Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Loving the Cryptanthus

Cryptanthus falls under the family of bromeliad. Like the fern, it is stemless. With unique colors that come in  bronze, gray, red, brown, green, pink and even black, the frondescence are arranged in a star-like manner that makes the plant more interesting. They seem to have relatively stiff, dry, scaly, tooth-edged, crinkled leafage.

Notice the small Bromeliad Cryptanthus in the huge bowl planted in my dish garden. Since it grows low in the ground, this plant is just enough for a dish garden. I thought it was beautiful not to be noticed along with the other plants grown in the container bowl, I decided to repot it before it started producing offsets.
Cryptanthus,  Dusty Emerald in front of the fountain. I waited for the dark before taking the shot  so one can appreciate the Cryptanthus, beside the Sanseviera (Pagoda) and Juniper.

Look what happened when I transplanted the Cryptanthus....
Cryptanthus Zonatus Rariflora
After four weeks, it produced an offshoot. This made me smile…
C. Rariflora or Dusty Emerald with an offshoot at the base of the main plant

My fascination abound when I learned about Cryptanthus Bivittatus, Pink Starlite. I find the combination of pink and brown vertical stripes on the foliage attractive. Depending on the exposure of the light, I notice the brown changes to green...
C. Bivittatus, Pink Starlite

C. Fosterianus, Melanie has variegated foliage.
C. Fosterianus Melanie with brown, gray and bright red
Notice how it changed its color from red to green...
Up close of the foliage
Similar to the above plant, the C. Fosterianus Shockwave is black instead of red. At first, I thought it looked like the stripes of a zebra. Taking a closer look, it resembles a recorded tracing of an electrocardiograph (ECG) or a PQRST wave. 
C. Fosterianus Shockwave
Close up shot of a leaf
An ECG wave represented by  PQRST.  Source:  En. Wikipedia
I wonder how my ECG tracing would look like if ever my Cryptanthus gives me beautiful, wonderful pups...I am pretty sure my heart would be leaping with joy and excitement at the first glimpse of them...

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Charmed by Bohol

Our trip in Cebu will not be complete without visiting Bohol to catch a glimpse of a tarsier. The kids had been insisting we visit Bohol. I knew they did enjoy Bohol more than Cebu because of the wonderful Chocolate Hills and the adorable little creatures which are close to extinction, the Philippine Tarsiers. A dream come true it was for them for they only get to see those in their textbooks and on TV. A very informative and educational tour as well, I must admit I did learn a lot as I happen to observe the ways of  tarsiers in their natural habitat, toured the Chocolate Hills, stopped by the oldest Church in the Philippines and chanced upon the place where the first blood compact in the Philippines was held. Along with the tour was an exciting luncheon cruise served in a buffet in Loboc River where we were then serenaded by an acoustic singer, singing songs from different genre.

The natural habitat of the Philippine Tarsier in Bohol also serves as a sanctuary to preserve one of the  smallest primates in the country which is considered an endangered specie.

Shy yet cuddly creatures, they have this unique characteristic of turning its head 180 degrees.
Considered a nocturnal animal, they live on insects, crickets and may even hunt for bats, birds and reptiles.
Tarsius Syrichta or Bohol Tarsiers have 2 huge eyes that cannot move. They live basically in the roots  or trunk of the trees. They can also be found in the holes of trees.
Dryopteris ferns growing on trees where the tarsiers thrive.

My hubby and kids while I  took the shot, we had to take 214 steps to get to... 
the Chocolate Hills! Where the bronze plaque lies on the view deck, an explanation of  how the  charming Chocolate Hills came to be was written on it.
With abundant Dryopteris mountain ferns growing, the amazing Chocolate Hills consisted of 1,268 in all are almost uniform in their sizes. 
Baclayon Church built in the 18th century considered one of the oldest churches in the Philippines. The walls, murals and relics of saints are preserved and attract many tourist who visit the place.

Our cruise along Loboc River started in Poblacion or the town proper  of Loboc Municipality 25 kilometers away from Tagbilaran City.
As guests, we were offered a sumptuous buffet of seafoods, chicken, pork, variety of vegetables and several Filipino delicacies with fresh tropical fruits while listening to the guitar man singing songs from different genre while... 
cruising along the winding, long and narrow river enjoying the tropical atmosphere of lush coconut and palm trees, bushes, shrubs grasses and clinging vines...
with the sound of the rushing waters made by the mini-waterfalls after which...
we had a closer view of Busay Falls which meant we had to go back from where we started ending our one hour cruise.

Many thanks to Miss Bing, our guide who took time to tour us around the place, who patiently addressed the kids' curiosity and generously gave us all the information we needed and who unselfishly assisted us throughout the trip.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


My penchant for ferns began way back before I started gardening. With the right soil, environment and light, little care is all they need in order to survive. Like an eagle’s wings widely spread out, the green fronds always add life to a garden, be it in a greenhouse or in a simple yard for that matter. Some of the owners of plant shops I frequently visit call them pakpak lawin which means eagle’s wings. Others call them dapo or pako.
Little did I know that my first ferns were Asplenium Nidus or bird’s nest. Having done a little research, I found out that they grow well with bromeliads. Being an epiphyte and a terrestrial plant, it thrives well in organic matter and in partial shade. In as much as I wanted to have them on trees for a rainforest garden effect, I only have palm trees planted in the small yard: the manila, foxtail and champagne palms. I noticed that repotting the ferns to a larger container would make them grow so fast that they may even look too big for the small yard!
Asplenium Nidus 
Look at these curly fronds of A. Nidus Antiquum. It is also called Osaka fern or Japanese bird’s nest. Like the rest of the other ferns, it does not require direct sunlight, only full to partial shade.
A. Nidus Antiquum
These odd looking fronds of Platycerium Superbum a.k.a staghorn fern attract me most. The first time I heard the word staghorn aside from its true meaning  was when I had a patient with a staghorn kidney stone which means stones formed occupying the renal pelvis of the kidney, thus taking the shape of a staghorn. Now, I am still taking care of a staghorn, a healthy staghorn fern.
Platycerium Superbum
Asplenium Cristata Scolopendrium has long fronds that appear to have torn edges and curled. Moist, well-drained soil is a must for almost all types of fern. Direct sunlight can easily burn the fronds even for a short period of time.
A. Cristata Scolopendrium
And the last two ferns in the garden and still counting...
Dryopteris Crispa
Dryopteris Complexa
HAPPY GARDEN BLOGGERS' BLOOM DAY! Thank you, Carol of maydreamsgarden for hosting such a wonderful GBBD...

Saturday, February 4, 2012


The Guzmania had produced two pups.  It’s TIME I remove them from their mother plant.
Mother Guzmania
Two pups
This is the second TIME this Neoregelia “Debbie” produced an offshoot.  The last TIME, it had three pups, now it only produced one.
Red Neoregelia
TIME to transplant… I was not quite sure what the best soil was for them so this was recommended to me. I think it’s worth a try.

TIME to try this new water wand my hubby bought for me. At first, it was hard for me to let go of the old nozzle of the garden hose. I was glad and thankful to him when I realized how useful and convenient it was for me when watering the hanging Begonias… New features were added like the angle, full, etc. Most of the TIME, I use mist and shower.
water wand nozzle
Tomorrow is Saturday, bonding TIME with the kids. We’ll go bird watching as I had promised. It is this TIME of the year when migratory birds come and visit our place. I’m not sure what kind of birds we’ll be watching though this TIME; I wish the weather is kind enough to let us…
by hardinars

These Hands