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!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

My DIY Home Garden in Malaysia - January 2012

1. Pink Rose


Here are some pictures of flowers from my garden. It is really wonderful whenever my roses bloom.  This time my blooming roses are the pink, deep pink, red, yellow, miniature and tri-colour. I love it whenever my roses bloom.

2. Deep pink rose

Last Christmas, in a moment of self-motivated bravery, I switched to Google+. It is suppose to give me free unlimited storage if photos are 640 pixels and below. Nothing else happened. Or did something happened? Maybe my luck just ran out. As if by magic, Blogger created new photo albums in my Picasa for each and every single day that I uploaded photos to my blog post. I shudder at the thought of having another 100 new web albums with thousands of photos this year !

This problem has not been resolved yet and l have since switched back to pre-Google+ mode with limited photo storage capabilities. I still prefer good old Google. I haven't converted to Blogger New Interface yet. Actually I chose Blogger over Wordpress because I find it easier to navigate their dashboard. I wonder why Blogger is now trying to look like Wordpress.

Anyway, thanks to Sean's good idea, I now upload the photos to Picasa before posting.

I am not blaming Google but each time they announce something new that I must use, there are shivers down my spine.

Roses are lovely, aren't they? Even when they fade, their petals are strewn all over my lawn like confetti or wedding toss. How romantic!

4. Angelonia

Anyway, life goes on. Early in the morning, I am at my happiest because I get to see the flock of cute little black birds who were born atop my lipstick palm tree now learning how to fly. They practiced flying techniques by darting from my palm tree to my neighbour's longan tree. When it was time to rest awhile, they chirped happily as though talking about me, observing me walking about in my garden watering my plants. This place which is my garden is also their home, haha.  I don't have a DSLR camera nor zoom lens, so I can't capture their antics for you to see.

The above picture is a butterfly which looks like a moth. It flies very fast and likes to dart around just like Dash of The Incredibles. I have seen it a few times before and each time on my angelonias. Butterflies that looked like moths, moths that looked like butterflies, and butterflies disguised as other (another species of) butterflies. I have seen them all. Aren't they clever?

The above butterfly:
Scientific name: Potanthus omaha
Common name: Lesser Dart
Family: Hesperiidae

This fella fits the description of a butterfly with "wide head, large eyes and thick body".

“My Garden in Malaysia - 2012”, a copyrighted post, was written for My Nice Garden blog by Autumn Belle @ on 5th Jan 2012.

5. Papaya flowers

This papaya tree is grown from seeds of a store bought papaya. This time I was sensible enough to sow many seeds and saved a few seedlings but only one survived to adulthood. But this look like a female papaya flower! The last time I ever planted a papaya was many many years ago, i.e. before my children were born. I ended with a male papaya tree that grew very very tall with only flowers and no papayas. Mom said that was bad feng shui - meaning no progeny so I cut down the tree because I wanna get pregnant with children!

Now I have 2 questions:
1. Is this gonna be a female papaya tree?
2. Will a bug carrying pollen from the male/heterosexual pollen please come to pollinate it?

By the way, I have posted about papaya and papaya flowers (male, female and unisex), here.

6. Pink hibiscus Rosa-sinensis

7. Citrus lime

The 4 seasons citrus lime plant that I wanted to euthanize last year that didn't die. 
Now it is bearing fruits again.

Updated 15 Feb 2012 - the fruits are still hanging till today.

8. Pineapple
Updated: 15 Feb 2012 - This pineapple has ripen fully and was harvested on Chap Gph Meh, 15th day of Chinese New Year.

9. Arundina graminifolia

Orchid lovers say that orchid flowers look great even when it is fading.

10. Torch ginger Etlingera elatior

11. Cat whiskers - white flowers

12. Ylang-ylang

The dwarf variety produces lots of flowers non-stop and it is very fragrant in the late evenings.

13. Costus woodsonii

Costus woodsonii is nicknamed "hong yun dang tou" ( 鸿运当头)
meaning "you are blessed with lots of good luck"

Yay, I'll be crossing my 300,000 hits mark soon. Thank you very much to my 387 followers, 68,525 visitors from 186 countries! Now, what shall I blog about this year?

This is my entry for Fertilizer Friday, hosted Glenda for hosting it at Tootsie Time.


  1. Beautiful roses, gorgeous garden... And that butterfly looks like she has sunglasses on :).Llooking forward to many more pics of your garden.

  2. Cantik sekali! So many gorgeous blooms. Is the pineapple growing in your garden? My pineapple takes 6 months or more to ripen. None are fruiting right now. 3 months ago I bought some papaya plants-thanks for posting papaya flowers. I forgot what they look like. Of course, my favorite Beautiful Bunga Kantan. Always such beautiful photos to inspire and knowledge to help us garderners. Happy 2012

  3. Like you, I am not sure if some of the features they offer to 'help' are better or worse. I guess time will tell. Lovely photos...Happy new year!

  4. Thanks for the virtual/online tour of your beautiful garden. It is really delightful to see how successful you are with your plants, even the one that you tried to euthanize. Your papaya looks like a female, in no time you'll be harvesting papayas.

    Happy new year and congratulations on your blog's success.

  5. Orchideya, Wong, Sage Butterfly, Solitude Rising, Thanks!

    Mom on Blog, Yes the pineapple is grown from a store bought pineapple and it is growing in a flower pot. The mother plant started with 7 suckers (7 sisters pineapple). I have inserted the link to my previoius post about papaya flowers -specially for you, my dear.

  6. Your citrus lime is on time for the coming Chinese New Year. Your garden seems to be happily welcoming the 2012 year and the dragon year. pretty blooms!

  7. I too shrudder the thought of all the new features the blogging system and all.
    Always prefer the simple, easy and non-fuss factor.
    But I'm pretty sure we will survive it through - just like plants will rough it through whatever the weather & climate throws at them.
    Have a wonderful New Year ahead Belle!

  8. You must have a really gorgeous garden!
    may be you should post on Plants and Feng Shui! very interesting!
    happy New Year!

  9. I laughed at the lemon which produced lots of fruits, maybe it's afraid you will really do your threat of euthanasia. We have the white costus, spiral leaf arrangement but the flower stays only for a day. I still remember our previous dialogues on papaya, it is called a dioecious plant or the sexes are in separate plants. Do you already know that term, in contrast to monoecious plants like cucurbits.

    Your site is very famous, imagine those number of hits! Amazing! You have a very lovely blog title, which has other lovely meanings to some people, LOL. I hope you wont get the burn-out, keep the fire going!

  10. I have chopped down my papaya tree because I suspected it was a male.

    Male is just too bad, in this case.

    By the way, you should be very busy preparing for coming CNY. Are you?

  11. Wow.... so lovely...super quality and colors...
    Greeting Karin

  12. Navigating myself around all the features continues to be my biggest challenge in the blogging world. So far, I'm storing my pictures on my hard drive. Will have to look into creating Picasa files.

  13. Dear Autumn Belle, your garden is blooming beautifully!!! Hope to see more photos soon. Happy New Year to you too!!! Owh ya, another thing, if a person is looking for Chinese herbs in KL...where do you think is the best place to go? Tq :)

  14. Love your roses (of course) - they are beautiful. And like you, I shudder every time Blogger comes up with something new. I like the old! Loved seeing the Ylang-ylang - not something I'd ever see here!

  15. Wah, very 'ONG' year for you, with the pineapple. If the papaya is the 'sekaki' or eksotika papaya (self fertile, inbred), most likely it will be hermaphrodite.

    The general rule is this:
    Female(F) x male(M) = 1M : 1F : 0Bisexual
    F x bisexual(B) = 1F : 0M : 1B
    B x B = 1F : 0M : 2B
    B x M = 1F : 1M : 1B
    M x sex change M (M2F) = 1F : 2M : 0B

    Only female trees cannot change sex. Males and bisexuals can undergo sex change. Some people chop off the tops of male plants to change its sex.

  16. Autumn Belle and Andrea - LOL! I do remember the beheading of a number of papaya plants- poor male. But I believe they sometimes change sex?? I remember my grandma hammering a nail into the truck to "persuade" it to flower and fruit .I remember one fabulous tree with large fruits that we had to dig a hole in the ground for the fruit to keep growing bigger!!

    The nursery sold me the papaya with 3 plants in one pot. It seems growing it this way, helps with pollination and fruiting. I am a gambler when it comes to plants and their ability to survive. Growing tropicals in San Diego is one thing- for it to fruit is another. But ladies I am optimistic- today I passed by a house that had a papaya tree in the yard fruits and all!!!

  17. @Mom on Blog: Hmmm, perhaps that counts as doing a Bobbitt on the male tree??? Yeah, some stick iron nails, stress the poor thing to make it change sex.

    @Andrea: Papayas can be dioecious or gynodioecious

    @Autumn Belle: Sekaki is cross pollinated, but most plants in plantation are hermaphrodite, so chances approximate 2B:1F. So if you get a female plant, akin to striking 4D. If you get male plant...Someone must have planted a male tree nearby - strike toto top prize lol

  18. Happy 2012! It looks like your garden is off to a great start - so beautiful and lush! And productive, to boot!

    I hear you on the pictures. Between my husband and I, we take thousands of pictures, and storage is a never-ending problem!

  19. Everything is lovely, Autumn Belle. I kept Blogger when I opened a Wordpress blog. I still like Blogger better. I post to both. I keep thinking Wordpress will get easier if I get more familiar with it.

  20. The orchids and roses are so pretty!

  21. Congrats on the coming 300,000 mark... you rightly deserve it... very good rendition of pictures of flowers in garden...

  22. I love this exchanges of comments and info on papaya sexuality, maybe sex change is really exciting to talk about. Sean gave us the proportionate expectations from our papaya. We have one volunteer papaya plant in the property, which i know is fully male, however it produced a very small fruit at the beginning of fruiting. My sister is about to chop it, but i stopped her so i can observe if it will produce another hermaphrodite fruit.

    @Mom on Blog - stress inflicted on plants can be a way of producing a hormone which favored femaleness. Ethylene and its precursor (ACC) are known hormones which induced femaleness in contrast with Gibberellins which produced maleness. These are mostly done in cucurbits but i don't know any research on papaya, but i think that follows the principle of stress ethylene too.

  23. Hi, everyone. Thank you very much for visiting and commenting here. I'm sorry I am doing some disappearing act because my desktop has crashed on me.

    Thanks to Mom on Blog, Sean, Andrea for starting the interesting discussion about papaya sex changes, and for helping to answer some of the questions posed. I didn't know such an ordinary plant can be so complicated. Now I know why many plants are unisexed or heterosexual, I mean male and female in same flower or self polinating. If there are separated like the papaya, things get complicated, just like human beings!

    Now I am confused about the sex of my papaya plant. I think it has female and heterosexual flowers. Maybe I need to study this plant further and post again later. Anyway, this papaya is just begining to bear flowers.

    Meanwhile, my sincere apologies if what I am saying here doesn't make sense, because currently I am under a lot of stress - computer malfunction, Google Chrome automatically switching to Facebook asking me to play games (which I never ever did before), and so many unfinished chores before the big day - my Lunar New Year :(

  24. @Andrea: I think that male papaya trees are beautiful, with the spray of flowers as I had never gotten any male papaya tress whenever I plant them (always hermaphrodite). I have seen males tree that continually produce the hermaphrodite flower at the tip of the flower stalk, so all the fruits are hanging in there at the end of the stalk (and usually of a shape that is commercially unacceptable).

    @Autumn Belle: Hope your computer issues get settled and so does your chores. Its good to let the tree be and see if any of it sets fruit. Maybe direct your stress at the papaya tree and threaten to chop it off to see if it sets fruit.

  25. It's a delight to visit your blog site. Such lovely photos of your garden!

  26. Your garden is blooming beautifully in time for the coming Chinese New Year! That ong lai, golden lime & red roses are just the thing too! I hope your computer problems will be solved soonest. That bit on papaya sex was interesting :D

  27. Asha, Tanntoot, My computer is still with the geeks in ICU, may need some organ transplant before it can be discharged home for further testing.

    Sean, thanks for the suggestion. Actually I had secretly hoped for a male papaya plant with many dangling flowers, now that I don't have to worry about increasing the population of the household. As I suspect my papaya plant is either a female and/or heterosexual, I've been keeping a close watch on the plant. Well, maybe too closely because I saw some flowers and white embryonic fruits dropped off!

    About the threat on the papaya, you bet I may just do that. When my orchids don't bloom after my patience has worn off, I'll have a 'heart to heart talk' with them, especially my cattleya.

  28. Very informative post.I wish your computer will be ok soon. I experience login issues, too. Have a nice gardening weekend ahead of you.

  29. Beautiful images for not having a DSLR camera. I would not have guessed because you take such beautiful photos.

  30. No surprises, your shots are beautiful! Hope you get the google thing worked out or it works for you rather.


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