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The Flowers in My Garden, a Photo Gallery

Thelma is a Filipina Expat living in Germany. She shares her Philippines life and travel experiences about her beautiful home country.

My  garden.

My garden.

Gardening has become a new hobby of mine for more than a year now since I live in my home country Philippines during wintertime in Europe. Leaving Germany for a tropical weather is an opportunity to escape from the cold that aches my bones. Surely, I appreciate the good life that God has given me and of course not to forget the kindness and the understanding of my better half.

That was in the last quarter of the year 2011 when I arrived in my hometown and spent a few months until spring 2012. It was a coming home from a long journey. It was good, but there was something lacking. My mother was no longer there. She´s gone to heaven. I could see that by her absence, our front garden was a bit "deserted". I was upset at the appearance of the garden that I wrote a poem, My Beautiful Orchids. It was not only the orchids which were dying. Other flowers like bougainvilleas, too.

On that first week of my arrival, I started gardening. I planted new plants and I communicated with the old ones. I know it sounds weird, but I do really talk to my plants. I don´t care what other people think about me. Now, the flowers are rewarding me with their beauty that I have to share them with you.


Orchids are one of the beautiful flowering plants that I love. They have varieties of colours and fragrances. They are commonly found in the tropical climate countries like Philippines, Thailand, some Central and South American countries. Orchids are cultivated in temperated glass houses in some parts of Europe like in The Netherlands. They are in pots as they are easy to be sold to the customers.

There are many types of orchids:

  • Phalaenopsis or Moth Orchids
  • Cattleyas
  • Dendrobiums
  • Vandas
  • Oncidiums or Dancing Ladies
  • Miltonias

Plumeria, Frangipani, Temple Flowers or Kalachuchi

Plumeria, Frangipani or Kalachuchi flowers

Plumeria, Frangipani or Kalachuchi flowers

This beautiful flower has many names. It´s scientific name is Adenium Obesum and it´s latin name is Plumeria. It is usually called Kalachuchi (Philippines), Temple Flower, Frangipani or Desert Rose in other countries.The size of this plant depends on where you plant it. You can have it indoor or outdoor. In a pot or in your garden where it can grow big like a tree. There are pink, white, yellow and in other hybrid colours.

My Kalachuchi blooms often in the garden to my delight. It has an awesome fragrant specially at nighttime. This reminds me of my high school graduation day as I got a necklace from my mother made of Kalachuchi.

Bougainvilleas are named after an Explorer and French Navy Admiral Louis Antoine de Bougainville. Bougainvilleas are common plants in tropical countries. They are in red, pink, violet, orange and white colour. They are easy to grow in the pots, in the garden and usually used as a climber to cover an old ugly fence.

Bougainvilleas are thorny, showy, beautiful and easy to care flowers and give more blooms when they are in stress. You don´t have to water them everyday and they are pest free. You can even trim them to climb on the walls of your houses as a crown. Whichever you want them to be.

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Mussaenda or Dona Aurora (common name in the Philippines) is a beautiful bush flower that is easy to grow. It grows from a shrub until it becomes a medium size tree and it is easy to grow. It blooms all year round. The flowers are in bracts, either in white or in pink colour with a yellow small flower at the center of each bracts.

Dona Aurora plant is named after the widow of the First President of the Philippines, Manuel Luis Quezon. She was killed in a massacre in 1949 when she attended the opening of Quezon Memorial hospital. (Source: Aurora Quezon/A Girl´s Notebook)


Portulaca grandiflora or Moss rose is native to Asia, Argentina and some parts of Brazil. It is a small flowering plant which grows easily up to at least 30 cm long when it is planted in a hanging basket. The leaves are at least 2 cm long, thick and fleashy. The flower has 5 petals and in 2 - 3 cm in diameter. The colours are in red, yellow, pink, white and orange. It needs sunlight, well drained soil and less care.

Portulaca is usually in full bloom at ten o´clock in the morning that´s why in some countries, it´s called Time Flower or 10 o´clock Flower. (Source: Wikipedia)

Heliconia or Birds of Paradise is a common name of Strelitzia, a genus perennial plant. It is named in honor of Queen Charlotte of Englands´ birthplace Mecklenburg-Strelitz, which is in the northern part of Germany.

There are more than 100 varieties of Heliconia and they are native to tropical countries of America and Asia. The leaves are similar to banana leaves in appearance, which is ca. 2 feet long and ca. 20 cm wide but has a long stalk. It grows at least 1 meter high. The bracts of the flowers are in red, yellow, green and orange. They are easy to grow and need less care.

Zinnia elegans is a wild flower which is native to Mexico. It is named after the German botanist Johann Gottfried Zinn. This flower resembles dahlia or daisy. It is easy to grow in a dry, hot and humid climate. It loves full sunlight and well drained soil. It dies easily when it is transplanted.

There are many varieties of Zinnias. From dwarf (ca.15 cm height) to giant ones, which is about 70 cm high and the flowerheads are from 2 -5 cm in diameter. Some Zinnia gives flowers with different kinds of sizes, colours and in single, doubled or in many layers. The colours are yellow, red, pink, white, orange, bordeaux, cream and violet. Some of the flowers are speckled, bicolor or in stripes. Zinnias attract butterflies, birds and hummingbirds. (Source: Zinnias in my garden)

Zinnia Video

Etlingera elatior has many common names. Some call it Torch Ginger, Red Ginger Lily, Torch Lily, Wild Ginger or Philippine Waxflower. Torch Ginger as I like to call it, is a perennial plant. It is native in some tropical and Asian countries. It can grow wild to about 6 meter tall when it´s not trimmed. It has a long stem bud that comes from an underground fleashy rhizomes. It looks like a torch before it blooms and the inflorescence is in red or pink large bracts. It has a waxy petals.

Torch Ginger is the tallest ginger I have ever seen in my life. It´s best planted in a shady part of the garden. It attracts butterflies, bees and birds. The cuttings are beautiful as home ornaments. The unopened buds are edible. They are usually used in Asian cooking.

My Torch Ginger Video

My Reward

These are some of the flowers in my garden. Birds and butterflies are visiting them everyday. Sometimes I saw a dozen of them flying around the garden, from flowers to flowers. Some of the birds had built their nests on the Birds of Paradise plants, so I hung a plastic bottle half filled with water on a guava tree. Just in case they might get thirsty.

I hope I have not bored you. I was thinking that surely, I can write at least 600 words about my plants. I did not expect that through my research, I learned more about them and that this hub has reached more than thousand words.

Thanks for reading and please leave a comment.

Source: Wikipedia and Aurora Quezon/ A Girl´s Notebook

The Authors Tropical Garden

© 2013 Thelma Alberts


Thelma Alberts (author) from Germany on March 13, 2020:

Hi Chitrangada Sharan,

Thank you very much for coming back to this hub. Congratulations to your new home. I am very happy for you. I am very sure that you are loving your garden. Planting and taking care of a garden is very therapeutic and this will give you ideas what to write about. Have a wonderful time gardening.

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on March 12, 2020:

Came back to read and enjoy your beautiful article about the lovely flowers in your garden. Loved the pictures, videos and the details.

Since We shifted to our own, new home, I have the privilege of owning a small, but beautiful garden. I have planted many flowering plants in the pots, as well as my garden. And, I love watching them grow and blossom.

Thank you for sharing this wonderful article.

Thelma Alberts (author) from Germany on February 07, 2020:

Hi Carol. Orchids is one of my favourite flowers, too. They are indeed beautiful. Thank you and have a lovely weekend.

Thelma Alberts (author) from Germany on February 07, 2020:

Hi RoadMonkey. Yes, it is my way of remembering my late mother. Torch ginger is easy to grow. I just planted it from the roots my sister had and now they are so plenty. Thank you for stopping by. Have a nice weekend.

Carol Taylor on February 01, 2020:

Beautiful, Thelma...Orchids are one of my favourite flowers so very pretty

RoadMonkey on February 01, 2020:

What beautiful flowers. Improving your mother's garden is surely a lovely way to remember her. I live in a temperate climate so those flowers will not grow here. I would love to grow that torch ginger!

Thelma Alberts (author) from Germany on October 18, 2019:

Thank you very much L M Reid. Have a nice weekend!

L M Reid from Ireland on October 18, 2019:

You really have a beautiful garden. I love the orchads.

Thelma Alberts (author) from Germany on March 12, 2018:

Thank you very much GlenR. I am sure Singapore and the botanical garden were amazing. Thanks for dropping by.

Glen Rix from UK on March 12, 2018:

What a lovely tropical garden. I have recently returned from a trip to Singapore, where I was lucky enough to explore the Botanic Gardens Your article has reminded me of that time.

Thelma Alberts (author) from Germany on November 15, 2015:

Hi queenie o! I have check your Pinterest account and I like it. I am following you now. I see you live in my home country. It´s great. Thanks for reading my posts. I´m glad to know you. Enjoy your life there and be careful.

queenie o. on November 13, 2015:

Hi Thelma,

Just now found your post and pictures here and on pinterest! It's fun to see another Philippine gardener, and I'm excited to read all your posts.

If you'd like to follow my pinterest garden picks, look for my Philippine related boards there at queenie o.


Thelma Alberts (author) from Germany on August 26, 2015:

Hi Annie Sabeniano-Espiritu,

Thank you very much for your visit. Sorry to hear about the death of your mother. I did not know the name of Torch Ginger until I accidentally saw the flower online and checked it out and voila I knew the name.

It´s easy to plant that flower in your garden and you don´t have to take care much of it unless you have to cut the branches when they are tall. This plant thrive so fast. I mostly bring this flower to the grave of my mother and I use them as ornament inside the house. Thanks for your visit. Have a nice day!

Annie Sabeniano-Espiritu on August 26, 2015:

What a beautiful hub! Thank you for sharing your garden. It reminded me to strive for one of my bucket have my own garden full of different flowering plants.

I love the flowers especially "Etlingera elatior or Torch Ginger, Red Ginger Lily or Philippine Waxflower" (now I know the name of the this flower)

It reminded me of my mother...she had a garden full of these flowers. When she died last July 2014, we discovered that most of our neighbors in Bicol have them in their gardens courtesy of my mother. They also shared that my mother regularly bring those flowers to church.

Thelma Alberts (author) from Germany on February 28, 2015:

Thank you very much FlourishAnyway. Yes, it´s nice to have a warm weather again. I hope spring will come soon. Happy Sunday!

FlourishAnyway from USA on February 27, 2015:

What a beautiful hub. Especially with all the snow on the ground your beautiful garden makes me dream of warmer weather.

Thelma Alberts (author) from Germany on February 06, 2015:

Thank you very much for your wonderful comment How to - Answers . I appreciate that. Yes, I am lucky to be able to spend some time every year in my home country. I hope I can do that this year, too. Happy weekend!

Thelma Alberts (author) from Germany on February 06, 2015:

Hi nancynurse,

You are very welcome. Yes, having the orchids hanging on the trees are special and beautiful to look at. Have a nice weekend!

L M Reid from Ireland on February 06, 2015:

What a fantastic article about your garden in the Philippines and how lucky you are to be able to spend some time there every year.

Butterflies and birds in the garden always brings me a lot of pleasure too

Thank you for sharing your garden with us. Voted up and shared

Nancy McClintock from Southeast USA on February 05, 2015:

Hi Thanks for commenting on my orchid hub. I love the ones growing in your yard. They are beautiful. How special to have them in the tree. Thanks again. Nancy

Thelma Alberts (author) from Germany on February 02, 2015:

Hi ChitrangadaSharan,

Thank you for your wonderful comment. You know, I am not near to my garden now as I am in my adopted country Germany. My garden is taken care of my cousin now as I am very far away and the flowers are getting plenty. She updated me every week while I´m away. I hope to be able to be there before this year end. Thanks again for your visit.

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on February 02, 2015:

What an amazingly beautiful hub!

I love growing flowers but do not have so much space. So most of them are in pots. But my heart is filled with joy, each time a new bud comes out.

Your garden looks amazing and I love each variety of flower displayed above and their beautiful pictures.

Thanks for sharing this wonderful hub, voted up!

Thelma Alberts (author) from Germany on January 29, 2015:

Hi Susie aka colorfulone, thanks for your nice comment. I appreciate that. Have a nice day!

Susie Lehto from Minnesota on January 28, 2015:

Thelma, your love for flowers shows brightly in the colorful gardens that you care for. Thank you for sharing so many pretty photos.

Thelma Alberts (author) from Germany on December 20, 2014:

Hi tobusiness! I am glad that you like what I have written. I have more flowers in my garden now which were not yet there when I wrote this hub. I think I will write another about my garden.

Sorry to hear about your mother. Thanks for your wonderful comment. Merry Christmas to you and advance happy New Year 2015.

Jo Alexis-Hagues from Lincolnshire, U.K on December 18, 2014:

Thelma, this hub is a veritable feast, not only for the eyes but for the soul. I could easily sit here and happily scroll from image to image. Your story about finding the garden in a sad state, reminded me of when I returned to the Grenadines after the death of my own mother.

Your orchids are glorious, zinnias were the first flowers to bloom in my very first garden. A real pleasure.

Thelma Alberts (author) from Germany on December 01, 2014:

Hi greatstuff! Oh, yes I can update this hub as my garden has plenty of flowers now. Thanks for reminding me this. I will do that as soon as possible. Thank you for your comment. Have a nice week!

Thelma Alberts (author) from Germany on December 01, 2014:

Hi Nell! Thank you very much for your visit and for sharing this hub to others. Yes, it is wonderful to live in 2 different countries but it also needs money for the tickets. Good night! Have a great week!

Mazlan A from Malaysia on November 28, 2014:

I just came across this hub of yours and it's almost 18 months since you wrote it. I bet your garden has better and more beautiful blooms now. I love all the plants that you have esp. orchids and helicons. Maybe you should update and shows us the latest photos!

Nell Rose from England on November 28, 2014:

How beautiful! to live in two different countries must be awesome, I am useless at growing flowers and plants, I would love a beautiful garden! voted up and shared! nell

Thelma Alberts (author) from Germany on August 28, 2014:

Hi RTalloni!

Yes, I am so lucky to enjoy both of the best of my countries. Mussaenda is a beautiful flower and it is easy to plant. You can plant this flower in a pot and put this inside the house during winter time as this is a tropical flower. Thanks for your wonderful comment. Have a lovely day!

RTalloni on August 27, 2014:

How lovely that you are able to live between Germany and the Philippines on a season basis, enjoying the best of both! Some of your flowers are common to our area but there is one I would like to add to my garden. The mussaenda would be a wonder to enjoy with its beautiful year round blooms, but I'm not sure our climate would be good for it. Thanks for sharing your photos with us!