Monday, 3 April 2017

How To Grow Torenia Flowers

Torenia flowers are annual plants that are easy to plant. Torenia is also called Wishbone flower as the anther arch form inside the bloom when it is open resembles a wishbone. This wishbone is broken by the bees when pollinating. Torenias are in white, pink, blue and purple color. They are good planted in the pots. They don't like hardy dry soil. They should be in a shady or half shady place in the garden, terrace or any where you want them to plant as long as they are not in direct sunlight the whole day.

Blue Torenia with white throat.

How I discovered Torenia flowers

I was traveling with my friends in Davao City, Philippines.  We visited one of the tourist spots which was  Eden Nature Park and Resort. It was located at the foot of Mt. Apo and in the middle of the forest. The park had a lot of beautiful flowers including Torenias.

Those are the pink with white throat and dark  blue with light throat torenias planted in a pot in the terrace of my tropical home, Philippines.  They are near the "Butterfly" plants and succulent.

How To Plant Torenia From The Seeds 

It is very easy. You just have to open the seeds pod (which is under the Torenia flower) and spread them in a moisty  but not soggy soil. Cover them lightly with the soil. If you live in a tropical country, you can let the seeds germinate outside but if you have a cold weather country or you will plant the seeds in Spring time, better germinate them indoors.

One of the Torenia flower pots I have.

How To Take Care Of  Torenia Plants:
  1.  Keep Torenia pots moist but not soggy.
  2.  It is best planted in the shady but bright place. 
  3.  Fertilise once a month.
  4. Cut off the dead seed pods.

A Torenia pot with roses and other beautiful plants.

Thanks for reading and I hope you you liked what you have read. Please feel free to comment and share this to your social media sites.

I planted this violet with white throat Torenia in the pot together with roses. Actually I just spread Torenia seeds on the soil of this rose pot and the seeds grew into beautiful  flowers.
Here are some garden links for you to check:

 My Tropical Garden in my you tube channel        
Copyright 2017, All Rights Reserved by Thelma Alberts 

Monday, 6 March 2017

Torch Ginger Photography

Hello Guys! It has been a few months since I have written about my garden here in this site. Sorry about that. Anyway I am here now and I want to show you the beautiful torch ginger flowers in my garden. Well, my torch ginger plant has spread so widely. The one piece I have planted a few years ago has multiplied. They are plenty now and have a lot of blossoms these few days. I am happy about it and I want them to share with you.


As you can see in this photo below, some blooms got brown already. The beauty they have shared has passed. Some of them have just started to bloom.

 When I took this photo, I have chosen the fully bloomed torch gingers. They were so beautiful but I had to harvest them for bringing them  to my late mothers' grave.

Is it not pretty? The beginning of an awesome flower. I have read online that this un-bloom torch ginger can be cook into curries. I still have not tried it but I will, soon.

This photo below is in the heights of its beauty. Amazing how a piece of torch ginger root I have planted can produced a stunning and gorgeous flower.

Thanks for reading. Here are some torch ginger blogs to check:

Copyright 2017 by Thelma Alberts, All Rights Reserved

Saturday, 3 September 2016

Hibiscus In My Garden and Hibiscus Tea

Hibiscus is a beautiful flowering plants in many colors. They are in red, pink, yellow and white. This plant is not only for decorative purposes at home and in my garden, it has also medicinal purposes. Hibiscus is also called Gumamela in the Philippines. Hibiscus is native to many countries like Thailand, Indonesia, Mexico, China and of course in my home country Philippines.

I was planting hibiscus again in my garden as I have found a vacant place to plant them. I have planted 4 different colors of hibiscus cuttings in a hole. Dark red, red, pink and a mixture of pink and peach color. I wonder how they will look like in a few months from now when they bear flowers.

There are 4 hibiscus plants in my front yard and two of them are getting huge that they almost reach the electric wire. They have plenty of flowers, too. I have heard about hibiscus tea. In fact, I have seen hibiscus tea in some supermarkets and drugstores in Germany.

My sundried Hibiscus/Gumamela.

Thinking about it and feeling thirsty, I decided to make my own hibiscus tea for the first time in my life. Well before I did it, I researched about this plant and its health benefits. I have found out that drinking hibiscus tea  is good in lowering blood pressure, strengthening the immune system, lowering cholesterol, helps aid menstrual pains, satiates thirst and other some health benefits.

Decided to make my own hibiscus tea, I harvested the red and pink hibiscus flowers. Some of those flowers were closing their petals already as they have bloomed for that day. I decided to harvest them as well before they landed on the ground and dried them under the heat of the sun.

Fresh harvested Hibiscus

Red Hibiscus in a pot.

Red Hibiscus poured with boiling water.

How I made the hibiscus tea:

  1. I have washed 6 red hibiscus flowers to get off the dust.
  2. Put them on a kettle.
  3. I boiled 1 liter of water in the water cooker.
  4. Then added the boiling water in the kettle with hibiscus flowers.
  5. I let the mixture stayed for 5 minutes.
  6. Then drink a glas  of this warm tea with a bit of sugar and calamansi juice. 
  7. I have put the remaining hibiscus tea in a thermos.
  8. Don't wonder when the hibiscus flowers becomes violet when poured with boiling water. It will still turn red when added with lemon or calamansi juice.
Hibiscus / Gumamela tea.


  • You can put more hibiscus in a liter of boiling water if you want a stronger taste.
  • You can put the hibiscus tea in the fridge when you want to drink it cold but wait until the tea has cooled off.
  • You can add lemon or lime instead of calamansi juice. For every glas, at least half a teaspoon of this juice I mentioned.
  • If you want it sweet, you can add sugar or honey.
  • Only red and pink Hibiscus are good for making tea.

How did I like the selfmade hibiscus tea? Yummy😀 It has a tangy refreshing taste. I am drinking it every day now but only 2 mugs a day to boost my immune system. 

NOTE: If you are taking any medicine, please check with your doctor if you are allowed to drink Hibiscus tea. Hibiscus tea is dangerous for pregnant women. It can cause abortion.

Thanks for reading and have a great day.

Copyright 2016, All Rights Reserved by Thelma Aberts

Sunday, 12 June 2016

Mango Fruits From My Garden

Mangoes are one of the most delicious fruits in my home country Philippines. It´s mango season in my home country. Have you tried eating those Filipino  sweet and very fragrant mangoes? They are very different than the mangoes that are sold here in Germany, which come mostly from South Africa.

Last Sunday when I was skyping with my family in the Philippines, they showed me plenty of mangoes they have harvested from my front yard. My mouth watered upon seeing those mangoes. I was even mentally smelling the luscious fragrant of those fruits.

The mango tree in my garden is bearing fruits for the first time. I was not the one who planted this tree. It was my father if I was not mistaken. Two years ago when I was still having my long vacation in my hometown, the mango tree was still young when I kept on watering them. I was indeed surprised when my family told me where those mango fruits came from. 
These are the fresh harvested mangoes from my tropical garden. Some of them are not yet so ripe but in a few days, they would be.

I am already worried if I will be able to devour the fruits of my garden and so I told my cousin Jane to freeze the   ripe mango slices without skins in the freezer. I told her how to do it just like how I freezed my fresh harvested strawberries for winter season here in Germany. 

I have a lot of plans what to do with my mango fruits when I am there in my Philippines home. I will make mango cakes, cupcakes and other recipes I am going to bake or cook. Besides that, I can use the purreed mango fruits for my facials and body scrubs. I can´t wait to do that thinking how my skin feel smooth because of mango. 

Have you tried mango and papaya fruits for your homemade beauty skin care? I hope there are still mangoes when I arrive in my garden. I think that will be the second thing I would do. Harvesting my mango fruits. 

Here´s a link if you want to try.

Thank you for visiting my blog. Have a lovely day! Take care and God bless you.

Copyright 2016 © Thelma Alberts, All Rights Reserved

Sunday, 15 November 2015

3 Mussaenda Bush Plants In My Garden

I have not visited my garden for a year as I am still here in Germany but I receive any new updates and photos of my garden from my cousin who take good care of it while I am away. I miss the beauty of my garden as well as the birds and butterflies that come to visit there everyday. I hope it will no longer takes too long for me until I can talk to my plants and hug my dog Angus again. Off course I miss talking to my relatives, too. As I am still here, what I can do is to talk about my plants.

The 3 Mussaenda Bush Plants In My Garden:

                                                     1. Doña Aurora Mussaenda

This is the young planted Mussaenda bush plant which is commonly known as Doña Aurora in my home country Philippines. It is named after the wife of the 1st President of the Philippines. I bought this from the neighbor who was selling plants. It was planted in the small pot but I transferred it when it went  bigger for the pot. I dug a deep hole in my garden which covered the whole roots and soil of the Mussaenda. I bought this beautiful  white bracts flower in 2011.
4 years later,  Doña Aurora Mussaenda grows in height. It is 2 meters high now and my "garden care taker" keeps on trimming the branches  to  let it looks good. As you can see, it really looks good. Mussaenda loves the tropical weather. This plant love the full sunshine for at least 6 hours a day. No wonder, it´s growing so well. With the TLC of my cousin and my small nieces who are helping with the care of my garden.

                                                         2. Doña Sirikit Mussaenda

This is the young Mussaenda Doña Sirikit plant I have planted with the cuttings I had asked from the neighbor of my sister. It was so easy to plant. I just cut the cuttings a bit slant in the lower part of the branch and dug it in the hole in my tropical garden and watered it. I made a small fence around it so the playing dogs would not destroyed it. I was lucky it grow well. That is the first photo of Doña Sirikit with beautiful slightly pink bract flowers.
This photo above was taken last year. It has survived more than 2 strong typhoons that I thought it could die. Gladfully, before it broke the whole Mussaenda down, it was strongly tied up with the ropes. Well, some of the branches were broken, but the plant survived.


                                                   3. Doña Cory Mussaenda

I have seen a lot of this plant on the way to Tinuy-an Falls in Surigao del Sur.  I did not know those plants but since then, I kept on looking for a seedling or cutting of this unknown plant. Then I saw this in a flower shop in the city. I bought Doña Corry Mussaenda  before I went back home to Germany last year. This is the only photo that I have but I will add a new one soon. As far as I know, this flower is called after the name of the former President Cory Aquino. Maybe because the color is yellowish to dark yellow.

Here is the link of my beautiful garden if you want to see it. Thanks for your visit and feel free to comment or share this post in your social media sites.

Copyright 2015 © Thelma Alberts, All Rights Reserved

Sunday, 13 September 2015

4 Fruits In My Tropical Garden

There are plenty of tropical fruit trees in my garden. Well at least 4. There are papaya, guava,  star fruits and makopa or tambis. Oh! There´s a mango tree of our neighbour with branches coming over my fence. Some of the mangoes fell down on my ground. Is it not great? So, I can savour the ripe mango too if I am there.

These fruits are very healthy and plenty of vitamins and minerals besides fibers. Though they are delicous, not all of these fruits are eaten by my relatives. Not so inviting like the sweet candies from the shops or the hamburger and chicken joy from McDonalds or Jolibee.

When I´m there in my Philippines home for a few months, these fruits are mostly my breakfast. I eat these fruits in the garden while watching the birds and butterflies flying from one plant to the other.

Makopa / Tambis / Wax Apple from my garden

Makopa fruit is also known as Tambis or Wax Apple. I have written about this fruit and so I just have to let you check this link. I don´t like to have a duplicate of my Makopa written articles.

Star Fruits from my garden
Star fruits are also healthy and delicious. One can make these fruits into smoothies, milkshakes, fruit salad, vegetable salad  with fruits and of course into carambola / star fruit cake. You can find some informations about how healthy carambola is and what benefits you can get from eating this fruit in my Hubpages article.

Sliced Star Fruits

Papaya from my garden

This is the most loved fruit that I have in my garden. It is not only sweet, juicy and delicious, one can use the seeds to add them into a milkshake or a smoothie. Besides that, ripe papaya fruit is also good for your beauty treatment like papaya scrub or papaya facial mask

Guavas from my garden
Guava is one of the super fruits in the world. It has lots of vitamins and minerals and consists more vitamins C than the orange. I would not buy orange for my vitamin C consumption when I´m in my home country as I am mostly the one who eat the guavas. Sometimes I feel pity of the guavas lying down on the ground, ignored. They just feel down. Nobody climb the guava tree anymore just like I was used to as a child.  Next time I will be making something out of this fruit that not of my small nieces will know that it´s from the guava tree in my backyard.

I will be writing more about this fruit and so I have to stop here. More information about my favorite fruit will come soon in my blog. 

Thank you for your visit. Please feel free to comment, like and share this blog to your social media sites. Have a great week ahead!

Copyright 2015 © Thelma Alberts, All Rights Reserved

Monday, 17 August 2015

How I Use Aloe Vera Plant From My Garden

Aloe Vera plants in my garden.

Aloe Vera is one of the plants I have in my tropical garden. It´s a short stemmed succulent plant which is easy to care for. It is one of the most healthy medicinal plants that is used in cosmetics and in alternative medicine. It is widely used in the traditional Chinese medicine.

I came across to this plant in the 90´s when my best friend gave me a pot of aloe vera as a gift for Christmas. My friend was talking highly of this plant. Then she introduced me to the Forever Living Products which came from the U.S.A. I bought some of the FLP products from aloe vera juice to aloe vera gelly for  burns as well as  toothpaste and shampoo. I was satisfied with the products and I became a member of FLP who sold the products to friends and relatives. I was not a good seller. Most of what I have ordered was for my own consumption and I got discounts.

A few years later my hubby was operated in the neck and I adviced him to use the aloe vera gelly for curing his wound. He did and it was successful. I can´t see the scar now of where he was operated.

Aloe Vera plants in my garden.

When we started living in our house in the Philippines, I planted aloe vera. The first aloe vera I have planted was from a friend of a friend who did not know what it was. I only planted 1 stem, then it multiplied to many that I separated them from one another.

How I Use Aloe Vera:

1. Healing the wound or damaged skin by applying the aloe vera gelly on the wound.
2. Healing burned  or sunburned skin.
3. Using the aloe vera gel as hair conditioner.
4. Drinking the juice of the aloe vera.
5. Making smoothie with aloe vera gel with other fruits or vegetables.
6. Using aloe vera gel for a facial mask.

Aloe Vera plants in my garden.

How to get the gel from Aloe Vera:

I just cut one leaf of the aloe vera. Then open the leaf by cutting it horizontally and get off the glassy gel out of it. I can also cut the leaf in small pieces and scratch off the gel from the cut leaf. 

How I make Aloe Vera smoothie:
  • 1 leaf of aloe vera
  • 1 ripe mango, cut into cubes
  • 50 grams of pineapple cubes or other fruits
  • some ice cubes
  1. Scrape off the aloe vera gel from the leaf and cut it into cubes.
  2. I put it in a blender with slices of ripe mango.
  3. I add pineapple cubes or some other fruits I have at home.
  4. I add some ice cubes and mix the mixture in the blender.
  5. No sugar added as I want the natural taste of this healthy smoothie.
How I make Aloe Vera mask:

I scratch a half of aloe vera leaf gel from the leaf (it depends how long the leaf is) and just put the aloe vera gel on my face for 10 minutes and wash my face off after that. Then apply facial moisturizer on my face or native olive oil when I do it before bed time.

Be careful!!! Always check yourself if you are allergic to aloe vera. Thanks for reading. Enjoy your day!

Here´s a link to know more about Aloe Vera:

Copyright 2015 © Thelma Alberts, All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Healthy Water Spinach In My Garden

Kang Kong / Water Spinach

Water spinach is called Kang Kong in my home country. It is a green leafy vegetable with long leaves and hollow stems. It is said to be a “poor mans” vegetable. It taste a bit like a normal spinach and the leaves and stems are soft. It´s a perennial plant which grows  in the water or at least in a moisty soil. It is an affordable vegetable that all Filipino people could buy this in the market. That is, if they know how healthy Kang Kong is.

I am so lucky that my front yard is moisty if not flooded as  water spinach is growing well in this part of the garden. I never bother to put more soil in this part of the garden because I am the one who keeps on eating this vegetable when I am at home. At least I know that this vegetable is clean. I don´t like buying water spinach in the market because I don´t know where it comes from as it is known that one of the funeral homes in the city has plenty of Kang Kong in its yard.

Sometimes, our neighbours or friends asked for some Kang Kong and I was glad that they did. I mostly gave them more than they could eat. Sometimes, I let them harvest for what they needed.

Kang Kong in my garden

Kang Kong or water spinach has a lot of nutritions. It contains Vitamins A, B, C, K and minerals like iron and magnesium. Eating Kang Kong is one of the treatments when  having iron deficiency. Through my research, I have found out that it is not only good in reducing cholesterol, but also a good prevention for cancer as it has more than 10 different anti-oxidant compounds found in this “poor mans” vegetable.

Ways to devour Kang Kong or water spinach:

  1. Stir frying
  2. Kang Kong salad
  3. Adobong Kang Kong
  4.  Sinigang (sour soup) with Kang Kong
  5.  Meat balls with Kang Kong
  6. Kang Kong curry


Clean the water spinach very well especially the inside of the hollow stems just in case there are parasites. Use only the green leaves and the upper tender stems for cooking.

These are only some of how you can make this healthy veggie for your meals. It might be a “poor mans” veggie, but it´s a “poor mans” healthy food.

Adobong Kang Kong / Water Spinach

Thanks for reading. Feel free to like, comment or share this post to your Fb, Twitter or Pinterest account. Have a nice day!

Here are some links for our healthy living:

 Copyright 2015 © Thelma Alberts, All Rights Reserved

Monday, 6 July 2015

Many Ways To Use Papaya Fruits

Papaya is a tropical fruit tree which grow in Asia and some parts of America and Africa. It is  an oblong form and sizes from 5 to 20 inches. Well, it depends what kind of papaya it is as some papayas are as small as the size of my hands. It can be eaten ripe and unripe.  It taste yummy and has a soft texture. It contains Vitamins C and B, carotenes, fibers, magnesium, minerals amongst other. It contains papain which is an enzyme good for digesting proteins in our body.

Papaya is one of the fruits in my garden in the Philippines. When the typhoon hit our papaya tree, we prepared the ripe and unripe fruits in many ways. We did not like to waste them.

The Unripe Papaya Fruits for :

  1. Papaya pickles with carrots, ginger and peppers.
  2. Chicken soup with papaya. A Filipino recipe.
  3. Using green papaya or the ripe seeds for marinating meat. It tenderizes meat.
Pickled unripe shredded papaya with carrots

 The Ripe Papaya Fruits for :

  1. Just eating it alone or with other fruits like fruit salad.
  2. Using the inner part of the papaya skin and the fruits for body scrub.
  3. For facial mask treatment.
  4. For making papaya fruit drinks such as smoothies and juice.
  5. Papaya cupcakes or cakes.
  6. Fruit ice candies with papaya.

Papaya Cupcakes

Fruit Iced Candies with Papaya

 I see now that I have to write some of the recipes of the photos I included here. I think I have written the papaya cupcake recipe at Bubblews. I am no longer sure. I have to check my files so I can share the link with you.

Ripe papaya

There are indeed many ways you can use papayas in your meals or snacks. Sometimes you just have to be creative.

Below is the link of my papaya beauty treatment I wrote for Hubpages. You are welcome to read it. It´s an amazing beauty treatment I have found accidentally during the time we had a lot of papaya fruits during that typhoon.

Thank you very much for reading my blog. Have a great day!

Copyright 2015 © Thelma Alberts, All Rights Reserved

Sunday, 28 June 2015

Visitors In My Garden

Having a garden in my home country Philippines is one of the best things I have done for myself and for my environment. Although I am not there always, as I am a traveler, I see to it that my garden is well taken care of. It is well taken care of by my kind and loving cousin when I´m not there and I am glad that I have somebody whom I can trust to. I call this garden as my sanctuary and a heritage from my late loving mother. God bless her where ever she is now. The flowers that are planted there are all dedicated to her and we bring these beautiful flowers every time we visit her grave.

A huge butterfly hanging on a plant.

Since I started planting flowers in my front yard in 2011, natural visitors come walking and flying in. Well, not only flying but also crawling. Butterflies, humming birds and dragonflies of different sizes and colors are enjoying their "flight" since that year I discovered my green thumb.

A butterfly sipping the nectar of Zinnia flower.

Whenever I am in my house, I drink my first creamy black tea at the garden table while thinking what other things I can do to my garden. I enjoy listening to the sounds of the birds humming on the branches of my star fruit, guava and pomelo trees. Butterflies and dragonflies on the other hand are flying from flowers to flowers. The butterflies love the nectar of Zinnias, Cosmos, Sapphire Showers and Lantana Camara flowers. Some butterflies are flying with their small babies. Every time I notice these, I silently walk to them like a paparazzo with a digital or a video camera  in my hand. I know that some neighbors who noticed me in that behavior thought I am crazy. I don´t mind.

A beautiful bird resting in a branch of bougainvilla.

Another beautiful butterfly sipping the nectar of Zinnia.

A dark brown butterfly hanging on a Sapphire Showers plant.

A snake crawling in the Guava tree
I don´t know the names of the butterflies, the bird and the snake above. I hope you can help me with this. The butterflies and birds are getting plenty in my garden but I hope a snake will never come again.

Thanks for reading my garden blog and I will be happy to see your comment below. Have a beautiful Sunday and a new productive week ahead. Take care;-)

Here´s a link to my garden:

Copyright 2015 © Thelma Alberts, All Rights Reserved