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!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day - May 2011

Today is Garden Bloggers Bloom Day for May 2011. Leading the bloom parade is my bread flowers (Vallaris glabra) which we locals call it Kesidang. It is difficult to photograph the flower as they always seem to be drooping downwards. Well, this vine just loves to climb high. Whenever it flowers, we will first sense the fragrance, then we look up or around us, we shall see the sweet, starry blooms.

It has the scent of Pandan, our favourite aromatic herb and also that of 'nasi lemak', our favourite coconut flavoured rice.  Many Malaysians who grew up in a 'kampong' or countryside will have fond childhood memories associated with this plant. The fragrance is very pronounced in the mornings and evenings. A whiff of pandan always reminds me of home cooked food.

Rumphius (1628-1702) wrote about it as one of the perfumed flowers which the peoples of the Malay Archipelago were fond of using back in the old days, once upon a time, long, long ago.....

This is my Creeping Daisy which I plant as a ground cover. This sun-loving plant is extremely easy to grow and propagate as the stems will just root soon after it touches the ground. It's scientific name is Sphagneticola trilobata (Synonym: Complaya trilobata) and it is also known as Rabbit's Paw and Water Zinnia.

I am hesitating whether to continue growing this one because of negative reports about its highly invasive nature as it can also spread by seeds. This information is not just from the internet but also from friends who had grown it in their garden.

“GBBD May 2011”, a copyrighted post, was written for My Nice Garden blog by Autumn Belle @ on May 15th, 2011.

This desert rose (Adenium obesum) has bloomed for the first time. The flowers of this hybrid  has a white centre and dark red rims. They last only 2-3 days.

I have most common lantana, the one we call, 'bunga tahi ayam' meaning chicken dung flower. Its scientific name is more glamourous: Lantana camara 'Mutablis' or Lantana camara 'Pink Caprice'.

In Malaysia, it grows like a wildflower and sometimes people regard it as a weed. The tricolour flowers are in pink, white and yellow. It is drought tolerant, generally pest free and attracts lots of butterflies.

My Chinese New Year azalea is still blooming but this time there is only one single bloom.

I have been inspired by James Missier of Garden Chronicles blog to grow a Ylang-Ylang.  I thought they were small trees after having seen a specimen of our indigeneous plant at the KLCC Park. Now I have this dwarf Ylang-Ylang tree (Canaga odorata var. 'fruticosa'). The scent is hardly noticeable, so I'll need to grow the tree if I wanna have a whiff of Chanel No. 5 in my garden.

A butterfly was born in My Nice Garden. It looked quite lost and forlorn on the ground there, just next to my flower pot so I extended my finger and it quickly glide onto my hand.

It's a common lime butterfly (Papilio demoleus). The upper side of their wings is certainly very different from the underside. I think the 4 dots on the hind wings look like peacock feather

I placed it on my cuphea plant where it took some time to dry its wing before it took off on its maiden flight of freedom.

Now compare the previous newborn butterfly with this one. Can you see mommy's bulging stomach? These lime butterflies seem to know when to come to my citrus lime plant to lay eggs. They usually do this just as my plant is putting out lots of new shoots.

This is my favourite hibiscus plant. The flower petals open as pale orange and later change colour to cream yellow with distinct pink veination.

This is suppose to be 'sawi' or mustard greens judging from the label when I purchased the seeds. Well, I didn't get any mustard greens but the flower and fruit look like a pink Lady's Finger (okra).

Should I eat this wierd looking mustard green vegetable turned okra?

Finally my balsam plants are starting to bear double flowers, thanks to Malar of My Little Garden blog who gave me the seeds. Mine are lean and weak and have not produced enough flowers for picking. Neither are there any seeds to collect.

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day is hosted by Carol at May Dreams Garden. To view what is blooming in other gardens around the world, visit here.

I am also participating in Garten Bloggers Bl├╝te Tag (German GBBD) hosted by Gesine of Seepferds Garten blog here.


  1. Lots of fantastic blooms today and there's a few that are new to me. The Bread Flower is very pretty and I'm intrigued by the sound of its' perfume ... the scent of Pandan.

    Loved your Desert Rose bloom and that fantastic Hibiscus. How wonderful to see the change in colour. Your butterfly shots were also fantastic.

  2. Beautiful blooms. My favourites are your Hibiscus and the Azalea! Simply gorgeous.

  3. My Dear,
    what a lot of amazing and beautiful flowers! Nice how you explained the smell of the bread flower!
    Thank you very much for partizipating GBBT!
    I wish you a nice sunday afternoon!

  4. You do have lots of wonderful blooms. Is it Spring? :) The butterfly seem to trust you and didn't event try to fly away. Isn't that nice?

  5. Ylang ylang is a stranger to me, although I have come across a greenish flower like this with a heady fragrance. The breadflower is very rare here, and it reminds me of my childhood when there used to be a plant in the house we lived. The lime butterfly is stunning!

  6. That ylang ylang with its delicate golden yellow spirals is a jewel in your garden crown ;~)

  7. I love coming to Malaysia and the Philippines. Always a blooming treat. Beautiful images and blooms. Happy GBBD Autumn Belle.

  8. Beautiful blooms! I got a kick out the 'chicken dung' name for lantanas! And I enjoyed seeing your Ylang-ylang bloom. Very interesting. Gorgeous butterfly!

  9. Great pictures, Autumn Belle! You have lovely blooms to show as usual.

  10. A unique tropical perspective. Nice photos of the butterfly's.

  11. Dear Autumn Belle, Bread Flower is new to me and I can see why it led your bloom parade. Your garden continues to amaze me! P. x

  12. Beautiful blooms and beautiful butterflies. Now we know why Carol calls her blog 'May Dreams' because of all the flowers that bloom in May.

  13. Wonderful photos. My favorite flowers are the bread flowers. I've never heard of them before.

    Love your butterfly shots also.

    Happy Gardening ~ FlowerLady

  14. That azalea is DIVINE...

  15. Your ylang ylang is beautiful, and all the butterflies are so lovely. Thanks for including them. Happy GBBD Day!

  16. My dwarf Ylang Ylang actually gives off very strong fragrance (even with just a single bloom) in the evening only .... very 'hardworking' plants, blooms all the time.....!

  17. You grow such beautiful tropical blooms! I can see why a butterfly would find your garden so appealing and want to hang out there.
    No, I haven't seen POTC yet but I am itching to see J.Depp. :0)
    Thanks for your comments on my blogs.

  18. Absolutely gorgeous images ! I feel totally immersed summertime just looking at them...

  19. Gorgeous photos. So interesting to see what a ylang ylang actually looks like. And the butterfly photos, absolutely wonderful!

  20. I love having Kesidang (I usually call them Bunga Kerak Nasi) in my garden. I just bought up and replanted it in the backyard. Hope it will produce many blooms and filled my garden with its fragrance.

    May I ask how do you get Lantana to grow well? I have one, after growing straggly, I gave it a thorough trimming, it looks very sickly now. I don't know how to improve its condition.

    For Ylang Ylang, I have seen a big tree in Sulawesi and Melaka with lotsa blooms. The fragrance is more pronounced than the dwarf Ylang Ylang. You will need more space to grow the tree but it is worthwhile.

  21. Thank you very much to everyone for your visit and nice comments.

    One, only a newborn butterfly will stand on our finger or extended hand because their wings are not dried yet, hence unable to fly. It is really a nice feeling to have it so close. No chance with the adults who are always on the move.

    JC, the lantana I picture here is the most common and easy to grow. Some hybrids with yellow, orange or red flowers are more fussy and prone to diseases and pests attacks. I find that they do not like wet soil.


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