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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Malaysian Flora USDA Zone 11
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Thursday, March 15, 2012

My DIY Home Garden in Malaysia - GBBD March 2012

1. Native Plant - Red Ixora
Today, for Bloggers Bloom Day - March 2012, here are some blooming flowers from my DIY home garden in Malaysia.

First in the line-up is my teenage (more than 10 years old) Ixora plant, butterflies big and small love this plant.

2. Native Plant - Purple Cat Whiskers
Cat Whiskers plants are good ground covers. They are easy to grow and propagate, very helpful as a deterrent for pests, and need very little care and maintenance. I find that there are less pest attacks on my Jasminum sambac and Wrightia antidysenterica jasmines with these cat whiskers plants nearby.

Fresh or dried leaves can be used to make an infused drink called Java Tea. Some people use the flowers, stems and leaves to boil herbal soups for health.

3. Gerbera Daisy

Red gerbera daisies are used to brighten up a dull corner of  my garden. Any tips on how to care for gerbera daisies and to prevent their heads from drooping?

4. Marigold
I wanted to use marigolds to deter pests, but it seems that they themselves are frequently subjected to pests attack! Well, something is eating away the leaves. I wonder who is the culprit - snails or grasshoppers?

I find that those purchased from nurseries are difficult to self-seed eventhough the blooms are large, bright and beautiful.

5. Tibouchina mutabilis
This Tibouchina mutabilis was purchased a long time ago under a special offer (cheap price) because it was out-of-season stock. Now it is starting to rebloom. I like to search out the 'best-buys' items whenever I go shopping at nurseries. I don't really care about the presentation or packaging but the plant must be healthy. This method also brush up my selection skills, well, I learnt a lot from my mistakes!

This tibouchina grows more slowly and is shorter than my Princess Flower (Tibouchina urvilleana).

6. Native plant - Torch Ginger

Now the edible torch ginger flower looks like a lotus flower. I often see olive-backed sunbirds coming over but the torch ginger flowers have never set seed. I have been advised to hand-pollinate the flowers, tiny little red ones almost hidden among the large pink bracts. How, I've been wondering - should I use a tooth-pick to do this?

“My DIY home garden in Malaysia - GBBD March 2012”, a copyrighted post, was written for My Nice Garden blog by Autumn Belle @ on March 15th, 2012.

7. Hibiscus
This single flower is my favourite among all my hibiscus at moment. I just love this delicate pastel pink shade.

8. Japanese Honeysuckle - Lonicera japonica
My Japanese Honeysuckle has rebloom for the first time. The flowers open white and change to a sweet creamy yellow the next day. They have a pleasant mild fragrance.

9. Pineapple
This budding pineapple inflorescence has just been spotted today.

10. Tussock Moth (Orgyia detrita)???
A colourful but scary looking creature with many fine hairs that make me feel very itchy by just looking at it. By this 'evil-looking' appearance, it is sending out the message, "Hey, I'm dangerous, so don't touch me!"

I found it at late evening today. I wonder who's the mother? What plant/leaves is it targeting?

Which of the above is your favourite?

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day is hosted by Carol at May Dreams Garden on the 15th of every month. To participate and/or to view what is blooming in gardens around the world, please visit the link here.

This is also my entry for Fertilizer Friday hosted by Glenda at Tootsie Time, link here.


  1. To przyjemność oglądać takie piękne kwiaty, jak u nas jeszcze zima. Bardzo podoba mi się kwiat imbiru, ale "stwór" z ostatniego nie koniecznie :-). Pozdrawiam.*** It's a pleasure to watch such beautiful flowers, as we have winter yet. I really like the ginger flower, but a "creature" is not necessarily the last :-). Yours.

  2. Beautiful flowers...........and picks.

  3. I love that torch ginger the best! I have a white cat whiskers in my garden. You are so right about it is very easy to propagate. Love your purple ones too!

  4. Very nice photo work.
    Fantastic flowers and a great light.
    Greetings Karin.

  5. Giga, thanks for the comments in Polish which is most welcome. It was so sweet of you to provide English translation too!

    Martin, thanks!

    Ami, my white cat whiskers bloom continuously, almost non-stop but this purple variety bloom less and grow more slowly. Purple tends to be more upright while white flowered ones grow lower like a ground cover.

    Karin, thanks for visiting MNG!

  6. Hello A.Belle: I am your new friend (Connie Chong-Ee on FB)... don't have a google a/c ... I have a suggestion ~ about hand-pollinating the ginger flower ... not that I am an expert... I have heard of people using fine paint brush to just brush over the pollen.... Let me know if it works.

    1. Hi, Connie. Yeah, the fine paint brush like those they use for watercolour painting in school will be a good idea. Frankly speaking, I did try the the cotton bud method but didn't work.

      When the red flowers come out, it oozes out a sweet liquid which attracts ants but the ants also didn't do a job with pollination I guess, haha.

  7. Happy Blooms day to you Autumn Belle. I have been busy with some work for clients and that is why I am scarce from the blogging world.

  8. Such stunning plants and blooms Autumn Belle! Thanks for sharing them!

  9. Wonderful flowers! Great photography!
    Happy Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day!
    Lea's Menagerie
    Mississippi, USA

  10. It's hard to pick a favourite from this bevy of beauties. I do love the torch ginger, but my vote goes to the cats whiskers. I had one many years ago that I grew from a slip, but you have inspired me to hunt one down for my current garden.

  11. Your Ginger bloom is so beautiful! You have so many pretty ones in this posting. Have a wonderful week.

  12. aloha,

    great information on the cat whiskers, i'll have to try making a tea someday...for your ginger yes, use a toothpick or a small paint brush.

  13. Difficult to chose a favourite as you have so many gorgeous blooms right now. I think I have to say the Cats whiskers - I recall admiring it on your blog before. So unusual (for me). Just lovely :)

  14. I didn't know that cat's whiskers is a pest deterrent, good thing I read your post. As always, lovely flowers from your garden.

  15. The Japanese honeysuckle is lovely. Love the sweet scent although it is a little weak. See that you've got your reply to comment working again, cool.

  16. Which is my favorite? I like the Orthosiphon. I saw these for the first time in Dallas, and vowed to try growing them here someday. Never saw them in purple. Unreal.

  17. They are all so beautiful but I really like the Torch Ginger. You have taken some wonderful photos of your garden flowers. Warm hugs, Esther


  19. I always love that torch ginger. it's just so large and perfect and tropical. What part do you eat?

    I would definitely stay away from that creepy lookingmoth. Looks like someone decided to take a littl eof this and a litte of that and add it all together!

  20. I am loving the cat whiskers...everything looks fantastic!!!
    Thanks so much for linking in this week...I always look forward to seeing what each of you guys post...I am sharing your post today on the Tootsie Time Facebook page as well.
    hugs from Alberta Canada!
    ¸.•´¸.•*¨) ¸.•*¨)
    (¸.•´ (¸.•´ .•´ ¸¸.•¨¯`•.

  21. I love most your purple cat whiskers because i don't have it. We only have the white which are now looking pathetic because of the dry season. Is that the hibiscus where the double chimera appeared? I have 3 pineapple plants near the house, each is of different variety. One already has fruit. They are stunted because the vegetable vines cover them during the rainy season, can only see sun during the dry season. But we have many self supporting pineapple plants under coconuts far from the house. We also seldom see the fruits, mostly eaten by birds and other animals.

  22. WOW! I love this post! So great to see all these blooms, Thanks for sharing. Nice to see you on Ferlizer Friday
    ¸.·´ ..·´¨¨))
    ((¸¸.·´ ..·´ *-:¦:- Paula -:¦:-
    -:¦:- ((¸¸.·´*

    Idaho USA

  23. What a lot of splendidly beautiful flowers you have.
    For pollinating it would be best to use a very fine watercolour brush.
    I wish you all possible success!

  24. My fav. would be the torch ginger - its quite majestic to see them in full bloom.

  25. The beautiful plants! We in Poland unfortunately can grown them only as a home plants!

  26. All the flowers are so beautiful! I can't make decision!


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