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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.

Ripe papaya.

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.

                                                      Butterfly in my tropical garden.

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

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

5 Easy To Grow Flowers In My Garden

I think planting in a tropical country like Philippines is more easier than planting in a cold country like Germany. You know why? It is because my flower plants in my balcony here in Germany are more difficult to keep alive than when I planted in my yard in the Philippines. There, I only have to throw seeds to the ground or in a hole in the pots and they grow. I have a green thumb there than here in my adopted country. 

Here are 5 easy to grow flowers in my garden.

1. Moss Rose

Moss Rose or Portulaca is one of the most easiest flower I have grown. I planted every where but mostly as  boundaries to some boring plants where I thought Portulaca could give life and vibrant colors to the view. 

Just a few cuttings planted in the ground like the photo below and watered them. They loved the full sun and mostly opened their flowers at around 10 in the morning that was why they were and still are also called 10 O´clock flower.

Moss Rose or Portulaca

2. Lantana Camara

Lantana Camara is also called Otot-Otot ( Otot means farting in Bisayan language) in my home country Philippines as the smell of this flower stinks. This flower is very ornamental and easy to care for. Just plant a cutting of Lantana Camara without leaves on the ground or pot, water it and voila, it will grow fast. This plant loves full sun, too.

Lantana Camara 

3. Turmeric Plant

My cousin had accidentally found out the name of this plant growing in our garden when she was searching acne cure online. It was a surprise that what I planted from the root rhizome was one of the healthy spices that I was using in my kitchen here in Germany. Some of these plants were growing near our fence and we did not planted them. Maybe some birds brought the seeds in the garden and they just grew by their own. 

Turmeric Plant I planted from rhizome
4. Cosmos

My brother gave me the seeds of Cosmos a few years ago after I told him about wanting to have the seeds from the ornamental highway plants. I have seen these beautiful flowers along the sides of our town highway. We did not know the name of the plant yet when I planted the seeds and so I was searching online after taking a photo of the flower. 

This is the most easiest flower I have planted. When the Cosmos flowers got brown and wilted, I harvested the seeds and just threw the seeds to the places I wanted them to grow. The seeds that felt on the ground propagated themselves. 

Yellow Cosmos, Red Bougainvillea and Dona Sirikit 

5. Zinnia Elegans

Zinnia Elegans is one of my favorites. I brought the seeds from Germany and I did not believe that Zinnias could grow in the Philippines as I have not seen one yet before that. I was glad Zinnias grew well and I had to do trial and error. I found out then that when Zinnias were planted, they should stay in the same place as transplanting them was killing them. They love full sun as well and butterflies are loving them, too.

                            Zinnias Elegans

I hope you like this blog and please comment, tweet, pin  or share this to your online account. I would love to hear from you my readers. Thanks for your visit.

Here´s my link to my garden hub and to my  main writing site.

Cosmos in the  vase.

                            Copyright 2015 © Thelma Alberts, All Rights Reserved

Friday, 5 June 2015

Typhoon Hit My Tropical Garden

Every year, my garden had to suffer from the monsoon rain, typhoon and flood in my home country. Every year, some flowers and other plants were destroyed. Either cut off by the strong wind or uprooted from the ground. Well, it made me sad but what could I do? Nothing besides accepting the fact that nature is sometimes cruel. Then, I tried to save what I could or else I have planted new ones.

One of the plants that the typhoon uprooted in my garden was the papaya plant that had 21 pieces of fruits. Yes, I counted them. Mostly were still green and unripe. 

This was one of the ripe papayas  that we were able to eat right after we gathered the papayas from the garden. It was so delicious as it ripen from the plant itself.

This was how it looked inside when it was cut through lenghtwise. It had a lot of seeds and some of these seeds were planted in my garden. I hope the new papaya plants will be having new fruits when I´ll be back in my garden again.

Thank you Guys for reading this blog. Please comment below. You are of course free to share, pin, tweet, etc. this blog to wherever you want it to be. Happy weekend.

Here are some links for what I did with the papaya fruits from my garden.

Copyright 2015 © Thelma Alberts, All Rights Reserved

Sunday, 31 May 2015

Bougainvillea, A Beautiful And Easy To Grow Plant

I grew up with different kinds of bougainvillea plants. Those were the first flowers I knew of  as a kid besides bananas and coconuts. I still remember the bougainvilleas my late mother planted in the pots and were put on the sides of our balcony of our traditional wooden house with nipa roof in my home country, Philippines. The bougainvilleas were in white, pink and red colours and they were very healthy as they were fertilized with urine mixed with a lot of water. It was not stinky as it was more with water than with human urine.

My mother is gone to heaven (I hope) but some of her bougainvilleas are still in our garden but no longer in the same house. The bougainvilleas were almost dead when I came in our garden in 2011. I was able to revive them with love and care, with the help of my relatives living in my house

This is a bougainvillea I have planted in 2012. I have planted this by just inserting the cutting in a small hole I dug. It was so easy, with luck and with my green thumb as I found out years later. My cousin and I always trim this plant when it blocks the way to our house again. 

This is the same bougainvillea taken from the other side of the garden. You can see the pink Plumeria/Frangipani before it and the yellow cosmos at the back.

This pot of bougainvillea was one of the flowers my late mother left behind. I treasure her flowers like the beautiful orchids she left behind as those are my inheritance from her.

If you are interested, please check these hubs on my main writing site Hubpages:  a poem.

Thank you very much for taking the time to read my blog. If you have something to say, please comment below. Enjoy your  month of June. Take care!

Copyright 2015 ©Thelma Alberts, All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

How I Planted The Birds of Paradise

Have you heard about the Birds of Paradise? Maybe you have as this tropical plant has many other names. Some of the names are Heliconia and Strelitzia. I can´t remember where I got this plant as I kept on asking and collecting for some cuttings or seeds from my friends and relatives.

It´s common in my home country to just ask some cuttings or seeds from the people who own beautiful plants. I would have paid for the flowers and plants though, as long as I love the beauty of them.

Birds of Paradise was an easy perennial plants to plant. I had a few of those young plants with roots, which was separated from the adult one. I planted them near the bamboo fence side of my garden. I just planted them in line with the fence. I dug the soil where I intended them  to plant (one by one) as deep as 10 inches, put the cuttings inside and covered the lower part with the soil. I watered them after that everyday. 

The weather in the Philippines is so hot and humid. That´s the weather the Birds of Paradise / Heliconia / Strelitzia like. 

The photos above were taken last 2013, 2 years after I have planted them. They grew so fast to almost 2 meters tall, leaves almost as wide as the banana leaves and have given a lot of new plants that they occupied the bamboo fence. Though Birds of Paradise need less care, my cousin and I had to remove the old brown leaves of this plant every now and then.

If you want to read more about my plants here´s a link. 

Copyright 2015 ©Thelma Alberts, All Rights Reserved

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Torch Ginger Plants

Torch Ginger is one of the flowers I have planted in my garden in 2011. The year I started gardening in my front yard. At first I saw this plant in the front yard of my sister. It was a huge plant and I was amazed by the beauty of the pink flowers. I asked my sis the name of this plant but she did not know. Anyway, it did not matter. I still like the plant and so my sis gave me some of the ginger rhizomes cuttings and I planted them in the ground inside where I put a not used truck tire.

Torch Ginger is a huge plant. It grew so fast to 6 feet tall. I often trim the plant as its young  rhizomes were already growing out of the tire planters where I planted them. Then I search online the name of this plant and found many things about it. 

Torch Ginger is  tropical perennial plant and does not need a lot of caring. The unopen flower is edible and are mostly used by Asian in cooking curries.

I have not tried cooking the unopen Torch Ginger but I will try next time I am in my garden.

This is a video of the blooming Torch Ginger. Courtesy of You Tube.

Here´s the link about  Torch Ginger. Thanks for reading. 

Copyright 2015 © Thelma Alberts, All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Thelma´s Tropical Garden

Thelma´s Tropical Garden is my niche blog about my garden in my home country Philippines. I will be writing about how I came to like digging the ground of my front yard and creating  the garden that I always wanted to have. Traveling to Great Britain and Ireland has inspired me in creating my own cottage garden.

In 2011, my hubby and I started our journey of living our dream. Living in our house in the Philippines "for good." Well, since that remarkable year, a lot of things happened. We can´t leave Germany for good. We then live in 2 countries, so to speak.

After 2 years of happy digging, my tropical garden becomes the beautiful haven of birds, dragonflies and butterflies.

This is the first photo I took in my garden in 2011. Our dog Angus was "fertilizing" it. That ugly front yard inspired me to beautify this view.

If you want to see more views of my garden, just visit this link

Torch Ginger, one of the flowers I planted. I planted this just right there inside that tire planter in the photo above where the pots were located.

                                       Above is the video of my tropical garden.

I hope you will continue visiting my blog as I will write more of the plants and flowers I have planted, what experiences I had being in my home country and what healthy  plants and fruits I discovered. Thanks for reading.

Copyright 2015 © Thelma Alberts, All Rights Reserved