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, February 18, 2014

My Feb 2014 DIY Garden in Malaysia and My First Million Page Views

FINALLY! I have reached my 1 millionth page views. Nothing to shout about. Many have done that and been there but for me, this is my "first", hehe. It was a lot of hard work since the day I started blogging back in Jun 2009. It's going to be 5 years of garden blogging soon. I guess this is a passion which has not died down despite the many ups and downs that I have experienced and sometimes I was so close to calling it quits. But then again, I guess I am "Once a gardener, always a gardener", like the famous quote:

"The love of gardening is a seed
once sown that never dies" 

..... Gertrude Jeykll

What have I done to my garden?
Well, I'm a DIY gardener who love native plants of Malaysia and Southeast Asia. This year my interest and challenge is in "Frugal Gardening" . In my country, prices of so many things has shot up, so I'm going to learn to make do with what I have and tone down on my spending. There are quite a number of plants given by my gardener friends in the form of cuttings, rootings and seeds from plant exchanges and meet-ups, so I am actually quite satisfied with what I have now. I'm going to improve on my plant propagation skills. I'd also be looking at growing plants from kitchen discards.

I plant gingers like torch ginger, galangal, turmeric and common ginger plants and treat them like ornamental plants. I grow pineapple plants from the crown of store bought fruits. I also plant herbs like cat whiskers (Orthosiphon aristatus), lemon balm, pegaga (Centella asiatica), hempedu bumi (Andrographis paniculata). They grow like weeds in my garden but these weeds are edible and have medicinal values. Native plants are low maintenance plants, perfectly suited to my busy schedule.

The ixora plants attracts butterflies to my garden while my favourite little sunbirds love the common Hibiscus rosa-sinensis (bunga raya). If their young are born on my citrus plants, I'll give them a home, raise them and release them as the lovely butterflies that they are meant to be. Moth love to perge on my bamboo tree. Frogs, toads, spiders, lizards and dragon flies help me take care of the dreaded mozzies. Flies and ants? Well, they gotta be careful of my carnivorous Monkey Cup (nepenthes) plant.  Tailor birds can sew a nest with only 2 hydrangea leaves while other birds build their nests on my Lipstick palm trees (Crytostachys renda) the whole year round. Besides the usual sparrows, mynas and sunbirds, magpies also come here to 'play' in my garden. So, can you imagine how nice it feels to wake up to the sound of birds twitting, chirping and singing?

My cattleya orchid last bloomed in December 2011. There were no flowers for 2 years from 2012 and 2013. So it was a pleasant surprise for me when there it bloomed during Chinese New Year from Jan 31st 2014 (first day) to Feb 8th (9th day). There were only 2 flowers but how wonderful!

“My Feb 2014 DIY Garden in Malaysia and My First Million Page Views, a copyrighted post, was written for My Nice Garden blog by Autumn Belle @ on February 18th, 2014.

Does this flower look like Mickey Mouse?

It was planted from seed collected from a roadside plant in January 2011. It bloomed for the first time in July 2013 but there were no seeds. This time, it bloomed again in January 2014 and now I have seeds.

To my fellow gardener bloggers and blog visitors, THANK YOU VERY MUCH!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Fo Guang Shan Dong Zen Temple Jenjarom - Chinese New Year 2014

Here are some 50 photos of my recent visit to Fo Guang Shan Dong Zen Temple in Jenjarom new village, near Banting town in Selangor state of Malaysia. Fo Guang Shan (FGS) is a Buddist Temple cum School of Buddhism.

Every year the temple is a hive of activities during the Chinese New Year season. They have different themed decorations for each year of celebration, known as the FGS Dong Zen Temple CNY Lantern & Floral Festival.

This year, the festivities period is from 29th January  - 16th February 2014. There will be a Lantern Exhibition, Flower Displays and Books Exhibition. The best time to visit this temple is to reach there at about 4-5pm. This way you will avoid the massive traffic jams and get to take daytime photographs of the garden. The night scene with lighted trees and lanterns is the main attraction now. Opening times are 10:30am - 10pm from 29 Jan - 16 Feb 2014. Admission is FREE.

For the itinerary and road map, you can visit their website here:
(Included are prayer/blessing ceremonies, Dharma talks, Dharma service, offering of lights, charity banquet, cultural shoes, costume parade, lantern painting, photography contest, outdoor sketches, and of course the opening and closing ceremonies). GPS Coordinates: N2 52.134 and E101 29.46

Trees adorned with masses of pink cherry blossoms.

All 12 animals zodiac signs are on display.
Here's the Mouse and Rabbit.

Sunny Sun Sun.

 The statues of the 18 Arhats line the walkway to the main temple.

That's the grand Dragon in yellow Emperor robes and green Snake.


A 'wishing tree' 

Wishes and blessings for loved ones written on bits of paper hung onto the branches.

Ox and Horse animal zodiazs

A smiley Sun.

Smiling pure white Buddha with outstretch, open arms to welcome the public.

"Do not litter
Do not smoke
May Buddha bless you!"

Lining this walkway are Lipstick palms and 'cherry blossom' trees
and Atap (a thatched roof made with dried leaves of the nipah palm tree).

Elegant Willow trees 

Hanging lanterns and pink petunias
The signage at the entrance to "Lumbini Garden" decorated with bougainvilleas.




A statue of Buddha meditating among lotus blooms.

There are about 33 adorable śrāmanera (little novice monks) statues 
spread out on the garden grounds or hidden among the flower beds. 

What's this?


Join your palm, make a vow and strike the bell!


May all your wishes come true!

A scramanera standing on a lotus flower.


Medicine Buddha











Xuangzang and his white horse. In the epic of "Journey to the West", Xuangzang is a Tang Dynasty monk who went on a pilgrimage from China to India to bring back a copy of the the Diamond Sutera. The white horse is actually a dragon prince who had turned into a white horse for Xuangzang to ride on.

Terrestrial orchids and bamboo trees.

The bamboo bridge across the koi pond is decorated with colourful love shaped lanterns.

Terrestrial orchids 


Yellow orchid flowers

A bright red statue of the horse.
The Year of the Wood Horse started on 31st January 2014 (Lunar Calendar)
and for fengshui practitioners and astrologers,  4th February 2014 (Solar Calendar)

Cycads, Chinese witch hazel bushes and pine trees near the main entrance.

The stone statue of Guan Yin among beautiful manicured bushes of ixora plants 

FGS Temple was built in 1994.
It occupies an area of 16 acres in Jenjarom (new village)
Jenjarom is located about 55 km (1 hr drive) west of Kuala Lumpur city.
In 2008, Dong Zen Temple was presented with Buddha wall paintings from Dun Huang.

Their address:
FGS Dong Zen Temple
PT2297, Jalan Sg Buaya, 42600 Jenjarom, Selangor, Malaysia
Tel: +603-3191 1533, +603-7877 6533

This year they have a ferris wheel and carousel
for the amusement of visiting family with kids and the young at heart.

A mobile police station near the entrance to the temple.
A big crowd is expected every night.

Trees decorated with Chinese lanterns.


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