By Zac B. Sarian

Meet the winning couple at the garden competitions in the Kadayawan Agri Trade Fair held on August 1-31, 2019 at the SM Annex grounds in Ecoland, Davao City. They are Noel and Bebet Aton, who used to be connected with the Davao City government until they decided to go on their own and engage in landscaping as a business. That was after they got married in 2009. As early as 2000, however, Bebet was already engaged in gardening as a hobby and sold plants for profit.

Going on their own was a wise move for the couple. They are doing a lot of landscaping jobs today, including the maintenance of the gardens of SM Davao City at Ecoland and SM in General Santos City. For their landscaping requirements, Noel maintains a two-hectare farm in Bukidnon where he grows landscaping trees. On the other hand, Bebet has her own collection of rare orchids and ornamentals that they market, as well as for showcasing in landscaping and plant competitions.

Consider the awards they garnered at the Kadayawan garden show: they romped away with the First Prize in the landscape booth competition. They also got the Best Plant-in-Show award with their huge Aglaonema Molodoklo originally from Bangkok; the Best Orchid-in-Show for their Rodrigueza venusta from Venezuela with 20 flower spikes; First Prize in Waling-Waling; First to Third Prizes in Philippine Orchid Species (Aerides alba).

While Noel takes care of landscaping trees, Bebet has her own collection of rare aroids, bromeliads, ferns, hoya, orchids, and many others.

This appeared in Agriculture Monthly’s October 2019 issue.