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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Rose Memories



These are the roses which I had. I really can't remember why I had passed them to my mum, probably I find it difficult to maintain them and that my mum loves roses. I managed to have these bloom in my care.

I guess roses thrive in cool environment. Since its tropical in my place, the roses looked exploded towards the afternoon and the flower only last a day or two.

Hopefully I get better chance again in my experiment with roses this time. (I got few branches from my mum together with rain lilies in the same pot) Till then, I just have to be contented with these rose pictures from my little garden.

Tips for care:
1) Need good unfiltered sunlight
2) Watch out for mealy bug and other pests.
3) Need good watering and feeding.







Monday, June 29, 2009

Mum's Garden - Love & Hate Relationships.



These are from my mum's garden. Not my favourite type of gardening where everything grows everywhere in anyway possible. I prefer a clean clear non messy garden look. Anyway, there is beauty in the midst of the mess and especially these are my favourites.

Bleeding Heart Vine.
Its so complicated that I'm not sure how my mum is going to pass this one to me, I love the flowers but I'm really not sure how this one is going to make it in my garden. And I'm no lover of messy and vines, this one is going to be a love hate relationship for me.

I did ask for a vine cutting for trying out but my problem is space, I really not sure where to put it. As is it now, my garden is overcrowded with ferns.. I'm trying to sell them as it would give me some cash for me to buy some nice pots. (Hoping it would work out)

Till then bleeding hearts.. I guess you have to continue bleeding until I settle my space for you.



This is all time favourite of my mum's fav. flowers - Golden Shower Orchids.
I can still remember them how this have been constantly desired for the bushier lushly flowers.
Somehow, I have started to let go for this high maintenance love.. its just too difficult for me..
Or rather another love hate feelings..

And another too.. Hydrangeas.
I would say this one is complicated.
It was almost dying that one day, I had uprooted the whole thing and placed in a bucket of water,
then like a miracle the withered leaves turned up fresh looking and graceful. Later I nursed it until it had broad beautiful leaves...
That's, it.. It only had beautiful leaves and never flowered.
I had passed it up to my mum and there it bloomed continuously. Again.. I guess this one loves sunny areas and I have none to spare for this one to flower.
Still, I love hydrangeas.. especially those blue turning maroon and last almost for months.
I even cut and kept them as dry flowers..
I guess it is considered as great memories of past.

Yellow ixora..
Finally I got a winner. My mum decided to clear her garden and passed this one to me.
I have yet to sort, prune and re pot this one. Hoping this one will make the best blooms.
Planning to sort it in few days time, hopefully I have time to do it.


Roses, I have the same feelings.. (want them but they don't want me)
I had many problems with roses, feeling a little confident now compared to my past experiences..
I guess the problem is lack of sun, without it - nothing blooms in my place.
And finally the wishbone flower.
Right now, I'm not sure where is it now. I'm sure one day, it will pop out somewhere in one of the unsuspecting pots, grow, bloom and die in few months.
I noticed this always happen during end of the year when it's raining always (almost everyday)
But one thing for sure, those blue buds are sure eye catching especially when they are just about to bloom.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Nature Walk 6 - Betel Leaf



Finally I arrive to this place, its almost an hour and I need to go back to the office. My shirt is lightly stained with my sweat. I was amazed to find a sea of betel leaf crawling all over the landscape. It have a light green coloured leaves in comparison to the grass and other foliage.





I am so excited and managed to pluck few of these vines to take back for planting. Immediately arriving to my office, I placed them in a container and watered it. (planned to plant it today)
I have an earlier batch which I had planted (the plant I got from the same place but a different area - near the allamanda patch) Here, its like a haven of betel leaf. I hope I can propagate this and give more of this plant to others before this place is totally sealed for construction and all the plants here doomed.

(Below - its just 4 long vines of betel leaf)

Nature Walk 5 - Artist's Conk & Bracket Fungi



I had spotted this fungi growing on a stump. This is the biggest one I have come across.

Found out later that its not bracket fungi but as artist's conk or shelf mushroom. (Ganoderma applanatum) The best part is that its used for artwork, scratching the bottom part where the spore's are and that gives the shaded effect.

But I guess this one is dead, (all the top part is dried up)



(more closer view)



Found a smaller fungi (bracket fungi) growing on these branches.

Nature Walk 4 - Umbrella Pennywort (Hydrocotyle umbellata)



Walking further, I found this carpeting the grass, growing together like tiny little umbrella's.
I have this plant before when I used it for my Water Garden Theme. Its considered as a medicinal plant and also used as a salad.

I use it to garish any fried dishes, (trim the leaves with scissors to a long fine strips)
It taste almost like spring onions.

Tips:

This plant need a lot of water, lack of water may kill the plant (they are not drought resistant)
I usually trim off everything (top) except the runners for new shoots. (treat them like lawn grass)
Other than that, its easy to take care.




Nature Walk 3 - Wax Rose



I found this growing opposite of the allamanda, (Wax Rose). Its a pity that its overgrown with other invasive plants and look all too cramped up. But then, not to underestimate this one, its has very sharp thorns that can really hurt when mishandle.



Nature Walk 2 - Bush Allamanda (Allamanda schottii)



As I continued, I spotted this Allamanda, I guess there are many varieties of this kind.
This one is broad leaf type and quite bushy. I guess thats why its known as Bush Allamanda.

When I was child, I was so curious and will experiment on anything concerning plants. I remember tasting the milk from the allamanda flower (wow.. I remember that for life!!!)
It is sharp bitter stinging taste that I cannot rub it off from my tongue.

Later I realised why I keep away from yellow coloured trumpet shaped flowers. (lol)
Finally now, I have made peace with allamanda's and now I have managed to grow an allamanda few months ago. Still waiting for it to bloom.





Spider Lily (Hymenocallis littoralis)



INTRODUCTION:

Hymenocallis littoralis commonly known as Spider Lily or Beach Spider Lily native to surrounding regions around South America however these were wildly cultivated all around many tropical regions as ornamental plants. 

These were very much popular few decades ago and often used as landscape plants due to the strong ability to adapt and grow in poor soil conditions and hardiness. Often it does well without much care ranging from very shaded area zones to open direct sunlight areas. These were often used as border plants.

Often a single bulb may able to colonize the whole area with many surrounding bulbs multiplying over the years. Also it does very well when hard pruned, especially cutting off all the leaves right to the bottom of the leaves which may trigger flower blooming spikes.

It been said that this particular one is very suitable as seaside / beachside plant as the ability to withstand the salt intake for soil medium. However this particular lily bulb plant is very versatile and able to grow in any soil conditions too.



FLOWERS / FRAGRANCE:

The main factor that I want to make mention is the mesmerizing fragrance these blooms emit during evening time. These can last almost few days to a week as cut flowers in a vase. If left in the garden, new flower buds may appear to replace the spend flowers and it can be in constant blooms for few weeks until the main flower stem stalk fades away for the next blooming season.

To describe the fragrance - it emits a strong stable fragrance in the evening where it can fill a whole room - the sweet notes are very much similar like any lily floral scent. This one constantly emits waves of fragrance in the air that you really don't need to get close to the bloom to sniff the scent.

The flowers appears like what it is described as Spider Lily, 6 spiked petals together with a funnel shaped circular single cupped petal linked with elongated stamens with powdered yellow pollen anthers. Another protruding longer stigma attracted at the center of the bloom.

However with all these elaborate fancy features for these flower structure, these rarely set to seed nor produce any produce - the whole flower spike eventually turn yellow, falls and rot away.



SOIL MEDIUM:

Considering one of the most basic thing about planting material - this one doesn't require anything special - just any balanced potting mix will do. They seem to do fine in a medium or big potted plant - however they will do great if they are planted directly into the garden soil as these will require just that to produce those lovely blooms.

However if limitation occurs where you can only grow in pot - then a good balanced potting mix with rich amount of organic material and equal part of well drained soil which will help from bulb rot. 

Instance as such as these - they are often planted straight into open garden land where they are not in a pot - hence they appear hardy and able to take the heavy pruning.


LIGHT:

Being a Tropical plant does require good strong indirect bright sunshine, It can tolerate growing in shaded area however it must receive at least few hours of sunshine. It does not do well in heavy shaded area and may not bloom in such conditions. Also the leaves may turn yellow to light green/pale green and also become leggy. Another factor in the lack of sunlight may cause the plant to become stress and can attract pest to heavily attack on them.

Hence do give a thought if your are not having open garden area as this would not so well as indoor plant - even placing them as a balcony potted plant can be challenging if they do not receive adequate light.


WATERING & FEEDING:

It may require a good adequate watering - both morning and evening based on the size of the plant.
You can grow it in a nice medium or large size pot, the plant will behave and grow based on the size of the pot. However I would recommend this to grow freely on ground if you want lushful beautiful constant blooms.

Also this plant is a heavy feeder and do feed adequately during the flowering season.
However take note that over-watering can cause them to bulb rot especially during the rainy season, hence a well balance fast draining medium to ensure no rot occurs.

However once the plant had established itself based on the garden conditions especially fully exposed to open sun and rain - then this plant is considered a hardy plant and there is no need to worry about it.


PRUNING:

Pruning is the main factor that causes these spider lily to produce optimum flower spikes. The pruning method -  the foliage needs to be totally trimmed from the neck of the bulb, leaving just the bulb exposed slightly above from the ground surface - very similar like cutting grass. Do take note not to damage the bulbs in the process. 

Eventually the new growth will appear with the flower spike first before the new leaves emerges. The other factor of the flower spike bloom appears usually takes place during a hot dry season of a drought - where it doesn't receive any rain or water for weeks and when it is exposed to rain - these will explode with a strong new growth starting with these flower spikes.

If you have planted these in a stable garden condition where these receive constant and stable watering, you may face a challenge where these may refuse to produce the flower spikes - pruning would be the best method to spark off the stress blooming for this garden condition.








FOLIAGE:

These are smooth, glossy and thick, juicy leaves, these are very much succulent in appearance and may able to crack and break when the leaves are fold in half. However do note that the juice can cause rashes upon skin contact - hence do take caution on this factor.




Do click on the link below for more information on Other Types of  Tropical Fragrant Flowers:
Best Tropical Fragrant Flowering Plants




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