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!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Bringing Up Babies and a 11111 Affair

This is the jewel of My Nice Garden and my beloved Cattleya. It was given to me by my late dad, an orchid hobbyist. It is an offspring from the only orchid left in his collection. The mother plant is with my brother in Ipoh. My orchid flowered for the first time in 2007, then again in 2008 and 2009. Last year it became dormant after I cut off some of its leaves which were infected by some black spot disease. There were no blooms in 2010.

My first ever post when I became a blogger is about this orchid. It is the plant that started the inspiration for My Nice Garden, the blog as well as my own home garden.

I observe that it is currently busy producing babies and offshoots. I am thinking of repotting the baby plants but I'm not sure when is the best time to do so.

I have been observing my potted pineapple plant lately. It is now about 2 years old. I was wondering when it will start to bloom. A few days ago, I have fed it with a dilute solution of bloom inducing fertilizer but nothing happened. So I put the leftover peels of one ripe apple at the base of the leaves, hoping that the ethylene gas released will stimulate it to bloom. Well, maybe it is a coincidence, but the next day, I notice this teeny weeny baby popping out from the plant. This is my second successful attempt using the ripe apple peel method.

This pineapple plant was grown from a store bought pineapple that I had used for prayers. The crown had multiple suckles. After I planted the crown, a total of 7 plants grew up in the same pot. Earlier on, the seller had told me that this type of pineapple is called 'Seven Sisters' pineapples. Actually I was very greedy because I was hoping to get 7 pineapples all at the same time!

I am very very happy whenever I see my pineapple plant bloom. It is very meaningful and auspicious to have it bloom and bear fruit during the Lunar New Year. In Chinese, pineapple is called 'ong lai' meaning 'the arrival of good fortune'.

This is my post about how to grow pineapples from store bought ones.

“Bringing Up Babies and a 1111 Affair”, a copyrighted post, was written for My Nice Garden blog by Autumn Belle @ on January 11th, 2011.

Last week, Mr Postman delivered 2 parcels on the same day. They are seeds from my blogger buddies in Malaysia. My little helpers are very excited to see my new year presents and they are jumping with joy. Thank you very much to Malar and One!

Yay, yay, yay! Now, I have enough seeds to last the whole year through.  Looks like there will be more edibles in my garden this year.

I shall sow some seeds during the first 15 days of Lunar New Year, to simulate the arrival of spring that signifies new life and new growth.

When I prepared the soil for this batch of seedlings, I didn't put any plant label on the pot. Now I cannot remember what it is and I have learnt my lesson that it doesn't pay to be a 'smart alec'. I think it looks like gomphrena.

This marigold from Wendy in USA is begining to bear flowers after more than 2 months of growing.  Yay! "Fa Kai Fu Gui' = when flower blooms, prosperity comes!
Thank you very much, Wendy.

This is my Angelonia biflora rose pink. It is actually very easy to propagate more plants with stem cuttings. The cuttings are placed on the same pot to make the plant more compact and bushy. New shoots had developed from some of the cuttings. Flowers are produced quite fast too.

My hydrangea has started to bloom again. The previous flower head dried up prematurely due to overexposure to sunlight while I was holidaying away from home.

Today is 11.1.11
Autumn Belle  wishes everyone A Year of Abundance and Great Productivity!


  1. Hello, What a beautiful orchid. If I had a plant like that it would a bring a smile to my face everytime I saw it.

    Just lovely!

  2. Beautiful picture of your Cattleya. I am not an orchid person but the Cattleya is the one I like the most.

  3. They are producing babies, but in turn, they are your babies too.

  4. Brecon, I am thinking that if I can propagate many Cattleyas from the babies, how nice :>)

    Solitude Rising, I love orchids, but I am not good at growing orchids. Orchids are native plants here, hence many of us locals wil have at least an orchid at home.

    Rainfield, yes! they are my babies too. Kindly send some magical rain so that my orchid babies will grow fast. Then I'd say to you, "Hey, I blew up the kids!"

  5. Yeah today is 11.1.11..Wowow nice lovely flowers. Great signs coming your way with your 7 sisters 'ong lai' and the 'fa kai fu kui' blooming. ~;).

  6. Your Catleya is a common one, but Catleyas whatever their size and colors are, are always lovely! Its sentiment even makes it more beautiful for you! But who else should it be beautiful for, but for you, its master! haha. If you like pineapples to produce fanlike crowns, i will tell you in private. BTW, your pineapple producing that little flower primordium a day after putting some apple peels is just really coincidence. Forcing plants to flower needs more apple peels daily in some enclosure and might work at least for a week, and you probably will see the primordia in the 2-3rd wk. Cell differentiation and division is not that fast. haha. Your other plants look so healthy.

  7. Glad you have received the seeds. Hopefully you get lots of round chillies in a few months. They are super spicy. Happy 11111.

  8. beautiful bloom from Cattleya!
    Glad that the seeds reach you!

  9. Beautiful orchid. I'm glad you have very beautiful orchid. Other plants as well very nice. For that orchid, just cut the back bulb and plant as it is. For more info you can refer to my post: My way...replant the orchid. Part1: Cattleya and cattleya allied hybrid Good luck!

  10. Your flowers are ready to show in coming CNY. I learnt from Fer today on how to make banana fertilizer and now apple fertilizer from you. So good to know and so good that can save my $ spending on fertilizer.

  11. What a beautiful orchid...they have such gorgeous blooms and can be grown in containers. Perfect for my patio! I need to get busy and start some lettuce seed, any type of vegetable that could be grown in a container on a small patio! BTW your photos are beautiful too... Happy 1.11.11!

  12. Your pineapple look so lovely and lush. Ours is the same age like yours and grown from supermarket. Thank you for the idea of putting ripe apple peels under the leaves to fasten the production of flower. I am almost giving up hope on our pineapples and it has been neglected so much that I forgot about them till read your post.

  13. I love the purple colour of your Cattleya orchid, gorgoeous! I think photo no.5 is zinnia, if Im not mistaken, but miniature ones, I used to have them too but because of the rain, all died..anyway soon you will know, I can see buds coming out.

  14. Bananaz, your banana flowers header is blooming profusely too, so productive!

    Oh, Andrea. Thank you so much for bringing me back to earth again when I got carried away with my dreaming.

    One, I am so excited about those round chilies.

    Malar, I look forward to balsams in my garden too. The chili and balsams from you and One remind me of the ones my grandma used to plant a long long time ago.

    Ah yes, Makarimi. I do remember that you did a post about transplanting orchids, which will be very useful now.

    Milka, the apple peels act more like a chemical stimulant. It is really amazing how a small stump can turn into such a big plant.

    Theanne, you are right. Many vegetables can be grown in containers.

    Diana, the pineapple plants grow very slowly in the first year. It is easy to forget about them.

    P3C, you are speaking wisely from experience. I think you maybe right!

  15. Thank you for your nice worlds at my blog!!! Have a nice day/Gela

  16. I just came across your blog. Your photos are amazing, so beautiful. Looking forward to your future postings. Greetings from the US....Heidi

  17. It is a beautiful orchid!
    And so great you have so many friends close to share gardening with you

  18. Hello Autumn Belle,
    Well even if it is raining for you it looks like you have plenty to keep you busy with those plant babies.
    My daughters grew up on Sailor Moon, Ha ha.

  19. I found the information on growing pineapples quite interesting. How nice you have a flower coming. With luck a fruit to eat later in the year.

  20. Yay Autumn Belle..what a wonderfully inpsiring post! Wishing you a year of beauty, joy and abundnace too! I love the photo of the!

  21. Thanks for visiting my post about snow. You should know that I am so envious of those who can grow pineapples.

  22. What wonderful photos! That Orchid is marvelous, I hope its recovery is quick, especially since it is a family treasure. I have never heard of helping a plant to bloom with the rotting apple peels. Neat info!

  23. Great plants! A rewarding start to the New Year! The orchid is very beautiful! I love the colour.

  24. Oh, your orchid is just gorgeous! I like the marigold too.

  25. Your purple Cattleya is lovely, A. Belle and how wonderful to be blessed almost yearly in succession. I remembered we had a bi-colored one and it bloomed only once after 4 years of tlc and then barren eversince!
    Wishing you all the very best for 2011 too - happiness and prosperity always! God bless!


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