The Water Tank's New Clothes

Regular readers of this blog and owners of blogs I frequent are  probably tired of hearing me say that I don't have a "proper" garden.  Some areas of Southern Metro Manila used to have a water shortage problem which is why our current home's grounds have hardly any soil at all.  What we have is a lot of cemented flooring which requires no trimming, fertilizing and most especially no watering.  Here are pictures of our "yard" a few months before we and the plants moved in.

The view from the back wall showing the base of our water tank.

A view of the "corner plot" behind the water tank.  The only patch of land on this side of the house before we moved in.  In this picture it is full of sweet potato leaves.

A view of the water tank from the street.  Notice the absence of tillandsias from the eaves and windows.  LOL!

Even when water stopped being an issue, we decided not to get rid of the tank and to keep it, just in case.  

I found the tank to be an eyesore and wanted to cover it up fast.  Enter Thunbergia grandiflora.  I planted this in the little "corner plot" and guided it up the water tank.  The following picture was supposed to be of my tillandsias but you can see in the background how fast the thunbergia has grown in a little over 3 months.

Five months later, the thunbergia has reached the top of the water tank (green arrow) and has started growing down the other side.  BTW, remember the Caryota mitis from my "Something Fishy" post

I didn't really mind this because the Thunbergia grandiflora was already rewarding me with beautiful blooms.

Can you imagine that tank covered in these beautiful flowers?  It was fantastic.  Like those giant flower floats.  I regret having been remiss in taking a picture of the water tank in all its Thunbergia glory.

Unfortunately, there is good reason why the Thunbergia is considered invasive.  The additional work of watching out for its spreading vines and cutting them off was worth it when the tank was covered in flowers.  However, with the onset of last year's rainy season, I had less and less flowers until all I had left was this giant vine spreading tentacles out to the rest of my plants.  

A green, giant Thunbergia monster.  

Even it it was covered with leaves it seemed more  . . .

like this:                                                                                                                    than this:

Frankenstein's Monster on thegreenhead.comMinnesota - Jolly Green Giant by 9teen87's postcards on flickr










What I felt must have been akin to the horror Dr. Frankenstein felt when he created his own green, giant monster.  The horror soon overpowered my memories of a pale purple floral giant.  Much to the chagrin of my wife, who wanted to wait for another summer so we could photograph the Thunbergia in full bloom, I decided to get rid of the vine and replace it with something else.

The Thunbergia was gone and our water tank needed "new clothes".

So last December, I got myself a Christmas gift and hoped for the best. 

The Bauhinia kockiana or Red Trailing Bauhinia.  

It requires full sun and regular watering.  The vines need support but then, that is what the water tank is for, right?  I've fed it only once so far with urea.

I was told that it would take some time to flower but, lo and behold, after a month it rewarded me with yellow blooms . . .

and red ones too.

Two weeks later, more blooms!

Can you imagine a giant bauhinia in full bloom?  If it is true that this plant flowers year round, then I think this is a keeper.  Do you agree?