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Cambridge Garden is Really Suffering!

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I have now spent 24 years permanently in the Philippines with only a 2 month (too long) break to England in 2003, yes, I like it here! In my years here, I have seen a very good cross section of the weather from cool to warm to hot and to this year, very hot! I have 2 thermometers in the entrance to my dive shop in the shade of the door way and the lunch time temperature nearly every day as been about 100 degrees F or 38 degrees C or hotter!

Very Sad!

Very Sad!

Throwaway Ticket Service - The Business that works while you sleep
This heat wave really started last year as many of our Palm and Coconut Trees were feeling the effect of the heat and also, the Gen San Water District Main Supply Boreholes are very near to Cambridge Farm and has the system has been expanded to cover more areas the underground water table has been drawn down lowering the water table and starving some of the vegetation of much needed water!

I feel very sorry for my wife Ellie who converted the almost 2 hectares of rice fields which we purchased in 1998 and with persistent hard work converted into the lush green oasis that it became! I will not claim any accolades for the garden as I do not have green fingers but Ellie is a different Kettle of fish as one of my friends once said that Ellie could take a dead stick and plant it on the moon and it would grow! Unfortunately, the garden did grow but now its in decline and I cannot see anyway for it to come back to its former glory!

We used to get a good harvest of Copra from our Coconut Trees but we noticed that the leaves were falling off as were the coconuts themselves. The last harvest of Copra was not good as the Coconuts had no water inside and the copra was already dry! I do not think that we will have any more harvest as just about all our Coconut Trees are dead now or on their last legs!

Pool Trees Dead.

Pool Trees Dead.

We had a lot of Norfolk Pine Trees, around 100 but now these are all brown and not green like the Christmas Tree that they are famous for! Many people wanted to buy them and cut them down for Christmas Trees but Ellie always said no! We could have made money from them I suppose!

Now our Oil Palms and several other species of palms which are suffering and have really no chance of survival, even with big rains I think its too late for them!

We still have plenty of different species of trees which are still very healthy, I think that these types of trees have deep tap roots which can get down to the water at whatever depth it is! one thing that gives me joy is that my huge Balite Tree, ( Strangler Fig) The Harry Potter Tree is still flourishing and at present is a total pain in the butt as it is dropping its very sticky fruits all over so we tread in them and spread the mush all over the place!

Even with this devastating loss, My Dear Wife Ellie will not give up, I am sure that she will be planting once the rain comes again!

Posted in

GenSan Chris

Chris Dearne, aka "GenSan Chris" is a long term resident of the Philippines. Chris has been living in General Santos City since 1992! Chris owned a hotel in General Santos called Cambridge Farm Hotel, and now also Agatha's Dive Center, formerly Tuna City Scuba Center. Chris' interests include Scuba Diving, Instructing, and Formula 1 Racing.

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Stephen M Gray
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wow… sounds like what is happening in much of California now with the drought

Chris Dearne
Guest

Hi Stephen, This drought is pretty bad here but the rain has started to drop but we need lots more!

PalawanBob
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PalawanBob

Here on Palawan we had very hot dry season and we lost about 20 bananas and a few other, unknown to me, trees. Coconuts trees suffered and produced less fruits this year. The biggest loss was 75% of papayas are now dead. We had about 30 pieces. After seeing that disaster, two months ago I replanted about 15 pieces and the new batch is now doing fine. Mango trees and pineapples didn’t suffer at all. I see (in other people gardens) that dragon fruit trees are doing well. Fortunately it is starting to rain again and everything is starting to… Read more »

Chris Dearne
Guest

Hi Bob, we had much of the same here, many trees have died but some are growing again, we are now getting some mangos and durien and or dragon fruits are having flowers so its not all doom and gloom!

James Batey
Guest

Error 521 came up Bob ?

Bob Martin
Guest

Must be on your end. The link is working fine for me. Sorry.

James Batey
Guest

Bob Martin yeah most probably my internet then have had trouble with my cable! Thank you Bob

Rusty
Guest
Rusty

Great article. Your wife is obviously a very hard worker. I’m sure with her talents things will return to glory.

Rusty

Chris Dearne
Guest

Hi Rusty, you are correct, My wife turned 75 yesterday but was still working in the garden remodeling the area and trying to get it back in order again but she has a big job on her hands!

Steve
Guest
Steve

A warning of what is to come due to climate change? Or just a blip in the climate? only time will tell. True plant lovers, like Ellie, will mourn for those plants dying off now 🙁

Chris Dearne
Guest

Hi Steve, I think that she has got over the disappointment of losing so much and is now even more determined to get it to her liking once again!

marjorie
Guest
marjorie

Time for a garden redesign.
Can I send you anything from New Coley lol.
Its heart breaking when these things happen

Chris Dearne
Guest

Hi Marge, Ellie is working like an Irish Navvy just now so nothing will kill her spirit to repair the damage!

Rusty
Guest
Rusty

Chris,

Congrats to your wife. At 75 she is out there gardening, bending over for hours, like a trooper. I’m 72 and my back hurts when I shave. These little Filipino sinks are something else.

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