Over the weekend, I did a few more plantings for my weekend farm.
Some more plants blooming this Easter. These plants are growing in the lowlands of Metro Manila.
I have not visited my weekend farm for a long time already; but I would like to share some interesting plants flowering in the lowlands of Manila.
I’ve been using an orchid as litmus.
It may not be the best method; and definitely not the most scientific, but this is just for leisure! I’ve planted a lot of Phalaenopsis schilleriana orchids and these continue to give me an indication of the climate in my weekend farm.
Firstly, these plants need to receive enough moisture to survive. For now, I can only visit the farm during my free weekends which means that I’m incapable of watering my plants regularly. Also, I can’t afford a caretaker to live at my plot; hence I’m at the mercy of nature for now. So far, the orchids I have planted have grown roots and a lot of them are actually blooming! Apart from those, I planted fruit trees like cacao and mangosteen and these are growing without watering.
More than that, these orchids gave me an indication of what other crops I can plant. Phalaenopsis schilleriana plants will only bloom in cooler weather. This means that I can try to grow cooler weather crops (at least relative to my location here in the tropics) like more exotic/non-local fruits and vegetables.
These plants have been in my plot for months, and a few plants have just been in flower recently. Apparently, it has caught the attention of a few people who may have chanced upon my area. During my last visit I found that two plants which were in flower have been plucked from the branches. I wasn’t surprised that this happened; but now I realize that my area is too open and some people might think it’s alright to pluck a few plants for them to take.
And so this plant is telling me to do something about it.
It’s interesting that someone has found plants growing on my weekend farm attractive!
I just continue to hope they’ll admire it and not take plants from my weekend farm. Still, I should work on that nice looking bamboo fence already :))
I’ve planted several local species of Phalaenopsis.
These are the first ones to flower at my weekend farm.
I attached some Vanda lamellata plants to this coffee tree a few months ago and now a lot of them are flowering.
One plant which came from Mindoro looks very distinct.
It definitely does not look like the variety from calayan islands nor the type species.
But it does resemble the variety remediosae and variety boxalli a bit.
I wonder if this could be new.
This is the first Vanda lamellata to bloom in the weekend farm!
The plant was a cutting separated from a clump of Vanda lamellata var. remediosae which originated from the Calayan islands in North Luzon.
…the original clump had flowers that looked like the photo below:
I attached the stem cutting to a coffee tree at the weekend farm around two months ago.
…looking at the blooms, it seems to be more similar to the “boxalli” variety.
perhaps the cold weather made it evolve into a different variety at an instant?
I took photos go the same plant yesterday and the plant is really a Vanda lamellata var. remediosae. The photo above (using a camera phone) just made it look like Vanda lamellata var. boxalli. Below are photos using a better camera
In Southern Luzon, tiger orchids are very popular. Its scientific name is Phalaenopsis schilleriana. These orchids captivated me as kid. It had leathery leaves that reminded me of elephant ears and its leaves were stripped with silver and purple. These never flower in the lowlands since they need cooler temperature to bloom, but a lot of people still keep them anyway.
I was fascinated growing them since its leaves and roots looked wild.
This tiger orchid, Phalaenopsis schilleriana, is definitely more common. It produces pink flowers that sometimes smell like cotton candy. I’ve planted a lot of these in the coffee trees and I want to plant more because the coffee trees will look like cherry blossoms when these are in bloom.
The other tiger orchid is the less common Phalaenopsis stuartiana.
I saw a few plants of Phalaenopsis stuartiana at the sunday market a few weekends ago, so I bought two plants.
Instead of pink flowers the Phalaenopsis stuartiana has white flowers. When not in bloom, it’s close to impossible to distinguish it from the more common tiger orchid (Phalaenopsis schilleriana)… but I noticed that this plant might have rounder and greener leaves.
Last week during my weekend farm visit, I planted the two Phalaenopsis stuartiana plants on their coffee trees.
I was worried about the possible heavy traffic on the road due to people visiting the cemeteries, but I drove to the farm anyway.
The drive was actually swift, there were fewer jeeps and buses on the road.
For the second time, my car was full. I had to fold the backseats so that I could fit the logs of Dracaena (Yucca) in my car. I collected these just last weekend. The goal for this visit was to continue where I left-off from the green fence planting.
Lucky, I wasn’t working alone. My friend Gab was visiting Manila for a few days, he phoned me since he wanted to check on the farm plot while he’s here. So, just like that, I got help.
We started planting at the back portion of the lot. Planting the first five logs was quite fast since the area was a bit clear.
Before this, It was difficult to determine the boundaries at this portion of my property. While digging, I found patches of ginger. I plucked a stem for me to take home.
As we continued, the land started to slope down, the soil became harder, and the area was overgrown with coffee, banana and weedy vines. It would take more time and more people to clear and plant on this area.
It was noon…so we deserted this task.
Before leaving, I proceeded to attach some orchids that I brought. I also checked on the other orchids that I planted just two weeks ago. These are probably the easiest to plant; I just tie these on to some coffee trees.
It’s a delight to do this since it makes me feel that I’m “moving” the land. It also gives me something new to check-up on every time I visit.
I really need to move the land more though… But for now (and for the past few months) I’m glad that I’ve gotten to know the land well.
During the last visit, I checked on the plants that I attached on the coffee trees.
Weeks prior this visit, I planted more than thirty seedlings of Vanda sanderiana, also known as Waling-waling which Joy gave to me. I checked them and they all seemed to be doing fine; there was no sign of dehydration, but no sign of new roots and leaves yet. The leaves turned into a reddish color, perhaps this was caused by the strong light and the cool weather.
Weeks prior planting the Waling-waling seedlings, I attached some Phalaenopsis schilleriana plants. All of them grew thick roots attaching themselves to the branches. Most of them are developing spikes which will show flowers soon! Since plants are not yet well established, it’s very possible that they won’t produce a lot of flowers. I want to plant more of these, so next year the coffee trees will look like cherry blossom trees.
Apart from checking the things I planted, I added a few more species!