Helping out to make a greener earth

Friday, October 1, 2010

In Bloom - September

The first of the "ber" months has just passed by and with it came a collection of photographs of flowers taken during this time of the year.

Almost all of the photographs were taken from my farm. Hopefully, this will be a regular monthly feature of this blog that will document the various plants as they come into full show. As they say, the Filipinos are just crazy over flowering plants.

Taking center stage of plants that are in bloom in September is the Philippines' queen of orchids, the "waling-waling." From Mindanao, the vanda sanderiana has literally captured the world of orchids as its genes can be found in most vanda hybrids.

It originally came in several forms which may somewhat look different from the ones
now available commercially. Part of this is due to to the improvement done through selective breeding over numerous generations.

The waling waling has developed a cult following among orchid enthusiasts. It has also generated a considerable number of controversies adding to its timeless mystique.

It comes in shades of pink, yellow, and there is even a white form.

The "fire orchid," or renanthera philippinensis is also in full bloom this month. It started last August and has continued till this month.

I was checking the plants in the farm and some plants are still sending spikes which will open by October. Really stunning!
A number of orchid hybrids are also giving a show this month: numerous dendrobiums, cattleyas and phalaenopsis.

Dendrobiums are available almost all year round, in various colors, shapes and sizes.

Huge plants like the King Dragon hybrid (above left) to interesting miniature dendrobium compactum crosses (above and right)

The most cultured orchid genera these days, and surely the most important commercially is also naturally flowering in the farm this month.

Due to high-tech greenhouses, farms can now flower the phalaenopsis at will. Lacking these facilities in the farm, my farm just relies on the natural tendency of these plants to flower at certain times of the year to appreciate the beauty of these graceful butterfly orchids.

And then there are the cattleyas which for the longest time " is the orchid" to most filipino laymen.

Native to the New World, they are definitely alien to our native shores.

While they use to be one of the priciest of all orchids locally, the tag prices have since gone down to more reasonable levels while the beauty has not diminished at all.

Moving on from the orchids, I have seen some interesting ornamentals in bloom as well.

A long time favorite small flowering tree is the Rubia which has red maroon flowers. Reputedly diffcult to propagate, this plant has maintained its limited availability for so many years now. But boy, can it put up a grand show when in bloom.

Placed in a sunny spot in the garden, this plant is sure to please anyone who adores bright profuse blooms that stay on for weeks at a time.

Though mistaken for another plant, the pinwheel gardenia has the characteristic sweet smell that the typical variety is known for. The name is pretty obvious from how the flower looks.

Blue happens to be one of my favorite flower colors. This month this cool-loving plant is all abloom. The Tabouchina produces this delicate blue flowers almost all month long.

Though free flowering in my Amadeo farm, this does not do that well in Manila.

Oh well, that is how it goes for some plants. Part of the joy of gardening is discovering what works and what does not.

And last but not least for this post is one of my all time favorites, the nymphaea or true water lily.

They come in many colors and since we hybridize them at the farm, the variations are quite in numbers that one has to be a keen observer to note the subtle differences.

This is one of the first blooms for this seedling so we expect the flowers to grow bigger and the number of petal layers to increase (I hope) as the plant matures. It has a nice rich pink tone and the plant has been growing quite sturdily.

Oh well, thanks to digital cameras and to blogs, there is now a stronger reason to capture the fleeting beauty of flowers through the passing of the months.

Can't wait for what surprises October will bring.....


  1. I'm no great lover of the Vanda orchid (we only ever tend to see the blue varieties here in the UK), but you've shown me some beauties! The second one in particular is outstanding!!

    I'm growing Tibouchina (urvilleanna) too! I've had to bring it indoors for the winter, but still it continues to produce a succession of blooms. One thing that I have learnt about it though is that it does not like our tap water over here.

  2. I saw a picture you posted on Rubia plant. My question now is how can I propagate more of this red flowering plant because I want to have this all over my garden. I tried propagating using young stems and planting it but it always fails to root.

    Any ideas will be much appreciated.
    Thank you!