Thursday, October 14, 2010

Plants and Gardening Finds plus more

We were in Lake Sebu, South Cotabato in Mindanao, Philippines for a photography workshop and be away from the city, Metro Manila, where most of us are working. It was a four-day escapade. Each has his/her reason to get away, have some space and be with like-minded friends. We also visited the famous T'boli community of people who are the weavers of the T'nalak, an abaca fiber weave made into clothes and decors. From these cultural group are the Dreamweavers, who materialize the T'nalak patterns from sleep.

It is quite a group: two professional photographers, two lawyers, two scientists-a plant scientist and an engineer scientist,  and one medical staff.  When someone has a question, someone will have an educated reply. Enmeshed in all our immersions and photo workshops, our laughters, eating and jokes are of love for plants. And here are some of my findings, i would like to share with you.

 Who will not be inspired to eat when at the centerpiece with condiments are lovely flowers!

 Kapa-kapa (Medinilla magnifica) with profuse flowers at different stages of maturity. The blue at the right is unidentified.

 Do you like my composition? This is a big crafted cement basin with floating plants. I would like to convince you that the red and orange flowers (Impatiens balsamina) were not intentionally introduced to make a composition, it was a serendipitous find! Do you believe me?

 A vine is purposely allowed to climb this nipa hut facing the Lake Sebu, which will eventually destroy the roof but certainly will be more beautiful. Tree ferns are planted on both sides.

 These are inside the Tiboli Museum, the parent pots with their offsprings!

 The cactus above is unidentified, the plant scientist was at the end of her memory. The doggie is the guard of the T'boli Museum housed in these bamboo-walled edifice.
These patterns are from the trunks of the Travelers' palms (Ravenala madagascariensis)

Can you guess what the garden table and chair are made of???? Exactly yes...from old discarded truck tires.

 The leaf pattens are beautiful, especially those colors at the tips. They are symptoms of nitrogen defficiency in these buri palm leaves (Corypha elata). The area receives high rainfall leaching nitrogen from the soil, making these palms defficient for it.  

Young frond of a tree fern looks like a face of some young animal. Can you picture what animal looks like that? The floating plant at the right is a common water hyacinth (Eichornia crassipes), whose stalks when already mature can be made into bags, slippers, mats and some other decors.

Now, what about this? A very common sight around the world. But this one is in Gumasa Beach, Glan, Sarangani Province.

Fom the Lake Sebu mountains we go down, to find this Gumasa Beach, which our group owned at least for this time. It is a bit secluded and occupied with vacationers only during summer months. Meanwhile, it is exclusively ours!
 We clamored for the Gumasa Beach Sunset!

 A later photo of the sunset taken at the same beach.

Would you say it was a fulfilling vacation? Yes, of course, it really was. And i invite you to come and experience all these, come rain come shine!

Post Script: Thanks to Tatyana of My Secret Garden for the cactus ID. It is a Schlumbergera or Zygocactus, commonly called Christmas cactus. It may be called that because days are shorter during Christmas season, which trigger this cactus to flower. This cactus is thermo-photoperiodic, which means it is not only a short day plant but also triggered by cold temperature. No wonder, the photo is not flowering yet, because August still have long days, when we were in Lake Sebu.


  1. Fabulous post Andrea...full of such beuaty and advneture! Wonderful!gorgeous photos!

  2. What a wonderful vacation and a wonderful post! So many interesting things to see! You took great photos, Andrea! I love the parents-pots and their offsprings picture especially! You have good sense of humor! That cactus looks like Schlumbergera or Zygocactus, we call it Christmas cactus.
    Thank you very much!

  3. Wonderful photos! Looks so very peaceful and beautiful.

  4. Thank you for sharing your beautiful photos. I especially enjoyed the sunsets at Gumasa Beach. They are fantastic!

    With all due respect to Tatyana, while the cactus is, indeed, a Schlumbergera, I think it's actually a Schlumbergera truncata. While often incorrectly called and sold as a Christmas Cactus, it actually blooms earlier in the winter, closer to the U. S. holiday of Thanksgiving. Check out this link and see what you think.

  5. Andrea, Did you eat those flowers? Were they sweet? All your photos are gorgeous, the flower, the ferns, the dog...It's amazing that someone thought of turning truck tires into chairs! I won 2 tickets to Cebu Island with free motorized rides on the sea many years ago. I didn't go. I think it should be the same place.

  6. Andrea that was a lovely read this morning. Your compositions are superb along with your very interesting text. Those sunset photos are my favourite ones.

  7. Water features can take a landcape to a whole new level of enjoyment. Often people think water features are too expensive but this is not always the case.So the landscaping Aerizona make your dreams come true.

  8. So innovative to recycle and reuse the truck tyres as garden chair n table...Amazing photographs of patterns, plants n the sunset by the beach. But surely it must have been a great vacation Andrea! Serene n beautiful :)

  9. Looks like you had a wonderful experience. I love the photo of the palm leaves tipped with yellow, a really striking photo. Off for a wonder around the rest of your postings now.

  10. This was an interesting post, Andrea. Your photographs were all wonderful. I like how old truck tires were recycled to make that lovely chair and table.

  11. Wow, magnificent photos, Andrea. Such a lovely spot. It must have been a delightful place to take a vacation.

  12. Wow, i am so happy to have all of you coming over to see my post. I am very much inspired by your visits and grateful for the time you spent reading what i offered for you!

    Kiki - hello, thanks for your dropping by in the tropics.

    Tatyana - it is an honor to be visited by the artist of My Secret Garden. And i'm grateful for your ID of the cactus, i really learned a lot from that, i realized it is a very famous and common cactus in your part of the world. Yes, i am also fascinated of what i thought of the pots, hahaha!

    FG - yes very peaceful and beautiful, that we dont want to leave yet the place!

    Marvin - this is your first visit to my blog, i hope i enticed your curiousity. Thank you also for that very comprehensive and scientific link to that cactus. It is also enough for me to learn what it is and to know it is thermo-photoperiodic. It will not flower where i live, because Lake Sebu is on top of a mountain where temps are much lower.

    One - i did not eat the flowers, nor the dog, hahaha! But i certainly know which flowers even from the wild can be eaten! Come let's have a wild vege salad. You should have come to Cebu, it is a beautiful place with small islands around it and lots of undisturbed areas. Next time you won again, come and i'll personally accompany and guide you.

    Rosie - thank you for the appreciation, especially of the sunset. I love to see your sunsets also in Scotland. Remember, Scotland is my dreamplace.

    Samual - i think you just put some advertisement here, not really appreciation for my post, hahaha!

    Ever Green Tree - thanks for your occassional visit here. Yes recycling those tyres is really what we need to lessen the burden for the earth. I assure you it was a great vacation, thanks for appreciating my photos.

    Dave - thank you. That only shows that an abnormality sometimes produce wonder and beauty.

    Linda - it is wonderful to be appreciated by a professional photographer like you. But i still have lots to learn from people like you.

    Daisy - i know this is your 2nd visit, hahaha! I certainly appreciate your appreciation.

  13. Andrea, I have enjoyed myself travelling round to these beautiful places with you. I find the doggie posing there on the chair to be very amusing. He looks so happy and seem to be looking mischieviously at the camera. I look at this picture many times. Do share your fun-filled memories with us every time you go travelling because it is very exciting!

  14. Autumn Belle - yes our escapades are exciting, and even more in the actual experience, because photos are just a glimpse of the real thing. You should have seen me a bit sad for not being able to ride the zipline because i'm afraid. I had to take a motorcycle backride on a rough and rocky road to join them in the other side to see the Falls #2, and it was drizzling all along. Exciting and fun really. In your case would you try it?

  15. Hello Andrea! Welcome to the floral world. Thanks for your feedback of my Agapanthus blog entry in my Flower Memes. My apology for not getting back to you so soon.

    I am so enthralled by this post and what a beautiful part of that country is!

    Thankfully, I read down as your acknowledgment to Tatyana@MySecretGarden comment regarding the name of the unidentified plant because I have that plant myself. It is also ideal as an indoor plant.

    Zygocactus or Easter Cactus as we call it here down under is easy to propagate since it is a succulent plant. Plant and forget is how the way they thrive.

    Thank you once again. (^_^)

  16. What beaUUUUtiful photos! I think this must have been such a fun and amazing trip for you.

    That water hyacinth is so funny! I can practically see that thing moving it's neck back and forth as it swims!

  17. Now I feel like I've visited this lovely place myself!

    Thanks for visiting my blog today and leaving such a nice comment. You obviously know much more about plants than I do. The little pink "weed" I photographed for my post entitled, "hope" was growing wild at a local park here in Florida. It is pretty, isn't it?

  18. aloha andrea,

    beautiful tour, what a fun trip - i'm envious of your photo classes...btw do you have lightroom, it would be a great tool for your photography

  19. hello Andrea! looks like another wonderful place to be. I love that set of chair/table made of old tyres. What a good recycling idea! Btw, those foliage in red at the back, iresine? They are so pretty!

  20. What an informative post Andrea! Your blog is always so much fun to read. Thanks for sharing your knowledge and wonderful images.

  21. Beautiful photos! I want a set of the tire furniture. Thank you for stopping by my blog the other day.

  22. WHAT a marvellous post, Andrea. As for those Impatiens flowers, well, are you going to keep us guessing, I wonder?

    Thank you for your kind comments on my blog.

  23. What an amazing place to vacation! Love all your photos, Andrea. The kapa kapa is gorgeous! So are the other flowers and the sunset views.

  24. Bonie Bonsai - yes apparently that cactus is so common in slightly cool climes, i am not familiar with it because it is hot where i am now! I am very sure you know what's the temperature in Metro Manila,thanks for dropping by.

    Wendy - thanks for the emphasis in Beauuuuutiful. That exactly was what i saw with that water hyacinth, in fact i would love to post it singly and label it as a swan! haha!

    Leslie - i am so endeared with you for posting that weed, in this part of the world maybe i am the only one who appreciates it, and there, you! We call it "kulutan", coz 'kulot' means curly. Did you notice the curly leaves, and the fruits attach to your clothes, which sometimes scratch your skin. thank you too.

    Noel - our photo sessions are not actually a class per se, it is more of a "barkadahan" or companionship tour only, Backpack Photography. We are just hobbyists who come together for fun!Lightroom is not really needed.

    Steph - i dont know those plants at the back of the chairs, they are very common but am not attracted to them, so dont know, hehe.

    Birdy - you are so kind with your comments. Yours is also helping me learn about insects, butterflies specifically. thank you.

    Les - yes, those discarded tire furnitures are lovely accents in colorful gardens, and they are perennial furnitures even if you let them there in whatever seasons.

    Caroline - haha, so you noticed that ha! Secret, if you will drop by again next post i will tell you the truth! haha.

  25. Those chairs made from tires are very artistic! I really think someone went above and beyond when they created those.
    Amazing plants and flowers!
    Thanks for stopping by Dung Hoe.
    And for your comment.

  26. HI, the blue flower unidentified at the top is Dichorisandra thyrsiflora. Nice photos!!!!

  27. Me again :o) the cactus is in fact a succulent, not a cactus, and it's called Schlumbergera sp. The tree ferns are probably Dicksonia sp. Regards from Uruguay, South America :o)


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