Saturday, December 14, 2013

Across The Pond

A young Red Jade begins to climb up a tree into a cable wire.
Those living in the U.S. or the British isles might think this post talks about the other side of the Atlantic ocean. But not really. It is literally what's across the pond, or shall I say, what's crossing the pond.

My father has developed a fondness for the Red Jade vine ever since he saw how beautiful and graceful it flowers. After fixing the damaged pergola for the Red Jade and building another one for two more Red Jades (see previous post), he thought it would be great if the vine would cross over the pond onto the opposite side. He was envisioning how the flowers would get showcased when it begins to bloom; how the dangling cluster of flowers would look really nice as they hang in a row above the pond.

To achieve this feat Dad fixed two parallel cable wires on two trees, each on the opposite side of the pond. Mom then planted two of her newly propagated Red Jades below each of these trees and trained the vines to climb up into the cable.

Cable wires suspended above the pond for the Red Jade vine to climb on.

As you can see from the pictures above, this "poor" young vine has a lot of growing to do and a long way to go before it could cross to the other side of the pond or at least meet the other Red Jade halfway.

It may take a couple of years before my father's vision of a row of Red Jade flowers hanging above the pond comes to fruition... that is, if it goes well according to his plan.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Reader's Corner

hi, just wanna ask if you know where i can purchase the champaca alba plant here in the philippines. thank you very much.

Regards, cons

Hello Cons,

If you are in Metro Manila, you will be able to purchase champaca alba at the Manila Seeding Bank. You can also request from any of the stores there if none is available when you visit.

Also, you may want to try to go to the garden stores at Guiguinto, Bulacan. Their plants are priced way cheaper than the stores at the seedling bank.

Have fun in your quest for champaca alba. I hope you find it.

Am glad you're back, wondering what happened to you. I can't locate your email add, so i used this. I hope you're doing fine. God bless.

Regards, Andrea

Hi Andrea!

Glad to be back also, although still slow in posting :) I'm doing fine and I hope you are also. God bless!

I am looking for 1000 Pachystachys Lutea cuttings.
regards A.Scheffers

Regards, mr. A.Scheffers

Hello Mr. A. Scheffers,

The Pachystachys Lutea is a very commom plant in the Philippines. If you are in this country, there shouldn't be any problem obtaining the 1000 cuttings you need.

Shipping to another country though is a bit complicated as it will require some papers to legally export live plants. You may want to shop online as most of these stores are able to handle international shipping.

Best wishes and I hope you are able to get all the "shrimp plant" cutting that you need.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013


Back in the fourth quarter of 2009 when we began the process of "greening" the farm, Mom bought some seedlings she thought were agave plants. But when I saw the picture (see below), I thought they were not agaves but maybe were related to the pineapple family.

As much as I can, I try to identify and record the names of the plants we collect and plant in the farm. Since I could not identify the common and botanical name of these plants I couldn't add it to my list.

In 2011, the last time I visited the farm, I didn't even remember seeing these plants. In fact I've completely forgotten about them. This year however, I've been noticing them very prominent in some of the e-mailed pictures I regularly receive from my mother. How couldn't I, they're big yet look very nice.

Now that they've grown big and bushy, I remember seeing pictures of plants that look  like these in  the internet. They are palm-like with stout trunks and prop roots near the base. They use these roots to support the main trunk as they grow top heavy with leaves, branches and sometimes fruits. They are called "screw pines" (Pandanus spp.) or "pandanus palms" although they are not related to the palm trees.

Screw pines are dioecious, meaning they have separate male and female flowers, hence male and female plants. Only the females will produce fruits. Our pandanus are not yet mature enough to bear flowers so we may need a few more years to know their sexes.

Now I know the genus where they belong. There are several species under the Pandanus genus. It may take more hours of reading and surfing the net before I could get lucky enough to identify the species of the pandanus we have growing in the farm.

At least, now I could include this in my plant list.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Reader's Corner

Hi! Glad you're back and blogging again. I really enjoy reading your posts, that's why I - among your other followers - missed your posts.

Hope you're alright and will continue blogging.

God bless!


Thanks for your warm message, Chellet. It's good to be back as well.

So many things have happened in the farm during the eighteen months this blog was silent. Most of the changes though were not garden related. However, the garden side of the farm still exists and the ongoing and planned improvements - no matter how miniscule some might be - are still worth penning.

And that is why Solitude Rising remains.