Wednesday, March 28, 2012

A Fern That's Not a Fern

Look what an aunt of mine gave me. It's commonly called a foxtail fern but it doesn't belong to the fern family. As the word "fern" comes from old English fearn, it means feather. With dense foliage giving it a fluffy appearance, it resembles a fox's tail. Others call it a bottle brush fern.
A young Asparagus Densiflorous Myersii or foxtail plant
Believing it might be invasive and can grow rapidly on the ground, I preferred to leave it in the old pot. I don't know but there is always something about old, previously used pots. For me, I find it attractive as their appearance improve with age. The crusty white deposits left in the pot were some salts and trace elements from the water and medium used previously. Sometimes, plants could benefit from them by converting these elements into soluble forms that will make it again available to the plants needs.
The shape of this pot allows unrestricted growth of the plant. I can't wait to see these branches with green fluffy foliage draping over the edges of the pot in my small garden. 

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Bits and Pieces

Utilizing the available resources was an essential thing to consider in gardening. Not knowing what to do with old broken clay pots stacked in the corner of my small garden, I opted to ditch them so I could make use of the space I primarily needed for in a garden.

 When I visited an aunt just recently, I saw pieces of broken earthenware covering the ground so as to keep the soil from being too soggy and wet. I thought it looked quite creative to put them in bowls, pots and other containers. Then it struck to me the idea of how to make use of broken bits and pieces of clay pots that I have at home.
Like a jigsaw puzzle, putting altogether the bits and pieces of these earthenware in the container pots was quite fun.

Topiary before

....and after.
Clay pot is a porous material, which being able to absorb water, helps to distribute moisture throughout the medium more evenly and helps to stabilize soil temperature.

Majesty Palm with crazy cut from clay pots
An unknown author once said, "The greatest wastes are the unused talents and untried ideas." In that case, I may not have the talent but I have a few humble ideas...

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Beating the Heat

Summer is official in the Philippines. Weather in Pangasinan has a prevailing temperature of 34 degrees but it feels like 36 degrees Centigrade making it a dry season. Where the scorching heat is too harsh for the plants, finding ways and means to beat the heat are the main concerns to sustain the plants’ needs. Frequent watering will help the plants in a way, but the dry air will cause the leaves to lose the water they’ve absorbed at a faster rate.

Some plants love broken shades. So grateful I have these palm trees even for a small garden that I have, they add a tropical look. 
Foxtail Palm, Wodyetia Bifurcata
Hyophorbe Laginicaulis, Champagne Tree
Verichia Merillii, Manila Palm Tree
Majesty Palm
Others fronds burn easily that a patio umbrella is needed for a filtered sunlight effect. Ferns are sensitive to bright light and they may find it too intense for them. Now I know where I should put these ferns...(sigh)
                      Staghorn fern
Asplenium Nidus
Patio Umbrella
To sustain the requirement of constant humidity, I surround the containers with moist pebbles.
Pebbles help in increasing the humidity as the water evaporates.
Or I simply put the pebbles here...
I opted for white pebbles.
Daily misting is a sure way to give the plants exact amount of humidity. I would not want to oversupply them with water as the soil may turn soggy. When the humidity is low, I mist the plants several times a day especially during daylight hours.

At any rate, I do keep plants in close group, rather than scattered about to help ease their need for humidity.

I am linking this post to Carolyn at thisgrandmothersgarden as I join her in her Walk in the Garden Challenge for this month.

These Hands