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Over the Bougainvillea

A short paragraph about the Bougainvillea. This plant is the main icon of Makati Garden Club. It was the favorite plant of Maria Luisa Perez-Rubio, which is why, when she launched the newsletter 50 years ago, she titled the opening message “Over the Bougainvillea”. With the rains, the beautiful bougainvillea blooms are slowly washing away. Bougainvillea shrubs bloom in the heat of the summer, and the less water it receives the more vibrant the blooms. Do not touch or fuss with these plants. The less you care for them, the better off they are. During the rains, simply prune back the shoots that grow out and grow long. It is best that you leave the bougainvillea uncut and unshaped. Leave the flowers to shoot out and to bloom in all its glory.

Now that the rains have arrived, Ayala will once again put back the lovely plantings that grace our green wall in the busy corner entrance into Ayala from EDSA. It was such an eyesore during the summer months, with the plants gone, but we were more concerned with conserving our precious water supply. Our gardens and lawns are green and lush once again. We also built a “media agua” (a covered trellis) over the walkway leading to the Cafe to protect guests from the rains.

At the last Board Meeting, it was decided that, aside from the numerous charitable endeavors that we support, we have added to our list three worthwhile charities — Caritas Philippines, locally known as the National Secretariat for Social Action (NASSA); it was created by the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) in 1966 and mandated to accompany the poor and marginalized in the struggle for social justice; The Sunshine Club, an outreach program that prepares meals for 60 of the poorest children from the local communities in Pasay, and provides care, guidance and support to these school children, even getting the parents of these families involved to show them that there is, after all a bright future ahead for their families; and The Winner Foundation, the caretakers of Arroceros Forest Park, a historic park by the Pasig River in Manila, and has been called "Manila's last lung", being the city's only nature park in the central district of Ermita. Developed in 1993, the 2.2-hectare urban forest at the foot of Quezon Bridge consists of 61 different tree varieties and 8,000 ornamental plants providing a habitat for 10 different bird species. Arroceros Forest Park is in danger of being torn down and taken over by the City of Manila for development. The Winner Foundation, with the help of Makati Garden Club, are holding ground and fighting to keep this last piece of open space in Manila preserved.

And now for a most important announcement: Makati Garden Club is raising its annual dues. But not much, do not worry. From P1,200 to P1,500 a year. We do not need to give reasons as to why we are doing this, as everyone knows that prices are going up and inflation is getting out of hand. Just know that your P1,500 per year goes to a worthwhile non-profit organization, that supports deserving students and environmental groups.

We are re-scheduling our last half of the year, as with numerous emergencies and complications, the Board had to postpone its gatherings. Which brings me to this request — we would like to invite members to be part of the main membership group of MGC. To join our Board! Participate. Help us in upholding MGC as the foremost and premiere Garden Club in the country. Please call the club and let us know that you want to participate. We WARMLY WELCOME YOU!

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The HIBISCUS, or commonly known in the Philippines as the GUMAMELA, is a beautiful flower that is now rarely seen or appreciated in most Philippine gardens. Like the SUNTAN, the Hibiscus is a disappearing species, in the sense that the landscape gardeners of today prefer not use it because it does not last long.

In the past, throughout the tropics, HIBISCUS, Gumamela, or Hibiscus Rosea-sinensis, and its numerous hybrids, were a stand-by of most gardeners. The many species and varieties, both single and double in many colors, usually bloom the whole year round.

The ordinary Gumamela, native of southern Asia, with large solitary flowers, is the most common. Growing rapidly and rarely attacked by diseases, this shrub is excellent for hedges.

Hibiscus and related species are all grown readily from cuttings and are not difficult to root in soil. They flower profusely in full sunshine and used to be among the most popular shrubs in the Philippines. Because most of the flowers last only for one day, they have lost their popularity. However, if left to grow, these shrubs continuously form new buds and enrich the garden with brilliant colors. Like most flowering shrubs they should be cut back regularly to keep them bushy and well-shaped.

If you wish to do unusual flowers for an evening party, stick them in the refrigerator and take them out just before the guests arrive. Thus treated, the flowers will last the whole evening.

The same method may be used with the flowers of Gooseneck Cactus which open only at night. When picked at an early stage and placed in the refrigerator, the flowers can also be enjoyed in the daytime.

Both flowers, although fugacious (they do not last long), were frequently used for arrangements. The trick was simple. Attach the flowers to thin sticks and place them among the greenery as you would a stem or blossom, or you can keep green plants in the house and decorate them daily with a few bright Hibiscus flowers.

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Plans to prune shrubs and plant seasonal flowers can fall to the wayside when it’s raining. While many people find the act of gardening enjoyable and often therapeutic, there are ways to scratch that itch when mother nature tries to keep us indoors.

First, Stop Watering!
Remember to inform your maids and gardeners to stop watering as water conservation is still imperative until we receive some relief from the drought . How long you do this for depends on the amount of rain received. A good rule of thumb is to wait until the first inch or two of soil is dry before starting to water again… provided that there isn’t more rain in the forecast.

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Keeping gardening tools in tip-top condition allows them to perform at their best. It’s not likely something you do too often. Use a rainy day to have your gardener wipe down garden shovels, hoes, and rakes. Those with wooden handles could probably use a bit of oil to keep them from cracking and comfortable to hold.

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Have an empty shallow vase? Take some clippings of off your existing succulent plants to freshen up the interior of the house with easy succulent gardens. Be sure to use a well-draining soil like cactus mix and monitor watering carefully as it’s easy to wind up with soil that is moist for a longer than succulents prefer. Consider using ice cubes or misting. You can stuff these arrangements quite tightly and prune as growth occurs. The good news is that clippings can create yet another arrangement so very little goes to waste.

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Take empty yogurt containers, toilet paper rolls, egg cartons or any other suitable small pot to start seeds. Need seeds and suitable soil? Call Grace at MGC (817-2738) and she will happily give you suggestions. Seeds and soil are available at the Garden Club.

Experiment with Regrowing
Grab the kids and see what kind of plants you can start with kitchen scraps. There are myriad of options. Celery is among the easiest, simply requiring the white-colored base to soak in sunlight. After about a week’s time, you should notice leaves forming at the base. Cut the top of a pineapple off and soak the cut end in shallow water. Roots should start to appear within a week. You get the picture.

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The Maria Luisa’s Garden Room Cafe is having great new food & party deals this coming Rainy Season!

Party Menus!
All parties come with great décor and buffet set-up/ sit down – photo booth back drop – sound system, Projector & Screen and many more amenities. Call Rose now for your greatest unique party good for 10 – 150 persons.

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Makati Garden Club, along with the staff of Cafe Maria Luisa, mourns the sudden passing of Chef Bryan Catangay from heart failure.
Bryan leaves behind a wife and three children.
He worked with MGC’s Cafe from its inception and never missed a day of work. He will be greatly missed and will forever be in our thoughts and prayers.

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Copyright © 2019 Makati Garden Club, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
Makati Garden Club
EDSA & Ayala Avenue
Corner Recoletos Street
Makati 1226
Philippines