Monday, October 28, 2013

Red Jade Dilemma

Red Jade in full bloom three years ago.
Nature has not been kind to our two beautiful Red Jade vines.

The storms of last year toppled the structures where they were growing, breaking tender branches that would normally bear the beautiful, pendulous clusters of red flowers.

It is inevitable though that these structures will eventually crumble. After all they're just made of bamboos, which rot easily especially in a place where it's wet much of the year and humid all year round.

As a temporary solution, and creatively as well, my father decided to use the main trunks of living plants as posts for the arbors.

As you see from the picture on the right and below, one arbor is now supported by the trunks of three live palm trees on one side. On the other side are three sturdy logs serving as legs of the bamboo latticework.

This particular vine used to hang above the ruins of a long gone gazebo. A storm from last year flattened the bamboo pergola and damaged the plant, breaking most of its branches. Good thing it still survived.

Now it has a new and better home, just on the opposite side of where it used to climb. In a few months it will become lush and hopefully around this month next year it will start to bloom.

And if one vine is not enough, there are two new young Red Jades getting trained to climb into another arbor. One of the young vines is shown in the picture on the left and the other vine is seen on the right side of the picture above.

This new arbor is made of cable wires. These weaving tangle of wires are supported by three mahogany trees. For a storm to bring down this cable arbor, it needs to be strong enough to topple at least one of these trees. But then again, exactly three years ago, a powerful storm did manage to bring down a mighty Narra tree nearby (see picture above or below).

Installing the trellis made of cable wire.

The finished cable wire arbor/trellis.

These structures are just temporary, especially the one with the bamboo top. My wish, budget permitting, is to replace them with sturdier structures like the metal pergola across the pond.

I've been going back and forth, not sure whether to call these structures "arbor" or "pergola". While writing this article I was watching a replay episode of "Yard Crashers" on HGTV and like the host knew my dilemma, he said "if it's a passthrough it's an arbor, if it's a larger structure it's a pergola. There you go! These are pergolas!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Rocky Garden

A footpath in the "rocky garden".

A "rock garden" is a garden in which rocks are arranged in a manner that is artistically pleasing to look at. Rocks are the main component of the garden and plants are placed around the rocks to accentuate the rock formations.

 This garden that Mom is working on is technically not a "rock garden". She is using the rocks as part of the garden as accents to the plants she will be putting there.

That is why I call this a "rocky garden".

There are plenty of rocks buried in the farm grounds. Whenever they dig a hole for planting or for whatever purpose, they are able to dig out rocks of varying sizes. I experienced this first hand when I tried to help plant one of the Foxtail palms we bought the last time I was there. What should have been an easy task took twice as much time since every time my spade hits a rock I had to manually pull that rock out before I could continue digging.

Sometimes there are these huge rocks that are just too odd or too interesting to look at, like this one pictured on the left. This too has been dug out of the ground in the farm.

And there are other rocks that have been unearthed years ago. They have been exposed to the elements for quite some time and have began to gather moss, like this one rock pictured on the right.

With the abundance of rocks buried underneath, could it be that the farm used to be a part of a river bed in the very distant past?

Friday, October 11, 2013

Birds of a feather ...

There are new additions to the animals in the farm. These are the five geese you see below. Although they were bought from two different sources, it seems like they have always been together. Now this is the literal meaning of the saying "birds of a feather flock together".

I was told that in the earlier years of the farm, before I began to actively participate in overseeing it, there used to be a healthy gaggle of geese roaming freely there. Eventually, their numbers began to dwindle until none was left.

Happily swimming in one of the fishponds of their new home.

Thanks to my dad, they were reintroduced to the farm just a couple of weeks ago. Time will tell if they will increase in number.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

I'm Back!!!

After over a year (almost 19 months to be exact) of hiatus... I am actually back.

My blogging muse has temporarily left me for some other blogger but now she's back and so am I. I was heartened by the comments left here and messages on my e-mail account about readers missing my posts. There were even a few messages of encouragement from some "anonymous" readers.

To my anonymous readers, thank you for your thoughts. Even if you don't leave any footprint I'm glad that you're there.

Now, before I publish new posts, there's just a minor change that I've implemented on my blog. As much as I enjoy reading your comments, I have disabled the comment section. If you are itching to write a comment, do e-mail me and I may (as a reward for your effort) publish your comment as a blog entry entitled "Readers' Corner". Don't worry, only your blog name and/or name (if you provide them) and comments will be published.

If you wish to comment there is a comment section on the right panel labeled "If you wish to leave a comment...", or go to "About Me" and click on the link or the ostrich picture. You will find my e-mail address in that page.