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, January 15, 2010

My Nice Garden is Blooming

Do you remember the pineapple influorescence bud that greeted me on New Year Day 2010? Well this is how my 15-day old babies look like now. These many many pretty purple flowers will later become fused together to form my pineapple fruit. The pineapple is a bromeliad plant. Hopefully, more babies are coming out to form a bigger fruit. From my experience, my pineapples could only reach the size of the palm of my hand.
My tip: I read that putting apple peels around the leaves will induce the pineapple to bloom. I tried this when my pineapple plant was around 2 years old and it worked. Coincidence or not, I don't know.

A former colleague told me that there was an old wive's tale saying that the cat whiskers flower makes cats want to make love when they are around this plant. I don't think so because I have never heard any cat calls or seen anything of that kind happening at My Nice Garden. I think she must have got it mixed up with the catnip plant!

Now, these kalanchoe flowers are actually bright red but it became less red and more orange after going through my camera lens screening. I am trying my very best not to murder it with over watering. Last year, I bought a much bigger plant that bloomed profusely for 3 months but my overwatering sent it into ICU. Sad to say, I had to pull out its life support and that was the end of my yellow kalanchoe. I am not giving up yet because I think things are getting better now that I have a better understanding of their special needs.

This is my blooming Asparagus Fern / Foxtail Fern (Asparagus densiflorus "Myersii"), still living and getting along fine here after a few years. Can you see the tiny white flowers?

This is the second generation offspring of my white vinca plant that had self-seeded. I planted the parent plant near some shocking pink, light pink and purple vincas. I had expected some colour mixing but the offspring had turned out to be pure white, just like the parents. Maybe I wasn't that good in biology and genetics after all, so I have mixed up my facts.
When I look at the face of the white vinca, I see yellow sexy, pouting lips, enticing me to kiss it. But beware! It is poisonous. Only a caterpillar can survive its kiss of death.

This dragonfly like to come here in the evenings to perch on my jasmine plant. I had just given some hard prunning on this jasmine because it was sick most of the time. I don't know why but pests, bugs and grasshoppers love this plant. I have tried organic sprays, chili and garlic sprays and fed it doses of 'vitamins' but all the methods doesn't help. Why didn't I throw the plant away? Its because I still think that I can do a better job and make it bloom again. I could photograph this dragonfly because it seems to be sleeping. Just look at its transparent wings which allowed all the light to pass through to the brown woody stem!

My Chlorophytum bichetii (Dwarf Spider Plant/Variegated Spider Plant) is blooming now. The flowers are very tiny.

Actually I quite like this purple balloon flower or chinese bellflowers (Platycodon grandiflorus).

My post today is dedicated to Rainfield of My Journey, the first commenter of my previous post on Trailing Abutilon. I like to hop over to his blog and follow him on his jungle trekking adventures and nature hikes. Reading his blog is as interesting as Sinbad sailing the Seven Seas.

This is my entry for the third Blooming Friday of 2010. My grateful thanks to Katarina at Roses and Stuff for hosting Blooming Friday. To see what others have posted or to participate, click here.
This is also my entry for Fertilizer Friday. My grateful thanks to Tootsie at Tootsie Time for hosting Fertilizer Friday. To see what others have posted or to participate, visit here.
Hey, I am also joining in the fun at the once a month Garden Bloggers Bloom Day - January 2010. My grateful thanks to Ms Carol of May Dreams Gardens for hosting it. To see what others have posted or to participate, please visit here.
This is also my entry for Today's Flowers #75. My grateful thanks to the TF folks: Santilli, Denise, Pupo and Valkyrien for hosting Today's Flowers. To participate or view other floral displays around the world, click here.


  1. Hello,

    It is amazing how quickly your pineapple plant is growing. The apple peels probably help because they release a gas that helps to promote ripening. We grow Asparagus Fern here as well, although it does best in light shade.

  2. Hi Autumn Belle - that was interesting about your pineapple - I thought at first it was a achemea fastigata. I normally tell folk to put their bromeliad into a sealed bag for a couple of days with a banana and kwiwi fruit and hopefully the ethylene gas from the skins is enough to encourage them to flower again. I've never seen an aspargus flower like that before. :) Rosie

  3. How lovely your garden must be right now. I had no idea that pineapple blossoms were so beautiful! I'm sorta jealous right now to imagine growing one's own pineapple. (I love it!)

    I also did not realize the asparagus fern would blossom, as I've always grown it as an annual here, since it cannot survive the winter cold.

    Great shot of the dragonfly!

  4. How wonderful! I have never gotten a pineapple to root successfully and didn't even know spider plants bloom. I've had a spider plant for several years, although it suffered terribly during a move. It's finally recovered enough to put out a couple of babies. Thanks for sharing the photos.

  5. aloha, what beautiful photo's of your garden in malaysia, is that a yellow or white pineapple that is starting to come out?

    i loved the pics esp the kalanchoe which i haven't seen photographed as a macro, looks very different.


  6. That pineapple plant is really cool. I agree, Rainfield is one of my favorites as well.

  7. The trick to induce the pineapple to bloom is quite interesting, but no way for me to prove it. LOL.

    By the way, thanks for the link.

  8. Noelle and Rosie, yes! that's what I've read from the internet too about the apple peels and bag wrap. But I'm sure of the accuracy. I just put the apple peels around the leaves, close to the bottom without any covering. This is one method of 'forcing' it to bloom early.

    Meredith, Evolutionofagardener, pineapples and spider plants growth quite easily in our climate. Both enjoy well drained soil and spider plant likes lots of watering. We can also put spider plant inside our home as houseplant.

    Noel, my pineapple is the yellow one.

    Poetic, you expression is in art and poetry and Rainfield's is in nature and photography and his thoughts are never dull and always make me smile.

    Rainfield, actually I was extremely delighted you were my first commenter and I am very happy to dedicate this post to you.

  9. What a lovely collection of plants.
    I had the miniature pineapple plant, it got infected with mealy bugs and slowly died.

    I wonder whether we can grow capnip plant here?

    kalanchoe - I had this plant for a very long time, manage to keep it alive for about 2 years but they never flowered.
    My tip - do take cuttings and replant them - the parent plant will eventually mature and dies.
    (treat it like the mother of thousand plant)

    The asparagus fern will also fruit, but it may be sterile, its easier to propagate them by division, watch out for the thorns.

    Periwinkle - poisonous? Thanks for the advice.

    Jasmine need good sunlight to deter those bugs, lacking it may cause the plant to be sickly.

    I had killed my spider plant by over-watering, do be careful about it for you cannot do anything as the plant dies from the root-rot.

  10. wow, you have a lot going on! That pineapple plant is so interesting. I had no idea there were all those little flowers to make the actual pineapple. cool!

    I love tiny white flowers on a big time foliage plant. I love that contrast.

  11. Oh, I didn't know that Vinca is poisonous. I have them in my garden and love the flowers. Thanks for d info.

  12. The pineapple is beautiful as are the other flowers!

  13. I think your pineapple plant is amazing. You have such beautiful blooms; nice to see this time of year! i think the dragonfly is lovely - great photography!

  14. What a wonderful collection of flowers, Autumn! And today, after visiting a nursery in search of something for an assignment photo shoot, WHAT did I see but a trailing abutilon! Actually, they had about two dozen baskets, but they weren't great looking so I didn't get one. Or even take its photo! But come spring, I'll be going back and getting one to put outside, thanks to your previous post.

  15. I've been reading all the comments here and it's fun. Their response is encouraging. Autumn Belle, i love the way you write here now, with a bit of amusement. I love it when actually there are old customs like that for inducing pineapples to flower. Actually, pineapple farms spray ethrel, which produce ethylene gas, which in turn induce flowering. Ethylene is a very important hormone for plants because it induce flowering in minute qty, but in large proportion will induce senescence. So for those who will experiment on their plants, be sure not to overdo it.

    In using peels, you can also use Chico peels, squash peels, or Madre Cacao (Gliricidia sepium)leaves.They are proven to produce the highest ethylene gas. Autumn Belle, it is more efficient to cover the plant with plastic or paper bags while under treatment, so the gas will not easily evaporate before being absorbed. But of course not for several days because it might be overdosed, hence might die! hehe.

    I love your macro shots too. BTW, i cannot open rainfield's blog fully, been waiting for a long time. Yesterday i went to the university and found lots of hanging Jade vine, remember Tatyana's in Hawaii. I love it but the funny thing is i forgot my camera at home. Grrr!

  16. Your garden must be very beautiful with so many flowers blooming! Can I come for a visit?

  17. Nice! nice! nice! love the first pineapple picture, it was love and first sight..The rest are awesome. TQ

  18. Amazing, how different isnt the climate world wide. Such a lot of beautiful plants. Here the cold is hard and the snow deep. Here only dreams of outdoor flowers are possible. Have a nice week end!

  19. Wonderful! Looks like both the pineapple and blooms are brightening up your garden. Hope you will have a sweet juicy fruit soon. Thanks for sharing those tales. Interesting!

  20. Jealous, jealous, jealous!! You have quite a bit going on and it's all beautiful!!

  21. Lovely pics all round! The pineapple is the envy of all.

  22. What beautiful photos of such amazing plants Autumn Belle! They all look so lush and bursting with growth! It's hard to pick a favourite, but I think I like the balloon flower the best as it has such a wonderful colour.

    The dragonfly picture is beautiful too - his wings are so deliate that he seems made of glass! We had a tiny one in our garden today, but sadly I couldn't get a good photo.

  23. I just love your blog and this is my first visit.Your pictures are just gorgeous. I used to live in a tropical climate , the Philippines, Hawaiii and Florida but live in Oklahoma where gardening is challenge. I so would love to be in the tropics right now! So glad to find you! Miss Bloomers/Sonia

  24. It is lovely to see some brightly coloured flowers as we are in the middle of winter here. I do like the Cat's whiskers plant - very delicate!
    Have a good weekend.

  25. Like every post of yours this one is both interesting and beautiful to look at. Pineapple blossoms are used here by florists sometimes. I wonder if I could get one to grow in a pot?

  26. They all mostly look excotic to me perhaps noy the spider plant though.

  27. Since you are VERY knowledgeable about plants, perhaps I can ask you about that spider plant. How do you propagate it? I have heard it is simple but I haven't got up the nerve to try yet. My son gave me a spider plant in kindergarten and it is still alive, despite my neglect...but it is now getting out of control and I need to take some babies off. Any help is appreciated! Thanks ( darn, your photos are so pretty. Love em)

  28. What a variety if gorgeous plants you have. Very interesting about the pineapple. I fell for the cats whiskers. You made my day with the dragonfly pic!!!

  29. Heisann!
    I love too see the blooming in your garden --- and of course, the nice dragonfly!

  30. Autumn Belle your flowers are gorgeous!!! You've made my day looking at them. And you have so many but then I guess it isn't like our winter where you are. Great pictures!!!

  31. Wah, foto-fotonya sangat menggoda! Saya pernah membawa pulang biji Vinca dari Indonesia, dan sekarang masih tumbuh di sini (tapi di dalam rumah). Salam dari Swedia yang masih saja ditutupi salju....

  32. That first flower is kind of cute. I want one too.

  33. The Pineapple flower is so fascinating - the soft patel shades are so pretty!
    I hope your weekend will be pleasant!

  34. you have many pretty blooms and lovely visitors too =)

  35. James,Kate(Evolutionofagardener), Rosey,
    I have written a special post regarding the spider plant. Hope you find it useful.

    James, I have not seen a real catnip plant before. From pictures, it looks like some of our wild grass. Catnip is the common name of a perennial herb from the mint family that causes some kind of instant ‘nutty’ reactions in cats. I didn’t know that the asparagus fern bears fruits too. I must look out for this. As for the kalanchoe, you need to cut off all the spent flowers and it will bloom again. Yes, I have seen many gardeners plant the miniature pineapple. It look like those used in flower arrangements.

    Blossom and Wendy, Yes, the periwinkle or vinca plant is poisonous if injested. According to the Poison Control Centre in California, the toxicity class is 1, meaning that it may cause serious illness or death if injested.

    Andrea, thanks a lot for the extra info. I’m sorry to you couldn’t photograph the lovely jade vines. Wish you better luck next time.

    Michelle, Deborah, Jodi, Jama, Bananaz, Liliebeth, Darla, Keats, Kippslandgardener, Sonia, Easygardener, Joanne, Deb of Dragonfly Treasure, Vilt, Maureen, RainGardener, Shannara , Katarina, Ayie, Thank you very much for the encouraging comments and feedback. You are always welcome to My Nice Garden

    Babara, there are 2 types of pineapple you can grow on a pot. One is the ornamental pineapple where the fruits look like miniature pineapples and are used in floral arrangements. The other is the normal pineapple. We can also grow this by chopping off the crown and rooting it on soil. I am growing this type on a container flower pot.

    Andre, terima-kasih kerana melawat saya. Selamat bercuti hari minggu di Sweden!

  36. Happy Bloom Day! It's wonderful to see all these lovely blooms while we in the Midwest U.S. are in the throes of winter. Growing your own pineapples sounds delicious! I've killed many indoor plants by overwatering them, too, but we gardeners always learn from our mistakes, don't we? Your post is making me long for spring:)

  37. I know exactly what you mean when you describe why you didn't throw that jasmine away yet! lol I do the same thing!
    your pineapple is doing very well...I had one a long while back...and it had the cutest little baby fruit growing on it...and someone stole it! I had it at work...and one day it was gone...and only the mother plant was left! yes....I was furious!
    thanks for joining in this week with me!

  38. I really wanna see a wide angle of your huge is it to accommodate those lovely flowers.

  39. Fantastic photos fr yr garden.

  40. Beautiful collection of your garden flowers. My favorite is the purple balloon flower.

  41. Hi Autumn Belle~~ I've been meaning to hop over and give you a visit. Your blooms are outstanding. As a kid growing up in Hawaii, we grew pineapples in our front yard. I remember the white-fleshed variety was more flavorful than the yellow variety.

    Sorry about your jasmine's weakness for bugs. If it's any consolation, I do the same thing--keep nursing the plant along even when common sense dictates a trip to the compost. We love our plants, don't we?

  42. Rose, Tootsie, Evelyn, Eileeninmd, I'm very glad you all like my garden flowers.

    Fadzil, Welcome to My Nice Garden. To know more about my garden site, do read from my Jan 2010 post titled "Where Am I Planted". Actually, it is just a small garden. Jumpa lagi!

    Grace, Welcome to my nice garden. You've got it right, gal. Yes, that's exactly how I feel!


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