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Archive for the ‘home garden’ Category


Just a thought: At the rate this pandemic is going, we might be able to reach more than 300,000 before  September ends. So really, really sad. And because it is so expensive to stay in the hospital for treatment, many probably don’t seek medical help anymore. 

Finally, Josef and I were able to prune the Eugenia, Fookien Tea plants and Tagaytay cherries.  The garden is looking good now, bagong gupit….haha!

He helped me pick kalamansi and we were able to harvest those at the top since he used a ladder to pick them. We harvested almost two kilos of ripe ones and gave some to our neighbors. I also made juice out of it. So soothing. Lots of vitamin C there.

I was supposed to end up reading the three books of  Pooh for my year-ender  reading challenge at Goodreads but I only finished one because I got distracted again by another book called  The True Story of Hansel and Gretel  by Louise Murphy. A reimagined fairy tale  and a war story retold.  It happened in the region in Eastern Poland  which was overrun  first by Russians then the  Germans during WWII.

In prose both luminous and enlightening, Murphy explores the power of memory, the necessity of love in times of great trauma, and the redemption that can come about through the refusal to erase one’s own past. This is the tale of two brave children who never give up, of women who refuse to be defined by convention, and of the bitter cost of survival. Over the course of the winter, Hansel and Gretel will come of age. Their mother dead, their father and stepmother in hiding, by necessity forced to alter their own identities, they become survivors.”  (from Penguin Books).

And I agree with the other reviewers, this is a fairy tale rewritten for adults and I can’t put it down.  I’ve always been attracted to reading historical fiction. It is also classified as a literary fiction and fairy tales.

Indeed, it is a heartening  message of hope.

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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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I took shots of more blooms in the garden early this morning. There are very few flowers but I love the greens just as well. I also transferred a pot of Snake plant indoor.

Do you know that Snake plants have several benefits in our lives? It also needs minimal care.

I wonder why they call it Mother in Law’s Tongue otherwise known as Sansevieria. It does not need a lot of water, you can water it weekly and is also  ideal indoors.

“The Snake Plant cleans air better than most other indoor plants as it has the ability to absorb excessive amounts of carbon monoxide. Additionally, it emits oxygen and filters other toxins from the air such as benzene, xylene, trichloroethylene and formaldehyde” 

 

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Just updated my gardening blog. Took shots of my green plants early this morning. You can find them all here at Gardens and Empty Spaces.

 

 

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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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It’s been a while since I trimmed our carabao grass. The last time I did was early  January. Since it is super hot here, the grass grows slowly and some areas have dried patches too. Yesterday, I started trimming  the grass and clearing the cemented stone path. Afternoon gardening is not really that conducive, there is no breeze to speak of. What I usually do is bring out a small electric fan and my transistor radio to listen to the afternoon music while gardening.  It is officially summer here now and you can’t stay outside that long without something to cover your head from the heat.  And I have to water the plants sometimes twice a day for them to survive. I save on water.   I save the water used for washing dishes and vegetables for cooking to water those I have planted at the back of the house. So far, so good, they’re thriving.

Every Friday for the whole season of Lent is Abstinence for us Catholics. We are all required to abstain from meat on all Fridays of Lent.  Sometimes it’s hard to think of something you can eat on a Lenten Friday. I prepared pasta for lunch but I used Spanish sardines instead of meat. The olive oil in the sardines is good enough to use for the pasta. I  added lots of garlic though, carrots and red bell pepper. Seafood is also allowed but I eat it in moderation.

Summer fruits are in season again but some still cost so much.  I guess there is nothing in the market that is cheap nowadays.  Even veggies are pricey too. I highly recommend to plant your own vegetables in your backyard to save a little.

Happy weekend everyone!

 

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My left ankle still hurts when I accidentally step on uneven surfaces at the garden. And here I thought it has healed well. Now I am afraid to use the ladder to trim the blue ternatea vine which is invading my kalamansi tree.  I am thinking my kalamansi tree might die it it becomes covered by  the vines. I could always plant new blue ternatea but it is hard to wait for kalamansi to bear fruits. It usually takes years.

The burgundy  okra I planted a few months ago is now bearing flowers and fruiting too. I wonder what’s the difference between the green one this, are they more nutritious.  Burgundy looks lovely though than the green. I took a photo this morning but the light was so bright, it came a little blurry. I don’t want t go back and take another shot again.

The three shrubs of pigeon peas are sprouting more branches when I trimmed the tips. Maybe in a few months, they’ll have those pods too. We locally call them “kadyos”. The young green pods could be mixed with other vegetables  while the matured but not dry seeds are usually mixed with chicken recipes.

This is how they look like when they are ready to cook.

photo culled from Market Manila

Would love to plant more veggies even in pots. Our trellis is ready again for hanging vines and vegetables like upo and ampalaya.  Still thinking which I should plant first.

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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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Sometimes there is an advantage in attending anticipated mass. As Josef was free last Saturday night, we decided to go to mass at 6:30 pm.  It made my Sunday free.

For the past two mornings, I’ve been in the garden digging, replanting and weeding . Getting ready for the rainy days.  The satisfaction one gets from gardening….priceless. I know some won’t agree with me.   Sometimes I don’t wear gloves at all.  It’s nice to feel the rough and coarse earth in your hands once in a while. And it’s nice to see recently trimmed plants lining the garden wall.  One of my friends who visited me last Thursday brought  a pot of pink shrimp plant for my garden. I have the yellow variety so this pink one would add to the beauty of the yellow flowers. I hope I could propagate it later.

Pretty in pink. Can’t wait to see this in full bloom. My pink shrimp plant.

 

A Celosia bloom

I bought a seed packet of this Celosia and planted  it  a few months  back. I wonder if it would produce another color.

Gardening is one relaxing activity that I could not give up.  Yesterday, I transferred some Portulaca plants and they are now flowering nicely in different colors. They are so easy to propagate and very good ground covers. If it does not rain this afternoon, will be able to finish uprooting the weeds outside.  Gardening is hard but the happiness and satisfaction it gives are priceless.

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hoya

It rained the whole night

This morning

the sun breaks the dark clouds

And this is its reward –

My Hoya

finally in bloom!

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