Monday, July 24, 2017

Early Morning Walk

When at home in the province on weekends, i feel some semblance of rejuvenation. Maybe it is the result of clean air that is not as heavy as the polluted atmosphere we breath at the big city. It literally is easier to breath at home. I don't linger in bed because i have lots of things to do in the garden, and if there is spare time i will try to photograph some butterflies.

This morning i opted to go out, literally from bed i just slid on my slippers and go out clinging my camera. I felt a bit hungry but that can wait till i return. I intended to be out for just maybe an hour. It turned out that it rained that night, which i didn't even notice, maybe i had a very deep sleep. The plants are all still wet and there are still some puddles on the sidewalk. I am very familiar with the vegetation, the cracks on the pavement, the possible insects i will be spotting, and a lot more.

But i am always fascinated with my findings, as if it happened only the first time!

There is nothing more revujenating than the fresh air after the rains at night! And there is an emotion evoked by these fully refreshed grasses with still the dews on them.

Even the Artemisia scoparia, a weed favored by our butterflies, look so healthy.

 I spent lots of time trying hard to get some macro shots of the bubbles, got lots and lots of shots.

 I refer to this as my terrarium, with grasses mirrored in the bubble.


Our sidewalks are teeming with healthy weeds with these violet flowers, Ruellia tuberosa. I also spent a lot of time looking for any larvae eating them, they wont run out of food in this lush growth. 

 It is disappointing that our golden shower tree, Cassia fistula, has been fully pruned as it grows so enormously. The green and yellow butterflies, Catopsilia pomona, will find some alternative hosts as food. I just don't know what those plants are. 

 My single bush of Duranta erecta, a favorite nectaring plant for most of our butterflies, already need some trimming. The berries are already turning yellow, getting old. It has to be rejuvenated too. Can you see the male Mormon on it? Papilio polytes

 Some black ants converged on towing their big food, cricket, to their nest. 

I found 5 of these black thorny larvae on my hoya plants, many young leaves are already sacrificed as their food, so i gathered them and transfered to an area far from the hoyas. I wonder if they can find alternative food there. But these creatures are voracious, and they walk so fast. 

A pollinated hippeastrum failed to grow, aborted before its time. The sad thing about this plant is that they flower only once a year! It is another year of waiting for another attempt in cross pollination.

Our papaya with violet/blackish petioles have plenty of small fruits. There are 2 ripe fruits now, but they are not spared by the crows that linger in our area for whatever food they might find, including my mother's chicks if they are not properly protected. 

Lastly, here is a lovely find. A pair of blue-naped kingfisher are so noisy on our camansi tree. They are a bit far up the tree, and i only have a 50mm lens, so this is heavily cropped. At least we can see them a bit clearly. The female on top seem to be talking as its beak is widely open. 

My intended time for walking definitely did not materialize, it was extended until i was out for 3 hours, 6:30 - 9:30 a.m. I cannot anymore pretend that my stomach is not complaining, i am very, very hungry now that i have first to have breakfast. Besides,  the sunlight is already a bit biting the skin. 

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

July Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day

I am glad i now remember GBBD even still at the beginning of the month.  So a week before the 15th i am already doing this post, i am laughing at what i am thinking now!

Fortunately, our rainy season already started in June, so the dormant plants are already blooming this month. Moreover, there are already new shoots as food for the caterpillars; already have butterflies now. Sidewalks are already laden with green carpets too.  Birds are also chirping happy songs, that is according to my interpretation of their tweets. If that is not true, then let us ask the birds.

So i will not anymore lengthen my paragraphs, i will let my photos do the talking. These are just a few of them as they will be overflowing in one post. The hoyas are even longer than these list, they can enter next time.

Blood lily, Scadoxus multiflorus. Top: still starting to bloom. Bottom: at the full blooming stage.

 Katunggal (local name), Proiphys amboinensis, considered native in the Philippines but it is growing also in many countries. They go dormant at the end of the rainy season and starts with flowers after the heavy rains in May-June. They prefer partially shaded areas and ours is under some   coffee trees.

  katunggal, Proiphys amboinensis

 katunggal, Proiphys amboinensis

The caladiums are starting to grow too.

Caladiums are lovely at the beginning, but eventually they will succumb to the moth caterpillars

 More caladiums: Above: very prolific multiplier. Below: Only has 4 suckers in 5 years.

This is a hedge of candle flower, Pahystachys lutea. We just leave them as perennial and just prune the branches every start of the dry season. I planted this here to support the unlevel ground because of the low street, preventing more soil erosion.

Crotons are also planted as perennial. They just wilt during the dry season, so i also cut back the stems at the start of the rainy season. They are mostly planted for their colorful leaves, but small flowers when borne by long inflorescense are lovely too. 

The most durable plant in my garden is this blue Duranta erecta. It is already as tall as around 10 ft and don't stop flowering even during the dry season. It serves as the butterflies' nectar source all year round. We have other nectar plants but they seem to favor this duranta. 

A Dark Blue Tiger butterfly, Tirumala hamata orestilla, always linger nectaring on it. 


Episcia yellow and red are now happy producing flowers. 
They prefer moist environment all the time. 

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

A Lovely Present

I had a blogger friend long ago, who gifted me with some bulbs and lilies. She sent this through her relatives via a Balikbayan Box. She is also a Filipino who immigrated and worked in the US, but we come to know each other through our garden blogs. She bred lilies and have lots including crinums, hippeastrums, Asian lilies, and more.

My favorite among my loot from her is this Crinum 'Ellen Bosanquet'. It blooms only once a year just like the hippeastrums, but this has a delightfully spicy sweet fragrance.  It has reddish-purplish flowers with more than 6 flowers per scape. Mine flowered first in 2014, stopped for 2 years, and this year has 8 flowers on its 2 ft scape. And there are 2 scapes per plant. However, they didn't open at the same time. Someone commented on my Facebook wall that it is the plant's defense to withstand stresses like our heat and drought. I agree with that. So the duration of the whole blooming stalk lasted for more than a week.

Crinum 'Ellen Bosanquet'is a vigorously multiplying hybrid. It was hybridized in Florida during the 1920s by Louis Bosanquet who named it after his wife. Here in my hot tropical garden, it suffers growth during the dry hot months from March-April, but flowers after the first heavy rains in May. Despite the only single flowering per year, it certainly is a lovely asset in a garden.