• The season’s burst of beauty


    There is still a breeze but it is much warmer than it used to be in January and February. But with the warmth come the flowers.

    Suddenly, last week all the narras in the vicinity burst into their tiny little blooms. Some narra trees shed most of their leaves and stood enveloped in yellow against the sky. Then if you were lucky enough to be in an open space where they bloom, you would be blessed with the sight of a carpet of yellow under the tree, all the little blooms ephemeral as always and delicate as ever that the breeze nudges them down from their heights to the earth below. Like a gift from above descending to the grassroots.

    My ilang-ilang tree is laden with yellow blooms. It is a slender tree, prone to bend with the wind when the amihan or the habagat blow over according to season. Yet it is sturdy and blooms appropriately, its flowers in an orderly file along the branch.

    Meanwhile, my pili tree (picked up as a tiny sapling from a Sorsogon roadside decades ago) is now a full grown giant with tiny leaves to endure a typhoon’s winds and as it is summer abundant with pili fruit. I can hardly believe that from such an inauspicious sapling a giant of a tree has grown.

    I am awaiting my macopa to produce. It has flowers, I expect fruit soon enough. They are not impressively large or particularly well colored but they are good enough to look at and to add slivers of them on green salads for a delightfully crunchy taste.

    The bignay should pop up with its fruit in bunches, very decorative strings of tiny round beads that are red against its green leaves.

    I am also keeping an eye on the Palawan Cherry tree, figuring out when it will burst into blooms of white and pink. It is warm enough to get the flowers out soon.

    My Doña Eva, the red mussaenda hybrid, that is the hardest to cultivate of them all, has gone into hibernation. It is part of its cycle. It has shed all its leaves, has no flowers, and manifests itself as a bunch of seemingly dried little branches. Soon it will burst into plentiful red flowers that will attract the eye even in a garden with a lot of competition for the rich red of its blooms.

    Meanwhile, the waling walings have bloomed and while past their peak are still intact, the sanggumay whites are dripping from their vines and a variety of native orchid with tiny red flowers whose name escapes me are abloom on the trunks of trees.

    I can’t complain about my yellow hibiscus that I bought in Iloilo a few years ago. All through the year it blooms in multiples.

    One tree that has quietly bloomed with virtually invisible flowers, but if you look hard enough you will see the tiny white flowers is the malik malik, the tree with two-color leaves like the caimito – brown under, green above. And speaking of caimito, my caimito tree has been attracting three orioles who fly in from the Wack Wack golf course to feast on the fruits high above. They make quite a racket but are never still enough for me to catch a photo of them. But you will hear them as they make forest sounds, something between whistling and wailing.

    In Baguio the lady’s slipper plants are in full bloom, tiny slippers hanging from the plant like a cascade of striped green little vessels. Jacarandas are beginning to bloom, the one in front of Mansion House has begun to. Mine at home have their buds all lined up, their leaves shed and I expect the burst of blue in a few weeks.

    Bougainvilla colors in Baguio are a special deep violet, a magenta, a fuschia and a red blood color. They are at the acme of summer flowering and have to be seen to be believed.

    Meanwhile, the climbing tiny rose, all pink and plentiful in a bush is meeting the sun of summer together with the hamshaw flowers of several hues and wonderful aroma.

    At the Baguio flower market, the agapanthus are abundant in violet and white together with a variety of others that it beguiles the mind to just take them in and stop cataloguing them.

    That is what I will do.



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