Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Out with the Old and In with the New...Garden That is!

This is my old roof top garden
Succulents in old garden has now been transferred to the new
I think I have been over-explaining myself for not regularly blogging in the last number of years. This last hiatus is because I transferred houses. Yes my old garden is expected to seize existence in the next few months.  But I have started transferring some of my plants into the new house, especially my prized succulents and of course some of my seed-grown natives which I have cared for in the last decade or so. The new house is quite far from the old so transferring the plants is a tedious task, which requires time and effort and I would have to of course squeeze it in with my work load. But the garden has to be given the time too, or else I might lose my precious plants - the ones that have been shocked in the transfer and even the others left in the old house, under the care of our house-sitter. 

Challenge is to fit the bigger plants into the smaller space
As with any garden, I did start from scratch in the new location. Yes I have the plants, but the space is considerably smaller than the old one. The new space was literally bare soil and a breadfruit tree when I arrived. But at least this one had the soil to plant some of my trees and shrubs in, not like the old where it was all concrete of the roofdeck. The soil however is noticeably mixed in with much garbage bits like broken glass shards, candy wrappers, plastic bottles, discarded concrete, etc.   It was a tough palette to attack but I am already deep into taking the challenge, garbage and all.

The new site is much smaller but had bare soil ground
Pavers were introduced as stepping surface to minimize muddy areas
I asked my friend Susan Topacio of Jardin Isabel to help me in setting up the new garden. First thing we did was to top the old soil with new stock garden medium to cover the garbage.  Then we laid out paving stone so that when it rains, the area would not be muddy and it would be easier to step on. Then we planted the bigger plants into the soil.

I started this about 4 months ago. I will post the other progress pictures some other time.  But so far the garden is shaping up quite well, but I still have to see how the plants will react to their new location.  Just keeping my fingers crossed!

More than half of my plants are still in my roof garden.  I have to empty the roof top so probably all of it will not get to be transferred to the new site though.  I would have to get them new homes.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Fat-bottomed Plants

A small unknown specimen
A hybrid of E. rossi
I have been saying this over and over, I am a gardener aside from other stuff that I do. I have been keeping plants and it makes me centered especially when all other things in my life are becoming stressful. Aside from growing the natives which I occassionally talk about here in this blog, I keep succulent plants. I fancy the non-cacti species in the genera of Agave, Sansevieria, Dyckia, Aloe and a lot more, but the plump branching specimens of Euphorbia have a soft spot in my heart.  I have been collecting since probably the year 2000 ever since I picked up my very first specimen of Euphorbia millii. And I have not stopped since then. I probably have jumped collecting several succulent genera but my fascination for Euphorbias has never waned.

Euphorbia enopla
Euphorbia tortirama
Last year there was a resurgence of the succulent collecting hobby especially when local hobbyists put up various fora in Facebook.   The prices of locally sold succulents especially the cactus varieties escalated from the usual 3 for 100 pesos value in the Cubao stalls. They are now much higher in price. But because of the interest, a lot of new Euphorbias and other succulents became available in the local scene. But even with the emergence of new succulent plants I still am very much sticking it out with the Euphorbia species especially the ones with succulent branches and thick base caudex. They are very nice to pot though some may prove to be quite delicate and sensitive.  But when you get the hang of how they are grown you are rewarded with a display that in my opinion is out of this world.

E. stellata
Euphorbia decaryi ssp. decaryi 
Here are some of the Euphorbia plants which I have seen sold locally and some I have the privilege to keep in my garden.  I bet that seeing them makes you understand why I am crazy-gaga over these fat-bottomed plants!
Euphorbia squarrosa