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My Vertical Garden Wall

My Vertical Garden Wall


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

An Old Man's Beard for Christmas!

Its a little strange to identify white winter Christmas in the tropicals. Well, its not like sunshine Hawaiian beach kind of feeling either.
(its been raining everyday and almost every hour now)
There is no mistletoe nor snow (perhaps one of the reasons why you will definitely find cotton as a substitute for artificial snow adorned on decorated Christmas tree) And somehow the fact that cotton collect dust and so, the idea of decorating with cotton had become out of fashion these years.

I had to scrape the idea of putting a Christmas Tree this year - anything my little one (going to be 2 years old by January) sees become his toy and I cannot imagine those glass globe and Christmas decorations smashed and broken during this festive season.

(Another reason why I understand now why most of them tend to have their Christmas tree decorated outside their house - using a Juniper Pine and settling with that)

Where was I?

Yeah.. I was thinking what could I possibly think of Christmas with my garden tales. (well - it would be wonderful to decorate my garden and create a beautiful fairy wonderland, but again, that wouldn't last a minute - once my small one might play those fragile porcelain pieces with his dinosaur - can't imagine the winner) (I had wrapped and tucked all of those far-away out of reach until its safe to reveal them)
Probably might do that when the children are all grown up.

Hmm.. I still cannot get to my main topic. (ohh. well.. here goes)

And so.. this is where I arrive, I got the real deal of what appears to be a tinsel, something snowy and well - not a great theme for Christmas. I thought of putting some cherry lights on them but scrape the idea (again?) Its raining everyday and I don't want to get anything short circuit.

Probably there are too many things in my mind, sorting stuffs, preparing & cleaning and getting everything ready. Probably it would be a little easier to do one thing at a time and plan early. That's what I told myself last year for this year - but darn... it happened again.

I thought of some excuses and thought of saying,
"The Grinch stole my Christmas!"
But again, the spirit of Christmas is not in the gifts, nor all the glitters and pomp. (There is a tug-o-war between Santa Claus and Jesus Christ - that is who are you really celebrating)

For me, its being grateful to God in cherishing all the good times in life and learning the lessons of life during the bad. (I wished the bad times ends soon - I think I had learned enough already)

And so, that's what I can think of Christmas this year..
some Old Man's Beard (the actual name of the plant)
something I can consider a nice decorative piece to call -
Hey! I got something original here.
(something that is considered as a weed at the other-side of the planet)

May the Joy of Christmas brings lots of Joy & Happiness
and cherish those precious moments with family & friends.
Blessed Christmas Everyone!

Sorry about the disarrayed thoughts in brackets
(got lots of things in my mind)
I will be on a long leave and will catch-up with you, next year.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Pineapple Dyckia - Dyckia brevifolia

I had rescued this plant earlier this year.
(click here from the earlier post)
Somehow placing with the cactus plants didn't do well as the leaves then to droop and slowly dry up. I decided to put them outside where they get daily watering (well, almost daily) and they just spring back to life.

The only thing one must be very cautious of is their unforgiving spine & sharp edges. You will read everywhere concerning this when coming to handle this one: Handle with Extreme Caution.

I had tough time separating one of the pups from the root ball. They seemed to be tightly knitted together and its really, really tough in separating them. I had toiled almost for hours (or what it seemed like during the process of struggle) Well, with all the effort put together, its really worth it when you know this one is a real survivor.

These look so immaculately beautiful compared to the first time when I found them. You can easily mistaken this one as another pineapple crown replanted.
Some information concerning this plant:

a) Genes: Bromeliad
b) General Care: Very hardy plant. (drought tolerant, may rot when root ball is soggy)
c) Propagation: Pups emerging from the mother plant.

I had replanted them in a shallow pot and placed pebbles on it. Somehow I find it very interesting to set a little tortoise with it. Creates that ambiance of a secret garden kind of thing.
These are hidden from the direct view as I had placed few hanging curtain-like Spanish moss in front of it. (probably get a nice picture later for my secret garden theme post)

They do go well with my Golden Hahnii collection. I recently bought an Earth Star plant.
All I have to do is re-arrange them nicely for a great display of rossette plant corner.

Stephanie from Steph's Green Space had posted to me a lovely christmas card together with some seeds.
Thank you Stephanie!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Orchids in My Garden

It had been a very long time this orchid had bloomed.
I guess it must be the constant daily rain that had caused this.

What I came to know is that orchids blooms when there is a temperature drop in the climate. That often happens after few days of hot weather followed by few rainy days.
(Of course, this happens a lot during the year end and I guess that's why this one bloomed)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Jewel of Opar blooms

These are some of the additionals
I manage to take during the evening when the flower blooms.
You can also note at the last picture - all the seedpods on the hanging pot.
(They do look like a weed at the first glance)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Jewel of Opar - Talinum paniculatum

I seriously recommend this one to those who swear that their plants die in their garden. I will certainly congratulate you if you manage to "kill" this one.

I bet there are thousands out there who would love to get your "secret recipe" of the murder. You see - this one is understood as an obnoxious weed & terribly invasive. It has a huge carrot-like roots which are impossible to pull out by hand. Don't give any to your friends or they might not speak to you any more!

Ok. Ok..
I may have over-exaggerated. It doesn't happen like that in my region but I believe its a serious matter around the Southern United States where its considered as an invasive plant. That is once you get them in your garden, you will never succeed in getting rid of them. Such is the reputation of this lovely plant. Its drought resistant, heat tolerant and self-sow freely plant. (So, you don't have to worry about underwatering)

I have taken this picture in the morning. You will note that these tiny blooms only open during the evening - which is quite lovely actually (come to think about it) I really wonder where is this jewel actually represent (probably these globes) Do click on the label below for other detailed pictures of the plant.

One thing strange about this plant is: it didn't die on me but none of the seeds had actually sprouted or had any invasive characteristics in my garden. They all stayed put in all the places I had planted them. (Madagascar Periwinkle & Wishbone flowers seemed to be more invasive than these) They also do well both in sunny & shaded area which is a plus point in my garden.

I knew this plant way back before where its considered as a spinach but had not come across anyone who go all out in cooking it. Also identified as "Ginseng Jawa" by the locals but it is of a different cultivar (Talinum paniculatum Gaertn)

Somehow they do surprise me for even for these tiny flowers, they certainly capture my attention during the evenings. Those bright starry pink flowers are so cheerful looking that you do forget you day's care & chores and enjoy the moment.

Probably, that's why they call this a Jewel. It certainly gives me that effect in my garden.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Overall Garden

Often a lot of people asked about my garden,
and this will lead to a basic fundamental question:
How can I start tending a decent garden?

Well, as usual my basic answer will always be:
What do you want?

And from there you can start building your dream garden. Very often I notice garden beginners tend to mimic other gardener's taste and eventually spite the factor that one thing that they don't love having in their garden. A telltale examples of passed & hand-over plants from mothers, good hearted neighbours & friends and eventually the beginner will have a "zoo" of garden plants and having no clue what goes where and the whole garden either turn into a jungle or withered forest of dead twigs and few survivors.
Eventually - its a pathetic scene of what was wanted and what is not.

So, before beginning anything, its always good to read, to survey, check around your neighbourhood & surrounding of what can thrive, live or survive in your garden atmosphere.
Then another factor is how much time can you give for your gardening.
One hour a day? Few minutes a day? Few minutes a week?

or just enough time to water & enjoy the garden as it is:
(this is the case of my garden)
But you see, I spend hours during weekends going through each pot, re-setting, uprooting and replanting when it is necessary - eventually those I don't need doing that becomes my permanent seated pots. So, all that is needed is pruning and re-arranging.
This happens about 3 - 4 months once.

But actually..
What is your Garden?
Or perhaps another way of asking a question:
What is Garden to you?
Or ultimately:
What kind of Garden pleases you?

That is the Garden that you must seek to cultivate.
Given the reasonable time for tending,
plants that thrive in your region and suit your ideal factor of pleasure.

Because - until you find out what exactly you want, you might end up planting a beautiful flower garden and then realise that all you desire is a vegetable garden. And chances are you might unconsciously "kill" those flower plants to replace them into a vegetable garden.
And then, lo & behold - you found out that not all vegetable can't really grow well due to certain unavoidable factor and so you take up the consolation prize of having the most ugliest vegetable plants crawling all over your garden.

Then, after few months - some of the un-sprouted seeds of zinnia, marigold or sunflower springs up and give you the "regretted earlier garden" and you suddenly realised:
"Wow... that Floral Garden do look good after all...but..."

Somehow in that collection, you suddenly have a little of that & a little of this and everything under the sun. And you realise that you had invested quite a considerable amount of time, finance and resources maintaining what you don't want.
Then when the question arises - Do you really want it?
You wonder - How did this plant get into your garden?

Well, All I can say is:
Join the club. It happened to me.

So, after few years of trial & error - I realised what I really wanted.
Its not all perfect to say that I got everything I wanted, but to a certain degree it gave me enough pleasure to enjoy what grows in front of my house.

That is to say:
Enough colours to brighten my day,
Enough fragrance that lifts my spirit,
Enough nectar to give food for butterflies, bees & sunbirds,
Enough useful plants that serves me as herbs, spice and medicine.
Enough time - just to water them late nights.
Enough to say that they are exotic looking that make some of my neighbours jealous.

What more do I want from my lovely garden?
What do you expect from your lovely garden?

About Me

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Tropical Garden, Batu Caves, Malaysia
My Malaysian Tropical Garden mainly focused on unique and colorful plants ranging from rare to common plants all around the tropical belt across the world. Ideal for inspiration for challenging areas in the garden space - indoor gardening, balcony gardening and small green spaces especially for ariods, bromeliads, begonias, edibles, cascading & vertical garden plants, succulents & cacti, orchids, together with both shade and sun loving plants.

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Do put your queries on the contact form above and I will come back to you ASAP via e-mail. Also I'm open for any business / advertisement proposals / magazine articles / product sampling and sharing personal product experiences here in my blog. Also for specific plant queries where you need to send pictures for free consultation and plant help and aid.

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