A heliconia flower and two Cordyline fruticosa rubra leaves

Vertical flower arrangement: Heliconia and Cordyline fruticosa rubra

I made this flower arrangement last week but couldn’t post the photos immediately because I had to find out first the name of the plant where I got those red leaves from. The flower is easy. It’s from the Heliconia psittacorum plant, one of the hundreds of species of Heliconia that grow in the tropics. Along with sunflowers, Heliconia shrubs grow rather wildly in the driveway that leads to our village.

The red leaves that cradle the Heliconia flower is from a plant that grows in one corner of the garden. I never paid much attention to it. It was part of the landscape gardening design that used to be in front of the house but which I had moved to clear the path to the lanai which we converted into a carport. The plant with the red leaves grew and grew, needing very little tending and pruning.

I recently learned that the plant with the red leaves is called Cordyline fruticosa rubra. I chose its leaves to go with the Heliconia to create a very slim and very vertical arrangement with monochromatic colors broken only by the black-tipped yellow portions of the Heliconia flower. »

Triple burst: sunflower and Chinese bamboo

sunflower-chinese-bamboo

When I decided on this flower arrangement thing, the whole idea was to use materials that I won't have to buy. You know, make use of what we have in the garden, and flowers and foliage growing wild in the neighborhood. For starters, at least. If this new hobby should progress to a more serious level, well, we'll see. For … »

Passing it off as ikebana

ikebana-duh

Last Sunday, we went to "A Midsummer Night's Dream" wedding and the table centerpieces had me gaping. Wildflowers. Violet and white. No vase. The flowers and leaves were stuck in a block of molded sand covered with moss.Me gaping at a floral arrangement is a big thing. I'm not an ornament person. Even ornamental plants … »

The only decor still missing on the staircase are the garlands

christmas-lights-stairs

How the staircase and the windows beside it are decorated for Christmas changes from year to year.In 2009, Speedy installed lights following the arch of the window.In 2010, we had garlands and strings of LED lights on the banisters. … »

Putting up the Christmas lights, one room at a time

christmas-lights

It surprised me, really, Speedy putting up Christmas lights. He's always been so watchful over our electricity bill and a recent letter from Meralco (which I'm presuming you all received too) explaining why power rates will go up this month couldn't have prepared me for his sudden itch to put up Christmas lights. Normally, … »

The third reincarnation of the room that overlooks the garden

family-room

When you move into a house, do you use every part according to how each was originally intended in the floor plan? We don't.In the original plan of this house, the room that overlooks the garden was designed as a bedroom. It used to be Speedy's and mine. Then, I moved my office / study from the second floor to the … »

How to dim the light with style

lamp-shade

We moved the furniture around again. What used to be the dining room which overlooks the garden is now the family room. Since it is adjacent to the kitchen, when the door of the room is ajar and the pendant lights over the kitchen island are on, the glare can be distracting if you're watching TV. Sam asked if we could hang … »

Capiz window panes for Asian houses

capiz-windows-agoncillo-house-taal

Say capiz and the first thing that comes to most people's mind is the aswang -- that winged monster that eats fetuses in Philippine folklore. According to stories, there are many in Capiz, a province in Western Visayas. Capiz was named for the Placuna placenta, or windowpane oyster, that thrives in abundance in the area. … »