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.

Knowing me, Knowing you..... Aha.....!

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Malaysian Flora USDA Zone 11
Welcome to our exotic world of everlasting summers and tropical rainforests!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Blooming Friday - A Garden By The Ditch

Today I shall take you for a walk in the park. At the edge of our housing estate, there is this ditch that is higher than you and me. Here, we fondly call it the big monsoon drain for without it our homes would certainly be flooded whenever there is a storm.

My neighbours, the residents who stay next to the ditch area have taken the initiative to create a garden and a green environment. Come, let me show you the way ........

First, here is the Jetropha Integerrima, an evergreen small shrub with bright red and attractive flowers that can liven up any garden.

Next, we have the Nerium Oleander plant, an evergreen shrub with beautiful pink flowers. It is one of the most poisonous plant in the world, so we adults will watch the children and teach them not to consume the leaves but they can admire its beauty.

Next comes the Euphorbia Milii (Crown of Thorns or Christ Plant). Like many plants with lovely flowers, it has many torns. So, children, be careful when you want to pluck the pretty red flowers.

This is the Flower of Love (Tabernaemontana corymbosa), another evergreen shrub. This plant is very frangrant. Okay, you can stop here to smell the flowers. It is healthy and blooming furiously now. I think it kind of look like our galaxy, The Milky Way when seen from afar.

Here's a row of sugar cane plants. When I was a kid, they use to sell the cut stems which is about a foot long at the stalls. We buy them and even bring them into the cinema where we will bite and chew the flesh using our strong teeth and suck on the sweet juice. At home, we can boil the stems to make a sweet herbal drink. Out in town, there are roadside stalls equiped with pressing machines that sells cold sugar cane drinks to quench our thirst during a hot afternoon.

This is a tapioca plant. We plant them for the roots which is dug out for culinary use. We can boil the tapioca and eat the flesh or use it to make deserts, chips and cakes. Look closely on the top left corner or click on the picture. Can you see McDonalds across the dicth?

These are pineapple plants. I guess they are still teenagers, so we have to wait at least a year and a half before we see any flowers and fruits.

Yes, a baby papaya plant living together with the kangkong vegetable or ipomoea aquatica or water spinach. Papaya plants seem to love living at concrete corners, I don't know why. This kangkong vegetable can be stir fried with belacan (shrimp paste), a local favourite, which I like very much too.

This is one of the rosa-sinensis hybrids I photographed for my latest Wordless Wednesday post. Lovely, aren't they?

Finally, this is the blue daze (evolvulus glomeratus). The flowers are tiny but the they look very striking among the green leaves.

This little girl automatically stopped to pose for me when she saw me taking a photograph of the nerium oleander plant. She likes to come here in the mornings with her siblings and grandma. She is holding some rosa-sinensis hibiscus which she has earlier handpicked herself. I think she is a natural when it comes to modelling for me.

This is the place I come for a morning walk or jog. It is also the place where I have watched many beautiful sunrises. Besides the pictures here, other plants include the lemongrass, pandan, aloe vera, bougainvillea and bamboo.

Do you like this garden by the ditch?

This is my entry for Blooming Friday. My grateful thanks to Katarina at Roses and Stuff for hosting Blooming Friday. To see what others have posted or to participate, click here.

My New Straits Times article titled "Garden Makeover for a Ditch" was published on 13 March 2010, the link is here.


  1. Autumn B,
    I love the garden by the ditch!
    Everything looks tropical and lush!Very unlike my semi-arid desert.

  2. Thank you for the beautiful tour. The garden ditch is so pretty. You take wonderful pictures and it was nice of the little girl to pose for you...cute!!

  3. I like the pink Nerium Oleander. The flowers are so crowded, making the shrub look more beautiful! Oh the sugar cane reminded me of kampung days where we can enjoy sugar cane just by chopping them in short length then bite and chew the juice out. Taste really sweet. TQ for posting these pictures :-)

  4. What a lovely walk I enjoyed the photos of the lovely flowers. Love the little girl posing by the large Oleander. I grow mine in a pot in the back porch to protect from frost but I love their beautiful flowers and perfume.

  5. Sugar canes, tapioca, papaya... It reminds me of Hawaii. Very nice images and interesting post, Autumn Belle!

  6. Lovely post Autumn Belle. It is good that the neighbours have made the area more beautiful. I wish more people on my island would do that. Some small groups have started creating small gardens in rural areas. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Yes, I do love this garden by the ditch! A beautiful post with so many gorgeous plants! The Nerium Oleander may be poisonous, but it's beauty is outstanding! And so is the girl, posing beside the tree...
    Thanks for joining Blooming Friday!

  8. The monsoon rain or drain is good for something :) lovely flowers.

  9. That little girl was rather quick for a pose...haha.. Wow, the number of plants we can grow, even with a limited space beside the drain... Nice post, Belle. ~bangchik

  10. I can imagine how horrible it would look without the plants. What a nice thing for you and your neigbors to do to take care of this public place. The oleander foliage is really nice. I also remember my parents getting sugarcane from the supermarkets and sitting outside in the summer chewing on it. Honestly, I was never terribly fond of the taste, but it was really fun.

  11. Wow Belle, I really 'walk' with you. Now I knew some plants that I didnt know their names before like the Euphorbia Mili and the blue daze. Thanks for the good info.

  12. Thank you so much for taking me along. REally beautiful. I´ve only seen Oleander as an indoor plant. It is a trea!!!! Surprise!

  13. I'm hungry now for papaya salad, pineapple and sugar cane! Sugar cane has to be picked just right or I find them too chewy and tough...reminds me of my years in Hawaii, living near a sugar cane plantation. Thanks for the nice walk, Autumn Belle!

  14. Rossey, thank you very much for the compliments. I think your flowers are pretty too. Your name reminds me of a beautiful garden with many roses, bees and pollen.

    Amy, I was actually quite surprised by her cute little gesture. When I saw the photo after downloading it into my computer, I too like it very much. I feel very honoured when you commented about the photographs because I really love taking pictures with my camera.

    Stephanie, the pink nerium oleander is my favourite too. Nice to know that you also enjoyed the sugar cane ‘stick’, ha ha.

    Joanne, at first I was actually worried that her presence will spoil my picture. But she was so kind, cute and spontaneous, I just melted and included her in. Now I love it! Thank you for telling me that the oleader has frangrance. I didn’t know this, so now I’m going to try smelling it.

    Tatyana, I always tend to associate Hawaii with pineapples, frangipani and hibiscus. I didn’t know they have sugar canes, tapioca and papaya too. How wonderful!

    Helen, I am glad that the residents here planted vegetable herbs and spices too, besides the flowers and trees. I guess they support sustainability and a green environment too. They recycle the water after washing the veggies and use it to water the plants. They also trim and prune the plants and pack up the rubbish. That’s what I like about this.

    Katarina, thank you so much for hosting Blooming Friday. It is really fun to participate. I am very honoured to get a visit from you and your nice comment is a bonus to me.

    Mia, We need the monsoon drain. During the monsoon season, the rain is heavy and may last for hours. That’s when our homes will be flooded if the water do not flow away quickly.

    Bangchik, actually this little girl is a natural in front of the camera. I think she’ll be a super model when she grows up and guess what? This picture of mine will priceless then, haha! On the growing space, the plot of land is long and quite narrow. I am surprised at the number of plants that can be grown successfully here. You know, there is even the kafir lime, calamansi and mango tree!

    Wendy, yes, the plants did a very good job in hiding away the not so beautiful ditch. It also provided some shield from the main road traffic. I’m so glad to hear that your parents have tried this method of eating sugar cane too. I like the fond memories.

    FJL, I’m so glad to see you back and posting at blogosphere again. Please don’t neglect us for too long. I miss you!

    Lillebeth, thank you for visiting and for the nice comments. It is quite common to grow oleander as a bush here.

    Lynn, when I think back to the good old days of sugar cane biting and chewing, I marvel at the strength of my teeth. I wouldn’t dare to challenge my present set of teeth now. I’m glad you enjoyed the walk.

    Have a wonderful weekend, everybody!

  15. what a surprise. nerium oleander is very common street tree i see alot. though toxic, still very pretty. Euphorbia Milii is another plant we see often as suited to our climate. now comes star jasmine, which i am growing in a pot. it blooms only in spring. i am happy to see it on your blog.
    Jetropha is another plant widely grown here as medicinal plant. so we share lot of common plants. thanks for sharing and keep posting.

  16. It's a beautiful garden. What a great place to take a walk or jog. The water spinach is a favourite here too. It's admirable--the way the residents have created this little haven.

  17. Thank you for allowing us to journey through your garden. I am always inspired by nature and gardens. The jasmine at first glance reminds me of a white pinwheel. They are all so lovely.

  18. I really love the Jetropha. was trying to find out the name and finally found it here. It is truly a beautiful flowering plant.

    I wonder the Star Jasmine have fragrance for I had seen many growing around my neighbourhood area and none got fragrance!

  19. Muhammad, its nice to know that there are quite a number of common plants shared by our countries, so much easier to learn their names. Over here, I think there are not many plants that behave according to the seasons, mostly evergreens.

    Kanak, so you have kangkong too. Yes, the residents here love to jog and walk alone, in pairs or in chit-chat groups.

    Poetic Shutterbug, we love jasmines here. Jasmine fragrance is anytime better than the smell, if any, from the ditch.

    James, the Jetropha name was easy, I got it from Laman magazine. The oleander took ages and I almost gave up. I think this star jasmine is trachelospermum jasminoides because it is very fragrance. The wrightia antidysentrica (see my earlier Thai Jasmine post) is without fragrance and it is different in appearance.

  20. Lovely tour of the "ditch garden" near your home! Plants beautify everything and this is a little jungle of beauty hiding the concrete ditching.

    Some very pretty flowers. We have Nerium here in America but it's not a common houseplant or greenhouse plant due to its toxicity. Mostly we see it as a highway plant but in our region, it does not grow as high as the photo you shared. I grew one for years but gave mine away when we got our second puppy -- he was eating everything near him.

  21. LynnS, thank you for your visit and comment. Eventhough the nerium is beautiful, your puppy's life is more important.


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