My first garden show

I visited the Manila Seedling Bank this afternoon and felt I was being inducted into a secret society of plant lovers in the Philippines!

horticulture exhibit feb2011

horticulture exhibit feb2011

It was my first time to go to a plant/garden show and didn’t know what to expect, but I should’ve taken the cue from my friend, Lorie, who is a plant lover (and finishing her PhD in Botany this May), that any club of plant enthusiasts would be as gentle, welcoming and just over-all pleasant as she is. 🙂

horticulture exhibit feb2011horticulture exhibit feb2011

Got to attend the workshop on “Indoor Gardening” by Mr. Serapion Metilla, a sweet man who made many references to his days as a teacher at the Kamuning School while demonstrating how to make a dish garden.  It was the last of the lecture series at HORTICULTURE 2011, an exhibit on “Urban gardens featuring native plants” organized by the Philippine Native Plants Conservation Society Inc. (PNPCSI). Ongoing since Jan. 29, last day of the exhibit is tomorrow, February 7.

horticulture exhibit feb2011

Mr. Metilla was a very gracious lecturer and even raffled off plants at the end of his talk! Bumped into my friend Mic, who like me was also lucky enough to go home with a beautiful plant for his garden:

horticulture exhibit feb2011

My favorite booth was the cacti wall garden by the Cactus and Succulent Society of the Philippines.  Not surprisingly, it won “Most Innovative Landscape Exhibit”:
horticulture exhibit feb2011

horticulture exhibit feb2011

These are similar to the vertical gardens I’ve researched online, and am happy to know I now have people to consult for my upcoming experiments!

horticulture exhibit feb2011

Also interesting was the Japanese garden, which gave off a meditative vibe because of its clean lines:
horticulture exhibit feb2011

I’ve been wanting an opulent, flourishing garden with maybe a red wall and “wild”, overgrown plants, but the calming effect I got from this well-kept garden is making me think twice…
horticulture exhibit feb2011

A bonsai bouganvillea!  So pretty… 🙂
horticulture exhibit feb2011

horticulture exhibit feb2011

Today was a great introduction to gardening and also to the people here in the Philippines who have made a love out of gardening. Met a nice lady, Joyce Kato, who invited everyone to the Alabang Garden Show at Narra Park from February 15 to 23.  She is a member of the Ikebana Society and will be giving a lecture on Tropical Ikebana.

Also upcoming is an orchid show at the QC circle on February 24 until March 7:
horticulture exhibit feb2011

So many opportunities for learning out there,  glad I went out and took my first step in my gardening adventure!  If you have time to visit tomorrow, HORTICULTURE 2011 will be open at the Manila Seedling Bank from 8am until 6pm. 🙂

4 Replies to “My first garden show”

  1. Hello. I am a homeschooler and will be completing a year long Botany curriculum this March for my 4 children. I was hoping to bring the kids to the Manila Seedling Bank this March. Is it open all year round. I wil going to the Narra Park garden show since i live in the alabang area.

    1. Hi Donna! Kudos to you for homeschooling all four of your kids. 🙂 Curious about the yearlong Botany course you are taking– care to share more about it? Is it just for homeschooling moms?

      I think the Manila Seedling Bank is open all-year round. Best to call to be sure:
      Telephone Nos.: 924-7001 to 2
      Fax No.: 924-0166
      Email :

      More info on their website, including a backgrounder on how it started:

  2. hi Johanna! I’m Johanna too! I like your blog. I just want to let you and Donna know that maybe a trip to Makiling is an option for the kids. There is a place called TREES in UPLB, with rooms also where they can wash up after going through the botanical garden (I forget what it’s called, Makiling or UPLB botanical garden). You can even spend the night.
    Sorry I lost my brochure, but contact info should be on the web. Went in Feb 2007 when many hornbills were right outside the rooms! Just not sure what the current condition of the garden is (it’s a hike up & down through soil trails). Going up, there is the raptors area (also forgot what it’s called!), where eagles & hawks are bred and studied by resident scientists. Like seeing Natgeo or Discovery, live. The place is open for visitors.

    1. Hi Johanna!

      What a great tip, thanks for sharing 🙂 And it sounds like it was a fun trip not just for the kids but for you as well! Of course when you said raptors, I thought of Jurassic Park, haha.

      Found the contact info on

      Director’s Office – TREES

      Training Center for Tropical Resources and Ecosystems
      Sustainability (TREES)
      College of Forestry and Natural Resources
      University of the Philippines Los Baños
      College, Laguna, Philippines

      (049) 536-2736 (049) 536-2268
      (049) 536-3340

      Accommodations options:
      Twenty-two room hostel that provides excellent accommodation facilities for trainees and guests
      Guesthouses are available for visitors/participants who opt to cook their own food


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