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My Vertical Garden Wall

My Vertical Garden Wall


Sunday, December 31, 2017

Year End Clean & Clear Up

I had dismantled all the hanging ferns, the dischidias, the hoyas and orchids.
All the Bird Nest ferns given away..
The invasive (what not's) thrown away in garbage bag..
It was 5 bags full.

I had set the dischidias in separate pots and hangers as I find them not able to stay put in a single location. It is the same with hoya.

I had given away most of my orchids to a friend who gave to his in-laws who stays in Cameron Highlands. The last I heard that the plants are still doing well.

I had reset the ferns and just kept the fluffy ruffle ferns planted with Martin Mystery Begonia.
They are re-adjusting and slowly managing itself into a nice growth.

All these hangers are gone for 2017
Its now a clear, singular plant hangers as its easy to handle, fertilise and to see its growth and progress.
I still kept few of the orchids and giving them another year for them to bloom.
The ones that I had decided that is going to stay are the phalaenopsis species, oncidiums, anosmum sp and cattleya orchids.
And still - these are under observation.. If they fail to bloom within a year - they are all out of my garden.

2018 is the Year of Flowers and Blooms.
Its a goodbye year for all the trails and hangers..
Creepers and Vine and all things green..
Its going to be colours, lots of blooms and the songs of birds singing while drinking nectar..

Yes.. A Blessed Year Indeed.

The Red Streaked Bromeliad

This one was quite elusive in it's display.
I had placed in a hanger and it was out of reach.. out of sight..
And I had totally forgotten about it and it was almost lost.
This one is actually a pup - the mother plant had long gone and this pup barely made it.

The good thing is that this one have with a little tender loving care spring back to life.
And with her vibrant colours..
And yes, touch me not - those spiky leaves..
still beautiful as ever.. the blood stained brom.

And this almost gone into the abyss of boring green
It spring back to her fierce red tiger stripes...
Still beautiful
I had ditched off all the boring green and embracing colours for the coming 2018.

May there be colours in your life..
With lots of promises and wishes that come true.
This coming season in gardening.
At least..
May there be life and life in full abundance of Joy...


I find Fittonia are the most fussy plants to have in the garden.
She is so fussy like a queen.
And so this is how to care for her:

When I purchase from the nursery
I will reset them in a week or two - replanting them as I realised that their current potted mix is not suitable to survive in my garden.
If the reset is done too late
(the whole thing will wither and rot from the bottom to top - by then, its too late to do anything)

Snails and slugs just love them making tiny holes on the leaves.
And this will cause the plant to go in shock and sometimes the whole plant will die.

They don't do well with fertilisers
So - unless you are very sure about the right strength and the brand,
I suggest not to use on them as they will wither and die.

Plant them on flat surface pots (instead deep pots) as their roots are shallow and they tend to be a trailing plant. They need fast draining medium - too soggy soil mix can make them rot.

Other than that,
They are quite easy to handle and robust.
They do good in high humidity areas.
Water them when its totally dry with light misting.

How do you see a Fittonia?
Can you see a green leaf with a red vein?
Or a green leaf with pink veins, or white veins?

I got so excited seeing all of them and wanted to buy many varieties but when I go to the nursery,
I end up buying the same type as I got confused on which I had and don’t have.
The tips to note the difference – look at the colour separately.

Or just take snapshots of what you have on your mobile phone and view them before making a new purchase.

Doritis Orchid

A little bit of how I care for this orchid.
Doritis Orchid seemed to be the hardy species of the Phalaenopsis family.
They seemed to handle the weather well - heavy rain and good dose of sun.
I find that they do well in semi-shade but they don't bloom in full shade.

And they are profuse bloomers - constantly blooming if the condition are right.

They are sensitive to change of climate.
They can burn easily if placed in direct sunlight and rot easily if receive too much open rain but they sometimes have the ability to adapt compared to phalaenopsis species.

I have taken the risk of placing them in the brightest place in my garden as they are too shaded and rarely bloom. And due to the location - its a bit dark and unaccessible and somehow prone for neglect and I had almost lost the species with other invasive species sprout and taken root together with them.

Another thing about this species.
Don't throw it away even if all the leaves had fallen away.
They will regenerate new sprouts of plantlets from the root-ball.
And they somehow form colonies in the root-ball.
It is a good idea to separate them carefully and plant them but if you like me - giving them a good fertiliser and making sure they are not competing among themselves for space - is a good enough deal to keep them in a nice pot.

Sometimes they can become long and leggy
Tall with a strings of roots trailing downwards.
It would be good to take about 3 inches of cutting from above the crown and replant them
(with roots included - about 3 - 5 visible healthy succulent roots sprouts)
And continue to water at the bottom part of the roots
as new sprouts (plant-lets) will appear from the cut root system.

If possible - try to remove the plantlets from the root-ball
(Once they had sprouted with 3-4 leaves)
and place them in a small pot with moist sphagnum moss until the plantlet is stable.
Once its stable - its ready to be placed in semi-shaded area as it will grow bigger as it will start flowering.

If you don't remove the plant-let
They will overwhelm the old root ball and the new plantlet will start competing with each out in the same root-ball - choking each other for space and nutrients.

Do watch out for pest like snails and grasshoppers.
They are a menace - making holes on the leaves and munching on young leaf sprouts.
Sometimes when these attacks takes place -the orchid goes dormant and in shock.
And no new growth takes place - and it will take forever until they start regenerating.
Until then - it will just be a sore-eye of leaves and  dangling roots.

I have been keeping them for years in shade until I decided to take the risk in placing them in the bright shade and then they started flowering.
And so - its a risk.. but its worthed it to see them flowering.

Something that I will never get used to it..
They look amazing.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Keeping your Mojo and the Blooms - Part 3

By the time of gaining half the battle
my flowers started blooming.
Sort of a therapy to have when seeing the flowers bloom.
Just like manure (something negative is food for the plants)
I believe the plants takes in the negative energy
that is pulsates from my being as food and cleanses me from all my inner darkness.

When I touch my plants..
The sound of running waters and chirping and whistle of the sunbirds
which faithfully makes its call before drinking the nectar from these flowers.
Yes, I feel touch to somehow be responsible to feed these joyful birds.

Coming back to my last post:
How I battle this:

1) Accusation - Words

Always understand...
That whenever you hear accusation against you
-the source comes from the Devil himself for
he is known as the accuser of the brethren,
So whoever it might be,
Cancel the accusation as the voice of Satan himself

(If you find the accusation carries weight as it is a fault that you must change
- then apologise and repent and change your ways from henceforth to be a better person)

But if you find that it is senseless argument
where you cannot make another to agree with you,
regardless how much you explain:

Accept the fact that it is from the Devil himself
and no point winning him over in an argument:

He can never be argued and win over in an argument
because he doesn't play fair and he fights to destroy your life.
So - there is no making sense over why is it like that..
All accusation comes from the Kingdom of Darkness.

And more than anything:
It comes from the whispers and voices outside of you
- whispering into your ears and heart.
Understand: That "fact" is not from you.
It's from an outsource that comes from the devil himself.

Relax, Breathe and Let Go:

"I now release all accusations...
Words, voices and all that been said against me...
As food for these plants - they become manure to them..
For it is not mine to keep.
These garbage is not to be kept in my heart..
Rather its food for these plants
and they in turn bear beautiful blooms."

2) Condemnation - Feeling of Unworthiness
Discouragements and Condemnation are the Arrows of the DEVIL
It is his Main Weapon
If you find anyone discourages you or condemn you all the time.
Remember that the devil is using the person as a tool to destroy you.

(if you are in a place where you need to correct yourself from a fault,
Do so,
but if you find the condemning feeling is so strong...
- understand the power that comes from it - is from hell itself)

Condemnation is a powerful thing.
It can only have power over you when you allow it into your heart.
It can first come in with words - accusing words that condemns you..
It first come in as small drops,
into a rain that becoming too heavy..
and then into a terrible storm
and finally a massive flood that overwhelms you.

By the time it hits you.. its too late..
So prune and cut and throw away the words before it becomes a thorn in your flesh.

3) Judgement - The Ultimum 

Understand and Accept:
Only God can Judge you - no one else.

Don't even judge yourself..
If you make a mistake:
Correct yourself and do your best.
There are times you will succeed and times you will feel that you failed more than you try...
It's Ok
You are a human (with weakness and setbacks)
If you are an angel - then you are created perfect
(of which you are not and you would not even read this post)

And because we are all human we all have weakness and setbacks.
We are not perfect..
And it's ok - to be human.
Accept yourself and take life one day at a time.

There are days that will be ok..
And there are days that will overwhelm you.


You are a child of God because God had created and formed you.
You belong to God.
And because you do - you have an enemy that seeks to destroy you.

If you belong to the Light.. then you belong to the God who is all Light.
And all that is of the Light is against the Darkness..
And that all that belongs to Darkness is the enemy of the Kingdom of Light.

I know now that the battle is far from over.
I also know that there will be days that I would feel worse than these.
A sense of giving up and hopelessness.
I know that my intellect and my emotions may not agree with each other.
And it's important to count on the people who will support me during these hard times.

I hope and pray that strength will be given to me on daily basis.
I hope and pray that no one goes through and suffer like what I faced.
I hope..
That no one gives up and end their lives because unable to cope with the endless pain.
I hope someone comes in that gap of time and share love and concern for you:
For all those who are hurting and in pain...

I know..
I felt the need just to hear someone just say:
"I love you and need you"
That's all I wanted to hear and feel appreciated, needed & wanted..

A feeling that I'm someone..
in the midst of doing everything and all things..
Losing the meaning and the purpose
and the pain becoming greater than the cause itself.

I realised that it's ok to feel blue once awhile.
It's ok to sulk and get upset..
To get angry or sad...
Life is not a Bed of Roses.

I may not have violets..
but enough blues flowers to brighten my day.

Happy Gardening folks!

Gaining your Mojo and the Orchid - Part 2

Notice the buds?
I lost all of them except one...

Continuing my story..
So... How did I gain back my Mojo?
There is no set rules of what works - for different people it's different.
One thing for sure -
You are going to become deaf to people who says to you:
to become strong, shake it off and stuff like that..
Once you are down.. fallen.. no one is going to sympathise with you.
(Simply because they will never going to understand how you are feeling)

So what is the best way to get on with life when everything looks bleak and hopeless?
Even if the last bloom gets eaten - how to carry on?

Well - its Perception.
Its a big picture - once getting that part right - everything else falls into place.
(Yeah - I can go into purpose of life and finding out the meaning of life and stuff like that..)
The first thing first - getting rid of the pain really is important..

When depression hits hard - everything of other pain magnifies.
I started to have unbearable backache..
constant diarrhea..
Feeling like someone is watching over - stalking (not in a good way)
Unbearable to handle with noise - children or crowd.
And every lack of mood and interest to do anything...

Even prayer is helpless..
Because you even feel God had abandoned you.
(like God is deaf and blind - cannot hear your cries & see your suffering)

So what to do?
Wait.. just wait..
Don't do anything.. Get lazy..
I had worn out the depression by waiting and when it just got a little better.

I started checking my trigger factors.
I found that I also started to have OCD
I needed my home to be clean and neat..
I had neglected my garden and it took months for me to reset all of it.

But no one cleans the house and its all my work and it took a toll on me when I'm the only one who does the cleaning and the whole household chores and my family is not supportive in keeping the house clean.

I realised that I'm not going to have any expectation or putting pressure over them in keeping the house clean. But - I need the home to be clean.
There is always a middle ground.
(I'm not a spotless cleaning home freak - all I'm asking was a tidy and neat house which I can get myself into and call it a home)

Then I also realised that a terrible messy home somehow upsets me so badly that it disengages me totally..
The rats came in..
It had urinated and collected garbage underneath the sofa and cabinet and its a horrible sight to behold.

I suddenly realised - when a home is messy - it attracts unclean and foul spirits.
The rats came in during that specific season and starting to make it nest inside the house - biting off food and stuff and needed constant cleaning.

I now realise that depression is not just a state of mind but its also link to a spiritual expect too.
Mine started with trigger factors:

1) Accusations - Words
Hurtful words said against you by your loved ones or people you care a lot only to find that they had used you, and never understand your intention and choose to be sharp, sarcastic and wicked.

2) Condemnation - Feeling of Unworthiness
When your loved ones don't understand or accept you.
And you are feeling condemned - no matter how much you explain - its not going to change their mind.
3) Judgement - The Straw that Broke the Camel's Back 
A fact to give up because its just doesn't matter anymore because no matter what you do or try - it amounts to nothing because you are already been condemned.

So - How did I battle this?
I will share it in my next post.

Losing your Mojo and your Orchid - Part 1

Have you felt that there was a day when everything went wrong?
And it almost lasted for days and weeks..
And you always asked:
When will all these will end?

Just as I was watering my orchid this stalk weight down due to its own weight
and I adjusted it and...
It broke.

Wait - I had toiled to see this one bloom almost for 2 years and suddenly this happened!
Take deep breaths -
take the camera..
take all the close shots..
Get a Vase...
wait -  I don't have one - get a bottle..
trim the stalk shorter and enjoy its beauty on the fridge.

And.. life goes on..
(And I still mourn over the broken stalk - how clumsy me?!)

Still - Isn't this a beauty?
It's suppose to be a hybrid version of doritis...
Okay - compensation - there is another shoot spring out - so I be careful the next time.

Celebrate too soon?
I had a Cattleya orchid buds and it had bitten off by tree shrew.. 😭
Right before they bloom the next day!

So.. What happened?
I can still celebrate with one singular flower..
It's still a beauty.

Then I took a bag of nuts and had it for snack..
Pondering what happened...
And then...
My tooth broke! It came with my crown...
I got to one dental clinic and they say they don't do crown..
And directed to another.. and it had almost a huge crowd waiting..
When went to a private clinic and she says its over...
Extraction is better and re-attachment..
Talking about brokenness...

I just almost getting out of my depression.
It was a terrible days of dark clouds - always making my days gloom and grey..
Even in the most happiest days - I find it difficult to smile..
(now worse with my broken tooth)

😐 - See?
Can you see me smiling?
That the best I can muster..
And then it occurred..
I started gardening again..
they started blooming..
And I'm less sadder than before..
The pain is lesser..
And it is a little bit.. just a bit brighter than usual..

How did I gain back my mojo and get myself back from this deep drowning pain?
(I did meet up with my psychologist and had series of counselling but the pain fluctuated)
I must say..
This time - I really know what is depression.
It almost killed me.
And its not an orchid to die for...
Nothing mattered...
There was a day that I never got up from my bed for a whole day and totally lost all mood for anything. I didn't care to brush my teeth, bathe or even have my meals.
Just wished time would swallow me whole and I don't want to face the day..
And wished each second pass like years and I'm suddenly old, had a heart attack and died..

I blame the broken orchid, eaten bloom and a broken tooth...
Depression hit me so hard that I cannot wake up from bed and water my garden.
The pain is so much lesser now but I'm not taking any chances for another episode.
I will tell you my story

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Red Rose

I never like roses but what to say..
This one was given to me.
And somehow its a hardy type and so I have no complains about it.
Its been almost a year and it's time to prune it & I really don't have the strength to handle this.
I need to clean & clear the whole part.

A lot to throw and a lot of energy to begin with...
Hopefully, this rose gives me a sign of hope that I'm able to do it...
Later than giving up..
And often time the proverbial postponement of doing it tomorrow.

For now,
I will wait the garbage collectors to come and collect all my cut and pruned materials which I had sheepishly kept aside - hoping that it get cleared by this week.
And then - I can begin the next set.
I have the most challenging ones - which I kept the last to do.
Another hardening of heart is required.
And yes.. easier said than done..
And much more easier to give up because it's a gardener's heart.

The Queen of the Night

After seemed like ages, they decided to bloom.
And often - I had missed the blooms as it blooms almost midnight..
When I fast asleep and it always..always rains when they decide to bloom.

I will find out the spend flowers after they had finished blooming.

This time
I was lucky.
It was an elusive flower to be hold.
The filaments are so elegant that they danced when I held them.
Indeed - she is definitely a Queen.

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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