Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Bird's Nest

I started acquiring ornamental plants in the yard just to occupy the empty spaces outside our home. It was only 5 years ago when I started propagating  and growing rainforest plants. Choosing rainforest plants was my option because of the limited sunlight we have in our yard. I don't know what's with rainforest plants but I am always fascinated how wild they grow like the asplenium species in particular or also known as the bird's nest. It was named as such because the center of the plant resembles a bird's nest.  I tried taking care of orchids but unfortunately none of them survived under my care so I ended up taking care of brohmeliads and ferns. Perhaps it's because these are low-maintenance unlike orchids, you have to give full time in propagating and caring for them which I practically cannot deliver because of my work. I love to see the drama of naturally growing ferns in trees,  as indoor plants or in greenhouses as well.

5-year old bird's nest
I also found out that bird's nest don't thrive well in direct sunlight, only in morning sun, so I made it a point to grow my bird's nests where the only morning sun is possible. Keeping the soil moist at all times is the key to a healthy bird's nest. Make sure you drain the soil well enough though. Because of extreme heat in our place, I try to water them two to three times a day.

3-year old fern

I was able to grow these ferns this big when I started transplanting them in larger containers. The larger the containers are, the bigger they would grow. What's nice about these plants is that its roots are relatively small for their large fronds. Wiping the fronds using a cotton cloth with plain clean water maintain the glossy appearance of the foliage. When I was just starting the hobby, I attempted to wipe them with egg white to sustain their shine but unluckily it didn't work out well. The fronds began to turn brown and eventually burned the leaves. Little did I know that with just wiping them from tip to bottom with clean damp cloth will do the trick.

unfurled fronds

I always look forward in seeing new unfurled fronds at the center. I think it would only take weeks before they would unfold so click, click, I took the shots of my babies!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

National Artist

One of the most unforgettable trips we had last summer was when we got to meet a National Artist, Ben Cabrera, also known as BenCab in his museum up north in Baguio City. Art savvy I'm not, but well, based from the hemispheres of the brain, which we call the right brain and the left brain, I guess my right side of the brain which is associated with creativity and artistic side of a person is more dominant than my left brain. While the left brain deals with the analytical and logical thinking, it is understood that it is associated more with numbers or arithmetic and problem-solving. After all, nursing is an art, too so I guess that explains it all.

We almost lost our way to the museum if not for the several signs of  "this way to BenCab Museum" mounted along the long and winding Asin Road. Since it was our first time to drop in, reaching our destination seemed to take a little longer than going back home. Eventually our journey that appeared to be endless paid off when I saw "the Master" (as what my BFF called him) in person!

with the "Master"
Fortunately, I was able to have this shot with the Master (with my hubby who took the shot) while he was busy signing for autographs. Apparently he was introduced to us by a friend who happens to be a bonsai enthusiast like him (BenCab) so I requested for this photo. He is such a cool, levelheaded man!

BenCab Gallery
Me and my little girl
Some of his famous paintings can be seen in the BenCab Gallery. His museum consist of several galleries where various kinds of art works are exhibited. Since I'm talking about art, you might want to visit one of his galleries with "interesting" artworks where kids are not allowed to enter, if you know what I mean. My kids, curious as ever were able to snoop around while papa and mama where enjoying having the pictorial. 

My kids with a collection of carvings of bul-ol or Ifugao rice gods 
Some of BenCab's collection done by different distinguished artists as well

Impressive garden and a gazebo surrounded by a lake

His vast plantation of vegetables, corns, palay,  fruits, an added attraction 
I noticed that there were several photographers around taking photos of the scenery and  the sunset. I wonder what magnolia skies they are talking about. If you have an idea, please don't hesitate to comment what that means, thanks!

Entrance fee is 100.00. Not bad considering you'll get to meet a renowned artist in person and catch a glimpse of his acclaimed various works of art:  from paintings, sculptures, wood carvings,  photography, even gardens and landscapes. The location of the museum was conscientiously built away from the bustling city where one can oversee and appreciate the spectacular sunrise, sunset and the splendid scenery of nature. Souvenirs such as shirts, hats, caps, bul-ol carvings to name a few can also be acquired in the museum at a very reasonable price. 

These Hands