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.
(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:  They bloom in a variety of colors – whites, creams, yellows, oranges, reds, pinks, purples, and bi-colors (except true blues and purples);
 They produce pretty large flowers;
 They are low maintenance plants;
 They grow well in a tropical garden (like mine);
 They look good in containers as well as in flower beds;
 They are nice cut flowers… florists say Gerbera ranks number 5 in the most popular cut flowers;
 They are perennials… that is, they bloom many times in a year;
Thanks for Visiting
Have A Prosperous New Year
I’ve have variety of Guzmanias ages ago before this plant became a fad here in Lanao del Norte. I remember that most of my collection came from Camp Phillips in Bukidnon during the 1970’s to 80’s. I retained the one in the photos because of the vibrant color of its bracts…
I guess the sparrows would agree with me if I say that Mammillaria decipiens ssp. camptotricha is not a comfortable plant to handle. This spiny green globular cactus is presently about 5 inches tall and 6 inches wide (it hasn’t achieved its maturity, yet). It also looks like a nest guarded with lots of needles. Hence, its common name Bird’s Nest Cactus, Bird’s Nest Mammillaria or Bird’s Nest Pincushion.
The green tubercles of this plant are about 2 cm long. Its axil is somewhat lightly covered with white hairs and a few bristles. The protruding needles in the photos are its radial spines which compensate for its lack of central spines. Each tubercle has 2 to 8 radial spines about 3 cm long. Those sharp-edge needles are either thin or thick; flexible or rigid; curled or straight; yellow, white, or brown in color.
In between those tubercles bloom the small white flowers about 1 cm to 1.5 cm wide. (I noticed that this cactus flower in dry and wet season.) Despite its plain appearance, those blossoms have a delicate scent which attracts some ants or stingless bees. In addition, its juicy fruits often look like eye-candy to humans and birds alike.
I like this succulent because it doesn’t demand a lot of care; it’s happy growing in a sandy-loam soil mixed with rice hulls. It also just require a full sun exposure and moderate water to thrive well. However during wet season, I have to move it to a dry spot to avoid drowning and rotting.
It’s the third time in 2011 that my favorite cactus flowered; it bloomed in February and in May earlier this year. I noticed that every time this particular Sea Urchin Cactus (Echinopsis subdenudata) blooms, it is always on a rainy day/night. It’s frustrating that it stays open for only 24 hours or so. Because of the wind and rain, I failed to see its flowers open in the evening. However, I could still admire its beauty and oh-so sweet perfume in its remaining blooming hours in the morning up to 12 noon. I guess the bees would agree with me…
I got my wish granted. The other week as I was tending my orchids, I saw a single flower peeking in between the pots of Vanda teres. I was so glad for it is a hot pink variety of my Bluewings plants (Torenia fourneri). So, I immediately secured and bagged the herbaceous bluewings surrounding it. And surprise, surprise… After a couple of days, a stalk bloomed with a paler version of the hot-pink. It’s the palest pink I’ve seen so far on Torenias and I have to get closer to it to see its tint. This species is a perennial; yet, somehow the plant manages to give surprises every now and then. Its flowers are white-plus and the plus could be a variety of hues from blue, purple and pink.
If I don’t have my eyeglasses on while tending to my cacti, I would see a bunch of small white spiders creeping on my Gymnocalycium denudatum. I would often confuse the spines for bugs attacking the cream-white flowers. Well, I guess that is why they obviously call this succulent as Spider Cactus due to the way its white spines look like — spider legs that cling close to the body of the plant. (See the photo below.)
The dark green body of my Spider cactus is glossy and globular, about 4 inches tall and 3 1/2 inches wide. It is “slightly chinned” and has eight rounded ribs. Each spines are about a centimeter long and not injurious.
The Spider Cactus is very easy to grow. It requires full sunlight, enough water and a dose of fertilizer to yield cream-white flowers with some rosy tinge at the edge. Depending on the size of the cactus, the flowers are about 5 – 7 cm wide.
These are the update photos of my periwinkle (Catharanthus roseus). Locally known as Kumintang, I initially got the specimens as “souvenirs” from my friend Mrs. Tolero when she visited Malaysia. Among these pretty flowers, I especially like the ‘Peppermint Cooler’, the white flowers with a red dot at the center.