Thursday, October 27, 2011

Autumn at the World's Other Side

I noticed that most of the garden bloggers are from the temperate climates. Did you observe that? That is advantageous for me, as I see the plants, flowers and gardens uncommon in our tropical conditions. I have always been telling everyone that in Southeast Asia and maybe the Caribbean and those around the equator, we only have two seasons, the dry and the wet. I wonder how most of you from the temperate and sub-temperate regions would feel if you have our conditions. Will you be glad that your garden will not experience winter? Will you be glad you will not be making lots of mitigation such as shade houses or putting your plants inside when the cold strikes? And most of all, the plants are mostly green and  continuously flowering  throughout the year. Colors are everywhere! And you can leave your garden just by themselves and go to the beach, enjoy the sun and the open skies.  

The disadvantage is the deprivation of autumn colors, can you live with that? And of course you will not be able to shovel the snow, and there will be no snowman. 

I showed this 2 ft long leaf (Artocarpus spp) as a representation of autumn color. It is the extent of its color before turning brown and totally dry. However, only few leaves exhibit this transformation, most just become brown, fall and decay.  It is a continuous process as a result of their age throughout growth and development. And this drying and fall does not happen en masse just like in your Fall/Autumn.

This periwinkle, Catharanthus roseus, flowers all year and is one of the most tolerant of our long dry season. Ours just died because the  leaves were all eaten by the sphinx moth larvae. Somehow, it doesn't produce shoots again if all leaves are devoured by larvae. It is cross pollinated so we get other hybrid colors in the next generation.

Lantana camara, also a perennial plant, rain or shine it will not leave you.

This one, Asystasia gangetica, is prolific during the wet season but difficult to withstand the dry if not watered properly.
Turnera subulata, is also prolific because it produces lots of small seed pods which just germinate anywhere. It can also withstand dry season well. But look what happened when there is continuous rain.

These flowers are the result of just a half day continuous rain. The other species which is more yellow and thicker petals, Turnera ulmiflora, is more tolerant of continuous rain. However, because it continuously produce flower buds, the next batch of flowers are ready again the next day. 

Celosia argentea or cockscomb

Above and below: Celosia argentea 'plumosa' species 

Alternanthera ficoidea

an orchid which flowers the whole year, Epidendrum radicans, but i know it, LOL

The thornless-scentless rose.  It just tell us that if we want to smell the roses, we must endure its thorns. This reminds me of Antoine de Saint Exupere "we must be patient with the caterpillars, if we want to be acquainted with the butterflies".

This one looks like a weed, but its color is lovely. I also don't know its name. Thanks for Sunita in supplying its identity as Brazilian button flower or Centratherum intermedium. 

Note: We still have a lot of colors now, but the photos might be too heavy in one post! 

ff join us now!


  1. My, ze strefy umiarkowanej nie mamy kwiatów zimą. Mamy jesień z pięknymi kolorami, ale to trwa krótko. U Was jest susza i rośliny też są w niebezpieczeństwie. Jest jednak u Was zawsze ciepło i to mi się podoba. Pozdrawiam

  2. Fall? There is lots of rainFALL. It is raining right now.

    We have something in common in our posts which so happen to be posted at the same time too. It is the periwinkle. Mine are disappearing fast. It self-seeded in the first place and now the caterpillars are over trimming them.

    Btw, I also captured some fall leaves. LOL! Not posting them. Just for fun.

  3. Hi Andrea ~ Living in s.e. FL we do not really see much in the change of seasons, our gardens never sleep, we don't shovel snow. We do occasionally have to bring things inside if it gets to freezing temps, but that isn't all that often. We love our 6 months or so of cooler weather, summers are horrible with the heat and humidity and threat of hurricanes.

    You and I grow some of the same flowering plants, and you have some that I don't have that are lovely.

    Keep on enjoying the beauty that surrounds you and sharing it here.


  4. I would totally miss my four seasons. It is one reason I live where I do and not in southern Florida or somewhere else. I need the slow down the winter brings but here I can actually still garden in the winter. That being said the tropics sure seem appealing when we are under ice! I do think it would be great to live in a tropical region but it would surely take this gardener some adapting to do so. That lantana is spectacular.

  5. I like the change of seasons here for the rest in the garden, mine and the plants. That is what is so nice about traveling. You want sun and sea, flowers and color, hop a plane, or virtually travel through blogs and imagine enjoying the tropical climates walking through gardens in the warm sunshine.

  6. Fall is incredible. My own garden is like yours...except in the desert. We have to travel to see how the wonderful fall leaves changing. A LOT of those plants you have in those pics can be grown here....but what's different about our situations? I can't go to the beach for an extended time without having to water them while I'm gone::)

  7. Gorgeous flowers as always Andrea!

    I do appreciate living in a 'four seasons' country, there's so much going on for every season. The diversity of plants you can grow in different climates of the world is amazing, and makes you appreciate what others can grow in their area that we can't here, vice versa :)

  8. My goodness, those are pretty flowers! I would love to see them in person.

  9. I'm looking forward to cold weather. My tropicals are inside so the pets and I can pretend we're in a tropical clime while on nice days I can work in the garden without gnats and sweat. If I were a couple of zones farther north I could bring lilacs into bloom and tulips would be perennial, but camellias would not bloom in January as they do here. Every climate has advantages and disadvantages. I dislike snow, but those who ski find it bracing. Some fine conifers grow in climates where it snows.

    We treat Madagascar periwinkles as annuals here and the species reseed. As much as I love summer annuals, I would miss the early spring cool-weather annuals like poppies and larkspur and winter annuals like the violas I just planted.

    Your cogon grass is an invasive weed here. Gardening is all about location and preference.

  10. Autumn is really beautiful in the temperate countries. I am contending myself with this red coloured leaf like yours. Some of the leaves of my myrtle tree is turning red, so I too have photographed it to pretend it is autumn in my garden. My vincas are frequently attacked by caterpillars until completely bald but they usually grow back the leaves and became even stronger.

  11. Giga - thanks as always, i've been to your site and left my comment there because i dont have a translator here

    One - that is a nice way to put it, you always have punlines for everything, which i enjoy. We have too much in common, actually, but it would have been like 'kiasu', which you will win if you have posted it the same time when i posted mine last time. I have actually more Fall leaves, but i can't see them despite long hours of search.

    FlowerLady - I forgot if Meems of Hoe and Shovel is also from SE Florida, because her plants are like yours and mine, just that hers are more luscious and healthy than mine. That is because ours is just planted there or volunteered, and we dont do anything but water them sometimes. Your temperatures are much lower in many months that's why you are more sub-tropical and maybe we are above-tropical. We don't experience temps lower than 18C, which we get only a few nights in December.

    Tina - many tourists from the temperate climates come here when it is freezing in their homes. In our case, only a few of us can be tourists in temperate countries to experience fall and winter. It is difficult if you will earn the money here and spend it in a country with high money conversion rates.

    GWGT Donna - and blogging makes me feel like i've reached many places i wouldn't possible reach in this lifetime. So I follow their blogs and I enjoyed their conditions and gardens through their eyes. Just like your Niagara environment, i feel i already know the place a bit well, haha! Thanks Donna.

  12. Chris - yes i can fully understand your situation. Silt is difficult for water management. Our clay loam takes care of that. But you can also go to the beach leaving your garden if you plant all cacti, haha!

    Mark of Mark and Gaz - i assume you are Mark who put the comment. You are so fortunate to have the privilege in experiencing gardening in two different climates, here and there! And you are more lucky to have known the characteristics of the tropicals here before venturing in planting them there! I envy you.

    Wandering Thought - thanks for appreciating my flowers, you can come by and i can guide you around. My pleasure! Thanks for dropping by

    Nell Jean - cogon is also invasive here, those photos as I said were taken in marginal areas, not in the garden. These grasses are colonizers mostly and nobody wants them here. The grasses I've shown are just lovely in photos and not in the garden, LOL. But i am surprized how others' trash are actually another's treasure, e.g. Mimosa pudica.

    Autumn Belle - maybe our Vinca didn't survive the baldness because they are not healthy, with their roots trying hard to make it to rock crevices. They are in areas with shallow topsoil. I actually have lots of Fall leaves, unfortunately, i can't find them when needed. So i put only that one leaf here.

  13. Interesting questions! I would miss spring and fall--definitely! But not winter. Well, maybe a taste of winter each year would be nice. But not the long, drawn-out winter that we have here. Every other season is perfect, though. So I can't really complain. :) Thanks for presenting the discussion.

  14. I think i could get used to blooming all year long and sunshine and beaches. I would miss autumn because it is so beautiful and crisp but a vacation during the autumn would do. snowmen are fun but one snowstorm a year would be enough. I think you have a much better climate there but I would miss our weather if i had sunny skies and warm weather all the time. i guess nothing is perfect. I amazed at the size of that leaf!

  15. It is great that we get summer all year round, but that also means we don't see the wonders of the changing seasons, Andrea.Your plants are doing wonderfully well.

  16. You have some lovely bright flowers here.

  17. Hello Andrea
    thanks for visiting and I have enjoyed seeing the many familiar flowers in your garden/environment. I am in the subtropical zone of Queensland so share some of the same plants as you. We can get very dry with drought at times and things burn back.
    I never knew the name of that hardy little perennial periwinkle...the name suits the flower.
    Our climate would be similar to yours I think...summer mid to high 30s and winter cool 15-20'C.

  18. We, the temperate zone we do not have flowers in winter. We have beautiful colors of autumn, but it lasts a short time. In you there is a drought, and plants are also in danger. However, it is with you always warm and I like that. Yours
    This is my comment placed in you and translated by GOOGLE TRANSLATOR-. :-)

  19. Plant Postings - maybe there should be an exchange arrangement so we can experience each others climates, just like the exchange students. Maybe there really is a provision for many lifetimes so we can experience everything for perfection, although we don't remember most of our past.

    Teresa - wherever we are placed or born in this lifetime, we must be contented and happy, because we learn from where we are right now! Nobody is given perfect conditions, or else how will he learn, he will not be wise! That leaf is Artocarpus species.

    Rosie - we have the rains so our plants are happy, maybe we are starting to have summer months now, though I hope there will still be more rains till Jan or Feb. I want rainy season than the dry with our humidity and high temperatures.

    Pieces of Sunshine - thanks for your visit, i hope you come again.

    Delwyn - Queensland has nicer conditions than us, they say, most especially in Cairns. Maybe we are more like Darwin. Only our highlands get 15C, our 18-20C night temps are very seldom, and only in December courtesy of spillover wind from Siberia and Mongolia.

    Giga - thank you for coming back for the translation. I failed in translating it with Google. Actually i am familiar with the conditions of Autumn and Winter, it is just that i haven't experience them. All my foreign travels coincided with spring or summer, and spring in Sweden and France is already cold for me, haha!

  20. Beautiful flowers. I would dearly love to have lantana year round. But I would surely miss the changing seasons. I suppose we all have our pros and cons of our various climates. After 20 years in snowy Wisconsin I could live without snow. I'm not so sure about having no autumn color.

  21. welcome to *weekend flowers*! thanks for sharing your beautiful pictures with us.
    i´m sorry, the link to my blog is not working :( may be you can check it. thanks :)

  22. aloha andrea,

    funny we had the same post happening at the same time, although my version shows fall colors in the flowering trees you know the downside to year round gardening is no downtime and the weeds and theres alot keep growing larger and larger - they are agressive here in hawaii.

  23. Having lived in both worlds I have to say I still prefer tropical plants. However there are a few temperate plants that I wish could grow in a tropical setting.

    I wish winter ends the day after Christmas...LOL

  24. I would miss the beautiful colors of autumn, but it's a price I would gladly pay to be rid of winter's cold and snow. It's too long, gray and depressing. We will definitely retire to warmer climates some day!

  25. Oh, I guess I do like living with the four seasons but maybe winter not quite so long. A getaway some place tropical perhaps . . . during the colder months. ;>) Beautiful blooms Andrea! I hope you are able to go to the beach often!

  26. I wouldn't do well in the tropics. I need all four seasons and don't mind putting my garden to bed for winter. Even when I lived in California, I would head into the mountains to see the colorful foliage in the fall. Fo rme, the tropics are just for vacation. :o)

  27. Nice flowers.
    I've often thought of the questions you posed but I have no idea how I would really feel if I lived where I could have a nice garden year round. It would be very pretty but I think I would miss the seasons since I do not like heat all year round :-)

  28. Hi Andrea, I like all these plants you have shown here. Their colours so bright and wonderful. That orchid in orange is the prettiest. Sometimes we have glimpses of autumn when trees are covered with yellow, red or orange, mostly their flowers ;-) Enjoy your weekend and have a great day!

  29. That's the Brazilian Button flower (Centratherum intermedium), Andrea. It grows like a weed in my garden too. Straggly and messy definitely but the butterflies love it and its a very enthusiastic bloomer so I leave it alone :)

  30. Beautiful flowers! My in-laws lived in Singapore for a time, and I got the chance to visit them for a few weeks in the winter. It was a gorgeous country and very lush, and my mother-in-law grew lots of beautiful orchids. I think I would miss the seasons, though! I am glad that where I live we don't have a very long winter, though, so that I can go outside for much of the year.

    I love seeing gardens in other parts of the world. I love learning about the variety of challenges gardeners are overcoming as well as the beautiful plants that grow in each place! Thank you for sharing!

  31. Dear Andrea, such an interesting post. I am fascinated by the different gardening conditions people have in different parts of the world and how it influences their gardening lifestyle. When I have visited tropical places I am often amused that many of the plants are familiar to me as indoor plants! My daughter in law who is from Burma was amazed and delighted a couple of years when she experienced her first spring. cheers, catmint

  32. That last blue flower is indeed a cutie...

  33. I would miss the seasons changing, but not the cold!!!
    It does my heart good to tour around the gardens that are linked into my little party...I so wish every one of the people who share lived close enough that I could walk the gardens in person. Thank you so much for sharing with me this week...I hope you will again very soon!
    I am sharing this post on my Facebook page for Tootsie Time
    Hugs and smiles from Alberta Canada to you!
    ¸.•´¸.•*¨) ¸.•*¨)
    (¸.•´ (¸.•´ .•´ ¸¸.•¨¯`•.

  34. Andrea I do love my temperate climate even with all the longing for spring as winter continues on and on with over 100 inches of snow. I don't think I could survive without the fall color and spring bulbs and flowers....but I love visiting the warmer climates to see all the beautiful blooms year round...yours are lovely and will sustain me through winter...

  35. you seems to be lover of nature, good thing

  36. The opposite seasons are one of the reasons I read southern hemispherian blogs. It reminds you of whats to come.

    And I live far enough south where it never snows (okay, once every 20 years or so, for like an hour), because to answer your question, I can forever live without it. We don't get autumnal color, and its true I do miss that. But still its worth it.

  37. thanks for your post! Biltong that is very delicious dish in united kingdom. Visit us to know more….

  38. Andrea, I often think how great it would be living in a climate such as yours. I certainly wouldn't mind leaving the cold Winters behind. However there is something magical about waiting for Spring and the reawakening of the garden. I am going to add one of your pictures and a link to your blog on my (Your Gardens) page, if you want it removed just let me know. alistair

  39. what a lovely post. you really know your flowers.

    i've been on both sides of this, i cannot choose which garden i would pick.

  40. Interesting post - the flowers are beautiful! I can't imagine a wet season and a dry season. I live on the east coast of the US and we have 4 seasons. It is so wonderful. Spring and fall seem really short, but they're there enough for us to enjoy them. I have more to say, but might actually fashion a blog post about it. :)

  41. Never mind. i probably wont. Anyway, there's a smell about every spring that you can never pinpoint, but you remember it each year when you notice it. I love fall - as I sit on the steps right now waiting for trick-or-treaters, I know they're coming by the crunch crunch of leaves underfoot. It's brisk out there - a lovely dry fall briskness. And winter? I love it so much I named my first child winter. There's a stillness, a beauty, a quietness, a cozyness - and in terms of gardening - it's a dormancy - a rest, renewal, recharging. I think my least favorite season was summer, I don't much like to feel hot, sweaty, and sticky, but after I became a gardener, I came to enjoy the hard labor and sweat dripping down.

  42. Great shots as usual. Are these in Batangas or around your Manila neighborhood? I'd probably still to choose to garden in our climate otherwise I'd be so worried about my cycads and tillandsias during winter. That said, I wouldn't mind doing all the hard work in cooler temps.

  43. Great post! I loved all the beautiful tropical flowers! Of course, that is also what we have here in S AZ. The orange bells I posted two days ago were photographed the same day! I love the changing seasons, and miss getting to see the fall leaves right now. Of course, from Maryland to Maine right now in the US are terrible snowstorms, and though I love one or two good snows a winter, I don't miss the deep winter storms wth ice and winds!

  44. I need to find a hardy flower to add to our new garden... one that neither weather nor our dear gardener can kill. LOL! And yes, I do miss fall and its brilliant colors, but Woah! they are already getting SNOW and a long cold snowy winter I can live without.

  45. I have also taken pictures of some leaves which resemble fall colours.:) But just a few. We have all the plants that you've posted around here but seasonal flowers like dahlias, sweet peas, mums, petunias do best during this season.


  46. NCMountainwoman - you are very right and i think even if I dont have your experience, I will also choose your choices! Thanks for visiting.

    Tina's Picstory - this is my first time to join your meme, and thank you for hosting. I will try to join again next time!

    SR - I am sure most of our countrymen who transferred to colder climates share the same feelings and preferences with you. Even if I haven't lived there, in my mind i choose the same, because i surely love Autumn and Spring.

    Msrobin - many of our countrymen who migrated to temperate countries come back at there retirement age because they don't like the cold much and also because here they can live like kings and queens, with helpers and all that!

    Carol - I think most people still prefer the climates they grew up in, or which climate they stayed more, and where their love ones are! I will live in a better country in my next life! Better means where I can get a lot of means so I can go wherever I fancy! I am sure your garden will always look lovely wherever you are in the world.

    Casa Mariposa - Many of our countrymen migrated to countries like yours and acclimatized so well. But i think they still miss the country and climate they grew up with. People who grew up in colder climes will definitely not like the high temps and humidity in the tropics. We sometimes hate it too.

  47. Unknown - thank you very much for dropping by, but I can't open your site as you didn't leave your link. I've been to Hawaii and yes we have some common conditions, reason why many Filipinos enjoy it there.

    Joyful - I am sure many feel just like you, if from the temperate climes. We are happier where we have been used to most of our years. The other side of the world is only for vacation, LOL.

    Stephanie - I love your reference to our Autumn colors, being our flowers. But we normally lack the blues which are more plenty in the colder climes. We just content ourselves with our deep violets, hahaha!

    Sunita - my gratefulness for giving me the plant's ID. I love its color very much, though there are not much flowers but a lot of leaves! I know we have lots of common plants, so we can compare.

    Indie - you are so privilege for living in a country where most conditions are not harsh or are more friendly. If only we have those conditions, i can stay more in the garden without being so tired, and i will be more productive.

    Catmint - yes, and I also laughed when some people in temperate climes plant Mimosa pudica as ornamental plants, when here it is very unwanted as a weed, and notoriously hated by everybody! It just shows that someone's trash is another's treasure.

    Lrong - thank you for the appreciation and visit.

  48. Tootsie - It is a privilege to be part of Fertilizer Friday group, as you know i've been joining whenever I can. Thank you so much, and I am already waiting for the next garden you will be preparing for us! LOL.

    Donna - I hope I can sustain posts most especially for my friends deep in winter. That is actually what i try to do, so you there will have some warmth. LOL.

    Ottoman Bed - thanks for visiting.

    Jess - so we almost have the same conditions, but you get some lower temps making yours more livable than ours. I am sure you can relate with me when i tell you it is very difficult to garden in the tropics.

    Alistair - thank you very much for linking one of my photos to yours, it certainly is my pleasure and privilege. I can fully relate with you when you said about the magic of waiting for the next season and he garden it promises!

    Photo Cache - I think just like most who came for the tropics, you wanted your winter to be shorter so autumn or spring can be longer! Thanks for visiting.

    Wendy - maybe you belong to the few who strongly loves winter. But like beauty maybe the preference for seasons also rests with the beholder. Even if i haven't exprerienced winter, i think i dont like it long, or maybe a vacation is enough.

  49. Bom - All of those are in our property in Batangas. They just look better if taken individually, LOL. If i am in the temperate climes i would probably be so stressed when most plants die in winter.

    Marie - thanks for coming, at least in AZ you still have the cold temps even if you are in the dessert. I doubt if there really are people who enjoy long winters, because we are all warm blooded.

    Francisca - you just don't like winter because you have very long ones in Canada. Here, i am sure you don't like very long summers especially if you are outside the building where it is naturally hot and humid. The plant you are looking for is non-existent, maybe what you are describing are plastic flowers, LOL.

    Kanak - yes we have the same vegetation, and we have all those flowers you mentioned as well. Thanks.

  50. There is something to gladden the hearts of all gardeners ... we are so lucky to be able to share!


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