Thursday, April 10, 2014

Gardening, Radio, Childhood Memories

It's hot. I have to water my plants twice sometimes three times a day. 
This is necessary since they are planted on shallow pots and trays,
so they dry easily. Direct sun is good for the plants. Many are
asking me why I didn't put a net over them but its useless because
these are local species, well adapted to our climate. Also, direct
sunlight helps in miniaturizing the leaves. It's a survival mechanism
to prevent transpiration, the loss of moisture through evaporation
through the leaves.

It's summer and I have been sitting if front of the computer watching on-line movies, FB-ing, Blogging, surfing for articles, and most of the times doing all these things at the same time. If I continue doing this all summer long, I fear I may gain another ton or so that mostly will bulge in my waist. I  wish they would bulge in my biceps or triceps...

So, I turned on our little radio, tuned in to RJ 100 FM, my favorite station, and started doing what I love doing, gardening.

I have some bonsai materials mostly main trunks that I have left to grow wild for while, and this morning I checked them again to see if they are established enough to "operate" on.

     This a kalyos trunk (streblus asper). 
It was too tall and too straight. I only on small
(1-2 feet) bonsai. Moving andbpruning small 
bonsai gives me back ache how much more 
large ones.There's not much to do about this 
so I left it growing wild while figuring out what to 
do with it.Finally, I decided to cut the trunk to 
about a foot high and pencil-sharpened the
top to create a jin (leader).

 One thing about working while listening to the transistor radio blaring out old songs is that it brings back a lot of memories. Radio still works its magic, at least for me. Old songs especially the ones my father loved to play--Trini Lopez, cha-cha, Johny Mathis, etc.-on our old phonograph player transports me back to my childhood.

        I remember a time when radio was the king of the air. Time when TV especially colored TV was not popular then. It may sound crazy, but back then if you have a vacuum tube colored TV, that means, at least to us children, that you are already rich.

         I remember Thrilla in Manila . I was with my father
( I guess with most of the men in the neighborhood) watching the Ali-Frazier fight on our neighbor's colored TV. I was fascinated by the TV, but what fascinated most was how my father and the rest of the boys cursed everytime a punch was landed, it was as if they were there on the ring. They also did analyses about which i didn't care a ting about. Never did like boxing except when a Filipino is on the ring.


The bark is the lifeline of the tree. This is their circulatory system
where all thenutrients from the roots goes up and distributed to all
parts of the plant and where the product of photosynthesis
from the leaves are also distributed.

Anyway, another thing about this material is that the bark on back side was stripped off hence no branches will grow on this side. When I first saw this material, I was thinking of making a formal (or normal) tree but when I turned it around and saw the stripped bark, it's not possible. 

So, the solution is to jin the top and inevitably the stripped side will be deadwood or shari. Bonsai artists use lime-sulfur to preserve and to bleach the deadwood. I don't know where to buy one but if I do, maybe in the future, if it's cheap, I'll use one too.

Re-potted to a trainer pot and then wired. I defoliated
the top branches to stunt the growth and allow the
lower branches to grow faster. This is done so that
the lower branches will be more mature and larger
in size than the upper branches.

Radio was indispensable. It does it all: news, information, entertainment and public assistance. Our neighborhood was a rice field then and the neighbors were not that close then, unlike today, and when it flooded we were isolated, so radio was our only source of information. MBC-DZRH was our favorite station and the station motto was " Operasyon tulong, aksyon agad!." I remember the DJ was Rick Radam and James Bond Pagkatipunan. I don't know if they are still alive but these people help shaped my childhood especially Radam and his Johny Tanggo (Tanga na Gago pa!), the character he created on Radio. Johny Tanggo spawned a movie starred by Chiquito

I put a layer of moss on top for better water absorption
and to prevent the soil from eroding when watering.

  The operation is done. This is stressful to the tree especially the repotting and the trimming of the roots. The tree is now put under the shade for two weeks for full recovery.'s good to remenisce. Brings me  back to a time when life was simple.

    I really feel old.

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