There exist some evils so terrible and some misfortunes so horrible that we dare not think of them, whilst their very aspect makes us shudder; but if they happen to fall on us, we find ourselves stronger than we imagined, we grapple with our ill luck, and behave better than we expected we should.
– Jean de La Bruyere
I admire the resilience of the Eurasian Tree Sparrows (Passer montanus) living in my garden. They’re not pets but they’re always welcome to hang out here. Unlike some of my orchids that are currently in intensive care; they are able to deal with the wet season better than some of my air plants. Every time heavy rains pour down and prevailing winds hit my hometown, they seek refuge at my mango tree. Also, finding food is not a problem for them; they’re pals with the resident canines who are generous enough to share a portion of their meal for the birds.
I acquired a cutting of variegated Moringa when I attended a seminar on miniature trees held by the Lanao del Norte Bonsai Society around 2004. That cutting given by Mr. Ray Villanueva flourished into an attractive ornamental plant. It is still on training as a miniature tree though.
This plant is locally known as Kamunggay and Malunggay in most areas of the Philippines. It is regarded as “Tree of Life” because almost every part of this plant is used for food or has beneficial property. Moreover, Moringa oleifera is considered as one of the most useful trees in the world.
Presently, I’ve trained my Moringa plant into a shape I fancy, an informal upright. I put wires on branches to alter direction. I used aluminum wires to control its shape so my bonsai would have a twisted trunk in the future. Also, I wound the plant around a stake driven into the soil in the pot.
Hopefully, the variegated leaves of this plant would be in proportion to the tree.
Basically, Moringa is a sun-loving plant, even if it’s a variegated variety. I’ve been told never to put my plant in a shady spot or its mottled leaves would revert back into plain green.