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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Friday, September 25, 2009

Its Pomegranate, not a Pomelo and a Grenade

I have a pomegranate tree growing from a medium sized flower pot. I don't think I can call this a bonsai because I never trim or prune or shape its roots and body. The only prunning I ever did was to cut off the dried branches and any others that are obstructing my way. Here, the pomegranate is also known as delima. I have a grandmother story to tell you today.

Look! My plant is fruiting now. This is a pomegranate bloom. Isn't this a pretty flower? I'm having some problem with its colour. Bright orange or striking red, it looks the same to me. I think I am having some problems with the rods and cones in my eyes. I have seen some smaller versions that have lots of double blooms but without fruits at the nursery. These will be suitable as ornamental house plants.

This is a flower bud. The petals are just coming out. Blooms last only a day.

This is a spent flower. If pollinated and if it doesn't drop off, it will develop into a fruit.

This is a successful one. I think it looks like a bell or maybe a lady's skirt.

Now, it is getting bigger and bigger as time goes by.

I have two fruits here. One fruit looks like a green pear while another looks like a hand grenade. I tend to get confused on the spelling of its name. Is it promegranate, promengranate or pomengrate???? So I think to myself, its pomelo + grenate = pomegranate

We plant the pomegranate for abundance and good descendents luck. It symbolises good and filial children who will bring honour and glory to the family. When the pomegranate fruit is ripening, we will tie a red ribbon on it if we wish to activate some heaven luck. Buddhists use pomegranate in their prayer rituals too. It is an auspicious fruit to have during the Chinese New Year and if eaten during this time, new mothers are believed to be blessed with sons!

Father gave me this pomegranate 5 years ago when I shifted to my new home. He bought three seedlings, one for me (Tai Kar Cher), one for sister (Yee Cher) and one for brother (Di Di).

When the fruit is left to ripen on its own, it will split open revealing many seeds. Dad said this signifies that the fruit is smiling (like an opened mouth) or laughter from heaven which translates to happiness for the household. The many seeds signifies abundance, especially when it comes to children. To me, it is like opening a treasure chest of rubies and jewels.

My grandmother story.

Our family has a great attachment to the pomegranate tree. Many years ago, grandma planted a beautiful pomengranate tree in front of this Ho Sin Ku temple. Ho Sin Ku is the only lady fairy among the Eight Immortals. The tree grew to more than 10 ft tall and bore a lot of fruits and flowers. It brought a lot of happiness to our household. Grandma was hoping that it will bring forth good descendents luck that translates to many gransons for her. So she was especially fond of this tree. I remember the evenings spent tending to her many plants and this was her favourite. We used cow manure (we call it cow dung) collected from the droppings from the cows that roamed the temple grounds. I have spent many evenings and mornings listening to her Monkey God stories and her childhood in China.

Born in Fusan, she married grandpa when she was still a teenager. As it was an arranged (match-make) marriage and grandpa was in Malaya on the auspicious day of marriage, she had a live rooster dressed as the groom to accompany her during the marriage ceremony in Kwantung (Canton), China. Yes, that was how she performed the tea ceremony and prayers to the ancestors on the day of the marriage. She saw grandpa for the first time when she arrived in Malaya by sea. She was extremely glad that grandpa did not have any disability, was tall and looked quite handsome!

One year, she lost the tender for this temple and had to move out. The new caretaker, cut off the tree and removed everything, tree, stumps, roots and all. When she found out about this later, grandma was extremely angry and heartbroken. It was like a grenade that exploded in her face. She tried to replant new ones but things were never the same again. Later, she gave up completely and switched to pomelo trees instead.

After her death, we never had any more pomegranate trees, not until when I moved house. Dad found a reason to plant pomegranate again. For dad it was to remember grandma while for me, it was for my dad who has since passed on.

I think plants do make people do the strangest things.

This is my entry for Blooming Friday Week 4. My grateful thanks to Katarina at Roses and Stuff for hosting Blooming Friday. This week's theme is ' your favourite wildflower or a beauty you'd like to share'. This week my beauty is the Promegranate Flower.

To see what others have posted or to participate, click here.


  1. Autumn Belle,
    You are so lucky to be able to grow such a unique and special tree! Thanks for sharing the story about your grandmother, that was very special.

  2. nice photos and great story. I see a lot of them in HDB flats in Singapore

  3. Belle... a sweet short story. I love it. I got an interesting story about my late Dad, as narrated by my late Mom. One day Dad was cycling, then he saw Mom for the first time at the window..., huh! he lost control and hit a coconut tree. No bone or teeth broken though. I don't have space here for a coconut tree to commemorate the so called "Love at first sight" .. But I inherit much of Dad's DIY inclination... Cheers, ~bangchik

  4. Pomegranate is such an elegant plant, it have delicious sweet seeds. Also the heartwarming story about your grandmother. Im sure you are very proud of this plant.

  5. Pomegranate tree, how nice to have. The flowers are pretty. The fruit is nice too. So cute you tied a ribbon on the fruit. I like the juice which F&N produces, mixed with mangosteen. Have a great weekend!

  6. I do not have a tree but I think I will get one from the nursery. We used to eat pomegranate from the neighbourhood when we were growing up. The only problem I have with it is the difficulty to eat with all those seeds.

  7. Wonderful pictures .... and I love pomegranate!! Thank you.

  8. Autumn Belle, I enjoyed this post enormously! I planted a seed from a Pomegranate 3 years ago, and it's now growing in a pot in our conservatory. It's a small shrub with a lovely foliage. No flowers as yet - but I'm hoping that one day...

  9. Heisann!

    Wow, how big your granate is!

  10. Autumn Belle, I absolutely enjoyed this post! Firstly, I've never seen a pomegranate flower before. It is elegant and beautiful. Then, what a story about your grandma wedding! A rooster! I am glad she liked her husband when she saw him first time.
    The tree which she planted and cared for was very special. My heart would be broken to see it gone. It is very nice of you to grow a pomegranate tree. It's like a thread connecting you with your grandma. We all need to keep such threads. Without memories about our ancestors we lose our identity.
    Thank you!

  11. I found Delima Mini Markets over here, then I know what does Delima stand for. Thanks for sharing.

  12. I enjoyed your story, it made your photoes even more beautiful. I like the flower, little skirt and the fruit. Sitting here trying to remember if I ever tasted one.

  13. Great post on your pomegranate! I've thought about getting one, but space is always limited for me :)

  14. Pomegranates are one of my favorites also! i have 2 little plants, maybe 12 in tall, that have been in the ground about 3 months but i have seen zero growth. Any idea how long before they will fruit?
    thank you for the beautiful post!

  15. Nice and beautiful plants and nice to you to tell the story about your grandma.
    Have a great weekend! /

  16. Pomegranates are my favorites, and here in California it's almost the season for them (it's a short season, only 3 months, so it's a special treat)

    What a great story, thanks for sharing.

  17. I love your grandmother stories. How lucky that you got to hear - and remember all these stories. I remember sitting rapt while my mother told me some stories, but honestly, they didn't sink in so much. Don't know why. Anyway, I wanted to share a little story with you too - I'll keep it short b/c I'm not trying to hijack your blog -

    My father grew up in China (shan tung). You've seen my post on my father's house so you know he loves trees. He planted a fruit tree when he was a boy in front of his house in the village and tended to it lovingly. When communism came on full force, he and his mother and brother were ordered to leave the house. When this happened, he chopped down the tree in protest (this is my house, my tree, so I'm going to take it with me). When the red guards found out, they had him beaten in front of the village to set an example for others. Sad story. Anyway, that's probably why he loves the land he lives on and all his trees that no one can touch.

    Sorry for the digression - I thought you might be interested Autumn Belle...

    Please keep posting those grandmother stories when you think of them!!!

  18. Oh, and btw, how do you remove the seeds? I may be the only one here that has never really known how to remove them. Recently, I've seen cooking shows where they'll cut the pom in half and bang on the back with a wooden spoon. The seeds just pop out.

    I remember rubbing the seeds on my lips to make "lipstick" when I was really little. Funny stuff.

    Oh, I laughed out loud about the pomelo grenade. :)

  19. We have a pomegranate tree in our neighbor's yard. They are truly beautiful trees with striking blossoms and fruit. Your story about your grandmother was very touching. I also like your sharing what this tree means in your culture. Thank you!

  20. What a exiting post! Thank you for the story. And the pomegranate seems to be a truly wonderful tree. Have a nice week end!

  21. Lovely story - I hope she and your grandfather were happy together.

    Thanks for your question on my buzzard post - my camera is a Canon Powershot A710 and I freely admit to not having the foggiest idea about using most of its features. but it does have a special setting for distance shots - you just turn a dial to a mountain symbol and click. Even I can manage that! All the photos were produced using that, but for the close ups I cropped the photos with Microsoft Picture Manager - which again is simple enough even for me!

    And good luck for the Blotancal Awards. Hope you get lots of votes - they'll be very much deserved.

  22. My dear friends, I am so happy to read the comments from ALL of you. Thank you very much for the encouraging words. Now, some additional comments from me:

    Bangchik, you funny love story made me laugh out. Any girl would certainly want to be so attrative as to make a guy fumble and fall over her!

    Stephanie, I'd like to try the F&N pomegranate with mangosteen juice. I'll be on the look out for it the next time I visit the stores.

    Helen, I do agree that the pomengranate is sometimes a bit sour when it has not fully ripen and once ripen there are really a lot of seeds. But pomegranate is full of nutrients and antioxidants, so I try to blend it, and drink the juice after filtering the pulp with a strainer.

    Katarina, good luck with your pomegranate plant. I hope it will bloom soon.

    Tatyana, my grandma used to tease grandpa over and over again, that one of the many sacrifices she made for him was having to go through the wedding ceremony with the rooster! I can imagine how lost and scared this young and naive bride would have felt then. It was really brave of her.

    Liz, I think mine only started to bloom after at least 2 years or so. I guess you need to wait a bit longer. I think the plant likes our hot and humid weather, particularly the dry season. Usually they bloom around late August.

    Wendy, I was practically brought up by grandma since birth and I shared a strong bond with her. She liked to repeat these stories, reminising about her family and the China she had left behind. I enjoyed listening to it over and over again. I was delighted to hear your story about your dad. I think he is one brave gentleman. When I saw the bright red pomegranates pictures in your post about your dad's garden, I couldn't help smiling as it had brought back a lot of fond memories for me. Regarding how to take out the pomegranate seeds, it was indeed a chore for me. I think you have just given me some excellent infomation that I can try on.

    Sue, thank you very much for teaching me about the camera tricks and the good luck wishes.

  23. Ohh.. I love your story about your family and the promegranate tree.. Have a nice weekend. Moa

  24. Hi Autumn Belle, although bittersweet, I love your story! I tried a bonsai pomegranate a few years back...needless to say, killed it with too much kindness...I keep trying other bonsais though!
    Juicy and delicious they are but do not eat while wearing a white blouse...a lesson learned the hard way...silly me!

  25. What an interesting family story! I didn't realize the pomegranate was so beautiful from flower to fruit.

  26. Autumn Belle,

    I love the story about your Grandmother. I found the rooster groom brought a smile to my face. It is interesting to me that in your culture, the groom may be substituted if needed.

    About Pomegranates, I love them. They are one of my favorite treats, provided I don't eat too much. Maybe my love for them is why I ended up only with sons and no daughters. Last night I had a divine tasting Pomegranate Martini. Yummy.

  27. Moa, Sweet Bay, thank you very much for the nice and sweet comments.

    Lynn, I'm sure your tip will come in handy for me. Thank you so much.

    Jessica, symbolism is very much of chinese culture. The rooster was used to symbolitically represent the groom during the mariage customary rituals, the most important being the prayers session on an auspicious date and time. This date is selected after taking into account the bride and groom's four pillar charts and compatibility. Dates cannot be changed easily as it will affect the couples' lives and marriage. Roosters signify life and vibrancy of life. We cannot use a mother hen for prayers, it must be a rooster!

  28. Ah yes, Jessica. Pomegranates do make great mixed drinks and cocktails. I love them too.

  29. Wendy, please allow me to correct what I have said about your dad. What I meant was that I was delighted that you have shared your family story with me. I feel so special. But, I am really sorry for what your dad and mum had to go through during the incident many years ago. Please accept my sincere apologies.

  30. I absolutely love the story of your grandmother, her wedding, and pomegranates. I went back just to reread the story -- so very special, and thank you for sharing it. I think I'm always going to think of pomegranates as pomelo + grenade from now on, so thank you for that, too! :)

  31. Meredith, thank you so much for visiting my post again and letting me know. You are so sweet and special.

  32. Blog yg cantik dan teratur...keep up the good work...

  33. Ejaaan Kadayan,

    Selamat datang ke laman indah saya. Ribuan terima-kasih ke atas kata-kata manismu. Saya berasa sangat bangga. Sila datang ke laman saya lagi.


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