Summer greens in Nuvali

Look at what greeted us in Nuvali after a year of being city-based:

Back in My Nuvali Home May2014 (3)
Ligaw na sitaw! This just grew in the wild.

This is our papaya tree out front, now bearing fruit:
Back in My Nuvali Home May2014 (4)

Back in My Nuvali Home May2014 (7)

Perfect for tinola, I’ve been told. This tree was not even an inch high a year ago.

Was also nice to see our ivy slowly making progress in covering our front garden wall…
Back in My Nuvali Home May2014 (10)

…And our passion flower vine climbing all around the trellis:
Back in My Nuvali Home May2014 (9)

The flower of this vine is so lovely. Here’s a pic from last year:

One thing I miss about living in the South is the abundance of fresh flowers. These are my neighbor’s purple blooms by the sidewalk:
Back in My Nuvali Home May2014 (6)

The Green Ribbon is also in much better shape now, although personally I’d still prefer to leave it a little wilder or less manicured.
Around Nuvali May2014 (7)

All in all, Nuvali is getting greener and greener — which is its promise after all. I just hope the management is ready to hire grasscutters round the clock, especially with the coming rainy season!

Melons and summer harvest

Such sweet melons from Robinson’s Supermarket Nuvali!

Fruits Summer 2013 (2)

We did a quick stop last night to restock on fruits at home and were surprised to find the fruit pile almost emptied out, but for melons and papayas (even bananas were sold out). Seems everyone had fruit salads over the Holy Week. Was glad for it though– I tend to skip the melon corner on a regular day because I can’t blend them in my green smoothies (melons are best eaten alone). This batch was so sweet and delicious, I finished the whole thing in one sitting! Wasn’t able to take a pic of the uncut melon, but it was of the yellow skin variety. Still have two white cantaloupes waiting on the kitchen counter, along with other summer fruits:

Fruits Summer 2013 (1)

I had to go back for the bananas and mangoes this afternoon, but am happy to share that the squash above is from our own garden. 🙂 The plant grew out of our compost pit last year, so we moved it to a nice sunny spot, and voila– three months after, we harvested our first homegrown kalabasa!

Here’s another happy leafy green that sprouted from a fallen seed:

PEchay at home

Very thankful for the fertile Nuvali soil.


Composting — first attempt

Been dumping our wet kitchen waste in a compost pit at home…

Composting Oct2012 (3)

It’s literally a hole we dug up and cover with soil when needed, to keep bugs at bay.

Composting Oct2012 (5)

Don’t know if we should be adding anything to the mound, but decided to just go ahead and do it instead of over-researching it and ending up not doing anything (happens to me all the time!).

Anyone who composts here? Care to share your experience? 🙂

Harvest time!

GIANT Langka from our Tagaytay garden:

Tagaytay harvest Aug2012

Don’t they just make you smile? 🙂

Harvested 3 huge ones just last week, and another one over the weekend.

When it came to cutting them open, didn’t want to stain my fingers with the smell, so took a knife and fork and sliced away methodically.  Was surprisingly therapeutic, felt as if I was carving meat.

Also very happy to harvest so many bananas and papayas:

Tagaytay harvest Aug2012 (1)

Tagaytay harvest Aug2012 (2)

Great for breakfast smoothies.  They’re all very delicious, and taste ever the sweetest because they’re homegrown.



Will need to decide on what to plant in my Nuvali garden soon.  Space is small so need to plan properly.   Care to share what you’ve planted in yours?

Jungle alert: grass everywhere!

Visited a Celena unit in Avida Settings Nuvali Phase 4 last week, and was surprised to be greeted by wild vines inside the unit!
Avida Settings Nuvali June2012 (1)

This was turned over clean and with a visible perimeter in January 2012.  Six months after, it’s overrun with grass and vines, literally looking like a jungle.

Avida Settings Nuvali June2012 (2)

I asked the ASNU admin re: grass cutting in the village, and was advised that not all areas have been turned over to them for maintenance, so they can only remind/call the attention of the existing landscaping service provider when certain areas remain unkempt.  Also, Avida’s responsibility only extends to trimming grasses on sidewalks and vacant lots that haven’t been turned over to owners.

I think this policy can be amended to include all vacant lots regardless of status, if only for the safety of existing residents (we recently heard stories of snakes combing the village grasses).  To date there are still no association dues in Avida Settings Nuvali, however, so we residents are actually in no position to be so demanding.

My own area has overgrown cogon, and we just decided to be proactive about it and replace it with manageable groundcovers ourselves:

Avida Settings Nuvali June2012 (2)

Avida Settings Nuvali June2012 (3)

In a few months, hopefully, we’ll have blooming peanut shrubs instead of wayward cogon covering the sidewalks, much like the one shown below:
Avida Settings Nuvali June2012 (1)

If I had the budget, I’d plant frog grass– which supposedly never grows high and therefore has zero maintenance — on all sidewalks and frontage of vacant lots in the village.  This was actually an idea I heard from my friend’s dad, who sits as board director of another residential/farming community in Silang  (bulk of their budget really goes to grass-cutting).  Not only will it maintain the visual and safety standards of a premier subdivision, but it will also cut down on grass-cutting costs and save money for the community in the long run.  We’d also be doing future homeowners a favor– I remember it took considerable effort to uproot all the cogon on my lot before building could start.

Garden inspiration: Cafe Juanita

Have always loved the indulgent feel of Cafe Juanita in Pasig City.  Visited its new location (across the old one) last week and was happy to see the same quirky aesthetic translated to the garden setting:

Cafe Juanita  Apr2012 (5)

Cafe Juanita  Apr2012 (4)

Cafe Juanita  Apr2012 (7)

Simple layers of plants and outdoor elements (parrots!), put together with lots of love.


Our QC vegetable garden project

Inspired by my friend Asha’s thriving vegetable garden in her small townhouse in Quezon City, mom and I set out to transform the planters in our lanai– planted with flowering Birds of Paradise for years now –to our own “vegetable backyard garden” in the city.

Our QC vegetable garden 19Apr2012 (9)

My brothers did their own herb garden project on one of our concrete planters/boxes a few years ago, shown below complete with the white picket fence, but mom and I thought to add actual vegetables and leafy greens to the garden.

Our QC vegetable garden 19Apr2012 (10)

We visited the Manila Seedling Bank on Quezon Ave. cor EDSA last week to check out what’s there.

On day 1, we went through the columns of shops by the entrance/exit road and made this big greenhouse at the end our last stop:

Manila Seedling Bank Apr2012 (42)

Herb and vegetable seedlings here went for 3 for P100, which we thought was a good deal already.

The next day, we went back and really looked for the Manila Seedling Bank office, and saw seedlings for sale at P10!

Manila Seedling Bank Apr2012 (139)

Continue reading “Our QC vegetable garden project”

Interior Vertical Gardens

I’ve asked permission from a friend if I could post her research on indoor vertical gardens as a guest post here.  We had such a lively discussion about them over lunch a month ago– it was great finding a kindred green spirit right in Nuvali itself!  Am sure many others out there will resonate with these.  Thank you again, Duanne, for sharing your ideas and research:
Interior Vertical Gardens
by Duanne
You’ll see from below the form and built of the standing vertical garden.
(I was thinking of rollers installed at the bottom of the platform so it can be moved around.)
You’ll see from here how they use the standing vertical garden as a wall partition between living areas.
(I actually intend to do this at our future bedroom in Parkway Settings since the 2nd floor doesn’t have any partition.)
I was very inspired and loved the play of colors on the fully grown wall mounted plants on below photo.  It’s truly a living, breathing, green space.
And ang kulit ng concept ng photo with the bed of plants and the [wo]man figuring out how [s]he will water the plants on top.=)
Or if you happen to like a hanging vertical garden, then check the image below.
(By the way, I believe they used the Woolly Pockets in here.)

Another good green wall partitioning concept below with stacked potted plants.

Love green decorating, ‘no! =)


Pictures from various online sources.  

Our sunflower in bloom!

Do you remember the giant sunflower head from Antipolo last summer?

At home in Tagaytay

I didn’t know our helpers actually planted the seeds– and now we have a tall sunflower plant in bloom! Amazing…

At home in Tagaytay

The head is not nearly as big as the original (see below pic), but it’s still a baby plant, about three months old, so who knows how much more it will grow… 🙂

Antipolo Earthfest 2011
I got these giant sunflower heads from the Antipolo Earthfest last May2011.

Dad says we still have some seeds left for planting… I hope the Sta. Rosa weather in Nuvali will be just as conducive to sunflowers!

guyabano seedlings

I love guyabano, I can eat one whole fruit for breakfast everyday!

Whenever we chance upon an especially sweet fruit (we love it when it’s also soft, literally like cotton), we set the seeds aside and try to sprout them for planting:

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The other week, we were excited to see these small guyabano seedlings (seen below on the left) ready for transferring to their own spot!

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Among the fruit trees in our Tagaytay garden, the avocado, langka and mango trees are the only ones still standing– the guyabano died from the strong winds. 🙁   Will make sure to plant these in a less windy area, maybe next to a protective wall.

Too bad in Avida Settings we’re not allowed to plant fruit trees in our tiny gardens– maybe I’ll grow them in big pots so their roots don’t bother anyone.  Anyone knows how long it takes for a guyabano to bloom?


new trees in Avida Settings Nuvali

Avida Settings Nuvali 26Jun11 (4)

Saw these while driving around Avida Settings Nuvali last Sunday–newly planted trees lining the sidewalk! Couldn’t make out what kind of trees they were, but imagine how they’d look in full bloom!

Yayyy for the (future) green.

urban homesteading

Found this piece on urban homesteading on my browser today.

It was the last thing my dad read before he gave me back my laptop and it made me smile thinking he’s still a farmer at heart after all these years.  Hope we get to work on some city farming projects soon– recently bought a book made by the Central Luzon University on Urban Farming and it has easy and encouraging suggestions suited to the Philippine climate!

*     *     *

Similar to urban gardeners or backyard farmers, urban homesteaders:

…want to replicate the lifestyle of the original homesteaders in a modern-day setting: making many of their necessities themselves or sourcing items locally, motivated by a desire to leave a lighter impact on the planet and have a direct connection with their food.

That last bit is important, as it brings to light the spiritual / energy aspect of food (and farming).   When you eat raw vegetables everyday, you necessarily take an active part in sourcing your food, and behind that is a deeper connection with the physical land that grows it–the soil, the farmer, the tilling and waiting.    When you’re the farmer yourself, you get to know your land to the point of familiarity, and you work and work until intuition sets in and you have a true connection with the earth and sun.  Imagine how different everything would be if we all just started planting again.

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Read the complete article on Inside the Urban Homesteading Craze