Garden Photo of the Day

Raul’s tropical garden in the Phillipines

Today's photos are from our good friend Cherry Ong up in BC, but they're not from her garden. She says, "Here are some photos of our long-time good friend Raul de los Santos' awesome small tropical scented suburban garden in Metro Manila, Philippines, that he designed himself. He used indigenous plants from the region (USDA Hardiness Zone 14). The climate is both wet and dry and these photos show the summer season there, which is between March and May.   Raul tells me he gardens instinctively, basically picking out specimens he likes when at the nursery and asking their growing preferences. The backyard is about 500 square feet in size. I've quizzed Raul about the names of the plants in his garden but he doesn't remember most of them since the garden was built in 2003. I think Raul has a great artistic sense but he is modest about it. He thinks his background in Ikebana has helped, but since my husband and I have known him for a long time, we believe that he is innately artistic. All photos were snapped by my hubby Raymond. We hope that GPODers all over enjoy this post from Southeast Asia. There are many beautiful gardens in the Philippines and we are happy to share this country's beauty in a small way." So cool, Raul! I can almost image the warmth and wonderful scents! MORE photos from the Phillipines, please!!

BONUS ITEM–Check out this gorgeousness!
Makes you want to run outside and start harvesting your ferns, doesn't it??

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  1. perenniallycrazy 04/01/2015

    Good morning Michelle and fellow GPODers and readers. Thank you very much for featuring Raul's Philippine garden. I hope you all enjoy the post.

    Here are accompanying photo narratives for those interested. I will let Raul take care of the rest. Have a great day everyone!

    Photo 1 - Courtyard in the small frontyard measuring about 500 square feet in size. Growing on the arch trellis is Thai Rangoon creeper (Quisqualis indica) See photo reference below: I asked Raul about his hardscaping and he says: "Those are some garden rocks I got from local store there. I put "kakawate" (Gliricidia sepium) wood as steps. Been there since 2003 and have not rotten."

    Photo 2 - The other end of the courtyard. The potted plant in the foreground with white flowers is Water Jasmine (Wrightia religiosa) and behind is Fiddlewood or Citharexylum spinosum, which blooms with white scented flower spikes. Photo references here:$_20.JPG and

    Photo 3 - More hardscaping delights in the courtyard area. The variegated leaf plant in the center is a Pandacaqui "Tabernaemontana pandacaqui" shrub. It is cut down to aesthetically grow in its place. Photo reference here:

    Photo 4 - Asplenium nidum or Bird's-Nest Fern, known in local language Filipino as "Pugad ng Ibon" which literally means Bird's Nest. Raul says "All plants were purchased small and he thinks they are overgrown right now.." I told him they are perfect!

    Photo 5 - Red Ginger or Ornamental Ginger. I remember these in the garden and in floral arrangements during my childhood.

    Photo 6 - I believe this is Ylang-ylang or Cananga odorata. It is known for its fragrance. When I was growing up, street vendors used to sell fresh flower leis/garlands with Sampaguita or Jasminum sambac (the national flower of the Philippines) and Ylang-ylang as the pendant of these garlands. Photo reference here:

    Photo 7 - The vine in the background is Cestrum nocturnum or Night blooming Jasmine. More commonly known in the Philippines as "Dama de Noche" which literally means "Queen of the Night." To the best of my recollection, this is has star-shaped (like fireworks) white scented flowers. Photo reference here:

    Photo 8 - Bougainvillea ornamental vines grow everywhere in the Philippines.

    Photo 9 - The area in the courtyard leading to the outside. I asked about the container in the background right corner. Raul says that is a "Kawa Filipino" planted with Philippine water cabbage or Pistia stratiotes which is considered a medicinal plant in the Philippines. Raul says the Kawa measures about 3 feet in diameter. I had to look them up on the web and here is a photo showing what they look like: . I totally love them!

    Photo 10 - The grass in the Philippines is not anything that I have seen here in North America. They call it Carabao grass. The blades are wide and green. Its scientific name is Paspalum conjugatum Bergius.

    Photos 11 and 12 - Sidewalk garden with public access (well, before it was fenced in). Fencing courtesy of neighbors' canines who do their business there but don't get their humans to pick up after them! These canines even like to jump on to the pond (left side) of the sidewalk garden!

    1. raul_de_los_santos 04/01/2015

      Here is Photo 1 photo reference - Thai Rangoon creeper (Quisqualis indica)

  2. user-1020932 04/01/2015

    beautiful, lush and green! tropical gardening would be a whole 'nother world for me.

  3. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 04/01/2015

    Raul and Cherry, thanks for sharing some warm, tropical lushness today. Looks great. I love the wooden steps in the stones. The bird's nest fern brings back lots of memories. I grew a huge one as a houseplant when I was a kid, and we did call it a bird's nest fern. It's nice to know the filipino origin of the name. Is anyone growing the hardier asplenium that have a similar, single blade like this? I know i've seen some for zones 6 and 7 at least, but haven't tried any.

    1. perenniallycrazy 04/02/2015

      Got this in my backyard and very low maintenance and easy to propagate when established. Asplenium scolonpendrium. Zones 5a-9b. Currently eyeing a similar but curly variety Asplenium scolopendrium 'Laceratum Kaye' Zones 6a-9b. If only we were neighbors Tim.

      1. User avater
        Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 04/02/2015

        Gorgeous, Cherry! Thanks for the info. I've had it, or some variation thereof, on my 'want list' for some time. It just barely got edged out by some other things this year. I've never seen one of these locally, so I have to mail order, and I've definitely gone overboard already this year on the ordering. I've never heard of 'Kaye". She's a beauty. It looks like Raul has a similar crested form in his side yard in one of the photos. I don't have a lot of good shade that isn't already densely planted. Something will have to go to make some room for one of these! cheers.

  4. User avater
    meander_michaele 04/01/2015

    Well, Raul, between you and Cherry, my eyes have been very busy and well rewarded looking at all the pictures and trying to soak up the information. I like how your artistic use of hardscaping materials set off your plants. I can well imagine how some of your plant choices fill the air with beautiful fragrance...probably happening right now as you are in your summer season. Count me a fan of that vibrant red flower that the ginger plant offers's definitely an exotic beauty to me.

  5. NCYarden 04/01/2015

    This is great. I am continually awed by all the plants in this world, especially when I am shown something new. We're all confined to some degree by our particular zones and micro-climates, so it is a real treat to see gardens well outside our norms. This garden uses the space so wonderfully. Thanks for sharing, and thank you for the additional photo info. It's beautiful.

  6. Cenepk10 04/01/2015

    Beautiful !!!!!

  7. GrannyMay 04/01/2015

    Thanks for sharing, Cherry and Raymond for taking the photos. Raul your little garden is beautiful! I agree with Cherry that you certainly do have artistic flair.

  8. GrannyMay 04/01/2015

    Michelle, that fern art is gorgeous!

  9. GrannyCC 04/01/2015

    Wonderful garden Raul, Thanks for the comments on the types of plants Many which I don't know anything about.

  10. user-7007327 04/01/2015

    Raul, you have made a secret, tropical, hideaway. Peaceful and serene. Thank you for sharing.

  11. thevioletfern 04/02/2015

    A dream ... seriously, I just spent my first winter in FL and I never want to see winter again. I dream of a tropical garden - yours is a dream.

  12. user-7007140 04/06/2015

    A delightful Hideaway Garden. I can just imagine the sense of peace. Great photos, too!

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