Thelma is a Filipina Expat living in Germany. She shares her Philippines life and travel experiences about her beautiful home country.
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
- Oncidiums or Dancing Ladies
Plumeria, Frangipani, Temple Flowers or Kalachuchi
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.
Mussaenda Bush or Dona Aurora
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
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, Birds of Paradise or Strelitzia
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)
Etlingera elatior or Torch Ginger, Red Ginger Lily or Philippine Waxflower
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
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.