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!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Male Papaya Flowers for Stir Fry - Wordless Wednesday

“Male Papaya Flowers for Stir Fry - Wordless Wednesday”, a copyrighted post, was written for My Nice Garden blog by Autumn Belle @ on June 30, 2010.

To participate or view other Wordless Wednesday posts, please click here.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Somebody Stole My Post - The Oriental Garden of Sam Poh Tong, Ipoh


It has come to my attention, recently, that my old post titled, The Oriental Garden of Sam Poh Tong, Ipoh which was published on 28 July 2009 has been posted by another blogger in another blog without my permission and knowledge. It has the same post title, same contents and images and even my watermark!

My original post link: The Oriental Garden of Sam Poh Tong, Ipoh.

The pirated link: Also exactly the same name. Click here* . The Oriental Garden of Sam Poh Tong, Ipoh, published on 27 April 2010. The link was also posted in Facebook.

Note: The post has since been removed. As the blog is still in operation, I have removed this link*. Clicking on it will redirect the traffic from my post here to that blog which amounts to more advert money and better page rank for it.

Excerpts from my stolen post:
Sam Poh Tong, when translated means The Tripple Gems Cave. Some like to call it The Cavern of Tripple Gems. Discovered in 1890 by a monk from China, this Chinese Buddhist temple was built within a natural limestone hill and managed by monks and nuns. Inside the cavern, there are beautiful Buddha statues, natural stalactite and stalagmite formations and a tortoise pond. There is also vegetarian food and a columbarium here.

(a) It is difficult to accept and understand why some bloggers can just copy and paste to earn money and copy and paste to earn money and copy and paste to earn money or maybe there's no need to, can just use robots or what kind of sophiscated technology that I don't know about.

If it can happen to me it can happen to you too!

Be warned and Beware!

(b) If I don't write anymore, my blog will disappear into oblivion in cyberspace. Maybe it will be of use to some 'smart genius' who can repackage old wine in new bottles from the old blog posts. And then, when visitors go click, click, click, they earn $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ from Adsense, Amazon, Nuffnang, and other advertisers.

(c) This is sad and horrible. Where is the integrity and respect for another person's intellectual property?


UPDATED on 2nd July 2010 
The following are some useful links recommended by fellow bloggers:

From Garden Bloggers dotcom:
a) Feed Scrappers III
b) Feed Scrappers II
c) Feed Scrappers - Guest Post by Dave Townsend

RoseBelle of Three Wisdoms blog has written 2 posts on this matter:
a) Protect Yourself From Copyright Infringement here,
b) How To Protect Your Published Contents on Blogger here.

Friday, June 25, 2010

From the Garbage to My Garden and the Kitchen

“From the Garbage to My Garden and the Kitchen”, a copyrighted post, was written for My Nice Garden blog by Autumn Belle @

I have been growing pineapple plants from the crowns of store bought pineapples since 2004. I grow them all in flower pots with a diameter of about 1 foot. I put a roller at the bottom of each pot, just in case I need to move it around. Each pineapple costs me RM 2.00 - RM 5.00 (about a US dollar) depending on the type of pineapple and the mood of the vendor. I normally use the pineapples for prayers and after that, I'll eat it or use it to cook curry or make pineapple fried rice. Now, instead of throwing the crown into the garbage bin, I use it to grow a pineapple plant that will bear fruit for my kitchen use.

Growing pineapples is a long term investment, judging from the fact that I have to wait at least 18 months before it starts to flower.

The above plant was grown from a single crown and it is more than one year old now. Sometime ago, it started to 'reproduce' and ended up with additional 6 offsprings. Now, it looks as though I have 7 pineapple plants in a single container. They are so close together I can't differentiate which is the mother plant and which are the suckers, slips or ratoons. How nice if all of them flower at the same time! Maybe I'm getting too greedy, hah?

This baby is just a few months old. It seemed to have firmly rooted on the soil. Only one pineapple plant here. I used to have some blue Torenia fournieri in my garden but it had died back and disappeared completely a few months ago. I am planting some pink ones now. Recently, the blue torenias reappeared in my garden and I can find the little ones everywhere, from the front to the back yard. This one has moved in to live with my baby pineapple plant. Meanwhile, I don't mind since it makes the pot look good anyway.

I have a link below which may be of interest to you regarding growing pineapples in temperate zones. The site is called Tropical Permaculture.

How to make Pineapple Fried Rice - My simple homemade DIY recipe:
Fry some finely chopped garlic in cooking oil and a few drops of sesame oil in a heated pan. Add in some chopped pineapple flesh. You may also add some prawns, mince meat or finely chopped french beans if you like. Stir fry until fragrant. Next, add some leftover rice and stir fry until the rice look like it is jumping up and down the pan. Make a hole in the middle, add an egg and let the egg half cook before you mix them all together. Add some salt and pepper. Using leftover rice that is more than a day old makes the fried rice taste better.

For expert recipes with exact measurements, please visit Kuali at my sidebar. Search using keywords, "Pineapple Fried Rice" .

I have some leftover turmeric rhizomes so, I place them in a pot of soil. It seemed to take ages but I was overjoyed to see 2 new shoots popping out. Isn't it like magic? This dried up thing just came alive!

I have some leftover lengkuas (galangal) too. We use it to make delicious dishes. It looked quite old and 'beaten' when I placed it in a bag of soil. This is a used polythene bag, recycled from that of another plant that I had repotted. The lengkuas 'hibernated' for a few weeks before new shoots appeared. I have since transplanted it on the ground. I hope it will grow enough foliage to make the small area look exotic.

This leftover ordinary ginger took the longest to germinate new shoots. First I wrapped it in some old newspapers for a week or so before I placed it some soil in a small flower pot. I waited another few weeks before shoots appeared. Then I transplanted it to the ground.

I use ginger in almost every dish that I cook. I took the most ginger during my 100 days confinement period after childbirth and delivery. Anyway that was a long long time ago.

Can you find the caterpillar? It is under my watermark. This guy is good at camouflage, ain't he? He has walloped most of my pink vinca plant. But never mind, it's okay.

Please help me identify this plant.

It looks like Indian Borage. I have been growing it for 6 years and it is driving me crazy not knowing it's name. Can you live with someone for so long without knowing his/her name?

Some clues:
Someone gave it to me saying that I can make tea with the fresh leaves as a remedy for high blood pressure and diabetes. She said the name was lemon basil. It is the staple food for Blastoise my pet tortoise.

Thanks to Anonymous from The Kebun, a Homestay, Organic Farm near Kuching, East Malaysia who provided this link, the above plant has been identified as Gynura procumbrens, a medicinal herb. It's malay name is Pokok Sambung Nyawa  or Life Extending Plant. I have never seen this plant bear any flowers.

Scientific name: Lyssa zampa
Common name: Laos brown butterfly
It is a species of moth from the Uraniidae family and commonly found in Malaysia and Indonesia. It's wing span is between 100-160mm and flies from June to August. Its larvae feeds on the endospermum species of plants. (Source: Wikipedia)

Do you know him?

This "flying trapeze" found hanging from my bamboo plant is about the size of my palm, which is 6 inches or 15cm in diameter. It can fly quite fast. It can be a moth or butterfly. I photographed this fella at about 9am in the morning of June 12th, 2010 which coincided with the first day of the 5th Lunar month, a new moon day. Oh, yeah, on the 5th day of the 5th lunar month is our Dumpling Festival (Duanwu Festival) cum Dragon Boat Festival. I just found out about the photograph date coincidence when I checked back my original pictures and it is ringing some superstitious bells in my head now.

While doing research on the internet, I found that in Thailand, people make a blue drink from the Butterfly Pea (Clitoria ternatea) flowers. They will serve it with a jar of sweet pandan flavoured syrup and a citrus fruit. So I did an experiment and made my own blue drink. Without the syrup, it is almost tasteless. However, when I added a few drops of calamansi (citrus lime) juice and stirred, the solution turned purple. Magic, magic, magic!

This is my entry for Fertilizer Friday. Tootsie, here I come! To visit other FF post, please visit Tootsie at Tootsie Time. Click here.

Note: Updates to this post are highlighted in blue, links provided in red.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

My First Year at Blotanical

1. On this day today, exactly one year ago, i.e. on 20th June 2009, I was accepted by Blotanical, a worldwide community of garden bloggers. On my first day at Blotanical, I stumbled into my 'Plot' and found that it was filled with welcome messages. Soon each and every one of my new blog posts began to receive some comments. Wow, what an exciting begining and boy, blogging was fun!

It is great to belong to a social network of sincere garden bloggers who looked out for each other and help each other when the need arises. I am really thankful for the assistance given and grateful for friendship extended to me.

2. Via Blotanical, I visited other garden bloggers and learnt a lot from them just by doing Picks. Picks helped me earn the points to move up the ranks at Blotanical. I wanted more faving power so that I can fave as many blotanists as possible. To fave and be faved is such a joyful thing to do.

To all the freshie Blotanist, I shall send you a welcome message whenever time permits. I want you to feel welcomed and ready to break the ice, just like how happy I was to be welcomed by other Blotanists who were Patrons, Fellows, Master and Guru level when I was a newbie 'Freshie'.

While doing Picks, I got to read the latest post of each Blotanist blogger I visited. It all began in June 2009, the season of Spring to early Summer then, and the whole northern hemispere was bursting with flowers blooming everywhere. I have never seen so many beautiful blooms in my whole life. Fake plastic flowers in my living room appeared as real gorgeous blooms from your patios and backyards. And there were beds upon beds and borders of stunning wild flowers everywhere. Even the critters, slimy creatures and creepy crawlies do not look like monsters. They look like nature's masterpiece when photographed in their natural habitats. Soon I discovered that many skilled gardeners are great photographers too.

3. I traveled round the world and visited many many types of gardens, many styles. I learnt to appreciate nature and be kind to the enviroment. Hey, I even saved a family of little birds who came to build a home in my garden! I saw flowers and buds opened everyday in so many colours, shapes and hues. I watched the seasons go by. I witnessed the heat of Summer, the Autumnal blushes, your Winter frost, and I watched Spring came alive.....

I did all these, sitting on my desk, from the flat screen of my desktop computer in a land of neverending summers and heavy rainfalls. I also shared your happiness, joys and sorrows. You showed me your wedding photos, your engagements, birthdays and anniversaries. I felt your sadness and gave words of consolation during your time of grief and loss. I celebrated when you threw a party and it was nice to be invited for a walk in the English woods, then have tea and scones while sitting on a rustic bench, watching the world go by. I toured all over Europe and I journeyed from Alaska to South America. I can identify with fellow gardeners from Malaysia and other countries in Asia but I was surprised to see familiar flora and fauna in Hawaii, Queensland, Florida, the Caribbean islands and even Africa. Next was a hike up the Colorado mountains, a journey to the Everglades and a trip to the desert of Arizona. I was fascinated to know that deers which I only get to see at zoos, just wander into a Washington garden univited and wallop all your gorgeous blooms.....

Blotanical connects garden bloggers around the world!

Red Helen Papilio helenus is a large swallowtail butterfly

4. Then, a shocking reminder came in the form of an email to me:

Subject: Google Verification
Due to congestion in our database system, We have come to realize that your account information on our database system are out of date, as a result of that we require you to verify your Information. Failure to verify your information will result in account suspension. If you are still interested in using our email service, Please click the reply button and fill the below spaces as requested.

Birth date:

Note: This email is only for Gmail users.

Thank you for using Gmail !

I spent many sleepness nights thinking about it and praying that all will be well. Now, I just delete all these junks, spams and scams and laugh my Kookaburra laugh, hahaha...

Hylarana nigrovittata or Dark-sided Frog

5. And another shocking Mail from System Administration

Dear Valued Member,
Due to the congestion in all Webmail account and removal of all unused Accounts, we would be shutting down all unused accounts, You will have to confirm your E-mail by filling out your Login Info below after clicking the reply botton, or your account will be suspended within 48 hours for security reasons.

UserName: ..........................................
Date Of Birth: .....................................
Country Or Territory:...............................

After Following the instructions in the sheet, your account will not be interrupted and will continue as normal.Thanks for your attention to this request.

We apologize for any inconvinience.

This too was dipped in batter and fried!!!

6. Surprise also came in the form of emails announcing my windfalls :

Lottery winnings, secret business transactions, urgent assistance request, earn money just by clicking my mouse, partnership proposals, $$$$ gazeleons of inheritance money waiting to be transferred to my bank account !!!!!

I firmly believe that there is no such thing as FREE money dropping from the sky, so I won't take what is not mine.

7. Copyright, intellectual property thefts, misuse and abuse of my post titles - Well, I still have not solved this problem 100%. Some thieves are difficult to trace and how do you take action when you don't know the source? But never mind, I will blog on.

Update: I am happy to share with you Rosie of Leaves n Blooms recommended links. I have adopted many of the measures taught. You can also visit, another wonderful community of garden bloggers.

a) Feed Scrappers III
b) Feed Scrappers II
c) Feed Scrappers - Guest Post by Dave Townsend

Meanwhile, please be assured that I have (and will not hessitate to) reported to Google Adsense and Google 'report abuse' platform regarding those blogs/websites that I know of who have violated my rights.

Whenever I have a problem, Blotanists and other Bloggers rallied to help and offered solutions.
Thank you very much for being my friend!

Yay! From a 'Freshman' I am now a 'Sophomore' at Blotanical.


Wednesday, June 9, 2010

One Year and A Beautiful Lime Butterfly

A Chequered Swallowtail Butterfly, also known as the Common Lime Butterfly (Papilio demoleus)
likes to visit flowers, loves puddling about in mud and basking on the tufts of grass or herbs with its wings spread. It is faily common in many habitats and is particularly abundant here in our tropical rainforest of Malaysia.

Today, I realised that I am already one year old.

I was watering the plants this morning when I saw this overturn butterfly. I almost poured the water on it but luckily I could stop in time. It looks like a butterfly that has just emerged from a chrysallis but I couldn't find any chrysallis nearby.

When I put this banana skin with a little bit of flesh left near the bush, it just hopped onto it. Maybe it is hungry?

It stayed there for a long time, stationary, so that I could photograph it. I was clicking away at many different angles and it moved a little bit, as though posing for me. After the session, I left it on its own to feed and dry its wings? By afternoon, it was gone. I am glad that I couldn't find any carcass meaning that it has flown away, as free as can be.

My post today is dedicated to Ms Rose Belle from California, USA of Three Wisdoms Blog. Thank you for being the first commenter of my previous post on Clerodendrum paniculatum. I have learnt a lot from her wise words from which her blog is named and I am glad to know her.

On 2nd June 2010 marks exactly my 1 year of garden blogging. I am one year old!
Just like this butterfly that has emerged from its chrysallis, I feel that I have also gone through a metamorphosis, haha!
Thank you very much for your friendship. I appreciate it very much.

Meanwhile, I am pondering over some issues.
(a) Some people are using my photos and blog posts and republishing them on dotcoms without asking me. Why ?
(b) I have my domain name purchased from Blogger but am not sure how to migrate without data loss.

I am taking a short rest. No more blog posting until 20th June 2010.

The problem related to (a) include foreign websites using my old blog post titles to mislead search engines like Google to display their links in the search result. When garden visitors click on it, they are redirected to porn sites or emarketing sites that have no gardening content or with stolen pictures and contents. Visitors are puzzled or confused when they find that they have entered the wrong site, so they keep clicking on the link. I think these people want to earn extra Google Adsense money based on per click method. Thank's to Rosie's comment and message, I am now trying to find out further info on how to deal with this.

Therefore, please do a google search based on the keywords of your blogname and blog post titles. Maybe you'll find some interesting results which may be jaw dropping or adrenalin pumping!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Clerodendrum paniculatum Pagoda Flower

This is the final part of my feature on Clerodendrums, a genus of about 400 species of flowering plants in the Verbenaceae family.

Clerodendrum is from the Greek word, meaning "lottery tree". Dendros means tree. The lottery refers to unsure possibility of medicinal value from certain plants of this genus. (Source: Wikipedia)

In Asia, many people believe they have magical powers.

It is native to the tropical and warm temperate regions of the world which include the most of Tropical Africa and Southern Asia, and some parts of Tropical America and Northern Australia.

Clerodendrum has often been misspelt wrongly as Clerodendron.

Scientific name: Clerodendrum paniculatum
Family: Verbenaceae (Teak family, previously Lamiaceae)
Origin: Myanmar to South China and Southeast Asia.

Photographs taken by Autumn Belle at The Lake Gardens of Kuala Lumpur

Common names: Pagoda Flower
Chinese name: 赪桐 , 宝塔龙船花 (Bao da lung chuan hua or pagoda dragon boat flower ?),
龙船花 lung chuan hua (dragon boat flower)
Malay name: Panggil-panggil,* Pepanggil 

* Source: A Field Guid to Tropical Plants of Asia by David H. Engel and Suchart Phummai, a Marshall Cavendish 2007 Edition

Additional information:
1. In Malaysia and Indonesia, some Clerodendrums are believed to have supernatural powers, i.e. the plants have 'pepanggil' meaning the ability to summon spirits. In Malay language, 'panggil' means call or summon. The flowers protruding stamens are thought to have the power to beckon, so hunters use the blooms to lure game. ..... Javanese believe that Pagoda Flower has "panggil-panggil", or magic powers. Newborn Amboinese infants are washed ceremoniously in an infusion of the leaves. (Source: Book titled, "Tropical Shurbs" by Horace F. Clay and James C. Hubbard by University of Hawaii Press, 1987 Edition).

2. In Malay, species of Clerodendrum are called "panggil-panggil" (to summon), and trappers use such plants when setting traps for mouse deer to summon the animal. (Source: Tropical Horticultural and Gardening by Dr. Francis SP Ng, Clearwater Publications 2006)

3. C. Paniculatum is one of the plants used to sprinkle the 'air tepung tawar' (sacred water) at traditional malay wedding and blessing ceremonies. - Source:, there reference text is here.

Clerodendrum paniculatum is an upright shrub with large evergreen leaves and showy orange-red, inflorescence flowers. Each tiny flower has a long tube and protruding stamens. The flowers are grouped in clusters and arranged in tiers like a pagoda.

The bush sometimes have multiple stems as new shoots that arise from the roots. Grow under full to partial sun. Propagation is by stem or root cuttings, not from seeds.

Medicinal uses:
Crused leaves are used in the treatment of dysentry
Roots contains an antidote for certain snake bites
A paste of the leaves applied to infected burns

Recently, Dr. Andrea of Andrea In This Lifetime blog wrote a post about the Clerodendrum intermedium. That plant is quite similar to this one, but they are not the same. Her post is here, so do take a look and compare.

My post today is dedicated to Lotus Leaf from Southern India of Garden Tropics blog. I have learnt a lot from her very informative posts and gorgeous flowers in her blog. She is posting a wild orchid with tiger stripes today.

This is my entry for Today's Flowers # 96, 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.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Clerodendrum speciosum, The Red Bleeding Heart Vine

This is one of the few plants that blooms well in shade.

My previous post was about a White Bleeding Heart Vine (Clerodendrum thomsoniae). Today's post is about the Red Bleeding Heart Vine.

It is important to note that both these Bleeding Heart Vines are different from the Bleeding Heart or Lamprocapnos spectabilis * (formerly Dicentra spectabilis) which is of a different family (Fumariaceae) and the source of the Bleeding Heart folklore about the Princess who's heart bled for her dead Prince.

* please click on the name to go to the link provided.

Scientific name: Clerodendrum speciosum
Synonym: Clerondendrum delectum

Common name: Red Bleeding Heart Vine, Java Glory Vine

Chinese name: 龙吐珠 ('long tu zhu' or dragon spitting pearl)
Malay name: Nyonya Makan Sirih (Maiden/Fair Lady chewing betel leaves)
Family: Verbenaceae

Origin: Horticulture.
Clerondendrum speciosum is a hybrid of Clerondendrum splendens * and Clerondendrum thomsoniae *

Photographs taken by Autumn Belle at The Secret Garden of 1-Utama
Grateful thanks to Dr. Francis Ng of The Secret Garden of 1-Utama.

It is a red flower with a lavender bract. It has herbaceous dark-green leaves and long stems. The leaves looks quite like betel leaves. It grows better on the soil than in pots and best trained on arbors, trellises, arches, up a fence, pillar or tree. A strong support is needed for this soft, tropical perennial climber to thrive and show off its beauty.

Prunning is necessary to remove dead twigs and ends of branches.

Propagation is by stem cuttings. The flowers are sterile and do not seed. 

My post today is dedicated to Nell Jean of Secrets of a Seed Scaterer Blog. At the moment, she is saying Hooray to Hydrangeas and I am extremely green with jealousy over the gorgeous and heavenly scented white gardenias in her garden situated in the humid depths of Southwest Georgia, USA. Thank you very much for being the first commenter of my previous post on Clerodendrum thomsoniae.

This is also my entry for Fertilizer Friday, June 4th, 2010. To participate and view other entries around the world, do visit Tootsie at Tootsie Time.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Clerodendrum thomsoniae Bleeding Heart Vine

Scientific name: Clerodendrum thomsoniae
Common name: Bleeding Heart Vine, Glory Bower, White Bleeding Heart Vine
Chinese name: 龙吐珠 ('long tu zhu' or dragon spitting pearl)
Malay name: Nyonya Makan Sirih (Maiden/Fair Lady chewing betel leaves)
Family: Verbenaceae
Native plant of: West Africa

Photographs taken by Autumn Belle at The Secret Garden of 1-Utama
Grateful thanks to Dr. Francis Ng of The Secret Garden of 1-Utama.

Have you heard the folklore about the bleeding heart?

To participate or view other Wordless Wednesday posts, please click here.

My post today is dedicated to Mr Michael from Dorset, England of Hazel Tree blog. Thank you for being the first commenter of my previous post on the Clerodendrum wallichii Bridal Veil Flower. I like the way this full time gardener writes his very interesting blog. He is posting gorgeous blooms or purple today.

Update: This is Bleeding Heart Vine = Clerodendrum thomsoniae. Please do not confuse it with Bleeding Heart = Lamprocapnos spectabilis as they are not the same.


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