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!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

A Garden By The Beach

Ever since joining Blotanical and becoming a blotanist blogger, I have begun to view the environment that I live in from a different light. Our world is indeed rich in flora and fauna everywhere. I have discovered a garden in every place that I visit. The beauty of nature has been all around us since time immemorial. We just need to be a little bit more observant in order to appreciate it.

Today, I would like to invite you on a trip to Port Dickson and explore a garden by the beach.

Port Dickson aka PD, is a coastal town located 80 km or about an hour's drive by car from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia's capital city. It is a holiday and leisure destination for tourists as well as locals. PD was founded by Sir Frederick Dickson during the 1880's colonial era as a deep seawater port. When PD failed to live up to its expectations as a busy performing port, it was later developed into a seaside resort, frequented by the British and the local people.

Today, we are visiting The Legend Water Chalets resort and I'll be showing you around the gardens there.

This is a Hymenocallis speciosa or the common Spider Lily. I think it is called the bunga bakung here. It is an amazing plant that is very useful in landscaping. It is a herbaceous perennial that flowers the whole year through. I'm sure many of you have seen this plant before. It has long glossy leaves and pure white flowers. Does it remind you of spidey and perhaps Little Miss Muffet too? The resort here uses this spider lily as a border plant surrounding its signage near the main entrance to the lobby.

The botanical name of this vine with bright yellow flowers is Tristellateia australasiae (Maiden's Jealousy). Its common names include Shower of Gold, Vining Galphimia or Vining Milkweed

It is a vigorous climber. Each flower has 5 petals and red stamens. Leaves are ovate to lance-shaped and has a lush green colour. The flowers bloom in clusters of up to 30 flowers. Native to South East Asia, it is a woody, evergreen vine that flowers the whole year through.

Here, this shower of gold climber is planted on the ground and trained to sprawl beautifully on a trelis next to the wall of this buiding that houses the gym and sports room. Sharing the same space with it, we also have the Sansevieria Trifasciata aka Snake plant aka Mother-in-law's tongue. We also call it the Lidah Jin meaning genie's tongue. Which name do you prefer, the genie's tongue or a mother-in-law's tongue?

Christmas Palm (Adonidia merrilii)

The people working here tells me that this is the Areca nut. Areca nut, also known as the pinang or betel nut is the fruit of the Areca Catechu tree, a species of palms that grows in South Asia and the tropical Pacific.

If it is pinang, then I have a story to tell you. In the old days, slices of the areca nut is wraped in betel leaves and chewed for its mild stimulant effect. Lime and sometimes other spices like clove and cardamon or even a tobacco leaf or two are added to the wrap. This method of chewing blackens the teeth and stains the mouth deep red. The red saliva is spit out and we used to see this red slime staining our roads and floors. Chewing of the areca nut is a tradition that dates back to thousands of years. This ritual used to be pratised widely by the local people but now it is no longer popular among the younger generation.

There is a malay proverb, "bagai pinang dibelah dua" which can be translated to "like an areca nut cut into half". It is used to denote newly weds who are very compatible with each other.

Updated on 28 Oct 2011 - The tree above is Adonidia merrillii, synonym Veitchia merrillii, common name Manila Palm or Chrismas Palm.

Along the path that leads to the beach, you will come across this beautiful Thunbergia Grandiflora, growing vibrantly along the fencing. It is a giant vine with cascading pale lilac flowers and large green leathery leaves. Native to India, this plant is also known as the trumpet vine or Bengal clock vine.

The flowers look like a giant morning glory. In the mornings, you shall be able to see some fat black bees buzzing around, busy collecting nectar for their Queen.

This is the way to the beach. The path on the left is lined with evergreens, coconut and palm trees. The boat in the front is for hire for kayaking while the boat at the back is for display only.

This coconut tree has many ripening coconuts. I prefer dinking coconut juice from young coconuts while the flesh of the older ones are scraped to make coconut milk or coconut floss for cooking. Toddy aka Indian wine, is a palm beer made from the fermentation of the sap from budding coconut flowers. Toddy used to be a very popular drink among our local people where toddy joints sprung up in small towns, estates and plantations. Nowadays, we can even find toddy sold as a local beer / exotic drink in seafood restaurants, one example being at the Coconut Flower Seafood Restaurant in Telok Gong, Klang.

This signage says that turtles come here to PD beach during the egg laying season from February - June. Glory Beach Resort is just next door to The Lengend Water Chalets Resort.

This is actually an orange Ixora flower.

This time, I was very excited to see a flock of Asian Glossy Starlings (Aplonis Panayensis) feeding on some oil palm fruits. I think they are having a buffet breakfast just like the one I had at the resort cafe.

These starlings are very small birds with glossy black feathers and striking bright red eyes.

This patch of green is actually the Beach Morning Glory or Goat's Foot. Its scientific name is Ipomoea pres-caprae, a creeping vine that grows along the upper parts of the beach.

I love its bright pink-purple flowers and big green heart shaped leaves.

Urapteroides astheniata (Uraniidae)

This is a snow white butterfly or moth? I spotted it in the early morning.

Updated on 10th March 2011. The above moth is Urapteroides astheniata (Uraniidae).
Sources: Wikipedia, Moths of Borneo and Moths of Australia.

Can somebody tell me the correct name of this plant?
This picture above shows the seeds or is it buds?

Updated: The fruits of Scaevola taccada are white when ripe.

This picture shows the fan-like flowers of the same plant. The white creature above was resting on the leaves of this plant.

Thanks to Scott and Liz, the above plant has been identified as follows:
Scientific name: Scaevola taccada
Synonyms: S. sericea, S. frutescens
Common name: Sea Lettuce
Malay name: Ambong-ambong

Finally, to complete the day, I wish to show you this photograph of the beautiful sunset that I had captured from my hotel room balcony.

Hope you enjoyed the visit.

Till we meet again in my next post, Cheers and Happy Weekend to you all!

Sources of linked information:
a) Wikipedia
d) John&Jacq~s at
My grateful thank you to the above websites.

This is also my entry for Today's Flowers #59. To view other posts around the world, click here.


  1. Hello,
    I really feel like I just got the grand tour.Thanks! We really live on such a beautiful planet, don't we? I think you put this all together so well.

  2. AB. your mystery plant is Scaevola frutescens, sometimes called Hawaiian beach berry.

  3. Autumbelle, the plants all look so healthy. The gardeners done a good job. I love this place. The thunbergia is so beautiful. I like those berries on the palm tree too. They can really look so good. Thank you posting these pictures. Now you made me think of Port Dickson. Enjoy the rest of the evening! Thanks again for your kind advice on the Desert Rose.

  4. You have a series of images on flowers, one by one, I'll rememeber their name.
    I am a good stident.

  5. What an interesting post thank you

  6. What a beautiful post! Thank you for sharing ~ hugs, Cherry

  7. What a lovely gardeners trip to PD, its really a good point of view of what gardeners seek - looking into plants and nature.

    I thought pinang is betel nut? I had seen one, they are big as a
    lemon and have a orange colour.

    Hope you have an enjoyable restful trip.

  8. A wonderful post. I enjoyed all these great photos. Thank you for sharing them at Today's Flowers.

  9. Thanks for posting that Glossy Starlings.

  10. Autumn Belle,
    I enjoyed your photos and information. It was just like watching a a travel show.

  11. Hi Autumn Belle! Bengal clock vine is fantastic! I've never seen it before. So elegant and innocent. I like everything what you told except chewing and spitting part. Thank you for the tour, and also for the comments on my blog. Sorry, I don't always have time to answer individually. When our kids go to college, then I'll have all time in the world!

  12. Sometimes seeing posts like this 'hurts' because I know I'll never get there. But I do enjoy seeing them and the pics of flowers I never knew existed.

    Next time take me with you. I promise I'll be good.

  13. My dear friends; Rosey, Stephanie, Rainfield, Joanne, Cherry, Linda, Tatyana. Thank you very much for the much appreciated visits and nice comments.

    Scott, thank you very much for helping me identify my mysterious plant. I’m so glad to have you and Liz at Blotanical.

    James, pinang, betel nut and areca nut are all the same according to Wikipedia. However I do agree that the traditional pinang tree is much more taller and the nuts are bigger and orange to brown in colour. The locals tell me that these smaller pinang plants that we have everywhere around us, are pinang too. Whether they are ornamental or not, I really need expert opinion.

    Denise, congratulations on being selected as this week’s guest friend for Today’s Flowers. I am delighted that you have made it a point to visit each one of us to make comments. How very sweet of you!

    Tabib, I am really glad to have a doc. cum bird expert visit my garden blog today. You make me appreciate the beauty of birds on our planet and for that I thank you very much.

    WiseAcre. I’ll bring you another beautiful garden very soon. This garden doesn’t have cute looking garter snakes!

  14. Yes Belle, Resorts keep interesting plants, and they look after them well.... Pulai Springs in Johor housed some exiting plants!... Nice tour Belle. Cheers, ~bangchik

  15. Hello Autumn,

    Wow! I love the Spider Lily and Bengal Clock Vine the most! What beautiful plants.

    Thank you sharing!

  16. Thank you for the lovely tour. And you're so right about blogging making you more observant to the world around you. And appreciative too. I feel exactly the same.

    Stunning photos of the blooms. The lily, the Bengal Clock Vine, the nuts, the sunset---so beautifully captured.

  17. Autumn Belle, What a nice tour you've given us. And with so much information. You did a lot of research for this post and I am grateful for it. Made your post very rich.

  18. Hello autumn Belle,
    I enjoyed this delightful tour. I never knew there was a vining galphimia glauca/thryallis. I agree how observant I have become since joining Blotanical and meeting bloggers from all over the world. Have a great day!

  19. Beautiful photos! :D

    I especially love the white moth/buttferly, very striking!

  20. Hi Autumn Belle, your beach resort is quite a beauty! The betel nut story was wonderful, I have seen pictures of the stained teeth and imagine the red stains on the roads somewhat yucky. If not disgusting. I think Genie's tongue sounds much better than mother in lawn, being one of those myself. The entire place looks like a splendid vacation spot. :-)

  21. Autumn Belle that was just wonderful. What a treat to take the tour with you. I agree with Rosey Pollen, you did a fantastic job putting this tour/post together. Thanks for bringing us along!

  22. Hi, everybody. Thanks again for the lovely comments. Actually I went on a week day trip to PD for a birthday treat and rendezvous. I'm an autumn lass, you know.

    These pictures were taken during my timeout while hubby was at the gym doing his workouts. I have enjoyed the photo sessions during my morning and evening walkabouts. There were so many gorgeous models to choose from and my camera was clicking away until the batteries conked off! For my birthday present, I got a new Olympus FE-4000, 12mp camera. Its a cheap one though.

  23. Belated birthday wishes Autumn Belle with many many more to come.

  24. Thanks for the great tour! I appreciate it!

    We grow many of the plants you showed us, such as the spider lily, and the goat's foot. The lilies grow in ditches here, and the goat's foot grows on the beach.

    Mother-in-law's tongue is grown as a houseplant and in the garden here. It is one of my favorite plants to use in a propagation class, as it easily roots from a leaf cutting. Also, the Thunbergia is grown in our gardens, but I have not seen that variety. Our clock vine is yellow.

    All those plants.....just makes me giddy to think that there are still so many that I don't have yet. Thanks! This was a nice way to start my day!

  25. Great effort there for all the pics posted! Hey! the butterfly/moth is wearing pyjama stripes!!

  26. Janie, Sunshine girl, thank you so much for the visit and sweet words.

    Helen, you are really so observant, sweet and special. How I wish I can visit you in Barbados. I'm sure you'd be the best host anyone could have.


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