Wednesday, November 26, 2014

A delightful welcome

Back in Kuching and welcomed by this delightftul purple orchid in full bloom..

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Flowering white in the garden today

Common Spider Lily - Hymenocallis speciosa
Family : Amaryllidaceae - Onion family

Star of Bethleham - Laurentia longiflora
Family : Campanulaceae - Campanhula family

Rounded frangipani - Plumeria obtusa
Family : Apocynaceae - Periwinkle family

Furry Jasmine - Jasminoides multiflorum
Family : Oleaceae - Jasmine family

Flowering today in the garden

Mimosa pudica

Bignonia magnifica

Bunga Raya (Malay) - Hibiscus rosa-sinensis

Ixora coccinea

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Looking beyond the Kambatik garden

Bringing nature outside the bedroom
View from main garden, looking west.  Note the mountin range in the far horizon.

View from front garden, looking south
Occasionally we need to re-focus our sight.  Beyond the Kambatik garden (Malaysian garden defined) I see the distant hills, with bluish green cover.  Further still the mountain range seemed a formidable soft barrier of blue.  The expanse of sky and open air beyond reminds me of nature's kindness, giving life and hope in an encompassing universe that needs to be conserved for the future generation.  It prompts to ask 'What have you done to your country, if you say you love your country?'  Closer to home, I see the football fields and the green open spaces of the neighbourhood.  There are trees that adorn the streets and the fields.  It is a connected world.  The Kambatik home garden is but a tiny sanctuary in urban green lung.  The prime idea however is its role in the passageway of nature's big corridor of wildlife and the plant kingdoms we needed most to be alive and kicking.  We need to build home gardens to provide transit and temporary home to some of nature's wildlife species as they travel and forage for food.  Without plants and wildlife human will naturally die.  With nature humans prosper.  Do a Kambatik garden if you are a Sarawakian, and soon.  Very immediately you'll partake in nature's power and glory.  Look beyond the Kambatik garden!
View towards the the streets and open spaces.
View from front porch,  looking west

View of back garden, looking south

View looking east
Note the distant hills and forest

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Flowering yellow today in the garden

Cassia biflora
Family : Leguminosae - Bean family
Yellow Bells - Tecoma stans
Family: Bignoniaceae - Bignonia family

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Of foliage plants in the garden

Red Ti plants provide lively red tonal effects to overall green column of shrubbery and trees
Often times the Red Ti plant refers to the Cordyline terminalis 'Firebrand' . But this species Cordyline fruticosa have foliages in a variety of colour combinations
Location : Side Garden

Blood Banana and Golden Scindapsus
 Looking at the garden this morning I'm excited to see the role of foliage plants.  They add much needed colour to the greenery of the Kambatik garden, besides bio-diversity.  The garden architecture from ground  floor to top storey or canopy can be imaginatively layered or planted with foliage plants.  These plants whether trees, shrubbery, climbers or  herbaceous covers are attractive for their colourful foliages in full tonal or mixed coloration.  Some require shade to do well  while others may not object to semi-shade or full sun conditions.  In today's list I am able to capture the following plants as they exhibit their full potential in the garden this morning.  The plant list are as follows:-
Trees - Blood Banana -  (Musa acuminata spp. zebrina); Sea Cycas - Cycas rumphiiShrubs - Red Ti  - Cordyline fruticosa or Cordyline terminalis (Syn.) ; Croton - Codiaeum variegatumCovers - Golden Scindapsus - Epipremnum aureum or Scindapsus aureus (Syn.); Golden Pandan - Pandanus pygmaeus

Variegated Croton - Codiaeum variegatum

Variegated Croton - Codiaeum variegatum

Variegated Croton - Codiaeum variegatum

Sea Cycas - Cycas rumphii with Red Ti in the background

The Sea Cycas can be grown is semi-shade or full sun

Herbaceous cover- not identified yet
Golden Pandan - Pandanus pygmaeus
Note the Variegated Ti plant at forefround (in this case it's variegated green, red and cream combined) with Blood Banana tree at the back

Garden plants

Location: Kambatik garden, Kuching.
Taken on 4 Nov'14
Camera Nikon D5100

Monday, November 3, 2014

Garden in the morning

Congea tomentosa

 Checking out the garden early this morning to see what we have missed. The showy bracts of the Congea tomentosa in colours of mauve pink immediately attracted my attention when I looked up at the bamboo clump.  It was trained to climb the broad-leaved Lumok tree ( Artocarpus odoratissimus) and did a good job of it, seemingly to scramble the bamboo clump next.   Of the palm trees I saw three that produce fruits.  They are the Pinang tree (Arecha catechu) or Betel-nut palm,  (from which came the name 'Penang' island), The Yellow Palm (Chrysalidocarpus lutescens) and the Carpentaria Palm (Carpentaria acuminata).  Then, there were  the grasshopper, a pipit bird  and a friendly neighbour's cat that made the morning alive with wildlife...
Areca catechu

Chrysalidocarpus lutescens

Carpentaria acuminata,


A Pipit bird

A neighbour's cat enjoying the lawn

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Tidying up the garden

View of main side garden, looking west.

Clippings as mulch
 It has been a very healthy morning.  Been doing the grass cutting of the lawn.  One of the benefits of a good lawn when cut low is the by-product of the cutting operation  called clippings.  Here I re-cycle the clippings as mulch.  Nothing should go to waste.  It took me a good 30 minutes job to cut the grass with the mechanical bush cutter.  The clippings are swept with a rake and then placed around the bases of plants.  Only when I have excess clippings do I use them as burning material for burnt earth.  I am showing below the list of basic  equipments for this morning's grass cutting operation and garden maintenance works.  The list includes the bush cutter, rake, hoe, hand pruner, 'parang' (Malay to mean matchet),  basket, saw, ground chisel and safety spectacles or goggles.
Seedling of the Foxtail Palm (Wodyetia bifurcata) with grass clippings  placed around its base.

I have planted three seedlings of the Foxtail palm (Wodyetia bifurcata) which I raised from seeds at the side garden facing the porch.  They have been planted early in the year,  They seem to be growing at a slow pace which is quite alright for me because I have already some tall palm trees in the garden.  These Foxtail palms will add to the variety of palm collection  in the garden.

Tools and equipments for grass cutting and general garden maintenance job

Pleasant welcome from Mussaenda Calcutta

Mussaenda Calcutta and Red Ti leaves provided a cheerful welcome to visitors of the gaarden.

Mussaenda Calcutta
 What a pleasant welcome to the garden on this 51st trip to Kuching.  The multi-coloured Mussaenda 'Calcutta' greeted us the morning after.  There are other plants of interest of which I'll blog in days later.  We are missing our Kuching garden greatly and I'm hoping to do lots more of maintenance works to the garden this time around in order to prime it up. The greenery was a real attraction and it seemed the mussaenda shrub had brightened the front side garden with its pastel yellow and mild orange colours.  The Red Ti (Cordyline terminalis) leaves were an attractive addition to the lively mood of the garden too....  So happy to be back in Kuching!
Front side garden - lots of greenery and colour

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Sunbirds work smart

Male Olive-backed Sunbird

Female Olive-backed Sunbird
 Watching the Olive-backed Sunbirds having a go at the nectar of the Pink Poui was a memorable one.  It is interesting to see how they worked smart.  To reach at the nectar both made short-cuts.  Their sharp beak were effective as  weapon to pierce through the base of the flowers.  They kept on making return trips to the tree to enjoy the nectar and seemed pleased by their twittering calls. 

Male piercing the base of the Pink Poui
Male piercing deep into the base of the Pink Poui flower
Male Olive-backed Sunbird in flight
Trumpet-shaped flowers of the Pink Poui (Tabebuia rosea)
Flowering is accompanied by shedding of leaves.  The beauty is when the whole tree flowers without the leaves.