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Welcome - Malaysian Tropical RainForest Garden Blog.

Here is where I share all my tropical garden design, concepts, themes & experiences, secrets and tips in gardening, plant care, my plant discoveries, experiments of my trials & errors.

I'm blessed with the Hot & Wet Tropical Climate and my endeavour with Tropical Garden & Rare, Exotic Plants.

I am a Plant Enthusiast and Gardening is a major part of my life where I love to share my thoughts, experiences & life work.

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Tropical Garden, Batu Caves, Malaysia


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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.


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.

Nature Walk 1 - Spider Lily (Hymenocallis littoralis)

I was in a mood for a nature walk this afternoon and decided to check out the floral landscape near my office area. These are planted near an apartment area which is currently been evacuated. I guess a new development had bought over the land and the work is in progress.

Anyway, I had spotted few of these spider lily plant planted in miniature park area together with Ti plant & Corn tree plant (pic. not taken) Sadly, this area is not maintained properly as its been littered with rubbish.

I love these flowers as I use to take them as cut flowers and placed them in a vase, during evening the floral gives out a sweet lily fragrance - very calm & relaxing.
(Though needed to be careful for the sap or milk as its irritate the skin and considered a poisonous plant)

This is a lily species, planted though the bulb.
I had seen in most areas where this plant is planted (usually for road borders & landscaping).

1) To get max. flowers, trim off totally all the leaves from the bottom. New leaves together with the flower stalk appears after pruning.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Aloe Vera

I got these aloe vera from my mum.
She loves growing Aloes but rarely used it.
Matured aloes at this size are rare to get here, even in market places there are rarely sold.
(or only the leave fillets are sold)

Aloe Vera is considered a natural herbal medicine for many ailments. I had many times cut this leaf (fillet) and placed in water and drink it, but it taste terrible. (for me)I also used the gel (sap from the leaf) to apply on my face and on my head but I noticed my skin colour had gone darker than usual.

Tips in planting Aloe Vera:
1) The roots do not go deep on the soil, rather “they” remained at the surface of the pot.
2) They are succulent, too much water will cause root rot and will kill the plant.

A night market called "Pasar Malam"

It begins about 6pm and the place gets crowded by the hour. It is famously known as pasar malam. This is where I love to buy the fruits. This time it was a mango season, as you can see there is various types of mangoes sold.

All of these mango's are from local orchard's so, there is no imports or exported (all for local consumption)
This type is called choklan mango, its has a sharp taste and stringy fiber. I don't enjoy this one.

If you noticed there is a slice of cut mango here, the vendor will give a slice of a mango for you to taste it, if you like it, you can buy it in KG measures.

The total green type is known as "lemak manis" translated as "sweet fat", the best part about this mango is that it taste sweet even when the mango is not ripe And very much tasty when it fully ripe.
This is my favourite mango - green, yellow and a little dash of pink. Its has a smooth inner texture, well balanced sweetness (no stingy taste) and the seed is thin. (you get more of the flesh) And its considered cheap RM5 for 2 KG - its about 6 pcs. of mango (which is a good deal)

I had bought this yellow mango, known as "waterlily".
It has a beautiful firm texture, I made a mistake by cutting this fruit too soon for consumption. I did ask the vendor whether this fruit was ready to be eaten and he said yes.
When at home, both of us (my wife and I) finished our dinner and lavishly decided to feast in this new found mango only to have a terrible sharp sour taste stinging in our mouth as we sink our teeth on the fruit.. (What to do?? Finish up the fruit loo...)
My wife had a "trauma" ever since whenever I mentioned about mangoes, she makes sure I taste the fruit first. (lol)
This one is water apples, much taster than the ones that grows near my house.
(onions and potato)
We often buy the vegetables here to keep us supplied for a week. Somehow its cheap and fresh.
By the time we were done, it takes about an hour and a half to do a full circle in getting our routine stuff and get ourselves back home with many fruits for the season and vegetables.

These lime known as "limau kasturi" - used to make lime with tea, very tasty.

These are sold in plate quantities, I think these are sold for 3 plate varieties for RM5 (can't remember now how much) Well, its an enjoyment as we look forward to go there everyweek to get fruits and all.
Its beginning of the durian season.. Hopefully I can get some nice pictures later.

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