Monday, January 30, 2012

Foliage at the Garden Show

The Philippine Horticultural Society annual garden show and landscape exhibit runs from January 26 to February 5, 2012 at the Quezon Memorial Circle, Quezon City, Philippines. It is an annual event, which i try not to miss. Aside from the landscape design exhibit, there are also commercial booths selling all kinds of plants, both local and imported species. 

I have limited time so i just took photos without getting their varieties. I only know their general group, e.g. tillandsia but not the species or variety. I will be posting first some of the foliage plants. Next posts will be bonsai, tillandsia, agave. 

Pick your choice!

an aroid 




birds' nest fern


a tree (hardwood)



For the photos of the exhibit please visit The Plantchaser's post, i will not post the landscape designs because he has already posted them in his site. I am sure you will appreciate the plants better when already used in landscape designs.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Foliage Plants in January

Even if rains seldom fall here these days we are still officially in the rainy season, the last few weeks before the dry season begins. But many trees and plants show that they are ready for the dry months. Our national tree, the deciduous hardwood narra or Pterocarpus indicus, already starts to shed its leaves. In the first two months of dry season they are bald and dormant, as if they are in the fall season of temperate countries. 

Grasses and weeds are already in their fruiting stages and many already shed their seeds. Annuals are also in the last vestiges of their life cycle, ready to spread their genes to preserve their species.

Since our garden plants are still watered either by rain or by my mother, they are still at their prime, but some symptoms of maturity are already obvious. They are just finishing their last steps of development.

Alternanthera of Family Amaranthaceae



Although Aglaonema does not have bulbs, their rhizomes or old stems remain alive during the the dry months. Only 2 or 3 leaves remain alive to make its food. They come alive again after the first heavy rains.

 Proiphys amboinensis (?Euricles amboinensis)

This is a bulb plant, and it dries and shed its leaves during the dry season, become dormant and be alive again at the start of the rainy season in May-June.

 Chlorophytum or spider plant

Although Chlorophytum doesn't have bulbs, they have fleshy root structures which remain alive with stored energies during summer months. They serve as the first energy source when it rains when it is still trying to produce leaves to manufacture its new food.

 Another Alternanthera (ficoidea ?) of Amaranthus Family

Alternanthera (species ?) too of Amaranthus family

Ti plant or Cordylline terminalis

All these plants are not seen during the dry season, they either die or their parts become dormant, to emerge again coming rainy season. The bulbs become dormant during the dry months, but their bulbs just stay alive in the soil. We don't need to uproot them just like in winter climates. 

The Caladium:
 Caladium bicolor

 The Ferns:

The ferns die fully in our area, but they already scattered their  spores to germinate and grow when the rains come.

Asparagus plumosus, misleadingly called asparagus fern

 native ferns


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Reflection Beyond the Self

Donna's Word for Wednesday has always been a challenge for some of us, but I consider it as one of the most exciting memes. Usually it takes longer to search for the photos, unlike my other normal spontaneous posts. It is now the time for Reflection. This word has a lot of interpretations if someone wishes to. I will go beyond the self reflection, but the bigger reflection around it, literally and figuratively. One is always a part of the bigger whole!

zen in a scene

I would like to believe that the ripples above is just like a figure eight, or infinity, meaning endless! It contributed to the elements in a zen-like atmosphere, or does it not?

alone but not lonely

Let us say that we are just alone if our consciousness doesn't go beyond the self, a whole lot of support is always beyond and around, supporting us. 

reflection beyond the self makes the hole, or sometimes whole 

Do you think this lone man reflects beyond himself?

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Friday, January 20, 2012

Garden Critters in January

giant wood spider, Nephila maculata

 This spider is already a fixture in our vegetation under tree canopies. Wikipedia provided at least 22 names (synonyms) for this species. It is a female, a great size compared to its male counterpart, the small red at its left. As kids we are scared of this because of its size and its very sticky webs, which are difficult to remove when you happen to stick on it. Its bite is reported to be slightly poisonous. I love this shot for the different colors behind it.

this spider is lovely but i can't take a bigger shot with my lens

 I had fun making this praying mantis make different stunts or poses for me. I think this pose is its signal that it is ready for an attack, as it was getting angry with my prodding to change position. I have seen 3 colors of the mantis, this one, the fully brown, and the fully green. This time i can't locate the mature stages of the other 2. At the bottom is a juvenile green praying mantis, now praying that i will not harm him.

This swallowtail, Papilio alphenor-female, is common in our garden although not many of them at once. Four is the most number i see them flying at the same time. We have a few species of citrus which are host plants for them.

A not so welcome inhabitant of our garden is this fly. They suddenly become plenty when a lot of mango fruits are decaying on the ground. 

Camera Critters

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Our Little Corner

The map of the Philippines above left has a small red dot on it, enlarged at the right. The red dot is Mabini, Batangas, my hometown in Southern Luzon. It is like a tongue, almost a peninsula surrounded by water. And that is my little corner of the world, where I get most of the tropical garden photos posted in my posts. I have also written in my previous posts that our area is facing east, overlooking the Batangas Bay. It is reached from Metro Manila in 3-4 hours depending on circumstances, meaning 3h by private car and 4h by public transports. 

Decades before, travels allowed commuters the full view of an extended shoreline, but developments deprived that privilege these days. So whenever i had a few days to spare, it is always a treat to go to the shore or to the mountain, a few beach scenes i will post here. 

 Above is a typical calm day 

Different types of shorelines are found in this east side. Some coves are rockies, others have boulders, and most are stones like the above. 

very clear waters on calm days

 These waters provided local residents with food and some livelihood. During low tides on calm days, the water allows gleaming of shells and fishing. 

Colored rocks and stones are very obvious characteristics of these shores. It is apparent that parent materials are rich in minerals rich in iron or sulfur that gives the rusty, red, yellow, orange colors, depending on the concentration on the rocks. Other minerals are surely present on these rocks, however i don't know any research done yet on our areas. Samples of these rocks are shown below.

Bottom right corner of the above photo also shows a rock which depicts volcanic eruption in the past. Some natural stones were embedded in the molten lava and now eroded again by other natural conditions. A rock composed of other rocks is called composite rock (LOL).

boulders from the red rockwall

The above spot is called Pulang Bato (local term) in Malimatoc I, Mabini, Batangas or Red Rocks from the color of the rock wall above it. Just 30ft below this spot is the home of the endangered and rare golden scorpion fish (Rhinopias frondosa). Many scuba divers visiting Anilao, at the west side of the peninsula, come to this spot for the elusive golden scorpion fish, which is known to be nesting there. Red Rocks is also considered nudibranchs hotspot. For a more thorough discussion and photos of scorpionfish and nudibranchs in this area please visit the post by Jayvee Hernandez. 

 The mineral deposits in the rocks also make the waters of the same color, especially after a heavy rain. It might look muddy, but it actually is imparted by the dissolved minerals and elements in the water. Batangas International Port is at the other side of the bay at the horizon.

Sometimes, big waves also visit this shore, but i haven't done any photo shoot yet during typhoons. Mild waves like the above are typical during regular days.

Colored stones very visible in the above photo

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