Monday, November 11, 2013

Back garden

Back garden, showing mixed planting of palm, wild banana, cassia alata, calathea lutea and ixora coccinea ...

Cassia alata

 Just the other day, I managed to dig out some tapioca tubers and cook them.  They tasted good because they are of a variety that is soft to be eaten.  At the back garden are many herbs and shrubs that produce fruits, tubers, flowers or leaves can can be consumed as salad, dessert, juiced drinks, condiments,medicine, and not forgetting added appeal for wildlife and garden beauty.  Here's more views of the back garden....

Back garden ...mixed planting mainly herbaceous plants

Costus woodsoonii - Red button ginger

Back garden...view towards south-east

The nesting pair stays at the garden

Male Olive-backed sunbird (left)  and female at right...on the "Lumok" leaves (Artocarpus odoratissimus Blanco)

 The Malays call the tree as "Terap" and the Bintulu Melanaus call it "Lumok".  the Lumok tree is planted at the side garden facing south.  It has grown to about 7 meters now.  The Olive-backed sunbird couple is seen resting and perching on its broad leaves often to have a commanding view of their nest.  I noticed this whole week that the nesting pair is very frequently seen around the nest area.  The female flies very regularly to visit and then hide in the nest.  It would appear to me that she could have laid eggs already.  Unfortunately I would not have time to see them hatch because tomorrow we'll be on the way back to Bintulu.  Whatever it is this visit has been most memorable for the chance it has given us to witness the pair building their nest and then making use of it for its intended puropose i.e. to lay eggs.  I wish more chicks will be borne in our garden in future.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

More birdlife seen

Asian glossy starling
 Besides a nesting pair of Olive-backed sunbird, the other birds that are dropping by at regular basis at the garden are the Perling or Asian Glossy Starling and the Pipit.  Here are some pictures of the birds seen within the last two weeks.

Olive-backed sunbird - female

Olive-backed sunbird - male


Side and back garden

Back garden - showing the Cassia alata leaves at left and red flowers of the Ixora coccinea at right

 The Laman Kambatik (Malay) or Kambatik garden is providing much shade, greenery and colours now.  It has developed a micro-climate attracting many birds, butterflies, bees and various insects.  Its bio-diversity network is broadened.  Indeed on this trip I was especially pleased with the behaviours of a nesting couple of the Olive-backed sunbird of which I have blogged in previous postings.  Below are some pictures of the back and side garden.  I have included the Perling bird which I saw this afternoon having a rest on the Tabebeuia rosea branch.

Coconut trees at left and in background is the Mango tree
At center is the Starfruit tree and at right is the White chempaka (Michelia alba)

Side garden - looking south
At left is durian tree and right is the Kedondong tree, with lots of fruits

A Perling bird resting on the branch of the Tabebuia rosea tree...

Sunday, November 3, 2013

The male Olive-backed Sunbird

Male Olive-backed Sunbird
Female Olive-backed Sunbird
 The male sunbird had a watching brief over the nest area.  It gave out repeated calls to the female and soon after the female bird appeared with a mouthful of feathers to the nest.  It rested on a branch close by before attempting to make a direct approach to the nest.  She carefully placed the feathers in the nest.  It seemed to me that the feathers would made good bedding material.  After she placed the feathers she rested on a branch outside the nest to swipe her beak on the twig and then had a little rest from a busy afternoon schedule (see picture at the inset left).

Approaching the nest with a mouthful of feather...
At the nest entrance ready to place the feather inside...
Placing the feather....

View of front garden...from outside the fence, looking north.
3 Nov'13
Planting of tall palms and Eugenia oleina trees at back garden..looking south
Planting of Eugenia oleina trees and yellow bamboo at back garden, corner side..looking south.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Olive-backed Sunbird making nest

Olive-backed Sunbird (Nectarinia jugularis)

 On this trip to Kuching, we are fortunate to have the chance to see the Olive-backed Sunbird darting to and fro in the garden in its attempt to perfect its nest.  I could see the male watching her from a vantage point in the garden.  It is the female that is busy bringing in the finer material to do the finishing touches.  I discovered that the nest is hung from a small branch of the Eugenia oleina tree which is planted at the back portion of the garden.  The nest is flask-shaped and is composed of twigs and glass blades.  Below are pictures taken today of the female bird in flight, inside the nest and hovering just outside it too.  With the presence of the nesting behaviour it shows that the garden is attractive and comfortable to the birds.
The Eugenia oleina tree is just next to the tall Carpentaria palm.  Presently the oleina tree is in flushing stage, giving out a range of beautiful young leaves in colours of yellow, orange to red.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The Kambatik garden

View of front garden
Holskioldia sanguinea
Chinese hat plant
 The Kambatik garden is shaping up.  The garden's emphasis on a perpetual summer and autumn is felt in the garden colours from fruits, flowers, leaves and stem or tree trunks.  Living in a hot and humid tropics like Kuching one just need to be a bit more imaginative to provide the intermittent flushing of leaves, the permanent variegation of leaves and bracts to make the garden a riot of colours.  The Chinese hat plant can be trained as a climber to give the everyday presence of orange to red colours in the enlarged calyx of its inflorescence. The garden remains cool in the afternoon because of shade provided by the trees. Many tall shrubs like the mussaendas and hibiscus have variegated leaves just like many perennial herb species of the croton, cordyline and gingers.  Thus the choice of spring to summer to autumn colours are a plenty and can range the full colours of the spectrum.  Besides tress providing shade a reasonable sized lawn is important to throw down the shade on the garden floor, providing recreational space,scale, and access to the garden borders, corners and  also as a flight corridor for butterflies.
Frontal view of garden, seen from the road.
Note the red fruits of the Carpentaria palm and the orange to red flushes of the Eugenia oleina in the background.

 I have not seen the Mango tree flowering very heavily like this time around.  It is my fervent hope that the tree will bear as many fruits as possible in the weeks ahead.  Part of the concept of the Kambatik garden is edible landscaping or in Malay is referred to as 'sara landskap'.  In the traditional Malay homes, the back garden is mainly planted with edible fruits, vegetables, herbs with medicinal value and a host of smaller trees,shrubs or covers for its salad value as well.
Pagoda flower (Clerodendrum paniculatum)

Cassia alata

Senduduk (Malay) - Melastoma malabathricum

White costus (Costus speciosus)

Coconut leaves
I am glad that the Kuching garden is giving us much pleasure as well as responsibility in the advancement of ecological diversity, wildlife and more clean oxygen to the living space around us.  Life seems justified in leaving behind a greener planet and more prosperity for wildlife alongside the human species.

Town pipits

Monday, October 28, 2013

The garden plants grows and birds sing..

Add caption
 Back in Kuchng on this 45th trip, we found the garden plants growing well and here's some early morning takes, the morning after we arrived Kuching from Bintulu last night.  Three birds have made their early morning calls.  The garden have produced a few fruits that can be consumed immediately.  More views of the garden and close-ups below.....
Fruits of the 'Kedondong' - Malay (Spondias dulcis) ..these can be juiced

Blood banana...

Fruits of the Carpentaria palm ....mainly for the birds

Star fruits - nice to eat raw or juiced

Bignonia magnifica

Orange flowers of the Chinese hat plant (Holmskioldia sanguinea)

Parrot flower or Heliconia psittacorum


Mussaenda hybrid

Scented flowers of the 'Sui Mui' (Chinese) - Wrightia religiosa

Variegated leaves of the Cordyline fruticosa species

 There will be more birds pictures that can be added here.  But suffice to catch a glimpse of these three early birds at the garden.  They add music to the place with their persistant calls throughout the day.  We will continue to watch them as the day progresses.....