The panorama on the sunrise side: an awesome view of Malarayat

The quiet panorama on the sunrise side of the farm: an awesome view of Mount Malaráyat and the river below the gap.

11 January 2012

The Big Picture

Just the other day, I overheard someone say again: "Don't miss the forest for the trees." I have always been predominantly a big-picture person; a lot of times something small is staring up at me right under my nose and I still cannot see it. But strangely, gardening can get me so absorbed and immersed in anything particular, urgent, and detailed. Consequently, a lot of times when I see the gardens, I see problems and gaps and bullet points to write down on my clipboard. It takes quite some effort for me to literally step back enough to appreciate what the gardens have become. This must be destiny's way of balancing my life.

We built the gardens little by little, as organic as possible. It sweeps me off my feet when people find it hard to believe that we've only been around a little over three years and that it was an abandoned, overgrown farm when we started. We let the land and trees tell us what to do. But now, midstream, I periodically forget about this basic tenet especially when I'm too absorbed understanding a bromeliad's habit or why a fern grows one direction and not the way I want it to.

There is no set formula for any garden, as there are just so many variables to consider for one to be, well, almost perfect. There are templates, I agree; but you'll end up like a templated garden which is worse than not having a garden at all. I guess part of the success and more importantly, the fulfillment in garden design is discovering what the land tells you how to go about it and discover the beauty in the natural.


  1. You already have a lovely place there, to my envy. I know a lot about plants being a farm person and professionally educated on them too, but i envy people like you who can have the funds and time to do what you want. I am like you, so i prefer mostly wide angle shots, the inter relationships of everything to give the whole. You are lucky, water is abundant in that area, and it is a bit colder in that part of Batangas.

  2. Congratulations!!! Your gardens look so beautiful, very enviable indeed.

  3. Thanks Andrea and Solitude! I honestly enjoy reading comments, moreso admittedly, compliments. But ultimately, gardening is an incredibly-fulfilling and enriching pastime and we proceed how we know and understand plants and nature, no matter what others might say. Both of you are going through your own personal gardening journeys and that alone is already remarkable.