Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Growth spurt

Sometime last February I received a text message from my mother. She said she was very delightfully surprised when she went to check and clean the area around the row of Oldham bamboo (Bambusa oldhamii) seedlings*. Almost all of them have suddenly produced shoots that are over 6 feet tall, some are even taller than the nearby concrete wall. And these shoots were not there yet when she last cleaned the area a few days before.

New shoots are now growing tall, some are even taller than the wall.

Soon this row of bamboos will provide a privacy screen from our neighbors across the street.

Their new trunks are still skinny but their sudden appearance is an indication that these seedlings* are now adapted to their new environment. They need a lot more time to mature, their trunks will eventually reach a height of 40-60 feet with culms of 3-5 inches in diameter.

Eventually these bamboos will be taller than those giant heliconias in the background.

More signs of new growth.

I too was very glad to receive this pleasant news and could not wait to see the pictures. Early this month I got to see what the shoots look like and I am now even more determined to complete my green privacy screen project which has been in limbo due to the exorbitant cost of one small Oldham bamboo seedling*.

* For lack of knowledge of the proper term, I call the young bamboos "seedlings" even though they were a product of vegetative propagation (either branch node cutting or air-layering).

Friday, March 16, 2012

A royal affair

One February morning our three dependable farmhands' daily routine has been altered for a couple of days. Although it seldom happens they are now used to this kind of unscheduled disruption. Almost always, this break in their daily routine is caused by someone who lives thousands of miles away.

Latest batch of Royal palms delivered to the farm one morning last February.

Unloaded and resting under the tall Royal palms. The palm on the left is a Golden Veitchia.

This time they have to plant ten (10) newly bought Royal palms. Some of the palms arrived bare root. They have been dug up a day before from a nursery in a neighboring province just south of where the farm is. Because of the state they're in, these Royal palms needed to be transplanted immediately.

One by one the palms are transported to the upper garden using an ever reliable water buffalo.

On their way to the upper garden. This method of transport using water buffalo is a typical rural (provincial) scene.

A few days after the transplant. These Royal palms are not out of the woods yet, only time will tell if they will survive.

Almost every plant suffers a transplant shock especially if the roots have been drastically disturbed. These palms are no different. In fact even the Royal palms that were transplanted last November have not yet completely recovered despite an almost daily dose of rainwater.

Summer has finally arrived and the forecast is a wet summer this year. If this is true then this is good for the sake of these plants which are now acclimatizing to a new life in the farm.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Picture perfect

And to think that over a year ago I was so worried that we were not having any success in propagating our Lotus plant from the one and only mother plant we had back then. But patience and perseverance prevailed.