Sunday, 16 September 2012

Damsel in Distress

What a lovely surprise!!
This unexpected visitor was spotted in my tiny garden last evening.
As I approached near, it didn't fly away..instead it climbed onto my fingers.. unsteadily

Strange, I thought, then I realized it has a broken wing :(
If you see from the photo below, it is the left wing which had a tear.
Poor fella..cos I really don't know how to deal with this.

It was resting on my Duranta when I took this picture.
I have been reading lots of garden adventures lately on butterflies and admire each one of them. But never thought I would see one in my own garden!

I was about to take more pictures when I turned my back and it was gone! Where did it go?
Did a thorough search in the garden but can't find it anywhere.
Lucky thing there is no "Tom or Jerry" in the house to tear it apart.

Butterflies are such fragile creatures...
Wherever it may be right now, I hope it's in safe hands..Amen.

Thanks to Andrea, Autumn Belle and Lrong for identifying this as a moth.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Epipremnum aureum

Locally known as the Money Plant..

Also known as Devil's Ivy or Golden Pothos in some countries, this is a very, very easy plant to grow.
Be it indoor or outdoor, this plant is very common and popular in most homes in Malaysia.

It's the heart shaped leaves and variegated foliage which makes this plant "irresistible". So easy to grow that it can also survive in can see below that roots are already emerging in the clear glass vase. Frequent changing of water is all that it needs to produce much more foliage.

The picture below shows the half wall which separates my kitchen from my dining room and I am arranging pots of plants here to provide natural surrounding to its ambiance.
The clear glass vase is from Ikea and there are many shapes and sizes to suit your fancy.

This plant do not need fertilizer of any kind. Just soil or water would do. If however, fertilizers are added, the leaves would grow so big in diameter and so does the plant. I have seen the gigantic version! Totally out of proportion that it lost its appeal altogether :(

I love galvanized pots..don't you? It gives such a character to the whole plant :) Also from Ikea.

When I brought this plant home from my office upon retirement, it was a tiny baby plant. But when a good friend, Autumn Belle, shared with me about NASA list of air-filtering plants , I told myself that I must have this plant to grace my house indoors. My husband was suffering from asthma then so having more oxygen inside the home would reduce his discomfort to a great extent.

If only the name, money plant, speaks for itself, we don't need to work to earn a living..LOL!

I have no idea, really, why these plants are named as such. What I do know is that I don't have to burn my pocket to maintain it.
15 September 2012: Ms Autumn Belle shared with me that the Chinese consider this plant as 'Fengshui' in the sense that it brings wealth into the home. How about that? Now it make sense :)

Propagation is very easy for this creeper plant. What I would do is to wait till it creeps out of the pot and cut off that portion and place it straight into water for it to root. After 2 days, roots will show. Wait for a few more days for the new root to establish itself before repotting it into a soil mix. Or leave it in the water and change the water every other day.

No pests problem whatsoever. In fact, I did an experiment by planting the money plant into a pot of diseased plants. Not only were the pests gone, the diseased plants revived and grew new shoots! Try it, you will not be disappointed. Now, this is what I call "money plant"  :))

Friday, 7 September 2012

Cat Whiskers

All you cat lovers out there, doesn't this look familiar to you? 
Except that this one is on a plant...LOL! 
I guess that's how they derived the name, Cat Whiskers or locally known as "Misai Kucing".
It sure is a beauty.

Categorized as a local herb, it is the leaves which are sought after by the locals for health benefits. It is known to treat kidney related problems and reduce high blood pressure. Due to this, the Cat Whisker is found in every home garden in Malaysia.

Whilst many boil the leaves and drink it for health reasons, I'm having it in my garden as a pest controller! The plant produces a distinct smell which deters pests from coming near. Fascinating right?

The flowers come in two colors, white and purple. The stocks at the nursery back then were all in white, I was told. I wanted the one with purple flower. It was a baby plant then so I've no idea how they could be so sure of its color. 

Since I wanted this plant so much to 'patrol' the pests in my garden, I've had no choice but to settle with the white ones. When the flowers bloomed for the first time,... in purple!!, I jumped with joy! Thank you God, a prayer I made in my heart for this wonderful blessing and beautiful surprise.

Now that I'm getting the color of my choice, I need to seriously consider propagating this plant and make more 'forts' on my garden front :)
Wish me luck!
Thank you for coming and may beautiful surprises await you in your garden of life :) 

Monday, 3 September 2012


Gardenia, the Queen of Fragrance!

Little did I know that gardenia comes in a variety of species and the ones that I bought and shown here are Gardenia Augusta....sweet yet powerful fragrant flower.

This is how it looked like on the first day of bloom. Thick white petals and looks like a rose at first glance.

At full bloom...resembles a white rose except for the stigma inside.

 Leaves are glossy and evergreen.

The amazing development as it matures, on third day of bloom, it turns yellow! Not just any yellow..thick bright and bold yellow with a waxy texture feeling.

Fragrance becomes more intense as it matures on. At this stage, red ants are all over the bloom, probably sucking on its sweet nectar.

When I brought this plant home from the nursery, it has plenty of buds awaiting to bloom. After a few days, some of the buds did bloom whereas many others just fall to the ground without blooming. My heart 'fell' too. Oh dear..what happened, I was wondering. Definitely its the pests, as gardenia are prone to redmites, spidermites and white flies. And I only knew about this after purchasing the plant. This is the mistake I always make. Should have researched about the plant before buying them. But then again, if my heart are set on it I just gotta have it, no matter what they say. Are you like me?

When I spoke to the owner of the nursery about this problem, she recommended me "Albarol" to spray on all my plants. According to her, this spray works for condo-garden as it is an oily based pesticides which works best on white flies. Seems that white flies loves condo garden!!!! She received many feedbacks from her customers who are mostly living in condos.

I also observed that the sun is not on my side these days. Very little sun everyday. This is the limitations of having a garden in a condo. You never know when and for how long the sun will shine on your side. But I was informed that gardenia can survive under shade.