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.

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Thursday, January 6, 2011

A Present, A Hidden Message and A Wish

Last Christmas, I was extremely delighted to receive these home saved seeds from Diana of Kebun Malay Kadazan Girls. Oh wow! Seeds from Southern Australia. My old desktop buddies; Little Sailor Moon, Sailor Chibi Moon and Luna-P are very excited to see my presents.

I have germinated some red onion seeds. They are about a week old but they look so thin and fragile. I am very worried that they will collapse from my constant gaze. This is the first time I am growing onions from seeds. I only know how to grow them from store purchased bulbs. Hopefully I get to taste it soon.

A Present, A Hidden Message and A Wish”, a copyrighted post, was written for My Nice Garden blog by Autumn Belle @ on January 6th, 2011.

This beautiful lady Gerbera Daisy was winking seductively at me when I passed by the supermarket section. It didn't take long before it sat on my trolley and followed me all the way home. I should have known better.

That was December last year. I put her on my window sill and I thought that the 3 daisies will enjoy the company of the 3 mushrooms stools. However, in 3 days time the daisies left me for good, leaving behind only the 3 stooges of mushrooms, as hard as concrete. Thinking positively, I conclude that Ms Daisy has this hidden message for me, somethings are not meant to be, so I gotta move on with life.

Now that the days are getting longer after the Winter Solstice and we are already 1 week into the new year, I am preparing to welcome the Lunar New Year which falls on February 3rd.  The most beloved of flowers during this season are the Plum Blossoms (Prunus mume aka Japanese apricot aka Chinese plums) and Peonies. Plum Blossoms are the flowers of winter and peonies are flowers of spring. I have never seen the real ones.

Are you growing the Prunus mume and is it blooming now? Please let me know as I'd like to view a picture of real Plum Blossoms. This is my new year wish. Oh, how I wish I can see plum blossoms in the snow!

I am delighted to get a view of the Prunus mume which is blooming now in at the following sites:

  1. Chai in Japan - white flowers on Jan 5th, 2011
  2. Colin Blogs in Santa Rosa, USA - white flowers on Jan 4th, 2011
  3. From Lynns Garden in Arkansas, USA - pink flowers in bloom on Jan 19th, 2011
This is so special. Thank you so much !

Since I don't have real peonies, I shall make do with this Moss Rose (Portulaca grandiflora) blooming in my garden.  It is very tiny, perhaps 2-3cm diameter.

Until then, Cheers!
Autumn Belle

I'm joining the first Fertilizer Friday for 2011 at Tootsie Time here.


  1. I wish I could fullfill your wish with the plum blossom but the picture is tuck inside somewhere in my momory;-). I am happy that the red onion seeds sprout.It always look fragile at first. I just had to watched sailormoon again in you tube when I saw your pal.

  2. Nice to get seeds like that! Have a nice day/Gela

  3. What about pussy willow Autumn Belle, they are very popular during Chinese New Year too! Love your many layered Portuluca, looks like peony or a rose..

  4. Red onions... good for your laksa, maybe? This year, we are growing the yellow skinned season, it will be back to red onions...

  5. Although nothing is permanent, those gorgeous daisies should have at least stayed for 3 weeks. 3 days is unacceptable. So what was the hidden message?

  6. I'm pray for you, that your wish come true. Great to see the onion germinate fro the seeds.

  7. Hi Autumn Belle, I see you are already doing your Chinese New Year shopping. I'm panicking that I can't get all my spring-cleaning done, etc. Glad that your germination is successful. Always a thrill to see the sprouts.

  8. Great to have seeds via mail. Hope the red oinion grows strong and thrives.Sometimes I 'kill' plants by giving too much care:(

    Happy New Year and great gardening moments.

  9. Diana, I'll keep my fingers cross regarding the onions.

    Gela, yes it is nice to have foreign seeds planted in my garden.

    P3Chandan, yes we can easily get pussy willows but real plum blossoms and peonies are not available locally.

    Prof, if I get spring onions, I can use it on my soup, if it gets any better, I can use the bulbs in asam laksa or just omellette 'Egg Foo Yong'.

    One, the daisy died due to white fungal infection in the roots. The hidden message I got was, Life is impermanent. Though it lived in my garden for only 3 days, it is enough because it has become a part of my 'book of life', its beauty captured forever in my photo in this post.

    Makarimi, I'll keep my fingers cross regarding the plum blossoms.

  10. Rosie, don't worry. I haven't finished my spring cleaning too and my garden is still very messy. I heard that the rainy season is causing a lot of havoc to the plant growers in Cameron Highlands as they can't get the chrysanthemums to bloom.

    Keats, your sunshine will do a lot of good to my onion babies.

  11. Happy New Year to you, Autumn Belle. Your cheery photos are uplifting. I love peonies and they overwinter in my frozen ground well, which is amazing, isn't it, considering they are non-native to our area. I like your Moss Rose (which I've never tried growing). How nice to have your warm climate...I'm wishing it was warm here at the moment!

  12. Hi Autumn Belle..Wishing you a beautiful new year!
    Wow..lovely post..such beauties! And yes it is so special to recieve seeds from friends..makes it so much more special! Wonderful!A fellow blogger sent me some seeds as a surprise..and it was very touching!
    Enjoy your treasures and I look forward to seeing more magic from your garden this 2011!

  13. I got the same seeds from Diana too. I sowed the red onion directly to the raised bed. This is also my first time growing onion from seeds. They sprout but like yours too, very thin. I'm so shy to show it to Diana haha. Hope yours will grow well!

  14. I thought you have grown an orange mushroom from the seeds given by Diana.

  15. Those are great gifts from gardeners. I am sorry for your Gerbera, by this time you should already know how to discern a newly planted plant from a 'supposed-to-be' stable growing plant. Some people just trick other people to sell their wares! For the Chinese New Year auspicious things, i wonder why we still carry the old traditions originating from the old China, which has winter. Maybe the tropical Chinese should now changed these symbols of luck and prosperity to those existing in the local climate. The tropics have and there are many flowers whose habits are like Prunus and peonies.

  16. Jan, I have seen many gardeners growing the lovely peonies in the US. They are really gorgeous. I can only imagine the beautiful scents they emit.

    Kiki, yes, it is a special feeling growing foreign home saved seed in your garden, knowing that they had been prepared with much care and love.

    Milka, you are doing very well already. Good luck with your onions, soon the'll spring up and fatten up.

    Rainfield, haha. Yes, the mushrooms lived longer than my daisy :(

    Oh Andrea, thank you so much for bringing me back to my sense. Some people (me) never learn from past mistakes. My eyesight was blurred by the vision of beauty of that daisy. I have passed the place many times but didn't buy and when I bought the first daisy, see what happened?

    Regarding my dream of plum blossoms. Please don't get me wrong. Yes, we have artificial ones that look very much like the original and we have so many many alternative choices. But, it is not China I am talking about. It is the real flower that I am very curious about. I just thought that since it is still winter now, I may just see a plum blossom in the snow??????????????????????????????

  17. Your Portulaca does look like Peony!
    I think onion does look fragile at first!

  18. Lovely presents! Hope the seeds do well. As usual your images are stunning!!

    Thank you for your words on my post, Autumn Belle. Once again I'd like to wish you the very best for 2011!

  19. Happy New Year Autumn Belle, yes the winter solstice is behind us and days are getting longer..

  20. Ok, you got me with the moss rose!! I will never look at it the same!! What promise and pretties!! (a little moon power please...)

  21. well you certainly did a good job for the first FF of 2011! Thank you so much for linking in this week! I love the portulaca masquerading as a peony...that is just the cutest!
    good luck with the seeds!!! I am anxiously awaiting the arrival of mine!

  22. What a lovely note from Diana!

    Too bad about the daisies - the display with the mushrooms was very cute.

  23. Dear Autumn Belle, I love that sweet moss rose! It cheered me up at this snowy time here. Wishing you a happy and healthy new gardening year! P x

  24. Love visiting you and your blooms. My gardens are all done up in Winter whites!

  25. I look forward to seeing one of your lovely photos of the Evening Sun Sunflower!

  26. AB, what a wonderful gift! Will we be able to expect a post per packet? :-D

    Do let us know how your red onions turn out. 3 days for cut flowers was too fast.

  27. Peonies are my favorite flower in the world by far and I will miss not being able to grow them here in Malaysia. I had 8 varieties in my garden in New York since my garden was pink some looked similar to your moss rose photo. Although my favorites are the white peonies with a hint of red/fuchsia running along the edge of the petals (something like this but with more red/fuchsia My grandfather grew these all around his house and they were glorious. It is true that peonies need a cold winter to grow well. Mine did OK in New York, but my grandfather's garden was in Minnesota where the winters are extremely harsh... the peonies loved the cold ground. Thanks for reminding me of my love of peonies... ok now back to my birds of paradise ;)

  28. happy new year!!!!

    you have cute sailormoon collectibles!

  29. I was delighted to see your moss rose, autumn belle, since they are one of my favorites and I grow them from seeds in my garden. And what precious gifts those seeds are! Let us know how successful your attempt at growing onions turns out - I've never managed.

  30. I hope some day you will get a real Peony to enjoy!

  31. Do you have any idea which florist shop in klang area that sell peonies seeds?

    1. Yanli, I have no idea! Anyway we can't grow peonies here in the warm, equatorial tropics, not even at the Secret Garden of 1-Utama yet, haha ;-)


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