Count Your Blessings!

With love and passion, everyone can have a nice garden...Elaine Yim

Count Your Blessings!
Count The Garden By The Flowers, Never By The Leaves That Fall.
Count Your Life With Smiles And Not The Tears That Roll.
..... Author unknown.

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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

A Dendrobium crumenatum From Mum

I am very very happy lately. In fact, overjoyed that I have eventually found the name of a mysterious orchid in my garden. In this post, I have a story about this orchid; Dendrobium crumenatum or pigeon orchid. I would like to say thank you very much to Blogger Sunita of The Urban Gardener who wrote her latest post tittled, Monsoon Gifts. For it is through reading her wonderful post that I learnt the name of this orchid.

This orchid had been my treasure all along. I'm sorry I couldn't take a better picture of it the last time it bloomed as I only had a handphone camera with me then.

My story

I found this orchid at my parents' home in Ipoh a day after dad's funeral. It looked dried up and dead with only one or two remaining green leaves. So, I took it home and tried to revive it.

This orchid was mum's favourite. Unlike dad who had a green thumb, my mother hardly planted anything in the garden, except for the aloe vera and this orchid. She loved cooking instead. Frankly speaking, I really do not know what is the name of this plant or what type of flowers it will bear. I can only say that it looked like an orchid. Mum did tell me about the plant when she was alive, like what the name was, who gave it to her and why she liked it. In fact, she wanted to give it to me. That was many years ago. I didn't want it because I was already all stressed up with 2 young kids and a full time job. Whatever plants that existed in my garden just had to survive on its own. So I didn't take it home. Instead, I asked her to take care of it for me. Then I completely forgot about it.

After mum passed away, I began to miss her very much; her gentle voice, her talks with me, her dishes, etc., etc. To keep her memory alive, I need to hold on to something living that she had left behind. Yes, a living plant. I regret that I didn't take it seriously. How can I forget? I thought I could ask her again and again as often as I liked. I didn't expect her to leave me forever at such an early age of 69. That was 5 years ago. After her death, dad took care of the plant until his death in early 2007.

For 2 years, I tried my best to nurture this orchid based on my general knowledge and common sense. I do not like the feeling of not knowing all the details. But I didn't want to give up. I know my mum. When she gave me something, it was definitely very valuable and meaningful. So, I persisted. Somehow, it managed to grow again from a dying plant to a better looking plant. Now I have two of them, each plant with baby plants that can be propagated. It had bloomed twice but each time there were only one or two tiny white flowers that lasted only a few hours. Very dismal. I had expected beautiful brightly coloured flowers. It was a shock to me when I found that this orchid can in fact have many many flowers. And the flowers are shaped like pigeons or white doves. The flowers can be so many and so beautiful. It is only now that I can see the pigeon in the flower!

Yes, today I know the botanical name. It is Dendrobium crumenatum orchid or pigeon orchid. Now, this plant is no longer a mystery. Knowing the name means a lot to me. It means that I can get as much information as I like from the many sources available. I want my dendrobium to have many blooms that looked like pigeons perching on a flower stalk, just like the one in Sunita's garden. It is amazing how 2 complete strangers can be connected in this way. Isn't it strange but wonderful? I have found the answer from someone who lives in a far away place. And I'm glad I did.

For the link to Sunita's post: click here.


  1. That was a very touching post and can feel your painful loss of your mother. Yet you have taken her favorite plant and you brought it back to life with so much love only a daughter can give to a mother. Sunita is also one of my favorite bloogers and that orchid took my breath away. Am happy that you were able to identify this dendrobium through Sunita's blog.

  2. I am so touched by your story. In nurturing plants, we do nurture our deepest loves. It quiets us, puts us in touch with our memories. I am never so connected to those I love as when I am tending my garden.

    Thank you for sharing. I have a daughter whose Chinese name is orchid, and I have a special fondness for them. I have never seen a pigeon orchid.

  3. Islandgal246, thank you very much for the encouraging words.

  4. June, I do agree 100% with what you said about gardening and our lives. I love orchids too.

  5. Autumnbelle, glad you found the name. So precious I know. With the care and love you are showering to the orchid, I am sure one day many flowers would bloom :-D Have a blessed day!

  6. Lovely story of the connection to your parents thru a orchid they left behind and to have found out its name from another blog "far away" is touching.

  7. That was a sweet story full of love and memories. I'm glad you found out the name of this orchid. I also think it wonderful that we can make friends and learn all sorts of things on the internet.

    Enjoy your lovely orchids.


  8. Yes, the pigeon orchid is so simple and pure looking :) Like you, I took one from my mother-in-law's garden after she passed away.Good precious memories.

  9. Stephanie, Carol, Flowerlady, Sunshine Girl. Thank you very much for the thoughtful words and lovely comments.

  10. What a heart-warming, touching story! I'm so glad you got it to grow for you.I know that every time you look at it you'll remember your parents.
    And I'm so happy that something I wrote was of use to one of my blogger friends. Isn't the internet wonderful!

    Here's a tip ... since you have two of them, try growing one mounted (or tied on to) a tree. Believe me, they're much happier that way.

  11. I forgot to add : thank you so much for adding a link to my blog :)

  12. Sunita, thank you very much for your suggestions and comments. I'll definitely try them out. Growing a live plant well always brings back the fond memories. Through the years, I have learnt to say thank you, sorry or give compliments more readily so as not to regret it later when I do not have the chance anymore.

  13. I'm so happy for you that you now have a profusion of flowers from that orchid as one of your memory links to your mother. My mother was an avid gardener and I never spend time in my own garden without thinking of her.

  14. C, that is the joy that only we gardeners understand!

  15. Wonderful story, inspirational, and a beautiful flower. I will be on the look-out for one from now on. Thanks for the welcome note on Blotanical, there have been so many, its great. I love how people from all over the world can be united in the joy gardening brings, through both nature and nurture.

  16. Ian, thank you very much for visiting, reading my post and commenting here. It is always a pleasant surprise to get new comments on my old post. I really appreciate it very much.

  17. A long time ago, I found a plant growing in a garbage dump near Taylor's college. It had padi-like leaves and very small flowers which looked like orchids.It produced pods too! Back then I was too busy raising two kids to have time for my garden and it soon rotted.Memory of this plant haunts me to this day( regrets that I did not take the trouble to find out its name and identify it). I am pretty sure it must be a rare specie for the flowers were so small!

    1. Klangite, thank you very much for this comment, telling me about your experience with a Malaysian wildflower. It sounds familiar as I have such moments too. When we reset our brain memories (:D), we can change this haunting memory into pleasant defining moments. That's why I'd like to know name to any plant I come across. In the process, I have learnt a lot about plants, well at least, I am writing 3 blogs about them. I'm so glad we have digital cameras because now we can take an instant photo and try to unveil the mystery later on when we have more time. Mother Nature is so beautiful and it teaches us many life's lessons in different ways.

  18. yes i too have pigeion orchids.when i bought them they told me that it will flower much.but it remained without flowering for a wail then i kept in complete sun and now when it flowers i used to keep my collar up and walk through my street.


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