FEB. 10 & 11, 2018: Your Last Two Days To Visit Hortikultura 2018

There’s a profusion of dwarf flowering plants that make wonderful ground cover.
Plant arts guru Serapion Metilla poses with his Mobile Garden for Urban Living consisting of five big dish gardens.

You only have two days left to visit Hortikultura 2018 – Saturday and Sunday, February 10 and 11 – where you can pick up practical gardening ideas, especially for urban areas. The gardening event which started on February 2 will end on Sunday.

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.

The prize-winning mini greenhouse of East-West Seed.
The edible garden exhibit by Wendy Regalado.
The Pyramid edible garden.

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.

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 P40,000 for it.

Dr. Daniel Farnacio with his Oncidium Rawdon Jester with big flowers.
Dr. Farnacio also grows rare foliage anthurium.

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.

Monina Abadilla posing with her cacti which are the favorite of condo dwellers.
California-based Nilda Salvaleon and her striped Vriesea.

CACTI AND SUCCULENTS – You will also notice a profusion 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 readyl 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 on Sunday, Feb. 11. Aside from durian, we will touch on outstanding pomelos, imported mango, imported makopa, longkong lanzones, seedless guava, seedless atis, Abiu from Brazil and more. We will also include growing fruit trees in containers.

Zac B. Sarian will give an update on durian and other exotic fruit trees at 2 p.m. on Feb. 11 at the lecture room of Hortikultura.
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