Saturday, July 31, 2010

Caladiums (Keladi)

Flamboyant foliage is the hallmark of the Caladium. They are originally from the Brazilian jungles and are now grown as house and garden plants for their bright and colourful foliage as they add decor to any area in the garden.

Caladium have many species and the most popular is the Fancy Leaf varieties which have heart-shaped leaves usually with riots of red, pink, white and green splotches. Now they have dwarf varieties too. I saw the above photo shown by a friend in Kedah, his pot of caladium is displayed at the bottom of the staircase of his kampung house, a caladium bicolor (dwarf). The last time I was at the nursery, it was sold at a steep price for a very small pot. But the above photo is encouraging me to ignore the cost and spur me to buy the plant anyway!

The above are my own caladium, pink Rosebud Fancy Leaf variety, if Im not mistaken. They really add colour to my small pond where I planted them in a built-in container attached to the pond. I find them easy to grow without any fuss - no fertilizer and leave the rain to water them (when Im in my LAZY mood!)...haha...

I dont have to buy my caladium....just look at this, they just grow out of nowhere, out of the thick grass cover in one corner of my garden! all I have to do, is dig them out and plant them in pots!

a hanging pot of caladium just transfered from the ground 2 weeks ago

But so far, I haven't seen their flowers, if they have any in the first place. Anyway, caladiums dont need flowers to be showy. Just look at their bright and colourful foliage....good enough to attract attention and add colour to any boring little garden!

Friday, July 30, 2010


Look at this healthy plant, green and in abundance! What fertiliser did I use to make it so "fat " and healthy? Well..actually this odd looking plant used to be my mango tree outside the fence. And that...what was left of it...a rotting stump covered by its killer or destoyer, a parasitic creeper!

not bad looking for something so vile...just you wait,
I got plans for you! started off like this one, now attacking my rambutan tree,
sucking the life of my poor tree slowly leaving
rotting branches

.....then taking over the whole tree, like another of my mango tree at the back
of the house, rotting branches falling off from the tree when it
rains heavily....
and finally leaving a stump like the other one!

Now Im wondering whether this bunch of wild orchids with white flowers,
on another of my rambutan tree is also a parasitic plant,
slowly sapping its life off nutrients and
let it suffer a slow death.......

Monday, July 26, 2010

Morning Glory...wildly stunning

My beautiful, stunning yet wild, morning glory, is a sight for sore eyes early in the morning. Huge blue flowers among the green foliage never fail to amaze me! It really makes my day...

When I bought it 5 yrs ago it was very pale blue and left the pot at end of my pondok then completely forgotten all about it until last year when I found what looked like pink buds strewn all over under my mengkudu tree. I looked up the tree and....the most beautiful sight I have ever seen in my own garden! Deep blue flowers profusely blooming high up the tree on my neighbours side of the fence! Probably that side is sunnier and not in the shadow of my house. Too bad I didnt think of snapping their photos then...
Now I notice they are all over growing wildly, competing with the sireh for climbing space. They can be very invasive so I try to train their vines to curl and twirl along the fence just like training a grape vine to climb the pergola.
electric blue...
training the morming glory not to climb my pondok
or else it will soon look like a tree house in the jungle

morning glory peeking at the morning sun
pinkish tint on the inside of the tube,
when it closes n drops in the evening, the closed flower
is pink in colour with no trace of the majestic blue...

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Begonias...sweet n delicate

As far as I know, BEGONIAS (local name - RESAM BATU) have no other uses besides being appreciated for its ornamental value for both its flowers and foliage. They have so many species and many more hybrids known today. I have seen them around my parents house since I was a child. My mom used to grow a few species in pots at wherever police barracks we called home and even at that young age, I came to appreciate their beauty. I remember chewing their tiny pink flowers which tasted like green apples actually...sweet sourish! They are delicate plants, so not too much sun for their beautiful shiny velvety leaves and enough water to make them grow healthy and beautiful. But I see nowadays, some hybrids are tougher, can withstand full sunshine, longer stems, smaller foliage with more flowers! I love begonias and I have started to grow 4 species in my garden though I dont really know their names yet.

my mom used to grow a few pots of these
though those days they were bigger foliage, tiny pink flowers
which I loved to chew on...Now they are petite and
can be potted as hanging plants with full sun on them everyday!
they have more tougher flowers which can withstand a heavy
onslaught of the rain anytime!

my auntie gave this specie taken originally from my
grandma's house in Sitiawan..shiny pinkish

I got this from a I said, they used to be
huge leaves, velvety n a bit hairy with tiny red flowers
but this hybrid is much smaller n look good on a
garden table under the shade. I placed this under
my mengkudu plant which is very shady...

this is also very tiny with delicate foliage though
not shiny but they are hairy at the edges, no flowers yet...
soon I will transplant them in bigger pots
and see if I can make them bigger by doing that...
Im in the process of re-organising my small garden which have been neglected for quite a while now. Re-planting and transplanting old plants into bigger pots or making new flower beds to accomodate new seeds and plants. I love COLOURS in my garden whether they are from flowers or foliage and have yet to include a vegetable garden except for the compulsory pandan, curry leaves and kafir lemon tree you can find in every house nowadays. So maybe if time permitted...and my gardening mood dont fizzle anytime soon...I would like to have one in the near future...a little vegetable garden in my backyard!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Come right in...

This is my gardening blog...that is when Im in the mood to do gardening. Well at least, I would like to start again after almost a year of laziness and endless excuses!

Garden outside the fence

mulberry trees, pisang kipas, tunera, pokok ati2 (cant see them here),
pandan leaves, curry leaves, cashew nut tree, morning glory,
sireh, kafir lemon and other small bushes of flowering plants to give colours
to this otherwise boring lot

I have a small garden on the right side of the house on the other side of the fence and a small strip outside the fence. My garden focal point is the water feature I added 2 yrs ago. Just a small raised kidney-shaped pond to hold 10 koi fish, 2 gelamas and 4 huge DBKL fish and tadpoles! I had a pondok built besides it too for resting my tired bones after gardening or for family get together. The pond is raised a foot above ground cos of the flooding we get from time to time if we are not lucky, during the rainy seasons, the result of an occassional overflow of Ampang River just behind my house (bad fungshui?)....Every time it starts raining heavily I started to pray hard cos once in 2007, I woke up about 10 pm and found the carpets in the living room and every thing else floating!

I placed potted plants on the board above the pond like bird's nest, 2 types of ferns, coloured keladi (red, green with white spots), pink n white anthuriums and lavender look alike flowers (in purple).

my small fish pond besides the pondok

In the pond, a tempayan was placed catching the water from the urn where water cabages and kiambang (water hyacinth) are floating. A pot of water lilies and also water orchids are submerged in the water. The pond is framed by a pegola, wooden arbor, for my grape vines to climb, where I can hang my potted plants of petunias, spider plants, ivy, ferns, red begonias and other plants which Im not sure of their names. I have other nooks and corners in my small garden which need my immediate attentions before the plants I placed there temporarily die a natural death or grow wild with weeds! WEEDS!!!??? I HATE THEM...!!! I really have no patience for them!

Hope my gardening mood will last longer this time....