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Posts Tagged ‘gardens’


Okay, I am blogging offline, will have to publish this when we have internet connection. The past two days, Globe Telecom has been down. I wonder when it will serve our connection again. Though I could blog and read other blog posts, they are not updated on my tab.

I usually wake up at 5am almost every day except when Josef reports to the office three times a week, from Monday to Wednesday. Since Jovy brings the car to work every day ( she works different time), Josef takes a ride with his officemate who lives in the town as ours. They pass by every day at around 4:50 am since our street is a short-cut to Pasig area then to Bonifacio Global City where JP Morgan Chase is located.

You know the morning routine of a senior citizen like me. I sweep the yard, clean the dogs poop, water my garden plants, then hose the garage. I clean the house first before preparing breakfast. Since I only take plain oats and nuts every morning, I only need hot water for it and for my chamomile tea. I only prepare breakfast for mom and Josef. He works at home twice a week. By around 8:30am and 9am, I’m usually done with the morning chores. Lunch is at 12pm. I take a slice of whole wheat bread with what dish I have prepared earlier. Then I’M FREE.

Take that to mean the rest of the afternoon is my “me” times when I am able to read and update our Catholic page and group on social media where I’m one of the admins. Reading takes the cake of course. I recently read two books which I both rated five stars⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐.

Home Before Sundown was written by Barbara Hannay while The Sweetness of Forgetting was penned by Kristin Harmel. Both are new authors on my list. I just copied some lovely words from Harmel’s book.

– the dawn’s narrow finger are just reaching the horizon

– life changes you, even if you don’t realize it while it’s happening, and it turns out you can’t take back the years that have passed by

– you do not always have to see something to know that it is always there.

Presently I am reading We Were The Lucky Ones by Georgia Hunter, another e-book about the holocaust. Seems like an interesting read too.

The mother of a friend died and they live in the same town as we do. My friend and her family are coming home from Australia and we’ll see each other tomorrow together with some priest friends and brothers from the Society of Saint Paul. Fr. Pao will be celebrating mass.

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I appreciate that I found the Goodreads app a few years ago. Based on my virtual library there, I have read around 1, 616 books. I’ve participated in their Goodread’s challenge the past six years. I am about 80% done with my challenge this year finishing 120 books so far out of 150 books I committed myself to read.

I just recently read The Tumor by John Grisham. A short take about malignant brain tumor, a far cry from the usual subjects he writes about. It is a fictional account of how a real, new medical technology could revolutionize the future of medicine by curing with sound – a focused ultrasound. I also found a new author in the person of Kathleen Grisson called Glory Over Everything, a historical book when Negros were sold as slaves in America. It’s an e-book that kept me glued. Though some fictions are historical, they are probably based on research about those earlier years.

Think about having wagons instead of cars as means of transportation. I have just started Water for Elephants, a popular book that I keep postponing to read.

There is a Goodreads page on Facebook and that’s where I find titles I am curious to read. Sometimes, there are many short reviews about one particular book that I have read before or some titles that I have seen for the first time.

Reading is such a wonderful hobby, it takes you to places you haven’t been to.

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After a week, we have finally fixed the overgrown plants but I have yet to change some pots which are broken. The carabao grass was trimmed by Josef except that very small patch under the Calamansi tree. I hope by tomorrow morning I’ll get to clear it. I have to hire one of our village’s maintenance workers to clean our front and side yards of weeds.

I could smell the lemony scent of the flowers of our Calamansi.

That’s Sadie. She is always besides me when I am gardening.

This is our small garden.

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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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It took me a week to see an ophthalmologist. Finally though yesterday, I was able to see one. The doctor suggested I go to the hospital so she could do the necessary tests for my myopic eyes and  matured cataract. It is my left eye which is affected and may need an operation later. She said it is an outpatient procedure and will only take an hour.  It is  quite expensive of course but I am praying my health insurance would cover it all.  I asked her if reading so often did that but she said we will all have cataract one way or another when we grow old.  Being hypertensive and diabetic may have contributed to it though. One thing that most of us openly ignore is our vision.  I don’t normally go to an optometrist or an eye specialist except when I change lenses for my eye-glass. I wear two pairs, one for long distance and one for reading. the ophthalmologist advised me not to have new lenses.

Last Sunday, I noticed some new shoots of the Vinca and Lantana that I planted from seeds last January. Even the eggplants are showing off and my bell peppers are now flowering.  The bottle gourds  have almost reached  the trellis.

Pink Vinca

A deep pink Vinca. It’s almost purple.

My orange Zinnia., a mini Zinnia actually.

The beauty of gardening – when you see flowers bloom and your veggies are all thriving.  I  picked  an unripe  green jackfruit today to be used as veggies. It is a yummy recipe either cooked in coconut cream or sautéed in ground pork and shrimps.

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I just received this  message from WordPress a few minutes ago with this logo:

“Congratulations on writing 100 posts on Gardens and Empty Spaces!”

Haha, it’s my 100th blog post on my other blog  Gardens and Empty Spaces. I have long neglected this blog because for the last six months I haven’t taken  pictures of my garden  until today. I have to use my tab to take photos. I am glad that for every milestone in blogging,  WordPress has always a reminder so we  won’t forget.

Come visit me there if you have time.  Would love to update it at least once a month.

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I am getting frustrated. Maybe this is the wrong time to upload pictures because our internet provider is so slow. I wonder why. This morning I made a backup of all the shots I took since January. I copied them to my hard drive including the pictures of Nate that Nissa forwarded to me. Better be sure than sorry.

Since I posted the pictures I took of my garden blooms earlier in another blog, I am sharing  them with you. They are in high-resolution format. Again, my problem here is lack of free space for uploading. At least at Gardens and Empty Spaces, it’s just my 86th post. Come visit my other blog if you are not yet subscribed to it.

Do you know that I also collect key chains as a hobby? It started with just one gold-plated gift from a former boss one Christmas  season thirty years ago. I have  more than two hundred pieces from different countries mostly in Asia. All of them are gifts from family and friends. Those who know my penchant for collecting don’t find it hard to give me gifts. Yes, key chains are enough. I recently received two from Nissa, one is from Singapore and the other one is from Brazil (Football Connect). Last Saturday, Reymon, one of my friends who came over for our small party gave me two more. He visited Malaysia and Hongkong late last year and bought some lovely key chains. After all these years, they haven’t tarnished.  I wish I could find some from Europe like Spain or France or Netherlands or UK, I don’t have those yet. I have a Bible key chain too, the only one I bought years ago but I could not read the words since they are too small. The wonderful world of collecting.

A friend recently signed me in to another book group, this time at Facebook. I’ve missed attending their monthly meetings since I could not keep up with their discussions. Every month, they hold it in different places with assigned moderators. Two questions that elicited so many comments were these: 1) What are your three favorite books of all time? 2) What are you reading right now? I love reading their comments and what books really  influenced them or inspired them that these are their favorites.  Number one on my list is A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith. I reread this for the third time when I found a paperback copy at Booksale a few years ago. It made an impact on me when I read it way back in college. Number two is Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom. I can truly relate to this. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint Exupery comes close to third of my favorite. I got two more actually, The Road Less Travelled by M.Scott Peck and Man’s Search For Meaning Victor Frankl. What about you, what are your favorite books? Would really love to hear from you 🙂

Oh, this Smartbro is really so slow 😦

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With the temperature reaching  to  as high as  34°C here in Metro Manila, it’s definitely the start of summer days. Surprisingly though, it’s  still a bit cool at night with a light breeze to  enjoy the  evening. What comes to mind when summer comes are flowers blooming everywhere. Some plants definitely love the sun and it is a joy to always discover something new.  Here’s the second set of the pictures I took of my blooming lilies. It’s one of my favorites among the three varieties of lilies I have in my small garden – the white, dainty and sweet-scented Amazon Lily. It has Hosta-like leaves and prefers partial shade.  It blooms twice or thrice a year.

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I spend part of the morning here watering, digging, weeding or just watching the world go by while having  a hot  cup of black coffee.  And it is a reading nook as well.

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And I love those pockets of shadows that say, “welcome the morning with a smile, it’s another great day to garden”.

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Even my Ruellia is showing its face everywhere. Ruellias are also called wild petunias. Clustered together, they could be used as ground covers.

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Framing our small grotto are these lovely pink  Bougainvillea. 

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PAGASA says  summer starts next week. I wonder why it’s been raining the past two days. This morning, it is cloudy. If this is the kind of summer we have, I can only imagine how it is when the actual rainy season sets in.  One advantage though is, I don’t have to water the plants except those which are in the shade. It’s actually a perfect opportunity to visit and take a few shots.whats in a garden1

And I thought this orange Bougainvillea died on me a few years ago until it showed its face with these lovely blooms. Now I have two colors of Bougainvillea.   These two green varieties of  prayer plants belong to the arrowroot family. I have three  species in my garden, all producing those lovely ornamental leaves.

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This is one of my Hoya vines.  They  are planted in hanging pots with this rounded wire in each basket. I was surprised to find at least six clusters all ready to bloom into lovely pink beautiful flowers.  This is how they would  look when they are in full bloom and the flowers last for quite a while.

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“However many years she lived, Mary always felt that ‘she should never forget that first morning when her garden began to grow’.” – Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden

Chipped nails. Dirty hands. Rough palms. They’re just minor disasters compared to the happiness you feel when you are in a garden. I tell you, it won’t be gardening at all if you always use gardening gloves and don’t feel the rich earth in your hands.

It was a busy weekend for me and Josef. He was in-charge of trimming the carabao grass while I re-potted, transferred and planted some bulbs and flowering plants in our small garden. It was a tedious job but all worth it. IMG_3694My Crossandra plants need to be transferred to pots because they are growing everywhere. They produce orange blooms all year round and  they are so easy to grow because they are self-propagating.

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These are my Rain Lilies newly planted as ground cover, some of them I planted in small pots near the shade. IMG_0060When in bloom, they look like this. Actually, they bloom after the rain, that’s probably where they got their names. This pink one is called  Zyphyranthes Rosea.  They need full sun though to grow well.

I also transferred my Amazon Lily into four pots. The funny thing is I need to break the original pot in order to  re-pot the bulbs since they are closely clustered.

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The dark green paddle-shaped leaves of the Amazon Lily are attractive on their own. Time and again, I’ve blogged about its  sweet-scented and velvety snow-white blooms.  It produces  flowers at least three times a year.

And yes, this is another surprise, I saw a pot of my orange lily breaking into a bud and probably in a few days, it would open its arms to the world.

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I also planted another bulb plant in two small pots. It’s the red onion variety which is locally planted and sold in our home province in Pangasinan. Locally, we call  it lasuna and it is best used in vegetable salads and our famous vegetable recipe called pinakbet.

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And the highlight of course is seeing our two jackfruit trees  bearing clustered fruits. I am thinking of cooking ginataang langka in a few days.

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My only frustration is, I could not trim our Fukien tea plants in perfect round shapes. I would probably need to hire a professional gardener  to do it.

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