Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Garden update #10 - vertically challenged

It's been a long time since I've made an update on new plants for the garden. The last such update was "Garden update #9 - this time no new plants," which was posted in May, 2010. And even that post mentioned no new plant purchases.

For various reasons, all connected to the farm, I had to slow down with plant acquisitions. But from time to time (as dictated by necessity) I still manage to buy a few. So, as far as I can remember, below is the list of plant purchases since my last garden update.

February 2012:
  • Roystonea regia - "Royal Palm"
  • Cordyline spp. - "Ti Plant"
  • Veitchia merrilli - "Golden Veitchia"
  • Tabernaemontana pandacaqui - "Pandakaki-puti"

November 2011:
  • Bambusa blumeana - "'Tinik' Bamboo"
  • Bambusa oldhamii - "Oldham Bamboo"
  • Dendrocalamus asper - "Giant Bamboo"
  • Dendrocalamus latiflorus - "Machiku Bamboo"
  • Guadua angustifolia - "Colombian Thorny (or Iron) Bamboo"
  • Roystonea regia - "Royal Palm"

February 2011:
  • Wodyetia bifurcata - "Foxtail Palm"
  • Dypsis decaryi - "Triangle Palm"

January 2011:
  • Passiflora caerulea - "Blue Passion Flower Vine"
  • Passiflora spp. - "Lavender Passion Flower Vine"
  • Passiflora manicata - "Red Passion Flower Vine"

Last year's batch of Triangle and Foxtail palms.

Since February, 2011 I have been concentrating on purchasing palm trees and bamboos. Two days ago, 10 Royal Palms were delivered to the farm. Today and the coming days they will be planted in the upper garden, along a portion of the left side of the dirt path. These are in addition to the first 7 that were planted there in random locations last January. More ornamental palm trees are needed to populate the sparsely vegetated upper garden.

Another part of the upper garden has been planted mostly with coconut tree seedlings. The seedlings came from the farm's few coconut trees.

Three of the Oldham bamboos, pictures taken last month.

As for the bamboos, I still need 100+ of Oldham bamboo seedlings to complete my privacy screen project. There are exciting developments with our first 19 Oldhams (with 1 casualty). But that will be for a future post since I don't have supporting pictures yet.

Notice that most of the new purchases are plants with the ability to grow tall. With blessings from above, many more of these will be planted in the future.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

First water garden... 5 months later

It's been over five months since the first water garden was constructed. Let's see how it's doing now.

From the looks of it, the aquatic plants are loving their new home. Much of the water surface is now covered with foliage. In a few areas not covered with leaves you will catch a glimpse of the fishes swimming. The adult Tilapias have been removed from the pond. They found their new home too cozy for reproduction that they started to make baby Tilapias. Now only Kois and Tilapia fingerlings inhabit the pond.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Hold the torch

I hold the torch for a certain ginger-head. I showered her with care, tender touch and kindness. But alas, the attentions I gave were all left unrequited.

But years of persistent waiting, though truly exasperating, has finally bore its fruit. Our Torch Ginger (Etlingera elatior) has blossomed!

Just like the Bird of Paradise, this plant has kept me waiting for so many years to see it bloom. Last year, after three years plus of waiting, the former granted my wish. With that, I thought the latter's turn will come very soon.

With almost four years of no luck I was inclined to conclude I'm waiting for a flower to sprout from the wrong plant. Whenever I see posts of the Torch Ginger from other bloggers I can't help myself but be envious. One blogger friend, Africanaussie, suggested I send her pictures of our ginger so she can help verify if it is really a Torch Ginger. Immediately I asked my mother to take a picture of the said plant, but since we now have different species of gingers in the garden, she's already confused as to which plant is which.

Then one January morning, as mother was going around the garden to check on the plants, lo and behold, two Torch Gingers are in bloom. They may only have one flower each but that is more than enough for me, I'm happy!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Annual visit

I really do wish I could make annual visits to the farm. Although this is something that I could not do yearly, I found out just a year ago that we do have annual visitors.

About this same time last year I noticed these white birds flying in and out of the farm, mingling with the grazing sheep. I think they are egrets. I inquired about this from my father and he said they come during the early part of the year and stay for a few weeks. Cool! The farm gets some wildlife visitors annually.

What other wildlife visit the farm?

Years ago I also learned that fruit bats roost under the canopy of the four mature Royal Palms. This may be the reason why we don't see any fruits from these palm trees. There are also undesirable guests like snakes and monitor lizards that make their presence known from time to time.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Picture perfect

Seldom do I get a picture of the farm and/or garden that leaves a lasting, positive impression on me.

And on those days when I begin to question myself why I should continue with this farm and garden improvement project, such a picture helps uplift my sagging spirit
and gives me a validation that there is a reason to push on.