A Stroll Through My Garden
by Ofelia Y. Manapat
Light is brightening my room, and so I get up, pray and have breakfast as fast as I can because I want to be in the garden. I pass through the kitchen, the Sampaloc and Caimito trees mingle with their branches with vines, orchids, and ferns hanging. As I enter the greenhouse the fish meet me. They know that I have a meal for them. Begonias and ferns give a cool and restive feeling.
The Bromeliads, Fireballs, Ojo Rojo, Crotons, red Santans and Purple Clover with lavender flowers make a perfect blend with the emerald lawn and hanging Bird’s Nest ferns, Spanish Moss or Buhok ni Esther, Buntot Pusa, Stag Horns, and yellow Oncidiums and the gorgeous Doña Aurora.
Towards the forest are the Anthuriums with different shapes and shades of red, pink and white. Nelson grew them from seed. He used to watch them and wondered why they grew so fast. Maybe it was our love that made them happy. He is still there to watch and care for the plants and me.
Palms, cycads, ferns, soft hued orchids, cymbidiums, fruit trees, and bamboo groves make a Paradise.
An old swing is still there. Our children, their cousins and their children shouted “Quiapo! Quiapo! Cubao! Cubao!” and swang and sang to their heart’s content and feasted on mulberries, banana, galo, duhat, santol and whatever fruits they picked.
An old bathtub was turned into a pond with lotus and fish. I like to pray here, meditate, and say the rosary, and think of the beauty that God made.
Our theme song was “Let’s Build a Stairway to the Sky.” We have more than one hundred fifty steps going up the hill, lined with green Bromeliads that turn red, ground orchids, a collection of Bougainvilleas of different colors.
I like to listen to the humming of birds. They make the sweetest tunes. I admire their colors. I saw one with a rich green, blue, and red like a parrot, some have yellow. Once Nelson and I watched a mother bird come back and forth to feed her baby.
Behind the house are modest African Violets of different colors. There are Spathiphyllums, Aglaonema, Dieffenbachia and ferns and Shefflera.
While I mingle with the plants I cut dry stems and leaves, sweep fallen leaves, move the plants here and there, watch for bugs and pests, add soil and pour some water over thirsty plants and then I realize that it is already past twelve.
A whole day is not enough in the garden. There is always something to do and so many to admire. I take another glance at the giant Amaryllis and the Dutch Man’s Pipe and enter the house before dark filled with jubilation. I wish Mama and Nelson and Louie were here.
~ the above text is taken from my late grandmother’s journal. Today would have been her 96th birthday. :) Happy birthday, Uwa! I love you everyday! :)
Another birthday post here (from 2013).