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!

Monday, August 27, 2018

Royal Floria Putrajaya 2018 Highlights

Entrance Statement - rainbow colour fabric with each year's floria theme flowers

Royal Floria Putrajaya 2018 will be held from 25 August - 2nd September 2018.
Venue: Anjung Floria Event Centre, Precinct 4, Putrajaya
Time: 9:00am-10:30pm (Mon-Thurs) 9:00am-12midnight (Fri-Sun)

For more photos and updates, please visit my Instagram here.

Important Guide on buying tickets to Floria 2018:
Tickets can be purchased online at a discounted price by visiting Royal Floria Putrajaya 2018 official website here. You can also buy the tickets at the entrance but be prepared to queue and pay more. Decide carefully which day you want to visit as tickets purchased online are not refundable. Tickets for weekday (Mon-Thu) cannot be used on weekends (Fri-Sun) and vice versa. Tickets is also based on "per entry" basis, meaning that once you exit the venue, you can't enter again using the same ticket even though it is the same day.

How to go there:
For Map: click here or  use the keywords "Anjung Floria" to search in Google Maps, or WAZE.
For public transport: take GRAB or taxi to Anjung Floria. There is no free bus shuttle service yet.

2. Wonder Garden of Royal Floria Putrajaya 2018

The official theme of Royal Floria Putrajaya 2018 is
"10 Wonders of FLORIA"
"10 Kegemilangan FLORIA"

Royal Floria Putrajaya 2018 celebrates its 10th anniversary of Malaysia's largest and grandest flower and garden festival which has been held in Putrajaya since 2007. It returns after a 1 year hiatus. Remember, there was no Floria 2017. 

The main highlight of Royal Floria Putrajaya 2018 is this outdoor show garden called the "10 Wonders of Floria". Once inside this show garden, the walking path will you lead to several mini-gardens and a walk down memory lane to re-visit all the the theme flowers of yesteryear Florias. The flowers are HIBISCUS - 2007, ORCHID - 2009, HELICONIA - 2010, ROSES - 2011, BOUGAINVILLEA - 2012, ORCHID - 2013, BEGONIA - 2014, LILY - 2015 and CHRYSANTHEMUM - 2016.

“Royal Floria Putrajaya 2018 Highlights”, a copyrighted post, was written for My Nice Garden blog by Autumn Belle @

The following are some pictures and highlights of Royal Floria Putrajaya 2018:

3. The Enchanted Garden by Perbadanan Putrajaya (PPj)
The theme of Perbadanan Putrajaya (PPj) show garden is "The Enchanted Garden, Where Life Begins..."

Look out for the Ovarium Building with a hologram showing  the life cycle of dipterocarp plants from seed to tree. Here you will also see replicas of Taman Botani, Taman Wetland, Taman Warisan Pertanian, Taman Saujana Hijau, Taman Rimba Alam, Green Wall Panel, Paddy Plot, Climbing Wall, Wishing Tree, Traditional Kelulut Bee Hives, Scarecrow Man, Wetland Cell, English Bustan and bird sounds of doves.

4. Royal Garden
The Royal Garden of Floria 2018 is the Perak Royal Garden featuring Istana Kenangan in Kuala Kangsar, Pavilion Tower, the Kuala Kangsar Clock Tower, Istana Iskandariah and Ubudiah Mosque. The main entrance of the royal garden is based on Istana Iskandariah in Bukit Chandan while the popular Perak heritage handicraft item, the Labu Sayung is also featured.

5. At the show garden RENDESVOUS by DBKL
The show garden by Dewan Bandaraya Kuala Lumpur (DBKL) aka Kuala Lumpur City Council is usually among the most elaborate, grand and magical. The DBKL show garden is titled "Rendezvous" signifying a meeting of 3 concepts that celebrates (1) all previoius theme flowers of floria, (2) all previous show gardens featured by DBKL and (3) our country's pre and post-independence eras and the future. Finally, the visitor will come face to face with a mirror where they see themselves meaning that "we are the ones who should appreciate and shape our country".

Rendezvous celebrates the 10th anniversary of Putrajaya Floria and our 61st Merdeka/National/Independence Day.

6. Official launch of Royal Floria Putrajaya 2018
Royal Floria Putrajaya 2018 was officially declared open by Selangor ruler Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah on 25 August 2018. In the photo are from left, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr. Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, the Tengku Permaisuri of Selangor, Tengku Permaisuri Norashikin, Federal Territories Minister Khalid Abdul Samad and Puan Haslinda Khalid, CEO of Putrajaya Floria Sdn Bhd.

7. Julie Cheng Chu Yit of Perak won the Bronze medal for Royal Floria Cup
The Indoor Floral Pavilion is perhaps the most interesting and comfortable place to view exhibits by local and international participants. Being fully air-conditioned, it is cool and a welcome respite from the sweltering heat outside. Every floral exhibit is professionally designed and painstakingly constructed with precision and full attention to details. Fresh flowers and living plants are used in the designs. The designers are vying for the International Designers Competition, Creative Terrarium Competition, Miniature Garden Competition, Innovative Wall Art Competition, Suiseki and Wood Competition and the Royal Floria Cup Competition for local and international designers. The international designers are from Japan, Singapore, Germany, Philippines, Taiwan, Vietnam and Indonesia.

8. Innovative Wall Art
This design by Lim Boon Yan of Malaysia won the "Merit Award" under the Innovative Wall Art Competition.

At the entrance to Indoor Flora Pavilion is the Orchid Gallery and Jalur Gemilang Malaysian Flag exhibit by the International Floral Design (IFD) Education Association.

This design by Lucia Raras Purwaningrum of Indonesia is perhaps the most photographed exhibit. It won the "Popular Choice Award" under the International Designer category.

11. Korea
Participation from the International Horticulture Goyang Korea.

12. Masterpieces
"Masterpieces" by World Floral Design Centre Sdn Bhd.

13. Miniature Garden 

This Miniature Garden designed by Low Teck Beng won the Gold Award for the Miniature Garden Competition.

14. Creative Terrarium

This exhibit by Surene Fong May Leng won the Gold Award for the Creative Terrarium Competition.

15. Mystery of the Mountain - Suiseki 
There is a Suiseki (stone) and Wood Exhibition at the Indoor Floral Pavillion. This piece titled "Mystery of the Mountain" is a stone (suiseki) exhibit from the Malaysia Bonsai & Suiseki Society (MBSS). It won the Silver Award.

16. Suiseki - Stone
This piece titled "City on the Road" is a stone (suiseki) exhibit from the Malaysia Bonsai & Suiseki Society (MBSS). It won the Gold Award.

Suiseki stands for stone appreciation. Suiseki originated from China thousands of years ago. Many famous Chinese gardens such as the UNESCO World Heritage certified Classical Gardens of Suzhou used stones from Taihu Lake, Linbi stones from Anhui and Ying stones in the landscape and waterscape.

Actually, Suiseki is derived from the Japanese words, "sui" for water and "seki" for stone. Stones in the shape of mountain, statue/figure of animal/human, abstract forms are preferred. The stone pieces are judged for their shape, colour, texture, quality, uniqueness and rarity.

In Malaysia, you can find high quality suiseki stones from rivers such as Titi River in Sungei Siput while Kuala Trengganu is source for black stones; Kedah and Perlis for waxed stones.

17. Bonsai
The Bonsai exhibition is held outdoors at another venue, at the China-Malaysia Friendship Garden.

Bonsai is derived from the Japanese word "bon" meaning pot and "sai" meaning plant, hence "bonsai" means "plant in a pot". It is known as  "penjing" in Chinese. Penjing originated from China  more than 2000 years ago but it was made popular by the Japanese who named it bonsai.

A bonsai is not merely a plant in a pot. Each bonsai is a piece of art and it takes many years to design, structure, care and maintain. The specimens are judged based on their age, root base, trunk, branches, flowers, fruits, leaves, accessories such as pots and overall appearance.

18. Wood
This piece won the Gold Award and the Wood Grand Champion award at the 15th National Bonsai, Suiseki and Wood Compeition & Exhibition 2018. It is displayed at the outdoor venue at China-Malaysia Friendship Garden.

Interest in Wood as a form of art started in China thousands of years ago. The families of Imperial China used the very best quality wood such as rosewood and sandalwood for furniture and stationery. Wood appreciation is on the rise in Malaysia and the kayu raja, jayu kemining and drift wood are popular choices among wood art collectors here.

Wood art is judged on based their contour lines, vein, texture, shape, color and appearance.

19. Blooming orchids

The Garden Bazaar & Horticultural Market is another interesting place for bargains. There are a few orchid vendors selling blooming orchids (prices between RM 18 - RM 25 each) and orchid keikis at RM 8 each. One of them is United Malaysian Orchids Sdn Bhd.

20. Fertilizer and pest control
This vendor sells "Baja Hantu" fertilizer which they claim is suitable for all kinds of plants (from orchids and ornamentals to fruit trees) and pest control which they claim is "100% effective on snakes, rodents, white ants and lizards"!

21. Succulents and cacti
There are stalls selling succulents and cacti at RM 10 for 3 pots and also stalls selling ornamental plants, airplants (some at RM 10/piece and "buy 5 free 1"), tillandsias, fruit trees samplings, vegetable sees, herb and spice plants, fertilizer, flower pots, garden soil, bonsai and stone products.

22. Pullman Putrajaya Lakeside
The Pullman Putrajaya Lakeside is the official hotel sponsor of Royal Floria Putrajaya 2018. The Royal Floral International Dialogue (RFID) Day 2 seminar is held at the Pullman Lakeside Putrajaya Hotel located at Precinct 5.

At the Fantasy Garden at Anjung Floria Event Centre, Precinct 4, look out for the Pullman Putrajaya Lakeside Hotel booth as they are giving away free lollipops, popcorn, balloons, sweets and candies to children.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Royal FLORIA Putrajaya 2018 at Anjung Floria Event Centre Precinct 4

Royal Floria Putrajaya 2018 will be held from 25 August - 2nd September 2018.
Venue: Anjung Floria Event Centre, Precinct 4, Putrajaya
Time: 9:00am-10:30pm (Mon-Thurs) 9:00am-12midnight (Fri-Sun)

Click HERE for my latest updated post

Unveiling the official theme of Floria 2018 in April 2018

"10 Wonders of FLORIA"
"10 Kegemilangan FLORIA"

Royal Floria Putrajaya 2018 celebrates its 10th anniversary of the flower and garden festival which has been held in Putrajaya since 2007. It returns after a 1 year hiatus. Remember, there was no Floria 2017. 

All the theme flowers of pervious Florias will be highlighted this time. The flowers are Hibiscus, Orchid, Heliconia, Roses, Bougainvillea, Orchid, Begonia, Lily and Chrysanthemum.

Putrajaya FLORIA 2018 is here again!, a copyrighted post, was written for My Nice Garden blog by Elaine Yim @

Where to buy tickets:
Buy online by visiting Royal Floria Putrajaya 2018 here. Tickets can be purchased online at a discounted price.

Finally, what to expect from Royal Floria Putrajaya 2018?
Hey, just go with a positive mind, and expect to see lots and many types of fresh flowers, landscaped show gardens. But ironically, the fresh flowers are for display only. When you go shopping, there will be lots of live plants and gardening accessories to buy.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Chinese New Year 2018 Lucky Plants and Flowers and their Symbolism

In this post, I will touch on the auspicious names given to certain "lucky" plants and their symbolism during Chinese New Year and/or in Chinese culture.

Note: This post has been updated on 8th Feb 2018 with 2 new photos of hyacinths and narcissus which are available here now.

This year's Chinese New Year falls on Friday, 16th February 2018 and during Lap Chun (Lichun) which fell on Sunday, 4th February 2018 at 5:30am local (Malaysia) time, we ushered in the Year of the Earth Dog. (To find out more about Lichun, please click on the highlighted link).

I've been pretty busy lately, so I must admit that I have neglected my blog for quite some time. And how time flies! A year has passed since my last blog post.

Anyway, we have come to the most exciting time of the year for buying plants and flowers. We believe that auspicious plants, flowers and fruits brings good fortune and the adage of "花开富贵" - hua kai fu gui" (Mandarin) or "fa hoi fu gwai" (Cantonese) which literally means that blooming flowers symbolize prosperity.

Nurseries will be filled with lots of interesting festive and seasonal plants. A visit to the nurseries is an exciting event and great learning experience for me. It is also a great opportunity for us to buy new plants, and try growing some seasonal festive, cool climate plants that we have never tried before. 

The best time to shop for plants is about 2 weeks before Chinese New Year. If you haven't already done so, now's the time. As the days get nearer to the grand day, more temperate plants are expected to make way to our shores. 

I visited 2 nurseries in Ipoh to find out what plants and flowers are on offer or popular during Chinese New Year 2018, the year of the Earth Dog. As it was the 3rd week of January when I visited, imported cool climate plants such as narcissus, hyacinths, amaryllis, clivias, cymbidiums, peach, plum and peonies were not available yet.  These are seasonal plants imported from Holland or China. But, there were already plenty of anthuriums, chrysanthemums, kalanchoes, guzmania, lucky bamboos, pussy willows and orchids. These probably came from Cameron Highlands, Taiwan, Thailand and China.

In Ipoh, there are many plant nurseries in Jalan Kuala Kangsar as well we Ampang area. These 2 nurseries I visited are actually quite near to the city centre. 

Let's take a look at Tong Sun Nursery (Facebook click here , website here) and in Jalan Silibin, Ipoh...

Lucky bamboos are usually the first to appear. Here they are already adorned with auspicious ornaments complete with red ribbons and gold trimmings. Even the flower pots are beautifully decorated with auspicious designs and motifs.

Pussy Willow is called "ngan lau" in Cantonese. It sounds like money and lots of money flowing in. There is a saying, "yau ngan chow yau lau" meaning  when you have money, you can buy property.  

The doggies take centre stage.
After all, 2018 is the year of the Earth Dog.

Lucky bamboos decorated with wealth god and phoenixes on the left.
Chinese taro (Alocasia cucullata) on the right. 
It is "yu tou" in Mandarin and "hao yu tou" signifies good news, good luck or good omen. 

Lucky bamboo decked out with red and gold auspicious ornaments to attract good luck and good fortune

Lots of auspicious paraphernalia to choose from. Don't they look like the jewelries we wear for beauty? 

Haha, during Chinese New Year, even plants are decorated with bling-bling until they glow, glitter and shimmer! Obviously the most popular colour is red, yellow and gold.

Left: Red leafed Aglaonema aka Chinese Evergreens.
It is known as "hong cai shen (Mandarin): meaning "Red Wealth God"

Right: Crinum asiaticum is known as "fa cai suan". It means that you have lots of money to count!

Pachira aquatica is known as the " mei kum shu" in Cantonese meaning the US Dollar Tree.
Its other common names include  Money Tree, Fortune Tree, Provision Tree, Malabar Chestnut.

Ardisia crenata or Christmas Berry is known as "fu gui zi" meaning rich and honorable with many sons. 

Dischidia oiantha is known as "chin tap chin" meaning money $$$ stacked on top of money $$$.

Aphelandra squarosa aka Zebra Plant is "wang choi chau sau" in Cantonese.
It means indirect wealth, other sources of wealth or windfall luck is at hand. 

Pitcher plants or "zhu long cao" with hanging cups to capture and accumulate wealth from different directions.

Kumquat trees.
"kum" is gold and "kat" is lucky or auspicious

Four Seasons Lime trees.


Dragon lime. (Loong tam kat)

Schefllera arboricola aka Dwarf Umbrella Tree is known as "qi ye lian" or 7-leafed lotus. 
The above is a variegated cultivar.

Not sure why but some buyers search for this plant for fengshui purposes to enhance their zodiac signs after consultation with their feng shui masters.

Dischidia pectinoides is known as Wealth Wallets or Money Pockets


An evergreen tree (Ficus Bonsai - Ficus microcarpa 'Ginseng') shaped into figure of 8.
Evergreen trees are symbols of longevity while the number 8 symbolizes wealth  (huat ah!)
and it also looks like the mathematical symbol (lemniscate) of infinity.

Therefore, this arrangement can be positively interpreted as everlasting or infinite wealth and longevity.

“Chinese New Year 2018 Lucky Plants and Flowers and their Symbolism”, a copyrighted post, was written for My Nice Garden blog by Elaine Yim @ on 5th February 2018

The following pictures are from  Hock Loke Siew Nursery (Facebook here and website here) in Jalan Chin Choon Sam, Ipoh...


My interpretation :
Lucky bamboos on the left and the US Dollar Tree (Pachira aquatica) on the right. Wealth God is smiling happily and arriving on a merchant ship laden with treasures and gold ingots. He is also carrying a treasure chest. An award winning golden dog with medal around its neck is holding an auspicious banner and it is sitting on a pot of gold. 

Notice the little red lanterns, red ribbons, fire crackers, birds (phoenix) and the golden tangerine (kat)?

The  two little tuffs of grass-like plant on the bottom left and right corner is the Miniature Sweet Flag (Acorus gramineus) which is known as "jin gian pu" in Mandarin.. It sounds like treasure chest of gold and money. This one has 2 "cai shen" wealth gods and a pair of laughing buddhas. 

Notice the overflowing gold from the purple plants just below the US$ tree?
Can you find the pair of golden doggies?


Solanum mammosum represents 五代同堂 - wu dai tong tang, meaning "five generations living harmoniously or gathered together under one roof". According to traditional beliefs, it is regarded as a great blessing for the patriach/matriach when there are grandchildren, great grandchildren, and offspring of numerous generations gathered for a family reunion.

Red poinsettias, anthuriums and rose begonias.
Red represents celebration and prosperity.

Red leaf Aglaonema, the Red Wealth God

Chrysanthemums, kalanchoes, gerbera daisies, guzmanias in auspicious colours of gold, orange, yellow, purple and red.

Phalaenopsis orchids aka moth orchids. 
These gorgeous orchids last a long time.
The flowers look like butterflies.


Even the flower pots are in auspicious colours of red and gold with cherry blossoms motifs.

29. Hyacinths (New Update)

Updated on 8th February 2018:
The hyacinths and narcissus have arrived in Malaysia. You can get them at nurseries and florist shops now. The additional 2 photos are provided by Tong Sun Nursery in Ipoh.

For those staying in Klang Valley, you can get hyacinths and narcissus at Lot 61, Selangor Green Lane or florists in KL Chinatown (Petaling Street) such as Lee Wah Florist and Weng Hoa. Lee Wah Florists has peonies, tulips and hydrangeas as cut flowers.

30. Narcissus

My article titled "Prosperity Plants" was published by New Straits Times on 3rd February 2018. You can read about it here. There are some tips on how to care for hyacinths and chrysanthemums.



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