If this is your first time in my site, welcome! Chateau Du Mer is a beach resort with a beach house and conference Hall. The beach house could now accommodate 10 guests, six in the main floor and four in the first floor( air conditioned room). In addition, you can now reserve your vacation dates ahead and pay the rental fees via PayPal. I hope to see you soon in Marinduque- Home of the Morions and Heart of the Philippines. The photo above was taken during our first Garden Wedding ceremony at The Chateau Du Mer Gardens. You can now read the national and international news in this blog at the right side bar. I have also posted my favorite Filipino and American dishes and recipes in this site. Some of the photos and videos on this site, I do not own, but I have no intention on the infringement of your copyrights!

Marinduque Mainland from Tres Reyes Islands

Marinduque Mainland from Tres Reyes Islands
View of Marinduque Mainland from Tres Reyes Islands-Click on photo to link to Marinduque Awaits You

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Full Moon at Chateau Du Mer

One of the many things I will never forget at Chateau Du Mer is the full moon. During the summer, the moon shines so bright, it looks like day light. However, during the monsoon season, oftentimes, the moon is partially or completely covered with the rain clouds.

One of my favorite activity during full moon is to have a leisure walk along the beach with my dog. There is no need for a flashlight. You could walk for miles without getting tired.

Another activity is to light a bon fire (tapong) on the beach. You could roast marshmallows, drink beer or wine. For appetizer you could have barbecue pork or oysters and clams (if in season).

If I do not feel like walking, I just stay at the balcony of the beach house, plug in my boom box and listen to classical or Filipino music. Envious of this lifestyle?
I do not blame you. I should thank God, for giving me the Health and Time to enjoy the full moon in our retirement beach house in Boac, Marinduque.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Sunset and Twilight at Chateau Du Mer

Notice the two swimmers also enjoying the sunset

My favorite time of the day in Marinduque is at sunset and at twilight. During this time and up to midnight, I could show case my more than 50 solar lights of various types around the resort. Besides the solar lights, I have installed spot lights in all of the statuary's and garden sculptures near the Conference Hall and also in the Main House. The three photos( taken at twilight) above focused on the bridge lighting (red and white). The bridge is the focal point of the landscaping design of the beach house.

The creek under the bridge is filled with native fish, crabs and snails during the summer season. Four years ago, I seeded the creek with tilapias in November. By May, it was already about 3 to 5 lbs. I feed the tilapias twice a day with commercial fish food. I told Edwin, my caretaker to harvest them before the rainy season, otherwise they will be flushed into the ocean, when the monsoon rains start around July-August. Edwin was able to harvest more than a dozen for his table. A couple of tilapias that remained in the creek were flushed into the ocean by August.

The top photo is one of my favorite sunset picture taken from the balcony of the beach house. Macrine and I hope to see you soon in Marinduque-our island paradise.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Do You Garden by Mouth?

Have you heard of the phrase " gardening by mouth"? I heard this phrase just recently from one of our guests at the beach house. He told me that a good friend of his loves to garden by mouth. I was curious what it meant. He later informed me that his lady friend had a personal gardener. So all she does is tell the gardener what to do in the garden. In my case, even though I have two full time gardeners in Marinduque, I am still strong enough to do "actual gardening" as one of my "exercise activity", besides walking along the beach in early morning or late afternoons. I still love to do a little weeding, watering, transplanting , pruning and fertilizing. The major job of mowing, pruning, weeding and spraying is done by mouth.

The above photos ( orchids, hibiscus, bougainvilla, bird of paradise, euphorbia, heleconias) are the fruits of my actual and mouth gardening. I hope you enjoy the flowers. If you also garden by mouth please let me know!

Bougainvillaes in My Garden


Besides my orchids and hibiscus collections (http://chateaudumer.blogspot.com) and Euphorbia collections (http://planningtovisitthephilippines.blogspot.com), I also collect bougainvilleas. They are drought-resistant, pest-free and blooms 10 months of the year. They love sunshine and thrives even in a pot near the beach. I fertilize them with 1 part human urine and 1000 parts of water. They will grow into a small tree if not pruned. I have a dozen varieties of various colors. I used them also as hedges to cover the hollow block fencing surrounding the beach resort. My favorite is the red variety ( top photo).Here's a video of beautiful Gardens featuring bougainvillas and other flowers as the focal point of the landscaping.

Euphorbias in My Garden

Besides my orchids and hibiscus collections posted in (http://chateaudumer.blogspot.com),
I have also a collections of Euphorbias. The plant is also known as Siam's(Thailand)Lucky Plant. Five years ago, I purchased 3 plants
for 1000 pesos(about $20 US).Today, Euphorbias are so cheap,
you can buy one for less than a $1, since they are easily propagated via cuttings.

They bloom whole year round, likes sun and dry soil and very drought-resistant. They are almost pest-free except for small mites. The mites are almost microscopic and attacked the leaves. My favorite is the light yellow, almost light green variety. I have also varieties that have double flowers in red and pink. The most common color is pink(bottom photo). Here's a video about the care of Euphorbia in Sanskrit.

Plumerias and Ylang Ylang Trees in My Garden

Besides my orchids/hibiscus collection( http://chateaudumer.blogspot.com), euphorbias
and cactus collections(http://planningtovisitthephilippines) and bougainvillas collection (http://economicdisasterphilippines.blogspot.com), I am also a lover of plumerias and Ylang Ylang trees. I have three varieties of plumerias, and two Ylang Ylang trees.

My white plumeria is the standard tree now about 20 ft tall and 10 ft wide. I planted them along the beach by the side of the fence. I have 20 trees currently. It likes the ocean breeze and flowers the whole 6 months from December to June. Its white flowers are very fragrant. My red plumerias are semi-dwarf. The red flowers are clustered but not as fragrant as the white standard tree. My pink plumerias are dwarfs. I have a dozen trees of this pink variety. One of them, I made into a bonsai. The bonsai plant is my favorite.

I have only two Ylang Ylang trees, I planted them in 1996. Now they are about 30 ft tall and loaded with fragrant flowers. The fragrance of the blooms permeates in the air even up to 20 meters away and farther if the wind direction is favorable. It reminds me of the perfume Chanel N0.5.

Cacti and Succulents in My Garden

Besides my collection of orchids/hibiscus
(http://chateaudumer.blogspot.com),and bougainvillaes,(http://economicdisasterphilippines.blogspot.com)
and euphorbias, I also collect cacti and succulents. I have only
a dozen varieties, half of them I grew in pots and the rest outside.
I planted them in pots, so during the rainy season, I could move
them away from the torrential rains of Marinduque. The outside
cacti, I planted under the overhang in the west and south side of
the house,so it will have plenty of sun and protected from the
monsoon rains during the month of July and August.
They have red flowers(photo above).

One variety that grows tall, I planted along the fence facing the ocean. This serves as deterrent for mischievous local children to climb the fence because of it thorns. I have one favorite that belongs to the Agave specie. It looks like a big rose. It is a slow grower.I think it is called the century plant.It will not bloom after 50 years or more. I planted it 10 years ago ( only about 2 inches). Now it is only about 12 inches high and 10 inches wide. So far, it has only one shoot( I call it the cactus baby), that I transplanted into a pot and watch it grow very slowly. I try not to over water it. For as they say, cactus and succulents thrives well with neglect. Here's a video about cacti!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Cosmos, Zinnias, Impatiens and Wild Flowers in My Garden

Do You know the name of this Flower?

Photo of Wild Flower on the Seashore(second from top photo) by Gabby Del Rosario

Zinnias, impatiens and cosmos self-seed every year in my garden. They grow like wild flowers. However, I replaced them with new seeds every other year. If allowed to grow, they will suffocate other plants around them. Zinnias comes in a rainbow of colors. There is a zinnia known as Envy( light green) that I used to grow in Kansas City. However, I can not find seeds here in California in the garden shop. I will probably have to order it via the Internet(see note below). Anyway, I am happy of the varieties that I have currently. The purple Zinnia looks almost like a dahlia. My cosmos is light orange, although I have seen other colors from garden catalogs. I have both pink and white variety of impatiens. The natives called it "apat-apat" because they have four petals. They are drought resistant and blooms all summer.

Another wild flower (second photo from top) grows like a ground cover and a vine along the seashore outside the fence of the beach house. It has light purple flowers that blooms for about three months( December to February) every year. I encourage it to spread along the shore in order to minimize sand erosion during high tides. The locals have a name for this wild vine, but I can not remember it. During its blooming season, the seashore looks so beautiful. It reminds me of the wild California poppies, blooming in the prairies. Every year, I remind my gardener to trim it, since it will occupy the seashore that we used for sun bathing and picnicking. If you know of the name of this wild flower, please let me know. Enjoy the flowers above.

Note: I went to the grocery store today. They have a stand for Burpee Seed Products. I found the Green Zinnia( Envy) seed packet for $1.99, but not the purple double Zinnia.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

My Hibiscus Collections at Chateau Du Mer

Aside from orchids and bougainvillas, I also collect Hibiscus, known in the Philippines as gumamela plants. I have a dozen varieties in a rainbow of colors both with single or double flowers. My favorite is the canary-yellow variety (second photo). Above are some of the hibiscus in my garden. The most common variety is the single red, but the flowers could grow as big as a small plate. The white and yellow varieties are susceptible to white molds and aphids. I have to literally hand washed each stem with soapy water as well as spray it with anti-aphids pesticide. Most of these plants, I purchased locally, but the white variety I purchased from a nursery in Manila. Enjoy my hibiscus collections. Here's a short video about Hibiscus, I am sure you will enjoy!

Friday, May 1, 2009

My Orchids Collection at Chateau Du Mer

In 1996, when we first built the main house at Chateau Du Mer in Boac, Marinduque, Philippines, I started planting about a dozen orchids in front of the house. Today, I have a collection of more than fifty varieties of dendrobium, phalaenopsis and vandas. The dendrobiums and phalaenopsis cost around 100 to 200 pesos today(about $4 to $8 US dollars),still very cheap compared to US prices here in California. The vandas cost from 250 to 500 pesos depending on the variety and its rarity. My favorite orchid is the Princess Mikasa, a blue orchid(see top photo above). This was a gift from my first cousin from Iloilo about five years ago. I had to hand carry this on the plane to Marinduque. My cousin's primary business is growing orchids. She has more than a thousand plants in her home in Pototan, Iloilo. She attends to all the orchids Shows and Fairs in the Philippines and exhibits her orchids for sale and competes for awards. My other orchids, I purchased them from orchid gardens in Lucena, Quezon as well as locally during agricultural Fairs and at the Flea markets in Gasan and Boac. The other orchids in the photos are dark pink and yellow vandas as well as the purple dendrobium. I also have three cattleyas in my garden. This week, I sent the purple dendrobium as my mothers day gift to friends and relatives via my blog, http://planningtovisitthephilippines.blogspot.com They really appreciated it. Here's a short video of romantic piano music and orchids. Enjoy!

Another video of the gardens and orchid collection of Gardnerflower (www.sabarre.com)

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