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
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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

GBBD Dec 2010 and Foliage Follow Up Day

Firstly, I would like to thank you very much for all the warm wishes and nice comments that you have left in my previous post. During my blog break, I had gone on an inland auto trip up North to Penang Island with my family. We went to revisit and dine at some of the favourite places that we used to frequent a long time ago. And yes, it did bring back a lot of special memories and cherished moments. Some places were those that I had been to as a kid, now I am bringing my kids there. Soon, my kids will have kids of their own and will bring their kids to the same places and tell them about their childhood with grandma/grandpa and Que Sera Sera, What will be, will be .....

It is funny to look back at my old pictures and compare how much or little each of us have changed, agewise and also physically. Those were pictures taken at the same spot, same location but at different times of our lives. I hope that you too would have many memorable moments with your loved ones during this holiday and festive season. For rememberance, my 'adventures' which centre around food and herritage buildings will be detailed in my Klang, Malaysia Daily Photo blog. Do visit when you have time. My trip to the Butterfly Farm will be posted here soon.

For this month's Blogger's Bloom Day, I have my second generation gomphrena which is grown from home saved seeds. They are grown up now and the first button flowers are begining to appear.

Wendy of Greenish Thumb blog has given me many many seeds. I have sown the marigolds but they seem to be growing very very slowly. This is how it looks after more than one month. Maybe the marigolds having time/jet lag due to their biological clock showing it is winter (in the USA). I think most likely the fault is with the gardener that is ME!, for their lack of growth. Actually, I have put them under the full sun and given them fertilizers too.

Oh dear, Wendy, I'm so sorry with this outcome. What else can I do ?

Another surprise from the marigold container is I got this attractive miniature yellow flowers. They are only about 6 inches tall, very slender and delicate. I think the flowers are really lovely and sweet.

I have taken some cuttings from my Angelonia plants and they are growing well.

They are starting to bloom now.

“GBBD Dec 2010 and Foliage Follow Up Day”, a copyrighted post, was written for My Nice Garden blog by Autumn Belle @ on December 14th, 2010.

This Costus woodsonii is my favourite plant at the moment. I love its lipstick blooms that seem to last for ages and its delicate yellow flowers that appear one by one from the spike. While prunning away the dead stalks, I accidently grabbed a good one and chopped if off! My heart nearly stopped when I found myself holding a cut-off juicy green stalk with the most beautiful jade green leaves. I have just decapitated a stalk that is going to bloom soon. Oh dear oh dear, luckily I'm not a surgeon, otherwise I could have cut off the patient's wrong leg!

Before I went for holiday, the hydrangea flower head was as large as a soccer ball. After I came back half the head has dried up. Why? This is because I placed it in the wrong location. There were some changes in the direction of the sunshine this month and my east area which used to have dappled light actualy has become quite sunny now.

These two partners are behaving well. My pandan (Pandanus amaryllifolius) is having a baby (plantlett) now. It's top was getting too heavy for its own good, so I moved my potted Murraya paniculata plant near it to provide support. My Murraya plant has grown a lot of foliage. Sometime ago, it was quite bald and completely overshadowed by the invading torenia which has since finished blooming and passed on.

These guys seem to be treating my garden like their holiday resort. They are lining up all in a row and I bet they are up to no good!

Caution: the next picture may be visually offensive, hence parental guidance is needed (PG13).

This fly couple also think that My Nice Garden is a Bug Hotel. The bugs do love my Ti-plant, don't they?

My grateful thanks to May Dreams Garden for hosting Garden Bloggers Bloom Day. Her link is here.
My grateful thanks to Pam of Digging blog for hosting Foliage Follow-up Day. Her link is here.


  1. Welcome back Autumn Belle! Your garden still looks good without you around for the past few days. Look at those little guys (grasshoppers), they are so cute, but are not welcome in my garden haha. Happy to see pics from your garden again, welcome home :)

  2. While you were having good days in Penang, these insects occupied your garden.

    This was their Heaven!!

  3. Hello,
    Travelling to Singapore/Malaysia for vacation today. Will be in Malaysia next week.


  4. Welcome back from your holidays down memory lanes Autumn Belle! of my favourite places, spent my honeymoon there! Those cute grasshoppers and the flies also having honeymoons in your garden too..:)

  5. Hi there Autumn Belle, good to have you back. While you were away, I had moved from wordpress to blogspot!
    I like what chandan said about those insects having a honeymoon. Glad you had a nostalgic trip down memory lane.

  6. Welcome back, Autumn Belle. I like all your flowers, and the best is the Costus.

  7. Welcome back Autumn. I was so ready to look at all of your beautiful blooms today.The main color around here now is white on white. LOL!

  8. Beautiful and so nice to see while we are so cold and have nothing green in the yard. Very pretty blooms.

  9. Autumn Belle: Welcome back! Nice to see your post again, especially when we are experiencing some unusal cold weather here in Florida. Envy you can grow hydrangea there. You are so right that the lighting just changes along the season. When it is winter, the sun shines in low angel, some previously partial shade area become sunnier. Best wishes!

  10. Glad to hear you had a nice holiday. Great photos as usual. I like the grasshoppers (if that is what they are).

  11. Yes, I back! Yeah! and so nice to see all of you here.

    Milka, when I was in Ipoh, I thought about your lovely garden pieces and really wanted to search for garden ornaments but there was no time.

    Rainfield, while I stayed in a hotel in Penang, the bugs treated my garden like their hotel!

    Natti, welcome to Malaysia! Wishing you and your family an enjoyable holiday.

    P3Chandan, thanks for reminding me about honeymoon. After thinking about my most romantic honemoon many moons ago in Medan and Lake Toba, I'll let the bugs have their honeymoon in my garden.

    Rosie, welcome to Blogger and blogspot. I'll update your link.

    Aaron, you are right. The costus and hydrangea blooms are gorgeous and they last a long time, i.e. more than a month.

    Lotusleaf, thank you very much for visiting me at my daily photo blog too.

    Lona, I can imagine how beautiful your house and garden looks now, all in white.

    Becca, I am sending you some warmth and sunshine from the tropics now.

    Ami, do keep warm yeah. The only thing cold here is from the rainy weather and our air-conditioners!

  12. Hi, Patty. I think those grasshoppers has just been born. Maybe their mom thought my Ti-Plant was a birthing centre when she laid all her eggs there. These grasshoppers are natural bait for the chirpy little sparrows that live on my roof tops.

  13. Glad you are back again.
    I really hope those grasshoppers end up in a birds belly.

  14. Welcome back Autumn.
    Nice post ...I also plant hydrangea, but she don't want to flower.
    Butterfly farm is great place, i also like to spend my free time there.
    Your holiday in Penang....did you go to floral festival in Botanical garden?
    Merry Christmas and happy holiday!

  15. Welcome back Autumn Belle, hoping you are fully rejuvenated, recharged and full of insights for blogging again. The Muraya got me there, is that what is called curry plants. We have a lot of them in the property in the province as weeds, but when not cut at once will grow to tall bushes. They also have white berries when mature. I know some swallowtails like to lay their eggs in their footlong seedlings. That's why i told my mother to leave the small seedlings till that tall and remove those growing more than that. I like that costus also as we only have the white, also as weeds at the property edges. I always cut them, but they always grow back.

  16. Your grasshopper shot is so cute. Sorry they have been dining. Your hydrangea shot is lovely. Mine are long gone.

  17. Glad you are back. Went to Penang two weeks ago too. Hopefully our children will remember and cherished these memories! Everything goes round in a circle, will it be with our kids?? Love all your plants, they are lovely. If you are a surgeon, I wouldn't want to be your patient! Ha! Ha! This happens to me a few times too! Looks like we both make a couple of lousy surgeons! ^..^

  18. The great thing about having a beautiful garden like yours is that when you return from holiday there it is waiting for you. And however happy the holiday has been its good to be home in the garden! I love your photos and such exotic (for me) plants. Christina

  19. It's good to hear that you had an enjoyable break. My favourite has to be that hydrangea of yours - the colours are beautiful.

    As for your marigolds did you pinch out the growing tip to make them bushy? They might have been planted in too big a pot too soon for their small root system. When it comes to feeding the marigolds I normally use a high nitrogen one at first to get good strong bushy growth and then I change over to a high potash feed for encouraging flowers. Hope that helps a little but it looks like one of those marigolds is a good size already.

  20. Hi! Good to see you back. I like that photo of little grasshoppers. They look cute but of course they are up to no good. You should give them some training and teach them to give up on being vegetarians.

  21. Lovely photos. The pic of the grasshoppers is fantastic.

  22. Such gorgeous photos. I do love that one of the grasshoppers all lined up. A bug hotel - love it!

  23. Beautiful flowers. I love the shot of the grasshoppers.

  24. I love your insect photos! I'm sure you're right about the grasshoppers being rude guests, but they sure are cute (and beautifully contrasted in color). I didn't know angelonia would root -- I'll have to try that because the plants are so expensive.

  25. aloha,

    i love your insect photos also and the angelonia is gorgeous....i remember Penang foundly its very panoramic


  26. Well I just got in my laugh for the day between the grasshoppers and the bugs doing the nasty. Your garden is as usual beautiful.

  27. Dear Autumn Belle, Welcome back! Your beautiful blooms warmed me on this freezing Pennsylvania day! I am so glad for GBBD when I can actually see blooms in some parts of the world, and yours are among the most lovely. Thank you. Pamela x

  28. glad that you had wonderful holiday with your family!
    In your absence, you garden had become a romantic paradise for many insects!

  29. I can really identify with you on accidentally cutting the ginger stalk, since I did the same thing to an orchid spike a month ago! Luckily I'm still getting one bloom spike... Oh, and I still really need to find some pandan around here. It is NOT easy to find but my cooking (or baking, rather) needs it!

  30. oh my god - those flies are having a really good time!

    The photo of the (grasshoppers?) is really cool. Wow.

    Don't know about the marigold. That's one of my plant it and forget it plants. They usually germinate pretty well, but then I leave them alone. By the summer, they're great. I haven't kept track of how long it takes for them to produce flowers though???

    Glad you had a fun time away!

  31. I have one word to say about your post.. PRETTY!

  32. Oh you sneaky one, the bugs could've been screaming for privacy!


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