I have always been surrounded by plants having parents who love gardening. No matter how small the allotted space in our home, our family always had plants. I've always wanted to be like them with the aptitude and the "green thumb" for making a variety of plants thrive under their care. Growing up, they always supported my efforts but, sadly, I've always failed. I tried vegetable gardening and was rewarded with a tray full of weeds. I also studied the art of bonsai but ended up killing the poor plants! I've bought sunflower growing kits but was never successful in growing them and seeing them flower.
It is only now that, with Djop, I tried my hand at succulents and cacti. And, finally, I have found my inner green thumb!
We got our first batch of succulents during a plant show in February and started with 4 plants. My brother Mark added to my collection and got me an additional 2 more plants! I researched and read about the proper care for the plants and got to work. Experience is really the best teacher... most of those plants died under my inexperienced care but, with the encouragement of Djop, my family, and friends who are also into succulents, I got a new batch and this time, took extra care and learned to respond to the plants.
|First batch of succulents which I named (but regretted since most of them died...)|
|Gifts from my enabler brother =P|
Now, 5 months after we got our first plants, Djop and I have a mostly-thriving collection of succulents and cacti! Most plants we buy in the plant area adjacent to Farmer's Market in Cubao (I included a map at the end of this post for reference), some are generously given by family members, and others are cuttings given by friends.
|Another batch bought at another plant show in the Quezon Memorial Circle|
|We learned how to use pumice in our potting mix|
and also how to do leaf propagation
Recently, we've spent a lot of our free time and weekends working on our small balcony garden. We've still had some casualties here and there and putting them on the list of "To Buy Again Soon."
We've also had some pretty exciting milestones with our plants! Our frailea's are very generous in producing seed pods and some of our plants have gifted us with their pretty flowers.
|Our aptenia continues to bloom!|
|Thank you, mom, for our gymnocalycium!!!|
We've just sowed our frailea seedlings after harvesting from the seed pod and we're hoping for the best! The first batch that Djop sowed have already sprouted!!!
So, since I do not have any time and energy for birding, and because I am saddened and getting depressed and anxious because of it... our succulents save the day (and my sanity!)
To those wanting to check out the shops in Farmer's, here's a map to the Farmer's Garden area with walking directions from the MRT Araneta Cubao station. I included other landmarks such as the Smart Araneta Coliseum and the LRT2 Araneta Center Cubao Station so you can orient yourself: