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.....!

Notice Board

Malaysian Flora USDA Zone 11
Welcome to our exotic world of everlasting summers and tropical rainforests!

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Chinese New Year Plants and Flowers 2016

1. Calla Lilies
This year Chinese New Year falls on Monday, 8th February 2016 and Lichun Day is on Thursday, 4th February 2016.

2016 is the Year of the yang fire Monkey and it starts on February 4th, Lichun Day (立春) at 5:45 pm local Malaysian time. Lichun denotes the start of the first solar term and beginning of spring in ancient China. It is a day when farmers would traditionally hold prayers to the gods for a prosperous year ahead hoping for a good harvest.  It is a time when farmers go back to the fields and begin work after a long winter's break.

The nurseries have started selling Chinese New Year plants and flowers and here are some preliminary pictures.

Dahlias are called "da li ju:" 大麗菊 = big/very beautiful chrysanthemum.
Perhaps "li" sounds like "da ji da li" (大吉大利) meaning great fortune and great profits/gains.

Florists also give the following names to dahlias:
芍藥 shao yao (Chinese peony)
大利花 da li hua (great gains flower)
紫牡丹 zi mu dan (purple peony)

“Chinese New Year Plants and Flowers 2016”, a copyrighted post, was written for My Nice Garden blog by Autumn Belle @ on Jan 16, 2016

Camellia azalea hybrid

Why Liliums (e.g. stargazers, casablanca, madonna ,asiatic,oriental, tiger lilies) are auspicious:
a) Chinese name for Lilium spp is "bai he" (百合) - meaning many things going smoothly according to your wishes
b) For couples, the phrase "bai nian hao he" (百年好合) would mean happy together for a hundred years
c) For marriage this would mean that the husband and wife shall always be together and live happily ever after.

Clyclamen plants are known as "xian ke lai" (仙客來) in Chinese which sounds like "fairies, gods or immortals are on the way or coming over as guests"  hence it is very auspicious.

Triphasia trifolia
Common names: Lime-Berry, Limau Kiah

Aglaia odorata is also known as the "Chinese perfumed plant".

It is also called the Chinese Rice Flower  - mi zi lan (米仔兰 - rice, little, orchid).
Just saying the words "mi zi lan" in Cantonese reminds me of my grandmother so much!

The flowers are very fragrant with a sweet lemony scent hence the common name "mock lemon". The tiny flowers do not open fully and each one look like a grain of rice. I guess this would signify and abundance of food since rice is a staple food in Asia.

 Hyacinth bulbs.
Hyacinth is 洋水仙 (yang shui xian) meaning water fairy, or 风信子(feng xin zi)

 Remember to check what is the colour of the flowers

or you may wish to wait for the surprise when the flowers starts to bloom.

Narcissus bulbs

Lucky bamboo (Dracaena sanderiana)

Lucky bamboo (Dracaena sanderiana) grown in vases with auspicious paintings and decorated with festive ornaments. 

Ardisia crenata

Pussy willows.
Some are in their natural colour of white with unopened buds but there are some batches with long, blooming catkins.
Some have been dyed in colours of pink, red and orange.

The ever popular must-have chrysanthemums.

Peach Blossoms have arrived in Malaysia!

Flower pots with auspicious wordings.

Note: This post will be regularly updated with fresh photos as we count down to Chinese New Year 2016

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Guided Tour of the Rooftop Secret Garden of 1-Utama on 3rd Jan 2016

1. Calliandra surinamensis - Pink Powder Puff, Pink Tassel Flower
Happy New Year 2016!

The Free Guided Tours at the Rooftop Secret Garden of 1-Utama are back again.

Since June 2015, I have been working as a Garden Guide here on the first Sunday of every month.
Free Guided Tours of the Rooftop Secret Garden of 1-Utama are provided on the first weekend of every month . The following are the planned dates for first half of 2016:
2nd and 3rd Jan 
13th and 14th Feb
5th and 6th Mar
2nd and 3rd Apr
1st and 2nd May
4th and 5th Jun

Time: 11:00 am to 12:00pm

Here are some photos taken during the guided tour on 3rd January 2016. 

2. Tapeinochilos ananassae - Indonesian Wax Ginger

This species is also known as the Indonesian Wax Ginger, Pineapple Ginger, Red Wax Ginger and Giant Spiral Ginger. It is native to Malaysia, Indonesia, New Guinea and Australia. The plant thrives in shade and loves moist soil and humid environment. The flowers are yellow while the bracts are bright red. The flower spikes arises directly from the ground from an underground rhizome. The leaves are spirally arranged around a curvy bamboo-like stem. The flowers are pollinated by sunbirds. 

To join the Free Guided Tours, all you have to do is to come on the designated dates
and register at the guard house at Upper Roof, the entrance to the Secret Garden.

“Guided Tour of the Rooftop Secret Garden of 1-Utama on 3rd Jan 2016”, a copyrighted post, was written for My Nice Garden blog by Autumn Belle @

3. Gardenia sp
These flowers open white and turn to yellow the next day before they fade off.

4. Acalypha hispida - Cattail Plant

5. Schaueria flauvicoma - Golden Plume

6. Calathea loesneri - Brazilian Star Calathea

7. Osmoxylon lineare

8. Duranta erecta

9. Asytasia gangetica

10. Clerodendrum incisum - Do-re-mi Flower

11. Hibiscus sabdariffa - Roselle

12. Brunfelsia grandiflora - Yesterday-Today-Tomorrow

13. Guzmania lingulata

14. Tacca chantrieri

15. Torenia fournieri
The common flower colours are blue, purple and pink. Yellow is quite an uncommon colour.

16. Angelonia salicariifolia

17. Hibiscus rosa-sinensis

18. Coffea liberica

19. Pentas lanceloate - Egyptian Stars

20. Hymenocallis speciosa - Spider Lily

21. Coffea arabica 

22. - Coffea robusta

23. Ruelia rosea - Brazilian Torch

24. Alocasia sanderiana - African Mask

25. Thunbergia grandiflora - Bengal Clock Vine, Skyflower, Blue Trumpet Vine

26. Morus alba - Mulberry

27. Oryza sativa - Rice/Paddy

28. Clerodendrum calamitosum - White Butterfly

29. Crinum asiaticum - Asian Crinum Lily

30. Musa gracilis
Musa gracilis is short and slender. This wild banana plant is native to and endemic Peninsular Malaysia.

31. Begonia microsperma

32. Holmskioldia sanguinea - Chinese Hat

33. Cissus nodosa
Do enjoy the photos. The garden is blooming!

May you have a wonderful year ahead!


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