HortiKultura Filipina 2018, the Plants and Arts Festival of the Philippine Horticulture Society, opens to the public once again on 3 February 2018 with a show of a scale never before seen in Metro Manila nor the entire Philippines. It promises to be a visual delight for everyone from plant enthusiasts to casual admirers of plants and flowers.
The event spans all four show gardens at the Quezon Memorial Circle (QMC): the Hardin ng mga Bulaklak (Flower Garden), the Tropical Garden, Runnex Elevated Garden and the Rock Garden. Likewise, special exhibits are scheduled at the nearby QCX Museum.
Annually, HortiKultura offers practically everything from the traditional to contemporary garden designs using endemic and indigenous plants, new hybrids as well as newly appreciated species.
This year, HortiKultura Filipina has expanded from just being at the Hardin ng mga Bulaklak to cover almost six (6) hectares of the twenty-six-hectare Quezon Elliptical Circle. In the early seventies, Quezon Circle re-entered the Filipino consciousness when it was designated as a site of one of the Eucharistic Celebrations of the now beatified Pope Paul VI on 29 November 1970. Back then, aside from the Quezon Pylon, the Circle was just a big expanse of wild talahib grass.
What are the highlights of HortiKultura 2018?
Allied Botanical, whose Sunflower Maze at Tayug, Pangasinan went viral last year, promises to bring in a ton load of what was thought to be as upland blooms but now successfully adapted to lowland tropical conditions. A large bed of flowers in every imaginable color will be Allied’s surprise offering this year. Allied has advised that it will not be doing anything similar in Pangasinan or anywhere this year.
King Louis Flowers’s, Manila’s favorite supplier of Christmas Poinsettias and wedding flowers, is weaving together flowers of varying vintage colors that will carpet the Elevated Garden or Runnex of QMC.
In another part of Runnex, My Mother’s Garden is transforming it into a meditative area by showcasing a collection of about 20 bonsai plants bruited to be the best of the best.
Landscapes in Competition
There are about 15 entries in the competition for Best Landscape Design. Last year’s favorite and landscape winner, Pangasinan Horticulture and Landscape Society, is definitely gearing up for another surprise win. Meanwhile, Yuyong La’O, a favorite of the elegant and sophisticated set, is doing another of his much-awaited landscape designs.
Cactus and Succulents / Potted Ornamentals / Air plants
Indoor and outdoor potted plants, which are growing in popularity among those who live in small or tight spaces, are in dizzying abundance this year. These types of plants are highly portable or can be moved in or outside the house depending on the light source or aesthetic whim. A lot of these plants are in competition and vying for the best in show categories.
Urban Edibles / Urban Farming
Urban Farming is showcasing creative farming in small spaces or in recycled containers. Exhibit and competition on urban farming promote the cultivation of different varieties of vegetable and even ornamental plants that can be grown in your own homes or available community areas. The ultimate aim is to augment family incomes and reduce food expenses.
At least ten (10) vertical gardens are being set-up at the QMC’s Rock Garden. Groups of UP Landscape Architecture students were tasked to do basic designs. Garden execution is done in tandem with Philippine Horticulture Society members. The vertical gardens will be left on permanent display at the Rock Garden after the show. The primary and creative challenge to the competing groups is to fashion out low maintenance gardens using locally and readily available plants and resources.
Harbest Agribusiness will be on hand to advise on irrigation systems for vertical gardens. It will also help revive and refurbish the existing vertical gardens at the Tropical Garden and at the rotunda fronting the East Avenue gate of QMC.
One of the newest categories in competition at HortiKultura Filipina 2018 is the terrarium. Just like potted plants, terrariums are mobile or portable. It brings a piece of nature inside your homes. Terrariums are supposed to be complete ecosystems that can be almost maintenance free. In exhibition at HortiKultura are creations of Jhay Cortes who is internationally ranked by the International Aquatic Plants Lay-out Group. More recently, he placed 3rd at the Aquatic Gardeners Association International Competition. His winning creation is in exhibition at HortiKultura 2018 at the QCX Museum.
Tiffany Cham, wildlife breeder and creator-partner of the World of Creepy Crawlies at the Manila Ocean Park, is also exhibiting a number of her terrariums including a host of exotic animals. Just like Jhay Cortes’s creations, Cham is at the QCX Museum. She is likewise scheduled to conduct a lecture on creating your own terrariums in which she will share tips on maintenance and sourcing of materials and supplies.
Daily Seminars and Lectures
Aside from DIY seminars on horticulture, plant propagation and sustenance, the Department of Trade and Industry through its agencies such as the Bureau of Small and Medium Enterprises and the Bureau of Domestic Trade is holding daily seminars, lectures and counseling on Business Start-ups on Horticulture; Entrepreneuring; Business Planning and Management and Competence Building. These are some of the more interesting topics much awaited by those who would want to go mainstream in the horticulture business.
HortiKultura Filipina 2018 is open to the public 3-11 February 2018. While there are show exhibits all over the place, refreshments from a number of Food Trucks, arts and crafts, and, of course plants can also be found on sale at the HortiKultura Trade Fair that has nearly 200 selling booths.
Department of Trade and Industry; the Quezon City Local Government; Del Monte; Nutri-Asia and San Miguel Corporation
The Philippine Horticultural Society, Inc. is a non-profit organization established in 1976 to promote the local horticulture industry.