Monday, July 11, 2011

Visiting Our Backyard Garden

Every time we go for summer vacation in the Philippines, I look forward to seeing my parent's backyard garden again. Not only because it brings back a lot of memories of my childhood days, but also because of the fruits that we reap from it.

When we were young, we planted all sorts of different plants there. We grew cotton, monggo, okra, chili pepper, pechay, ampalaya, cassava and other flowering plants like rose, santan, gumamela, orchids and four o'clock (my favorite flower which blooms beautifully every 4:00 in the afternoon).

We also have fruit trees, most of which are still alive today and giving us fruits to enjoy. Just look at our Langka (Jackfruit) and our Mangga (mango tree).  It's only when we're on vacation that we can eat these tropical fruits fresh from the tree. We also have two coconut trees from which my parents usually get the coconut milk they use for cooking. Being Bicolanos, we are fond of dishes with coconut milk like Laing (Taro leaves with coconut milk) and Ginataang Langka (Jackfruit with coconut milk). Guess where they get the Langka.

Lanka or Jackfruit tree
Mango Tree
Our backyard garden no longer have as much plants as before since nobody is taking care of our garden anymore except for a little weeding and watering by our parents. But there are a few surprise plants for me to see this vacation. Below is the picture of Lagundi (Vitex negundo L.). It is a herbal plant that is used as a cough remedy and anti-asthma medicine. I think the reason why my mom had this planted in our backyard is because I often ask her to send us dried leaves of Lagundi. When my children have cough or asthma, I boil a pinch of the dried leaves in water for a few minutes, then I ask them to drink it like tea. Sometimes, I add powdered juice or sugar to make the taste more pleasant. It is quite effective I must say.

Lagundi
Another surprise plant which just grew out of a crevice in our stony stairs is the Oregano. I actually have not used this herbal plant but I think it is also good for cough.  A friend told me that what they do is boil the leaves then squeeze the juice from it into a spoon and drink it.

Oregano
Birds of Paradise
The last plant that I really enjoyed seeing is the Birds of Paradise. It is one of the plants that I consider really unique among what we have in the garden. When we have our own house in the Philippines, I would like to have a small backyard garden and have the Birds of Paradise planted in it as well. God willing, I would also like to do bio-intensive gardening. What is bio-intensive gardening? Well, I'll reserve the answer to that question for my next post.

What do you have in your backyard? fruit trees garden? vegetable garden? flower garden? or herbal plant garden?

5 comments:

Mama Mia said...

What a beautiful garden! We are still just renting at this time. I also hope to someday have my own home, with a big backyard. I wish my backyard to be like the one my parents have...one part shows the landscaped garden, one area for their fruit-bearing trees, and another space for planting veggies.

Chin chin said...

It is really nice to have your own home backyard. It's also great for having that extra fresh air. Hope you have your own home, too.

teecup said...

We have 3 malunggay trees in our backyard and 1 in the front yard. Other than these, there are no other edible plants.

I'm not a straight vegetarian, but I really love vegetables. I think your yard would be paradise for me. Maybe you can still salvage it by hiring a gardener :)

Chin chin said...

I also eat Malunggay leaves and we used to have that also in our backyard.

Maybe someday we can do more with our backyard.

Daria said...

There's nothing better than having fruits/veggies/herbs in your backyard. They taste better than anything store-bought - and they keep cheering us up while thriving in front of our eyes... :)