Delays and plan cancellations seemed to be the new normal these days due to COVID-19.
While event managers are adept at planning and providing immediate solutions to sudden changes, these unprecedented life events are beyond their control.
It’s a similar case for husband and wife Irish and Francis Trogani, both of whom work as event providers and have had to deal with the impacts of the pandemic on their business, especially when mass rallies face to face with face were banned during the height of COVID. -19.
The limited number of event bookings during the quarantine period allowed them to focus on growing the plants. Gardening, for the couple, allows them to cope with stressful circumstances.
Due to security concerns over the health crisis, the pair also had to cancel their wedding anniversary travel plans and instead used the funds and time to build an aroid garden.
Realignment of plans
The Irish woman, affectionately known as ‘Maimai Kalamay’, started experimenting with a few plants in May 2020. While exploring different species of plants, she became fascinated with philodendrons, which prompted her to learn and buy more. varieties.
The Troganis decided to create an entire outdoor garden to celebrate their 10th anniversary last August. The supposed fund for their anniversary trip, which amounted to P50,000, became the seed money for their garden landscaping.
Arumai House of Aroids is a 86.3 m² garden located in San Jose de Buenavista, Antique. It is divided into a 36.3m² garden devoted to most aroids and a 50m² grow space with clear shade where the propagated plants are usually found.
The duo were able to spread, sell and earn over 80,000 P in February 2021, six months after creating their aroid garden. “With this money, we bought rare species to add to our collection and paid our insurance premiums.”
They stopped buying plants in May 2021 after reaching the goal of acquiring 100 varieties of philodendron. As they have progressed, they have helped others by sharing their factory experiences over the past year. “We have adopted dying plants from other gardens and revived them,” Irish said. It was also the time when they added the separate 50m² garden adjacent to their house to accommodate more plants.
“Now we are raising a budget of P 50,000 for our landscaping goal in August as it is the first anniversary of our outdoor garden.”
Flourishing aroid garden
The Aroid Garden primarily grows philodendrons, with over 100 varieties of philodendrons ranging from common to rare including Golden Dragon, Florida Beauty, Pink Princess, Selloum, Burle Marx, Billietiae, Black Cardinal, the Thai Sunrise, among others.
Besides philodendrons, other aroids they grow are different varieties of pothos (Epipremnum aureum), anthurium, aglaonema, ZZ plants, monstera, alocasia, syngonium, Scindapsus and Rhaphidophora. Some non-aroid plants are prayer plants (Maranta leuconeura), snake plants (Dracaena trifasciata) and mayanes (Coeus blumei Benth).
Irish said she performs air layering (a propagation technique where a branch of a plant is wrapped in a moist medium to promote root growth) before planting the cuttings for a greater chance of propagation success and plant stability.
“When I buy juvenile plants, I usually wait until they become mature or at least semi-mature. I start the propagation after four to six months. Then I keep the top cut and the mother plant and sell the middle cuts with shoots, ”Irish added. The prices of propagated plants range from P100 to P5,000 each.
An aroid garden should be supplied with rainwater or stored tap water two to three times a week. In summer, afternoon misting is necessary, but this routine may change during the rainy season.
Their growing medium contains coconut chops or pieces of coconut, coconut peat, rice husk, charred rice husk (CRH), vermicast, pumice stone (about the size of a monggo), leaf litter or dried acacia leaves and osmocote fertilizer 14-14-14. Irish added that the mixture of soil, CRH and cow manure was not working for them, while the former has been helping their plants thrive for several months now.
With the right shade, potting mix, pot size, drainage, distance, and care, aroids can thrive in any season.
Years from now Irish and Francis envision a zero cost garden that will only require constant care.
Although the global health crisis has caused disruption in the event industry, this husband and wife team have remained resilient and continue to speak out against the challenges of COVID-19 through gardening.
Read: Antique gardener shares tips for a successful gardening business in less than a year
Photos courtesy of Irish Trogani. For more information visit Aroid House of Arumai.
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