Thursday, November 3, 2011

Ephemeral: Tropical Style

I never intended to join the 'ephemeral' craze at Garden Walk Garden Talk as Word for Wednesday. I just arrived in the city last night, Wednesday night, which means I am already late for W4W. Yes, I just let it go last night to rest. I was on the road for almost 6 hours because our bus broke the airconditioning unit and we had to wait for the next bus of the same company. To add more constraint to that is the long queue of vehicles going to the city, after a long weekend to celebrate All Saints' Day/All Souls' Day. This is a traditional cultural happening here in the country, to visit the tombs of departed relatives on November 1 or 2. Most city dwellers go home to their  provinces for this yearly event, which also serve not only to visit tombs of dead relatives but also reunion with the living.

I have visited and commented on some links, and I can't seem to let it pass even if late, it is already Thursday now. The word 'Ephemeral' has now been used widely: noun or adjective, to denote short or fleeting existence, transience. But short existence is very arbitrary. I am familiar with it in Botany, to denote those plants which stay dormant underground and suddenly finish its growth and reproduction when conditions arise. Such conditions are not constant, and ephemeral plants seem to adapt to these fleeting moments. So there are spring ephemerals, desert ephemerals, and weed ephemerals. This botanical term exists only in temperate climates. Dictionaries provided wide ranges of definitions, maybe a good  site for plants is here:, or here for wider use:

We don't have ephemeral plants because we don't have extreme seasons as you have. But we have a lot of plants which grow and reproduce only during the wet season and lay dormant during the rest of the year. However, the definition has transcended to mean a lot of things, transitory, and it is already accepted even to describe art, or human existence, depending on the time frame. So, I might as well use it with our conditions. For our sake, I will call it wet season ephemerals or "wet tropics ephemerals". I hope no authority on 'ephemerals' will sue me for using it very colloquially, for our own tropical use. They are normally called wet season plants, but to be more internationally sounding (and for W4W), I will call them such. What do you think? (These are all taken in our property).

 The Bulbs
blood lily

The Weeds


The Rhizomes

The Moss

The Fungus

The dew and grass



  1. Goodness I am surrounded by so much knowledge - thank you for this information. Ephemeral is quite a subject for debatel

  2. I don't see any reason why you shouldn't call your wet season lovelies ephemerals, I doubt there are any "ephemeral" police... Lovely to see such exotic plants, even the weeds, though I think it is the moss photograph that will linger in my memory. So inviting.

  3. Just in case there are 'ephemeral' police, do inform me. I might get caught too. Those blood lilies are gorgeous. They are the ones you did some experiment with last year, right?

  4. Normally i reply to comments by five, but i can't control my enthusiasm with the first 3 commenters. I am laughing a lot now!

    Catharine - yes it can be a subject for debate, it's good Donna did not put the meme for that! LOL.

    Janet - Thank you fro appreciating my moss photo, but i really laugh with your mention of the 'ephemeral' police, which One below rode in too!

    One - i was laughing by myself after reading Janet's and yours comment. I should have thought about that word at once when I posted it. The bulb i experimented on is the amaryllis, the 2nd photo. But next summer i will try the blood lily because i saw an abandoned area in our place which has a lot of growing blood lilies. I just saw it yesterday when taking photos of the sunrise.

  5. Of course, ephemeral in the tropical sense of the term.:) Love post and your photos are stunning! The red blooms...blood lilies and amaryllis are stunning! Good to read about your trip!

  6. Lovely photos. The Lilies are gorgeous.
    Cher Sunray Gardens

  7. Hi Andrea - love your take on ephemeral. Those of us who live in temperate climates have many ephemeral moments in our gardens. But you are faced with different challenges to describe the word. And you did it beautifully.

    P.S. Love the amaryllis growing in the garden - we only get to have it in pots here.

    P.S.S. Thanks for visiting my little blog project.

  8. Thanks for joining. Andrea. Another take on the word and I too laughed at 'ephemeral police'. That is what is so fun about picturing words. There are no rules only wildly creative interpretation. That is what I have been noticing. People have been coming up with the most interesting takes on all the words so far. It started like a Wordless Wednesday kind of post, mostly in pictures, but I am enjoying the explanations even more. Even myself, I found it hard not to add thoughts and I really tried this time and couldn't. Thanks for adding your take on the word and the lovely images. And you are not late. Mr. Linky is open for two weeks.

  9. I think you illustrated the word, ephemeral, beautifully. All of those plants and bulbs and weeds would fit in that category. I like the dew and the moss...perfect! We seem to take so much of these things for granted. I am glad we are giving them a little extra attention through this meme.

  10. Kanak - thank you for patronizing the tropical plants, which you have too!

    Cher of Sunray Gardens - I appreciate you visit and kind words.

    Heather - actually this word is much easier than the previous words Donna gave us. Thank you for appreciating my twist on ephemeral. And that amaryllis has been growing on its own for decades, i have made posts about them in the past. It is one of the most abused plants in our property.

    Donna - this W4W meme has been the most fulfilling of the memes, it is quite good if we used a bit of our brains while enjoying too. I bet you are glad too with the turnout! You can even get an analysis of all the posts, and each one of us learn from each other. Thanks for this Donna. If there are contests for memes, you will be one of the winners!

    The Sage Butterfly - yes this meme certainly give us some option to think and observe a bit deeper than usual, and that is at the same time we are having fun. Isn't it great. I also thank Donna for creating this. And I can observe that usual names come up posting everytime! I guess we love some thinking.

  11. A charming post handled beautifully, Andrea. Love seeing your stunning amaryllis planted in the ground ... here only in pots! Thank you for the delightful sharing.

  12. Andrea, I love to hear about traditions. Being raised Catholic, I remember going to mass to remember our loved ones during All Souls but how wonderful to visit those lost and living loved ones. The post was wonderful...I had heard of ephemeral plants on another blog was never heard that term in the US to describe plants... I love the plants you chose...they are definitely short lived in my garden ...I too love the moss and the blood lilies!

  13. A charming post Andrea! Ephemeral or not it's great to be reminded of what grows naturally in the Philippines, so much beauty there :)

  14. Welcome back, Andrea! Yay, so good to see your participation on Ephemeral. Love your depiction and explanation about its use on plants. This word was never in my vocab until the W4W meme.

  15. Joey - thanks for the comments. All our amaryllis are on the ground because we don't need to dig them up during winter, they just lay dormant and sprout again after the first heavy rains. One disadvantage is they sometimes become invaders to other spaces.

    Donna - we were taught in school that there are spring ephemerals, desert ephemerals, etc, and they are also in scientific journals. Maybe it is just not commonly used by laymen.

    Mark and Gaz - In most of my posts, i try to introduce our beautiful country to the world, inform them of what we have, who we are and what we can do. And we are also knowledgeable on a lot of things, we even know a lot about their own environment.

    Autumn Belle - yes i decided to finally join because i know this term technically, and this word to me is the easiest among those Donna has given us. I did the post in my normal spontaneous way of posting, unlike the previous ones like Evolution which has been lingering in my head before i was able to organize one, haha! Thanks for thinking about me and the warm welcome.

  16. The fungus is the most surprising one. Some can just pop up one day and dissappears quickly. But it is fun to discover them and they are so many kinds! Btw, I like that pic of the moss ;-)

  17. Andrea - Up till this W4W I thought that ephemeral meant something fragile, that barely exists, like a spider's web or your mimosa petals.

  18. Gosh we have so many plants in your weeds.....the only thing that doesn't grow is the moss....too dry. The plants in your post seem to glow....beautiful shots!!

  19. I love the red in the blood lily and the amaryilis. Would certainly brighten any garden.

  20. sorry andrea! i didn´t want to hurt you :) thanks for playing along! wonderful flowers to see here :)

  21. Ah - what gorgeous shots of all this lushness and vibrance!

  22. You obviously had a lot of fun with this post and valiantly rose to the challenge of ephemeral. A superb series of images... I do think your handling of your camera is getting quite spectacular results! You must be getting great tips from your photography friends. ;-)

    [To answer your question on my post, yes, I did use a CPL, although the result was serendipitous... I'm still not quite sure how to use it properly ;-) ]

  23. I always think of the word ephemeral as a plant that is either fine or lacy and very delicate. Though spring bloomers that go dormant are called ephemeral it is a tough word. I think your wet season plant definitely qualify. That blood lily is gorgeous.

  24. I am enjoying Donna's challenges and seeing how very differently people interrupt and adapt the W4W to their won circumstances.
    I am sorry that I am a little late with my visit. It seems perfectly fine to me to define ephemeral as you have here. A season is a season after all. Your "wet season" ephemerals are beautiful. I really like the red blood lilies and it is neat to see amaryllis growing in something other than a pot (as it is done here).

  25. I thank you so much for linking in this week. It is an honor to host Friday's Flaunt and meet new friends and visit the regulars (who are like old friends) who share. I am always excited to tour each post and see the different flowers/ projects and garden art that everyone flaunts. It is a pleasure to tour and see all the gorgeous blooms...and I appreciate each and every link and comment! I have shared your post today with my facebook page for Tootsie Time. I hope you will link in again soon!
    ¸.•´¸.•*¨) ¸.•*¨)
    (¸.•´ (¸.•´ .•´ ¸¸.•¨¯`•.


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