February 13 – When my friend the “Plant Addict” (Dr. Opay-Villarmino) dropped by for a visit, she was so surprised to see the Daisy-like flower outside my fence. She noticed this:
Intriguing – that’s her description as she attempted to explain how a Daisy-like flower-head came to have three-quarters orange and one-quarter yellow petals.
Her reaction to this phenomenon amused me; it’s not novel to me as I’ve noticed this “playfulness of Nature” for the past decades… but I was glad that each time the “Plant Addict” turns up, she finds something interesting in my garden…
One of my new year’s resolution for this year is NOT to buy plants. I even warned my orchid dealer Sopronia to refrain from bringing me new varieties of orchids. However, I was unable to keep this resolution when my plant buddies (Hermie and Tasing) dropped by late afternoon last Sunday. Hermie was back from the U.S. (she was there for more than 3 months) and it was nice of her to bring me these beauties from Manila – five pretty varieties of Saintpaulia.
I didn’t mind that each small pot was unlabelled… I’ll look up their names later on the internet… Meanwhile, enjoy these beauties with me…
For nearly five months since it arrived in my garden, I’ve been talking to a certain Phalaenopsis to show me her flowers. I guess the orchid finally obliged to my request and surprised me with its first blooms — large (about 6 inches wide) pink flowers. This was just a nondescript air-plant at Hermie’s garden so I didn’t know it’s a hybrid until it produced buds.
I must admit that I’ve struggled to make this orchid bloom. I’ve been moving it around my garden to find a safe place away from the snails. (Some unwelcome snails managed to munch two of the buds; how they ever got to a hanging plant…I could only speculate.) Also, the excessive rain in the past weeks threatened the buds to droop.
In addition, here’s the other first-time bloomers this October:
This Dendrobium orchid is one of the birthday gifts from Sopronia, an orchid delear. When she brought it last August 8, the plant had two sprays of green/purple flowers. I was so attracted to its flowers because of purple coloring on the petals and lips.
Alas, I found one spray on the ground last Monday morning. What to do? I simply put it in a tall vase with a little water. My daughter put some colorful bio-gel granules to add an interesting touch.
I always thought Foxtail fern (Asparagus densiflorus ‘Meyersii’) is a pretentious plant, beautiful but not that friendly. This is also given descriptive names such as Ponytail, Bottle Brush, and Emerald fern. This evergreen shrub has stems that look very much like tails of foxes. I’ve witnessed some dog-people touching it, trying to pat the plant only to find out that the “tails” are cactus-like. Yet, despite the plant’s low friendliness rating, many gardeners would agree that the Foxtail’s dense foliage, round feather shape and deep emerald color make this shrub very attractive.
I’ve had several potted Foxtails this during the 1980’s. Oftentimes, I’ve included some of its stems in bouquets and floral arrangements. Well I guessed that practice stressed out my Foxtail because it eventually died. After a long period without it, my friend Boging (a plant dealer) brought me a new shrub of Foxtail to add to my fern group last August 3.
This plant requires attention when in a new environment or when repotted. Like people, it also needs time to adjust to its new home. In addition, I’ve noticed that Foxtail Ferns would express their approval or disapproval on the TLC (tender, loving, care) I’m giving them. The color of their leaves would “communicate” how they feel — green informs that it is happy; yellow warns that it needs more water; and brown cries out for help because it’s drowning.
This plant could grow up to 2 feet when grown outdoors. However, I refrained from planting it as ground cover because it’s quite invasive with an attitude like that of a ribbon grass. Instead, I placed its pot on my winding plant stand at a shady area; the more sunlight it gets, the faster it grows. With regards to soil medium, I’ve mixed equal parts of loam, sand, and rice hulls. I haven’t put fertilizer on it yet because it’s still adjusting here in my garden.