Welcome to My Little Garden

Welcome to My Little Garden
Welcome to My Little Garden

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Tropical Garden, Batu Caves, Malaysia
There is something very serene and stable when I come and spend time in my Garden. These are my quiet moments where I seek God - listening and finding myself in that reflection. There are times when I'm not able to blog, If you have any questions or queries Do seek me out in Facebook and I will try my best to help you out.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Cactus Garden - August 2009


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This is my very much neglected Cactus Garden. (If you would call it a garden in the first place)
I have been concentrating on the other garden below (pruning, replanting, repositioning, watering and all) that its just enough time to tend to just one.
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Anyway, I'm still happy the way this one turned out. I guess lack of attention helps this one.
I really don't know much of these cactus names, I have not seen any of it bloomed. And some I had been keeping them since year 2000.
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Below is my overall current Cactus Garden:
Some of the names are my closest guess, you are certain that their names do let me know as I can change & update them.
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Name : Sedum nussbaumerianum
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I bought this succulent (3 different types) in a very small pots (3 for RM10) Those were usually sold to new gardeners who would like to venture in cactus gardening and often time it was sort of a seedling and often they don't survive.
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I got them on 2002 when I can still remember that I was going with my wife and friend to a garden centre and my wife was experiencing the early stages of morning sickness when she was carrying my first born son.
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Only these two sedum plants survived and thrived.
The light green coloured one (Sedum nussbaumerianum) and the grayish green coloured one (Sedum clavatum)
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Name: Mammillaria Species.
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I guess these are the very common type of cactus found & sold here in many garden centres.
They are very easy to maintain but also be very vigilant about the soil and water condition - as too much water can kill the plant. I had lost 2 pots of these for some strange reasons which I have yet to identify.
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Regardless, there are many tiny plantlets that form from this one and nothing is loss as once planted in a new pot, they populate fast and easy.
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I got this plant from my my friend's girlfriend. Back then (2000) I was renting an apartment and we were bachelors. He invited her to the house and she was amazed with the amount of indoor plants placed inside. And thus, I got a gift from her ( a very nice collection of 3 different types of cactus in this pot)
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Well, as time flies, both of them got married (Ivan & Soo Bee) and I still have this cactus as my plant collection memories. What is left of the collection now is this plant called : Tiger Jaws.
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Tiger Jaws (pic. above)
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1) When lacking water, they look shrivelled and brown, once watered the look refreshed (green and full) But if over watered, they tend to get rotten by the roots to top.
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2) Like every succulent characters: Water only after the soil dries up.
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Name: African Milk Tree (Euphorbia trigona)
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This one is given to me by my office colleague. I think she was clearing all her thorny plants as she understood that its not good for her feng shui. Anyway, it was a small size branch when I first got it. Now its very well developed. I didn't do much of anything except watering and its look very happy for this moment.
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Unlike other common cactus, this one has tiny leaves at the tips. Also apparently - Crown of Thorns also comes from the same species. Also the sap is considered poisonous.
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Name: Pilosocereus species
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This one as I had said before in my earlier post - collecting them from the roadside when someone had cut and threw the whole thing off. I remember it was the time when my elder son was born and my wife was still in the hospital after her labour. I got this and the variegated Dumbcane. (which grew very tall as time when by)
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Name: Cardboard Palm, Jamaican Sago Tree (Zamia Furfuracea)
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Bought it from a supermarket where is was sold for a good price. I had changed the pot and placed it here as I was running out of space in my main garden. I understand this is drought tolerant and don't need so much water.
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A stem cutting of Sedum nussbaumerianum. (the light green coloured one)
They seemed to propagate easier & faster this way compared to using leaf propagation.
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Name (top pic) : Sedum Clavatum
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I had cut and placed these very nicely in a level and presented in bowl with pebbles for Christmas. The still look lovely after this 2 years except for the leggy part.
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But prefer not to disturb it as I like the unique trailing stalks. Sort of authentic kind of look.
The plantlets are easily propagated from the leaf but very slow. Much more easier and faster results can be seen when using stem cuttings.
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Again, like all succulents, stem cutting propagation must be done after the stalk dries up (leaving them to dry from few days to weeks) if not, they will tend to rot when in contact with wet soil.
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Name: Mother of Thousand
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It look leggy here, I wonder whether its a sign that is either healthy or lack of light. Surprisingly it didn't invade any of other potted plants which this plant is very famous for (considering it as an invasive plant)
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New sprouts of Sedum Clavatum from the stem cuttings.
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Name: Cardboard Palm
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The Desert Rose don't seemed to be doing so well and I have decided to put them here. Also too much water may cause root rot and I don't want to take any chances with it.
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I'm experimenting with some plants by placing them at the roof tiles.
These Mother of Thousand seemed like outcast (out of my garden) I found that it had been so well for these past few months. The water trail is actually coming from my A/C gutter.
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I have seen plants growing on rain gutters and wanted to experiment these plant on my roof area. It would certainly look good with green cascading at my balcony side.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Holy Basil - Ocimum tenuiflorum



This is the very famous "Tulasi" plant. Its a must in most Indian gardens here. In fact, one will know that its an Indian family residing there by noting this plant placed prominently either as a place of worship altar or just as a garden plant.

This Holy Basil have many herbal benefit, I often use this herb together with Indian Borage for flu, cold & coughs. The leaves are picked and pounded and the juice taken orally. The results can be seen immediately especially for children.

With the H1Ni flu virus going around its best to take this herb everyday to keep the immune system strong. The moment any of the family members sneeze or coughs, this is this herb juice comes to the rescue.

The potted plants are the ones growing my house, I do not have any flowers yet and its a bit difficult to tell what it is until one recognises the flower. And so, I manage to take some pictures from the wild. (abandon area) for reference.

My Tulasi is getting lesser and lesser due to many herbal juice making. And these (wild) are my best quick supply. My neighbours too have grown them but that's another thing, I doubt they are very much interested in making herbal juice and drinking them.

I had found that's a strange thing:
(To keep a herb plant but never to use them- I guess it a have it thing but don't use it thing)

Other Tulasi uses & remedy:

Tulasi is known as the elixir of life as it promotes longevity.

1) I had found that there is this Tulasi toothpaste & soap sold in some stores. Good for skin disorder and mouth ulcer & infection. It has antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties.

2) Good for flu, cough, cold, fever, respiratory ailments. Often taken together with ginger, clove, honey.

3) It is also known as an anti-stress agent. Purifying the blood & reduces blood cholesterol & blood sugar levels.

4) It has mosquito repellent properties.

I guess there are many more benefits of this Holy Basil Plant. The important thing is to plant them and use them as herb. Or at least crush & rub the leaves to use as mosquito repellent.








Basket Plant growing Wild. (Callisia fragrans)



I often thought of skipping this plant as its not so interesting and do not have vibrant colours which seek. Nevertheless, why waste it as I thought of doing some collecting of these and pass them to my friends who are very much interested in having indoor plants.

I did place this plant in my bathroom for few months and it did very well (lacking much of light and sometimes water,as I forgot to water them) I realise that this one is very hardy and may able to take much abuse as over watering or neglect of watering. (very low maintenance)

They do change the texture of the leaves based on the water intake.
Soft leaves when there is good watering and hard leathery leaves when water is scare.

They can become leggy and the roots may start to sprout in between the leaf segments. Its best to keep the plant short & tidy as they look better in hanging basket. This plant grows horizontally.

They also put out runners (stolons) which trails by the side of the main stalk (they look cute though like litte rosettes) I have not seen them flowered. (none with me or with other gardens) I guess they need some special treatment (climate) for flowering. They don't need deep pots for planting as they have very little root system.

Most of my office mates got confused these with Corn Tree Plant. (Dracaena fragrans )
This one had a hard columnar stalk and put out showy rosettes of leaf similar to this Basket Plant. In some types, there is a yellow strip at the new leaves. Very often these are placed as indoor potted plants and they are slow growing.

They also look very much like a Bromeliad and both plants can retain water at their crowns. So be careful when watering as you don't want mosquito's to breed on these plants. Infact its also known as False Bromeliad.

There is another thing. I often wondered whether if there is two types. One which is totally green and another looked very much streaked (finely striped) I found that both the plain & streaked comes from the same plant. I guess the streaks are not stable as they do turn colours in their enviorment. (but its my only guess)
I had a streak which turned dark green when placed indoors.

The pictures below are both plain & streak types found in an abandon area. Someone had pruned & dumped their excess plants here and they seemed to be thriving well.



Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Orange Jasmine - Murraya Paniculata



After much awaiting finally this Jasmine decided to bloom furiously. It started putting out the buds on Friday and it lasted for 3 days in a row. (Friday, Saturday & Sunday)
By Monday, most of the flower petals had dropped (due to strong rain)

I noticed like most Jasmine, this one blooms at night and the fragrance is so captivating. Looks like other Jasmine (Grand Duke of Tuscany) and this Orange Jasmine is taking turns not to over-power each other. I wished all the fragrant flowers blooms & put out their powerful fragrance one night and it definitely creates an impact of natural fragrance.

I realised that Orange Jasmine (Murraya Paniculata) is the same species with Curry Leaf Tree (Murraya Koeniggi) but apparently Orange Jasmine is poisonous unlike curry leaf. I'm not sure whether the curry leaf fruits are poisonous.

My rescued Orange Jasmine root stalk didn't show any growth. I'm not sure whether it survived the initial shock, I will keep it for another few weeks and see if there is any development.

Below is pictures taken within 3 days: (bud, semi-bloom, and full bloom)















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