Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Magical blooms

The best thing about the rainy season here in the Philippines is how everything turns lush and green seemingly all of a sudden after a dry, brown summer. Our garden at home is now full of flowers and to me, it's all magical because I have no idea where most of them came from or what they're called.

Some of you may already know that I'm an absolute doofus when it comes to plants and flowers. I like them, but I usually don't bother learning their names or how to care for them. I'll buy flower seeds, stick them in the ground, and by the time they've grown and bloomed—after a few weeks, months, or even years—I've forgotten the name written on the packet. One of our friends works at a property development company and would sometimes give us plants left over after the landscaping is done. Our maid likes puttering around in the garden and our neighbor's maid is her sister—I think they share plants because I see some of ours suddenly growing in their garden and I see plants in our garden that I've never seen before.

Anyway, here are a dozen flowers that I saw in our garden over the weekend. I know we have several more, but they're not in bloom right now. I'm afraid I only know the names of two of them (pathetic!) so feel free to educate me if you know what they are.

Winged. The plant is a woody shrub and these yellow flowers only grow at the tips of the branches. I love those long white petals—they look like wings.

Sampaguita-like. Except for the fuchsia centers, these little flowers remind me of Sampaguita (Jasmine), the Philippines' national flower. These grow in clusters on the tips of the branches of a shrub.

Feathers. Whatever this is, I love it's delicate wave and the wispy petals.

Tiny. Perfect as ground cover, this plant's flowers are less than half a centimeter in diameter.

Help. This poor thing's leaves don't look healthy and the flowers lack their usual vibrant color. I have no idea what's wrong or what to do to help it. I see some at my neighbor's front yard and they're beautiful and healthy. It can't be too much rain, because hers are fully exposed too. Maybe they need richer soil than what we have?

Santan. This is one plant I actually have a name for. Santan is what we call it in Tagalog and it's a shrub that is commonly used to line paths, walls and fences. They come in different colors and the flowers grow in clusters. They like being in full sunlight so now that it's the rainy season, they don't have as many blooms. When we were kids, we'd pull out the pistils to suck on them—sweet!

Red fir. Somehow, that's what this flower reminds me of. And even without the flowers, its leaves are so extravagantly round and lush, they always look great.

Everyday. Thanks to a blogger friend from India, I now know that this small, simple flower is a Madagascar Periwinkle. Here in the Philippines, it's called Chichirica or Araw-araw (everyday). It grows everywhere and anywhere, even between the cracks of the pavement. Its roots are very shallow and can be pulled out with a gentle tug, but the strongest of storms won't uproot it because it will just bend down with the wind.

Sleepyhead. This sweet flower attracts all the bees in the neighborhood during the daytime. Then it shrivels up into almost nothing when the sun goes down.

Fuzzy. Like an orange umbrella on fuzzy grains of wheat.

Yellow tongue. This grew from a packet of seeds and the blooms remind me of Orchids, but they're only one centimeter wide.

Open wide. I keep thinking that this flower looks like it has a mouth. Is it just me? The plant's leaves look like a Lily's and the stamen reminds me of a Lily's too—probably a relative.


Layrayski said...

very pretty flower photos hilda! You have these flowers in your garden? Sweet! its so filipino. Hehe ah I thought that was really a sampaguita. I shot a santan flower using macro mode but it didn't turn up as well as yours did. Nice.


Debbie Courson Smith said...

Sleepyhead is a hibiscus, which we even have here in my part of the world.

Anonymous said...

What great shots.. I love the flowers.. thanks for sharing

Ming1881 said...

Great flower shots & descriptions there Hilda. Very nice color & composition. I have never taken pics of flower with my camera but after seeing these shot i might give it a try this weekend. :-)

Greeting from Singapore!


JaamZIN said...

wonderful flowers:)

Unknown said...

I would really love to help you with flowers id, but i have no idea what they are... sorry!
Even so, I'm glad I've tried, otherwise i wouldn't have seen your beauties!!! :-)

USelaine said...

I'm afraid I can only help with the first plant, because your climate is so different than mine in northern California. I tried looking up "shrimp plant" in Wikipedia, because that is what I remember seeing in the Los Angeles area as a kid. (We used to pull off the white flowers and taste the sweet nectar at their base!) Your variety is this one.

Unknown said...

Some beautiful flower shots Hilda, great work with the lovely colours.


Thank you for coming on
and for your coments.
Your flower are very nice and full of colors.

Vodka Mom said...

OMG! I love these pics. I love flowers, and need to show more of them on my site. Thanks for the inspiration.

Cláudia said...

Hi, Hilda. Several of these flowers we can see here in Brasil. The 6ªth is one which I have in my blog with a bee in it! If you want to see...

Ioannis said...

Pretty Pretty flowers! I love them.

I recognize some of the plants here.

Sampaguita like is what we call Aurora.

Feathers is a Taheebo plant

The poor plant that needs help is a Zinnia, but we call them Engkantadora because everytime we plant the seeds it bears, the plants usually bears colors that is different from its mother plant.

Open Wide is a Eucharis. Some call it an Amazon Lily, from its place of origin.

Unknown said...

The first one yellow flower with white wings is named as GOLDEN SHRIMP