Planting continues

Over the weekend, I did a few more plantings for my weekend farm.

2015-10-11 13.31.08

a peach/pink Mussaenda philipicca planted in between the heliconia plants

2015-10-11 13.31.19

a dark pink Mussaenda philippica

2015-10-11 13.32.19

a white Mussaenda philippica along the barbed fence

2015-10-11 13.32.06

at the rightmost and the leftmost are cacao seedling planted a few weeks ago, in between are new plantings of Mussaenda philippic and a Lanzones seedling

2015-10-11 13.36.53

a second Lanzones seedling

2015-10-11 13.35.27

from left to right: the third Lanzones seedling, a giant custard apple sapling, and the cacao seedling planted a few weeks ago

2015-10-11 13.32.45

This coffee tree used to be filled with at least 7 species of native orchids. It was stripped bare by orchid bandits a few months ago. I planted clumps of Vanda lamellata on this tree. (Notice how the powder puff tree and the Dracaena multiflora are all growing nicely!)

2015-10-11 13.34.21

This coffee tree used to be filled with Phalaenopsis schilleriana plants and Vanda javierae plants. The orchid thief stripped this tree bare a few months ago, now I’ve planted some Vanda lamellata on it.

2015-10-11 13.35.50

Mang Joel has done a great job of cleaning the area and keeping the weeds from growing tall. The front-half of my weekend farm now looks cleaner. If you look closely, you will already see seedlings of vegetables growing!

2015-10-11 13.35.38

work in progress! The middle portion of my weekend farm is still being prepared by Mang Joel for planting

2015-10-11 13.36.02

Upo (Bottle Gourd) seedling growing on my weekend farm

2015-10-11 13.36.16

corn seedlings sprouting from the ground

2015-10-11 13.35.10

Sitaw (string beans) also sprouting from the ground

2015-10-11 13.34.37

A pleasant surprise. This Phalaenopsis linden grows at the mountain regions of North Luzon at elevations more than 1000 mask. This plant has survived the orchid looters and has been growing in my weekend farm for a year. This is its first blooms in my weekend farm

2015-10-11 11.14.54

flowers of the Phalaenopsis lindenii up close

Plants in the city

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.

2015-02-16 19.02.32

a clump of Vanda lamellata var. remediosae with four flowering spikes. These are native to the Batanes group of islands, particularly in Calayan Island. At Manila, this plant is placed at an area which gets the most sun.

2015-03-03 09.10.54

I’ve kept this Tillandsia xerographica for a few years already. Once its flowers wither, the plant will die and I expect to get a few juvenile plants from this.

2015-02-18 08.23.29

Not sure about the species but it think this is a Coelogyne marmorata. This is a huge clump of plant; twice bigger than a basketball! It only produces few and small flowers. They still look interesting though.

2015-03-03 09.13.59

My Coelogyne usitana is a small plant with around 3-4 psuedobulbs. (stems) This is a photo of a bud about to open

2015-03-11 09.58.33

Coelogyne usitana flower upside-down. These plants are found in Mindanao


The first Vanda lamellata

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:


Vanda lamellata var. remediosae from Calayan islands (photo taken at the plant shop)


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?

2014-11-02 12.27.12

photo of the buds with an insect taken on Nov 2. (a month ago)


2014-11-23 16.28.03

Vanda lamellata var. remediosae. Photo of the flowers yesterday at my weekend farm… flowers already look a bit spent.

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 


photo of the same plant, taken yesterday


It only has a few flowers left

Vanda ustii

This is a native plant from Nueva Viscaya.

It was named after the University of Santo Tomas which is popularly known as UST, hence Vanda ustii.

I have several plants. The two biggest plants bloom every month in the lowlands of Quezon City.

The flowers smell like overly ripe banana.


The first plant which I was able to bloom in Quezon City. It came from Nueva Viscaya from a Sunday market. Although its roots are not well established this plant continues to bloom every time there is a dry spell right after some constant rain.


I did not notice that I captured 2 plants in bloom for this picture. I gave the plant in the foreground to my aunt.


This is the first instance where one of my big plants sent 2 spikes. I can’t wait for it to send 3 or more at the same time.


Photo taken at night time



I invited a few friends for picnic again.

From the previous picnic, I was convinced that I need to set-up temporary structures to make visits more comfortable. These will allow me to stay longer in the plot and accomplish more work.

By next year I want to build my bamboo hut! But for now, I want to set up a temporary shade area. I also want to make an outdoor shower of some sort so I can clean up before entering my car after working on the plot. I also need to build a toilet so the friends I invite can spend more time in the plot.

We had wine, cheese, some fancy dips and tapenades for brunch. It was hot. There were some ants.

I left my friends under the shade to check the water pipe. I was not present when they installed the pipes but I knew where they laid it. I needed to know what it looks like so I can progress with installing my outdoor shower.

I planned on replanting the pineapple in neat rows. I got help from a few friends who held the machete to slash some weedy patches. It was midday. We went back under the shade.


At 1pm it became cloudy. It began to drizzle. I brought with me around thirty orchid plants. I did not want to bring them home again. My friends helped me attach the plants to the coffee trees.

Drizzle became rain. The rain was as cold as cool drinking water. I told my friends, “I told you it’s cool here!”

How I wish I could watch the rain under a nice shade.


I managed to fill, 2 coffee trees with orchids! One tree was filled with Phalaenopsis schilleriana (was not able to take a photo) but we look forward to having coffee beside it when it blooms by summer next year. This coffee tree had Vanda ustii, Ceologyne aspirate, Dendrobium anosmom var. dearei, Phalaenopsis equestris and Ceratostylis retiquissima



The best surprise during my visit! A wild Phalaenopsis seedling that sprouted on a coffee branch! I have to wait for this plant to bloom before I can identify it. It could be a Phalaenopsis aphrodite, a Phalaenopsis equestris or a Phalaenopsis x intermedia.



Clean up was not the goal for this visit. I just wanted to see the extent of the damage.

I wanted to check which of the few things I planted were damaged by the storm. I was expecting to see impassable roads and felled coconut trees.

2014-08-10 17.09.34

photo taken by Sanndra Orosa

Along with a few adventurous friends, some food, and wine; I brought a ground sheet and a shade cover for our make-shift picnic area.

I thought of sharing a story about cleaning up and re-planting after the storm, but I realized I have not started much yet.

Having looked at how the few plants I planted were faring, the land told me a different story.


I attached some orchids to a coffee tree. Grammatophyllum sp., Coelogyne sp., Dendrobium sandarae var. major., and Phalaenopsis aphrodite


Phalaenopsis aphrodite

The Phalaenopsis aphrodite that was attached to a coffee branch had three fresh sets of leaves and new roots firmly attached to the branch.


Platycerium grande

The Platycerium grande (Giant Stag’s-horn-fern) from Mindanao which I flimsily attached to a coconut managed to stay put despite the strong wind of the typhoon.

2014-08-10 14.19.56

Taiwanese olive tree at the foreground

The Taiwanese olive tree has also sent out a robust set of new leaves. It was lucky that no tree or banana was felled on top of it.

It was not good news for some other plants.


a dried-up Vanda javierae attached to a coffee tree

This Vanda javierae, a native in the mountains of Nueva Viscaya, was struggling to survive in the lowlands of Quezon City. It was attached to this coffee tree a few weeks ago. Now, it finally dried up. Perhaps it really needs higher elevation or perhaps it was too weak when I planted it out here.


a 5-year old Yakal tree, slightly uprooted by the storm

Despite being slightly uprooted, the 7-ft Yakal tree is thriving. With proper support, its roots can be given more time to set itself firmly on the ground.


the felled Tipolo tree

Other then some felled banana trees and coconut saplings; it was this Tipolo tree that was the noticeable casualty of the storm.

Our picnic was pleasant but it could be more comfortable. Perhaps I could use that Antipolo tree to build a temporary shelter.