replant. Trimmed my Mulberry tree too, it is fast growing and I am thinking of removing it for good. Mulberries grow tall as high as 70 feet  and they need a larger space to spread their roots. I am afraid that when this  grows even bigger,  our septic vault would be affected.  I already cut the branches but the roots are still intact.  Good thing it is just about a year old since I planted it as a cutting. I googled about it and I was so disappointed to know that it will take ten years before it bears those tiny fruits.

I need to transfer and replant my prayer plants. The outer leaves are already dry. If it does not rain this afternoon, they are next.

Prayer plants

They’ll be good combined with the purple-leaf plant that I have at the back garden but I don’t know its name.

Yellow Iris

Really need to propagate this lovely yellow Iris. It’ll be perfect at the round bed where the Mulberry tree is right now.

So much to do but I find gardening so fulfilling.

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This makes me smile.

For the second time today, I watered the plants a few minutes ago. They are so dry even the carabao grass is not growing as it should.  So many things kept intruding, the latest book I finished this afternoon, the songs being played on the radio all day long.  There is this radio station that broadcasts news and entertain phone-in questions from listeners in the morning but plays old music, think 60’s and a spattering of 70’s music, until the wee hours of the morning the next day.

For so many nights now, I let the radio tuned to this station while I read. It’s a soothing feeling of nostalgia and remembrance listening to old songs. I keep the volume very low, good enough to just hear the music playing. Some people get distracted listening to the radio and reading at the same time. I’m not. I got used to it.

Going back to the garden, sometimes it is just so nice to aim the tip of the water hose to your feet and on your face and feel the flow and spray of water, so refreshing. It’s summer and I can’t help thinking of those beach trips we used to have.

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Woke up a little late because I went back to bed after Josef left for work at 5 am.  What a cold morning, perfect time to have that green tea while watering and inspecting the plants in the garden.

I harvested dried pods of blue ternatea to give to friends when they come over. The two vines I planted have so many green pods and flowers and they are nice covers from outside. They are happily climbing my steel matting. I have two dried red okra ready for planting. A cousin wants to try planting too. When I posted those pictures of my red okra, a lot of people reacted asking, “is it edible”? Of course, it is. It is just like the green one only in a different color.

Some months ago, I got some dried Zinnia flowers at the park near the house. Just planted them this morning. I do hope, they will thrive.  Jom, our good neighbor gave me three cuttings of African tea and I put them in two empty bottles with water. They are now sprouting leaves.  I’ve tasted a freshly brewed cup before. It tasted great.

 

I wonder where I’m going to plant these once they grow a little sturdy. Lack of space is the problem although these are not bushy plants. They are medicinal too.

And here’s something I love about gardening.

The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature. To nurture a garden is to feed not just  the body, but the soul. – Alfred Austin

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I wonder how many calories I burned doing three hours of gardening this morning.  Yes, I started early around 6 am and stopped by  almost 9 am with only a cup of coffee to go and the company of our “makulit” dog Noki.  I am not done yet trimming the carabao grass.  And I have to cut  some dried leaves of my prayer plants.

A passive pursuit but a good morning exercise….gardening, that is. Anyway, I want to see the garden at its best this coming Christmas. My Bougainvillea blooms are doing a crazy dance in the morning breeze. I just love those clustered pink flowers. Once it starts flowering, it does not stop. It is a perennial plant and just right for our sunny weather.  Our neighbor gave me some cuttings of cherries. I wonder if they will grow in our climate here. I’ll just try to grow them first in pots.

It was cloudy early this morning so it was a perfect time to spend in the garden. Took some shots a while ago.

My Bougainvillea

My Bougainvillea is located outside at the corner of our lot and it makes a good view of our grotto.

 

Prayer plants

I am proud of my two shrubs of  burgundy okra. The photo I took before was a little blurry so I took two more shots. I am letting the earlier fruits to mature before I harvest them for planting.

 

It’s flowering at the moment.

 

Crossandra

These Crossandra blooms are growing everywhere in the garden. I wonder if it has any other color aside from orange.

 

 

 

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I told you in a previous blog post about our Gardeners’ party yesterday. Here’s my loot. I don’t actually know its name  but I love its variegated leaves and the way it is growing. Had to find a bigger pot for it.

I re-potted this white grass two weeks ago but our Shih Poo Oreo loves to play with its leaves.

Just trying to put more greens indoors.

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The gentle patter of the rain,

Makes these plants alive.

They breathe

They smile

And seem to say,

“Welcome, you make us happy”.

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Digging, pruning, weeding replanting.

I spent the late afternoon in the garden. With the little breeze coming in, it was the perfect time to garden. Replanted some Vinca seedlings which I found inside the pot of my Bougainvillea.  The soil was soft, I guess from the previous rains we had a few days ago.  Maybe tomorrow if the good weather holds, I’ll be done weeding and pruning my Fokien tea plants.

While I was admiring the new pink lily blooms, I saw this lovely insect in one of its petals. I am pretty sure it was  not a butterfly because of its large body and  clipped wings. I loved its color of pale green with black spots on the side. I was about to get my camera phone when it flew towards our kalamansi trees.  I could not distinguish the leaves and the flying insect so I let it be. Sometimes, you’ll just smile at the added attraction when you are in the garden.

I noticed that my dwarf  Ruellias are sprouting flowers again but instead of just one color which used to be just purple, they  now come in white and light pink. Pretty good to see other colors in the garden.  Ruellias are also known as Mexican  Petunia. The flowers though only last a day.

The Roselle seeds I planted a few days ago are now showing their tiny faces. So excited to see them grow. I wish all the  different seeds I planted lately would all grow.

I grow plants for many reasons: to please my eye or to please my soul, to challenge the elements or to challenge my patience, for novelty or for nostalgia, but mostly for the joy in seeing them grow. – David Hobson

 

 

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Hooray! The blue ternatea which I planted a few months ago has finally bloomed. I am also looking forward to the white ones which I have just planted.

How exciting!

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I uprooted the sweet potato vines early this morning.  We locally call it “camote”. We  usually use the young leaves for our sinigang or just  steam them for a few minutes and make them into a salad.  I replanted a few healthy stems  and maybe in a month, they’ll  give fresh young leaves again.

I also planted the Roselle seeds that a friend gave me together with the other seeds from his farm. I am not really familiar with how Roselle looks like. It belongs to the family of hibiscus and the flowers are lovely.  And it is edible.  Wow! All I have left for planting now are the burgundy okra seeds.  Maybe when the others have grown, I will think of where to put the latter. The blue ternatea  are slowly climbing the steel matting we put on top of our  concrete perimeter fence.  I planted the white ones two days ago along with the blue ones. I  could now imagine when they’ll bear those lovely blue and white flowers.  Lovely 🙂

Got plenty of gardening gloves but every time I visit the garden and plant those seeds, I’d rather have my hands bare. Digging the earth  with my garden trowel with bare hands, feeling the soft soil and wishing those seeds to grow well, such a lovely wish for a small-time gardener like me. Just taking advantage of the sunny days before another weather disturbance touches  our shores.  Maybe by the end of the year, I’ll have more blooms and fresh veggies in my garden. The carabao grass needs to be trimmed again and yesterday, I harvested more calamansi fruits and gave some to my two neighbors.

The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature. To nurture a garden is to feed not just the body, but the soul. – Alfred Austin

 

 

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