My love for gardening started when I was a young girl growing up as a navy brat at the Naval Station Poro Point in San Fernando, La Union located in the island of Luzon in the Philippines. The gardening bug got me when the former First Lady Imelda Marcos launched her “Green Revolution” campaign in which people are given seeds to plant in the hope that no one will go hungry again! There were packets of seeds everywhere, and all the families in the base started gardening. Vegetables were in abundance, and alongside with that, my mom started hybridizing bougainvilleas. She was the only one in the neighborhood who had a 36-petaled ones and also multi-colored ones at one point. Indeed, we, as children, never went hungry again as we snacked on tomatoes or fruits from the guava tree we planted in front of our house instead of candies or cookies– the fruits of our labor!

Transplanted in Massachusetts from the Tropics in January 1989, I had no inkling about plants in this part of the world. I was lucky enough to meet a lovely lady, Madeline Saindon, who loved gardening and might have foreseen my need to nurture. So for my birthday that year, she gave me gardening books. I was also fortunate that along with her, her daughter, Kathy Duda, also love gardening and we became friends fast. The three of us would spend weekends together either gardening or shopping for plants. I also read those books voraciously and since I am already used to genera and species of the bacterial world as a Clinical Laboratory Scientist, I easily retained most of the Latin names of these plants! I also had the ‘eye’ as an artist, so I soon became known to some as someone they could go to when they want to start a garden. Landscaping had become one of my fortes.
Here’s a peek of one of my shade border…

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I joined the Salem Garden Club in 2002 and learned more from the lovely ladies of the club. I soon became the president of the club for two years. That year, I started the SGC Grapevine, a monthly publication of the Salem Garden Club doings and editorials written by the ladies themselves. My garden was also showcased in two of the Salem Garden Club garden tours. So with that under my belt, I can proudly say that hard work paid off! As I started traveling the world with my husband, I also started taking pictures of the gardens I have encountered along the way. Here are some of those pictures…
This is Anne Hathaway’s cottage garden in England…

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Below are pictures taken at the Jardin Du Luxembourg in France.

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The Kensington Gardens in England in the Spring is phenomenal…

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The combination of the colors of primroses, hyacinths, tulips and pansies were a treat in the park near the Mews at Charing Cross in London.

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Here’s my Solomon’s seals with my foam flowers…

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My pink roses with the soon-to-be-blooming irises…

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and my favorite… Violas!

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A gardener’s work is never done. It is a constant battle with weeds, a constant need to water, and a lot of upkeep. However hard it is sometimes, it is all worth it because “one is nearer God’s Heart in a garden than anywhere else on Earth.” Happy Gardening!

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