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!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

May 2010 GBBD - And The Rain My Drink

Do they look like Lady's Slippers or Wishbones?

Recently all my Torenias disappeared from my garden, having died back. I think it will reappear again somewhere and sometime later. But I miss them a lot, so I went to the nursery and bought some of these pink ones.

The name Torenia fournieri was given by Linnaeus, the father of modern taxonomy after a contemporary Swedish clergyman, Olaf Toren and also in honour of the French botanist Pierre Fournier.

The heart-shaped petals look like love,love,love.....

This is my Blue Daze (Evolvulus glomeratus) which I purchased from a nursery managed by a very old man who could hardly walk. He show me where his 'special offer' plants were by pointing fingers while sitting down on a shady bench. They were some helpers around but surprisingly these workers only tended to the plants. They were quite oblivious to his orders and they also ignored customers' queries. So I pitied him and took what I wanted to his bench to ask and bargain prices with him. I felt really dizzy because he smelt strongly of counterpain ointment! Howerver, it was a good buy. The prices were cheap and plants healthy.

This is my Hippy Lily (Hippeastrum reticulatum) which is commonly grown in tropical lowlands. They are quite easy to grow and they flower the whole year through.

The petals are heart-shaped in many photos. Can you see the yellow 'peace' signs around the centre?

This zinnia is grown from seed sold in packets at the garden centres. This time, all the seeds in the packet germinated but I am left with only a single mature plant - The Lone Ranger. I hope it will self seed. A packet of seeds cost about RM 3-5. A seedling sold in poly plastic bags costs almost the same price. I have a better chance with seedlings than seeds. The performance of seeds are unpredicatble and fluctuate between 0 - 100 %.

Now, with such a wide range of fluctuations, how to trust the seeds from packets?

Bye, bye love.....

A few weeks ago, I was so hard up for new plants, I went to the nursery nearest to my home and ended up with a few purchases. The sad part was that 2 plants was sick and died but before dying they infected my peace lilies. All of them suddenly died when their head was 'decapitated' and rotted off by some white powdery stuff that looked like fungus. It had just started to bloom when they said Adieu, so I said "Sayonara, rest in peace!" and I was left to pick up the pieces.

When I purchased this cat whiskers from the nursery a few years ago, the flowers were pale purple. Now all the flowers are white. I wonder what magic did I do?

This citrus plant was purchased during this Chinese New Year. The overflowing golden fruits have dropped off. It is blooming for the second time now. Usually, I'll wait 2-3 rounds before I harvest the fruits for eating or cooking. I'm worried the growers had applied a lot of chemicals to the plant during the forced blooming season.

The one that wouldn't die.

When I purchase my new citrus plant, I wanted to dispose off this old plant that I had been growing for 3 years as it seemed old and dying. I also needed the flower pot. But it was stucked inside the pot. I pulled and I pulled but it wouldn't come out. Finally I succceeded. I chopped off its head. I even stepped and jumped on it a few times to to loosen the soil and roots. The root ball was very hard, so I left it at the 'sick bay' (a shady area at my side yard, under the bamboo tree) with no food and water for a few weeks to meet it's own death.

Euthanasia -Resuscitation - Resurrection?

Strangely it didn't die because one day I noticed healthy green shoots coming out and growing sideways. This plant is a fighter. So I took it back again to its rightful place in the garden.

Blastoise is getting into mischief again and I caught him in action, haha!

The rest of my blooming flowers. I'm sure you know all their names. Do you know which is which?
  • A fruit - Pomegranate flowers
  • Edible flower grown for its natural blue food colouring - Blue Butterfly Pea
  • Our local common name is Paper Flowers - Bougainvellea
  • Bachelor's button - Gomphrena
  • We can suck sweet nectar from its flowers - Ixora
My post today is dedicated to my lovely friend, Dr. Andrea, from the Philippines of Andrea In This Lifetime blog, the first commenter of my Kapok Tree post. Maraming salamat po for being my friend!

Today is Garden Bloggers Bloom Day. Now, do head over to May Dreams Gardens to see what's blooming round the world today.

This is my entry for Today's Flowers # 93, a meme which opens every Sunday, 2pm GMT. My grateful thanks to Today's Flowers team members; Luiz Santili Jr, Denise in Virginia, Laerte Pupo and Sandy Carlson. To participate and view other gorgeous flowers around the world, click here.


  1. Hi Autumn. Oh, I so like your Hippy Lily.So pretty. There is just something magical about Peace Lilies. Wow, that Cat Whiskers is a beauty too. Blastoise looks like he is caught sideways trying to get through the slot. Did he make it through LOL!

  2. Hippy lillies - I love them being refered to as that and as for those cats whiskers they are just fantastic.

    I hope your spath will recover from that fungus thing. That citrus is some resilient plant and some are right its worth keeping.

    Blastoise is new to me Autumn Belle - I never knew about him before.

    Happy GBBD and have a lovely weekend. :) Rosie

  3. Lovely flowers all so unusual to my english ones.The only other flowers I know that change colour are Hydrangeas depending on whether the soil is alkaline or acid they are blue or pink. Perhaps yours may be something to do with the soil.

  4. Your garden makes mine look pitiful. The weather in my city is mostly cold. We don't have warm weather often. I would love t be able to grow some colors in my garden by the weather kills most of plants and flowers.

    Your turtle is so big!

  5. Another lovely Bloom Day post. I too miss my Torenias when they die back ... I'm off to the nursery today to get some that are in bloom!!! Lol ... great minds think alike.

    There are just so many plants that we have in common ... my Evolvulus is breaking into bloom again, the Clitoria is in bloom around my property, my Gomphrena (Bachelor's Buttons) is blooming beautifully, as are all the Ixoras.

    Sorry to hear about your Peace Lily ... it will come back though ... they're a tough plant. I hope Blastoise didn't have to spend too much time hung up like that ... poor thing.

  6. very nice flowers you have there... your are right some plants wont die, and some on the other hand refuse to live.

  7. Your garden has lots of nice blooming going on. I love your cat whiskers and Hippy Lily ! I just saw cat wiskers from Miami Fairchild tropic botanic garden lately. Pretty!

  8. What wonderful colors there! That citrus tree really seemed to like you. :) He couldn't part you, may be. Enjoy the colors!

  9. Selamat Datang (is this correct!), i only fully remember the Terima kasih e! I already had some comments in FB about the torenias but cant seem to close my broadband without getting here, as i've been out for a week.

    I love how you composed this post, simple to the mind and relaxing esp at this very tired condition of my body, hehe. I also love Bernie's comments here. BTW, i pity the citrus which you attempted to kill, that's premeditated murder, hehe! It is supposed to be your New Year's good luck amulet, so its persistence to live, and your salvaging its life means you will have more fortune and blessings! How is that for a "fake fortune teller"!

    Am further amazed at the dedication, didn't realize i commented first in the kapok! Thank you so much, your putting the Dr there I took as your endearment to me, not otherwise, hehe again, i am full of hehe you know!

    Lastly, it is fornieri, not forneiri, a typo error, last hehe. God bless and good morning. I am glad to be back.

  10. I like your title very much. It might be because of the rain that I never smell the ointment.

  11. Lovely photos, well done!
    Until I can appreciate and will grow flowers....I feel that I'm out of channel here, Ha!

  12. Those cat whiskers and hippy lily are so cool as is your turtle. He looks like a little playful guy :D

  13. Do torenias require a rest period like the gloxinias whose flowers they resemble?

    Happy Bloom Day. Everything looks good. I didn't try to solve the puzzle.

  14. What a lovely tour for your garden. Everythings looks fantastic. Happy GBBD:)

  15. Hi, every one!
    Thank you very much for the wonderful comments.

    Actually the frame is a tight fitting for Blastoise but that’s how he enters my house! He can do it in a few seconds, like swimming though.

    The hippy lilies I have are the common ones, i.e. without the showy centres. As for the peace lilies, I have cut off the foliage from all the plants and in certain areas, have to dig out the whole clump. Now, there seems to be new shoots from some that survived.

    Blastoise is an urban tortoise, lost and rescued from a busy traffic junction when his home in the small jungle was demolished for a building development project.

    Joanne, perhaps that is so regarding the soil that affected the colour of the blooms. That’s a very good answer, I think.

    Rosebelle, actually Blastoise is less than a foot long. He’d be big headed to hear about your ‘big’ compliments.

    Bernie, we use the Clitoria ternatea as a natural blue food colouring in deserts. I am growing mine wrapped around a palm tree. As for Blastoise, don’t worry about him, he is good at it.

    Bangchik, those are wise words from an experienced gardener. These are the things that make gardening so interesting.

    Ami, cat whiskers are good ground covers. They grow like wild flowers here. They are not fussy and easy to care for. Propagates easily too.

    Chandramouli, I think the citrus tree is behaving like Harry Porter, the boy who didn’t die, haha.

    Andrea, it’s so nice to have you back again. ‘Selamat Datang’ is welcome. Once again thanks a million for pointing out the typo error. The ‘Dr’ is my respect to you as my friend and teacher. You truly deserved this title because you have a doctorate degree and that’s how we address learned people who have attained this level of qualifications. So glad you are here.

    Aaron, don’t be sad on the demise of your plants. It happens and that’s the adventure part. The white infection looks like fungus which is very deadly. Blastoise will be very happy to play with the anime characters in your main blog.

    Rainfield, the air is so fresh after the rain. I think the plants look radiant after the rain.

    KL Vege Garden, when you grow vegetables you are growing flowers too. Many vegetable plants has pretty flowers.

    Poetic Shutterbuy, yes, Blastoise is a playful fella. Sometimes he is more active while at other times, he prefers to ‘meditate’ in his own living sanctuary which is under my hibiscus plant.

    Nell Jean, torenias grow like wild flowers here. Some consider it to be invasive. They bloom throughout their lifespan from a small seedling until death. In my garden, the torenias always self-seed but sometimes, the seedlings only appear after a few weeks or so. There is a certain ‘rest period’ where I don’t see any more torenias in my garden, only to spring up from the soil again later, sometimes far from their original site.

    Garden of Threads, Happy GBBD to you too!

  16. Looking at your cat whiskers, I'm reminded of mine. I bought some last year and have replanted many of them by cuttings.When they are nicely growing , I'll remember to send you a pic. Well done - lovely pics of all the flowers

  17. A delightful variety of blooms and one very handsome Blastoise :) Thank you for sharing your photos with us. So enjoyable!

  18. I like the hippy lily best! And then of course that cute tortoise!

  19. Hi Autumn Belle!
    Our neighbor Manong has Cat's Whiskers and he used the leaves as tea drink! He said it makes him strong. Well, he is now in his 70s and pretty strong!

    I love your flower episodes but Blastoise rocks! My dog Sweepy will be thrilled to be friends with him!

  20. I enjoyed seeing your many beautiful blooms. I like the cat's whiskers, and I admire the citrus plant that refused to die! Thanks for the tour!

  21. Gorgeous blooms.And I especially love the happy lily. I love to get one for my garden. The blastoise is a cutie. Great captures.

  22. Simply lovely, enjoying your lovely flower photos, Autumn seeing my own garden alive here! Especially love the white Cat Whiskers (first time seeing this tone), the pureness of the whites is fabulous! Nature is simply astounding, full of surprises with floral and foliage colours doing their magical stunts...must be the pollinators busy at work!

  23. aloha,

    i'm a fan of torenias also, i love all the colors...i take alot of cuttings of the cat wiskers, they are very easy to propogate from cuttings :)

  24. I like all the flowers in your garden, so beautiful!

  25. Heart shaped flower that's the beauty of nature. Love all the pixs of the flowers you posted. How do you handle those white fungus on the leaves and flowers? How old is Blastoise now? Bananaz learned a new word today as the usual its either a turtle or a tortoise and they looked alike haha. tQ.

  26. The sick bay. HA!! that's so funny!

    I love seeing blastoise in action.

    Your blooms are beautiful. The cat's whiskers are so amazing, and the torenia i just love. I don't see that color around. It's really pretty.

  27. Your garden is beautiful, mine has just started to grow. it will be another month or two before it looks as lush as yours and then another couple of months and it will be dead. Ah gardening in the North.

  28. Your flowers are all gorgeous! Loved the photos and the cool looking Blastoise.

  29. Lovely flowers you got there!! My cat's whiskers died few times! We don't have any, now.. BTW, cool tortoise! And hippy lily can endure every weather, as far as I know, as I have mine for years!!

  30. I am a huge fan of zinnas! The red and yellow contrast is very eye catching.

  31. Nice to see flowers blooming! Altogether, they certainly brighten up your day. The recent rain certainly gives plants a good drink :-D

  32. What a delightful blog. I'm linking to it on mine (very new), which your visitors might also like to check out:

  33. Hi Autumn Belle,

    I chanced upon your blog when I was searching for the name of a flowering bush in my garden (am trying to find out the proper names of all the plants). :)

    I love your beautiful pictures and writing incl. quite a few of my favourite flowers.

    Any tips on growing bushy torenias? The ones that self germinated in my garden are more leggy than the ones sold at nurseries. :P

  34. Hi Alexandra, thank you very much for the nice comments. Welcome to My Nice Garden!

    Perhaps the torenias that germinated in our gardens are from seeds of the parents that we/our neighbours had grown before. Hence, some of those seeds may be inferior. Those at the nursery had already undergone some kind of selection and quality control. I hope the following suggestions helps:
    a) Select those seedlings that are healthy and plant them in a container/flower pot.
    b) Remember to apply fertilizer
    c) Seeds taken from a good-looking 'bushy' parent plant may not produce exactly the same offspring. This depends on the pollination process (sexual reproduction).

  35. Thanks for the suggestion. :) Was hoping that my mom and I don't have to keep buying certain flowers since they can self-germinate.

    I've become a fan in your FB page since I'm there most of the time. Looking forward to updates from you. :)

    Have a nice day.

  36. Lovely! The turtle is adorable.


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