Daisy plants

A Cheerful 2015 with Gerbera

Welcome 2015!


I’m hoping that everyone will have a cheerful new year…


so I’m sharing a variety of vibrant Gerbera flowers to brighten up the first day of the year.


This year is promising for my new garden residents – the beautiful Gerbera plants.

(My long time plant buddy/dealer Fronia delivered eleven of these beauties last December 1 and an additional seven last December 9, 2014 straight from a flower farm in Davao.)

Some curious people think the blooms are made of synthetic materials because the size of the flowers are 7.5 cm to 10 cm…
I really hope the blooms will be larger after they have adapted to their new environment.
Anyway, I’m glad that the stingless bees love the vibrant flowers…
These plants have no name-tags so I decided to name them with descriptive colors.
What I like about these plants are: [1] They bloom in a variety of colors – whites, creams, yellows, oranges, reds, pinks, purples, and bi-colors (except true blues and purples);
[2] They produce pretty large flowers;
[3] They are low maintenance plants;
[4] They grow well in a tropical garden (like mine);
[5] They look good in containers as well as in flower beds;
[6] They are nice cut flowers… florists say Gerbera ranks number 5 in the most popular cut flowers;
[7]  They are perennials… that is, they bloom many times in a year;

[8] They attract birds, bees AND friends (old and new)…

Thanks for Visiting


Have A Prosperous New Year


My new African Violets

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.

photo of me unwrapping my new African Violets

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…

light pink petals
maroon colored-petals
lavender petals with purple colored-edge
purple petals
another shade of pink
Orchids, Roses, Succulents

Scenes of life and death in wet season

God pours life into death and death into life without a drop being spilled.  ~Author Unknown

It’s Typhoon MINA that’s been causing all those rain, wind, and brownouts here in my hometown for the past days… and Lanao del Norte is just at its outskirts! My cacti suffered the most — weeds grew in every pot and cacti condition ranges from okay to rotting to dead. I even found an “empty shell” of a dwarf cactus while weeding its pot…

and a dead Thelocactus setispinus reclining like a tower of Pisa…

…but not all is bad news on cacti. As they say, a garden is always on the business of life and death; if a plant died, seedlings would sprout… and sprout they did. I’ve propagated some Thelocactus seeds early this month and look how they’re (Thelocactus seedlings)  starting their new life.

Also, two of my orchids bloomed again… The red-mottled golden flowers of the Vanda hybrid cheered me up ( this orchid arrived in bloom here in my garden last February 2011)… And so is the orange blooms of my Ascocenda.

4.5 inches wide flowers of Vanda hybrid
3 cm wide flowers of Ascocenda 'Meda Arnold'

Some plants also bloomed to show that they’re faring well in this current weather condition. So overall, I’m still glad while waiting for the this wet season to pass.

minute pink flowers of my bonsai
'Scarlet Beauty'
3 red roses


Anthuriums in bloom

The wet season brings out nice blooms to my Anthuriums. Most of my friends think that the thick and waxy heart-shaped colorful spathes are the flowers. (Well, I guess that’s the common misconceptions about these tropical plants.) The spathes are just modified leaves developed by these plant to attract and fool the humans. The actual flowers are really on the spadix — about a hundred or more minute blossoms cover the spadix. Anyway, here are some photos of my Anthurium‘s inflorescence. Enjoy!

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Rat-tail Cactus

If not for its 3 inch wide pinkish-red flowers, I would have given away my Aporocactus flagellaformis. This epiphyte, commonly known as the Rat’s Tail Cactus, has long stems densely covered with short yellowish or brownish spines. Those spines are formidable and I’m always wary when I get near this trailing plant so most often I leave it alone.

3 inch wide pinkish-red flowers

This succulent is due for repotting for its stems are overcrowded. Yet, I don’t look forward to repot this plant or propagate it; I remember the countless times being punctured by those needles… Arggh… not a happy thought. I could always prepare a nice pot filled with sandy-loam soil for some stems to grow on, though.

spiny long stems

Presently, most of its stems are about an inch thick or less, and about less than a meter long. Those pale green stems could trail down to 6 meters when fully matured, or so as the book says. Also, along the entire length of those stems appear its fruits and flowers.

blooming for several days

I remembered that it did not yield flowers before when I put it in a shaded area in my garden. However, it flourished well when I placed it on the deck baluster upstairs. I guess it prefers an open air where there is plenty of air, sunlight and rain.

While most cactus rot during the wet season, the Rat’s Tail Cactus welcomes the rain for it shows off more blooms on its stems.  I just keep in mind that this cactus doesn’t like being disturbed or moved when it is showing-off its blossoms. Anyway, humans, bumble bees, stingless bees and small back ants often couldn’t stay away from its red funnel-shaped flowers.

funnel-shaped flower

Sun-loving Gumamelas

bi-color gumamela

The Hibiscus plants are locally known throughout the Philippines as the Gumamela.

pink hawaiian hibiscus

Though this plant has short-lived but continuing blooms, the scent-less Gumamela is one of the most widely cultivated of flowers here in my hometown.

white hibiscus with double petals

Presently, I have eleven shrubs of Hibiscus rosa-sinensis along my fence.

soft orange hibiscus flower; this plant was given by Mrs. Jabinez (Jabinez Garden, Ozamiz City)

Eight of my Gumamela shrubs are potted while three of them are planted on the ground. Moreover, nine of these flowering shrubs are hosts to some of my Dendrobium orchids.

Gumamela with red single petals and dark red center

These plants bloom throughout the year for I placed them in the area of my garden where they get a few hours of direct sun every day. I’ve noticed that the bloom life of these flowers are about 2-3 days, with a succession of blooms that last for months.

pink Gumamela with red center

More often, my Hibiscus plants produce gorgeous flowers in vibrant color in red, white, pink, yellow, peach, orange and purple. So for years, I’ve enjoyed their ruffled and trumpet-shaped blooms.

Gumamela, orange single petals with yellow outline

To get more blooms, the rule of the thumb is pinch and prune. Since I don’t want a huge shrub in my garden, I prune my Gumamelas when necessary.  Pinching their growing tips also helps them to branch out. I’ve planted the cuttings in black bags filled with sandy-loam soil.

peach Hibiscus rosa-sinensis flowers

Moreover, these plant are not only ornamental but medicinal as well. Hibiscus rosa-sinensis is one of the plants listed on Philippine herbs. http://www.stuartxchange.org/Gumamela.html


Euphorbia milli

Euphorbia milli, (also known as the Crown of Thorns) is often seen in every garden here in my hometown despite its reputation for having a poisonous sap. The one in the photograph has red flowers and is known as Euphorbia milli var. splendens.