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Your last chance to get a glimpse of Hortikultura

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By Zac B. Sarian

This is your last chance to visit Hortikultura 2018 where you can pick up practical gardening ideas, especially for urban areas. The gardening event will end tomorrow, Sunday, February 11.

Urban gardening for both food production and beautification is the predominant order of the day. You can witness, for instance, the beautifully cultured foliage and flowering ornamentals as well as practical techniques in producing your own healthy food right in your home.

East-West Seed has an exhibit of a mini greenhouse where various leafy and fruiting vegetables are grown inside and out. These include kangkong, mustard, lettuce, pechay, tomato, eggplant, and even a fruiting dwarf papaya in a container. The exhibit won first prize in the edible gardening category.

  • PRIZE-WINNING VARIEGATED TUPIDANTHUS – Dr. Daniel Farnacio, a medical doctor who gave up his profession to become a full-time horticultural gardener, poses with his prize-winning variegated Tuidanthus which a well known plant collector bought for R40,000. He grew this in his nursery in Palaris, Asingan, Pangasinan. In his nursery in Baguio, he grows mostly cattleyas and other orchids.

  • EDIBLE GARDEN COMPETITION WINNER – This is the mini greenhouse put up by East-West Seed which won first prize in the Edible Gardening category. Various leafy and fruiting veggies are planted inside and out. Flowering plants are also included in the exhibit.

  • PYRAMID GARDEN – This pyramid vertical garden is a practical technique of planting various veggies in a very limited space. The plants are grown in small containers and installed on four sides of the pyramid. It is a practical doable technique that one can try at home in the urban villages.

  • MOVABLE GARDEN FOR URBAN LIVING – This is an exhibit that shows a portable garden for urban settings done by plant arts guru Serapion Metilla shown here. The movable garden consists of five big dish gardens that are artistically executed. His favorite is what he calls the Village Echo Park garden complete with mini trees and other plants plus miniature buildings.

  • SENIOR GARDENER AND HER VRIESEA – Nilda Salvaleon is a California-based former member of the Philippine Horticulture Society who came to participate in Hortikultura’s commercial section. She brought with her her favorite variegated striped Vriesea that is really beautiful.

  • UPDATE ON DURIAN, OTHER EXOTIC FRUIT TREES – The editor of this page will give an update on exotic fruit trees at the lecture room of Hortikultura 2018 at 2 o’clock tomorrow, February 11. These include durian, rambutan, longkong lanzones, imported makopa varieties, foreign mango varieties, pomelos from Vietnam and other foreign countries. We will aslo discuss growing fruit trees in containers.

    Wendy Regalado, an architect and former president of Philippine Horticultural Society, also has a prize-winning exhibit of edible and decorative plants. She has pechay growing on bamboo tubes. Then there is another exhibit of a pyramid of leafy veggies which shows that in a very limited space, one can produce a lot of edibles for the kitchen.

    PRIZE-WINNING GARDENER – If you are lucky, you might be able to talk to some of the best gardeners in the country. Like Dr. Daniel Farnacio of Baguio and Pangasinan, for instance. He owns the variegated Tupidanthus that won first prize in the Variegated Plant category. His plant is such a perfect specimen that a well known plant aficionado paid R40,000 for it.

    By the way, Dr. Farnacio is a medical doctor who worked as a nurse in New York for seven years. Although the job paid well, $96,000 a year less taxes, he did not really enjoy earning that big amount. He came back to the Philippines to settle for good not to practice his medical profession but to become a full-time grower of ornamental plants and orchids.

    Gardening is really his passion, and that is the reason why he grows very beautiful plants. His orchids are also his bestsellers, especially his cattleyas. In his nursery in Baguio, he has no less than 2,000 pots of cattleyas and many other orchid genera. His cattleyas in bloom are fast selling at more than a thousand pesos apiece.

    In the exhibits and in the commercial section, you will also see the gorgeous large ornamental plants of Arid and Aroids, a partnership of Boyet Ganigan and Dr. Jay Silvestre.

    DWARF FLOWERING PLANTS – Try to observe the flowering plants that are being showcased as ground cover. They are dwarf and they really make wonderful ground cover. They are just two or three inches tall and they are profusely flowering. These include zinnia, marigold, petunias, celosias, and many more.

    CACTI AND SUCCULENTS – You will also notice a proliferation of cacti and succulents grown in tiny pots. Well, as Dr. Surawit of Thailand has said, there is so much interest in these small plants among nurserymen because there is a big market for them. He said that the proliferation of high-rise condominiums provides the ready market. Cacti, sansevierias, haworthias, dyckias and many other hardy mini plants are the best plants for condominium dwellers. Dr. Surawit and his group, by the way, have an exhibit of rare ferns at the Tropical Garden area of the show.

    DURIAN AND OTHER EXOTIC FRUIT TREES – This agri editor, by the way, will give an update on exotic fruit trees at 2 o’clock tomorrow afternoon. Aside from durian, we will touch on outstanding pomelos, imported mango, imported makopa, longkong lanzones, seedless guava, seedless atis, Abiu from Brazil and many others. See you there.

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