My Renewed Interest In An Old, Unappreciated Garden

The sun shined on the garden below almost effortlessly this morning when I woke up. For some time in the past weeks, the sky had been rather gloomy. So, I was especially grateful and happy to see the sun being up there again, unblocked. Looking down from my third floor condo unit, my recent indifferent attitude towards the garden below seemed to have changed at that instance, if not forever. The ever boring, never changing and unsophisticated garden and plants, looked most beautiful to me on this particular sunny morning. 

Hence, I took a stroll down to the garden after a light breakfast.

Picture of the plantings around the swimming pool -> taken from my bedroom.

Picture of the plantings around the swimming pool -> taken from my balcony. 

The Bonsai and Topiary Rock Garden. Picture taken from third floor's walkway adjacent to the lifts.

As I strolled near the swimming pool area, I saw no one except for a flock of pigeons splashing water onto themselves at the side of the pool. I wanted to capture the scene. But, when I got a bit nearer, they spread their wings and flew away to some nearby window sills. Pigeons have been our regular garden visitors for as long as I can remember. Some residents have even considered them as pets. They feed them secretly despite the management's frequent warnings against the deed. Luckily, their number never really increases so far. Else, they would have been considered as pests. 

With no luck for a capture of the scene and knowing that they would never return to the side of the pool as long as I am there, I strolled on. Trying to enjoy every sights of the plants and landscapes along the way. Admiring them as though they are new to me. When in actual fact, they are the very same old plants and garden since I moved in years back. Somehow, however boring I might find them, I wouldn't want any changes to take place in the garden. For if they do, they would cost us a bomb and that would be too much for us to bear. We would rather reserve our funds for more important projects like refurbishing the whole buildings and more in the future.

Right now, I just have to be contented and grateful. For at least the plants are doing quite well and the lawn ( planted with Axonopus compressus ) is well mowed and trimmed. The Coconut Palms ( cocos nucifera ) have been bearing us lots of fruits throughout the year. The foliage shrubs ( like Cordyline terminalis and Ficus benjamina ) and some of the flowering perennial shrubs ( like  Heliconia psittacorum, Heliconia rostrata , Ixora coccinea, Hibiscus rosa-sinensis, Hymenocallis littoralis, Ochna kirkii, Hippeastrum sp. and a few more ) are at their best decorative state. The row of Bougainvillea plants near the swimming pool may not be flowering now but they definitely would when the right time comes. The Manila Palms ( Veitchia merrillii ) have grown to be so tall and sturdy on the slope. Big, healthy, mature ornamental ( Cassia fistula, Tabebuia rosea @ pentaphylla, Erythrina glauca, Bauhina purpurea, etc. ) as well as fruit ( Papaya, Mango, etc. ) trees that grow parallel to the brick fences all around our condo are going to flower or bear fruit soon. Thanks to our one and only Indonesian gardener who comes in thrice a week to look after them.

Occasionally, I stopped to take pictures of the blooms and greens around the garden. I was pleasantly surprised to find that, despite being the most common of all plants in Malaysia, they are actually no less beautiful and unique. The pictures are their evidence. I guess I just have to change my mindset to be able to see their beauty. They do deserve some kind of acknowledgements.

The flower of Heliconia psittacorum

Heliconia psittacorum

The flower of Heliconia rostrata

Cordyline terminalis

The flower of Hibiscus rosa-sinensis

The flower of Ixora coccinea

The flower of Ixora coccinea

The flower buds of Ixora coccinea

The flower of Ixora coccinea Sunkist

The flower of Hymenocallis littoralis

The flower of Ochna kirkii with unripe berries

The flower of Ochna kirkii with one remaining ripe berry

The flower of Hippeastrum sp.

The flower of ........ ( oops, I just can't recall its name...can anyone enlighten me on this? thanks! )

Finally, at the end of my stroll, I found that I have renewed interest in the garden below my home. I felt guilty for having complained that it is ever boring, never changing and unsophisticated recently. I should have felt really proud instead, to be one of its many fortunate owners, and blessed, to be able to stroll around it as and when I feel like it. Thank goodness I have come to realise this before long.

Have a great day!

Date : 27th. January, 2018

Note : This post is labeled under ' Other People's Garden ' because the garden that is being mentioned here is neither managed nor planted by me but the management of the condominium where I am staying right now.

I've Got My Outdoor, Solar-Powered Chanting Machine!

My outdoor, solar-powered chanting machine comes with an operating menu, a big, pink lotus flower head, 2 green stems and a soil-poking tool. I will write a review about it once I have it installed at my garden some time in mid February. Till then...

The other day when I wrote This POSTI received quite a lot of comments from my readers. Some shared the same view as me while some opined that it is absurd. Despite having plenty of supportive findings on the internet, some are still not convinced that plants do listen somehow. I don't blame them. Even identical twins do have differences in thoughts and such. What more, all of us. I can only assume that unless they hear or see for themselves, they would never ever believe it. So, till then, I'd rather save my time from engaging in never ending debates. 

Yesterday, my wish for an outdoor, solar-powered ' music player ' came true finally. Yeah, Yeah, Yeah! My brother got me one. Though it is no conventional music player but a chanting machine instead to be exact, it would be great for my small backyard garden. 

In case you have not followed my posts from the very beginning, my small backyard garden is a very small space at the back of my holiday ( vacation ) home. I get to be there for a mere few to ten times, or so in a year. Most of the time my plants are left to grow under the care of ' nature '. I guess I ought to really praise and thank the rain and the sun. They have untiringly, showered countless goodness on my plants all these months. My plants ( which are all vegetables ), have been growing really well because of ' them '. Hence, I have enjoyed a couple of good harvests so far. 

Though my absence never seems to have mattered to them at all, I hope my newly-acquired outdoor, solar-powered chanting machine would somehow give them another boost to grow even better. This machine generally plays chants that are most pleasant and positive in nature. My plants would definitely love them. How I wish now that mid February would come soon. For only then, would I have the time to go back to my holiday home and have this machine installed at my small backyard garden. 

Do You Know That Our Plants Do Listen If We Ever Talk To Them?

Has anyone of you ever talked to your plants? I have and always would. I don't want my neighbours to think that I am out of my mind. So, I would always do so whenever I get to be ' alone ' without my neighbours in sight. I like to thank my plants for beautifying and growing in my garden. I feel it is necessary to motivate them to grow strong and healthy always. I would tell them how much I love and treasure them just like I would to my previous feathery and furry pets. During harvest time, I would thank them for being my good food source for I am truly grateful. I talk to them as though they are not different from me. 

I guess if I could hear them, they would probably be saying, " We hear you! Play us music so our hearts could sing! ". I want them to grow happily. So, I hope to be getting an outdoor, solar-powered music player for them soon. 

Now, why am I talking to my plants like no other gardener? What makes me think that they do listen? I don't know, but my instinct tells me they do somehow. 

I have talked to my plants long before I found out this very interesting finding:

Dr. Masaru Emoto ( the head of the I.H.M. General Research Institute Inc., who has conducted a large number of experiments using microscopic photography to observe the structures of water crystals during the turn of the 20th. to the 21st. century ), has discovered that water can receive, recognise and respond to messages in the form of sounds, words, pictures and thoughts. Water ( though being the only subject of his experiments ), in actual fact represents all other matters in the universe. Hence, we have all the prove here to say that our plants do listen if we ever talk to them. 

Having confirmed this, let's start talking good to our plants now if we want to see good growths! 

Happy growing and talking! All the best!

Let's Be Kind To Our Garden Pests

Every growing season, we can see gardeners scratch their heads, battling with unwanted intruders ( or so-called ' Garden Pests ' ) that are nibbling away at their plants. Following the masses, they use all kinds of protective and eradicative means to deal with them. While biological pest control method does not cause damage to the environment like the chemical one does, it is still not a good option. It does harm our garden pests somehow. Mechanical pest control method could be a better one ( in terms of not causing harm to our garden pests ), but that would mean increases in cost, labour and time used. So, the latter is not ideal either.

So, what other option(s) do we have then?

Let's take human being as an example. When one is strong and healthy, nasty people ( or bullies ) and pathogens wouldn't dare to or be able to get near, what more attack one. Even if they do affect one somehow, one will surely bounce back and become stronger and healthier than before. The same principle applies to our garden pests and plants. So, all we need to do is as simple as to care for and feed our plants well. Only when they are internally strong and healthy would they be able to defend themselves against garden pests naturally.

Apart from growing really strong plants, we can also communicate with and be kind to our garden pests in a way. We can sacrifice a small plot of our cultivated plants and offer it to our garden pests to feast on as they wished. We can put up a notice at the plot that says, " Garden Pests Are Welcome To Feast Here ". It may seem ridiculous but whether we believe it or not, our garden pests do understand somehow, especially when we do it with utmost sincerity. Only when their instincts tell them that we mean no harm and are kind to them, would they return our kindness and leave our other plants, undisturbed.
Note : Garden Pests ( however irritating and tiny they are ), like us human beings, do cherish their lives and fear deaths. So, let's be kind and spare them when we could! It takes only a little of our efforts.

Happy Growing! 

" A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees. "      
Amelia Earhart

Summary List Of The Things To Do In And Around My Small Backyard Garden In 2018

When I first bought my holiday ( vacation ) home last year, it was in a quite run down condition. Until now, I still can't quite figure out what had gotten into me back then, that made me decided to buy it at the first viewing. Definitely not the price as it was considered rather high for the area. I knew it. So, it must have been ' FATE ', I guess. I admit I ever regretted and even felt rather stupid at one point of time for not taking more time to consider the buy. Run down condition and high price. There would never have been another buyer like me on earth. Somehow, I have to accept the fact that I have already bought it and that it has used up a big part of my savings. I must make it serve its purposes as a holiday home and a place for me to ' play ' gardening, I told myself.

So, despite my regret, I engaged a contractor friend to help me do a complete makeover for the house. The whole house ( inside and outside ) including the wooden staircase and upstairs wooden floor was repainted - new piping and water tank and electrical fittings were installed - the backyard awning was removed to make way for the rain and sun to settle in - 2 planters were constructed ( one long one at the backyard and one square one next to the front entrance ) -  new wire mesh fencing was installed on two sides at the backyard - 2 side brick fencing walls were partially extended up to the awning at the front car porch - new gate was installed at the entrance to the car porch - new bathroom and sanitary fittings cum floor and wall tiles were installed inside the bathroom and toilet - new floor and wall tiles as well as new kitchen sink and table top were installed at the kitchen cum dining area - and a lot of minor repairs were carried out here and there. 

Finally, when all was done, the pieces of furniture were moved in. And, I have stayed in a few times since.

However comfortable or functional it is now, there are still a lot of things that need to be done. I resolve to have them completed by end of this year, if possible.

Here is the summary list of the Things TO DO in and around My Small Backyard Garden in 2018:

1) To add some hardy and almost maintenance free potted indoor plants at the dining, living, kitchen, bathroom and toilet area - so as to add more ' life ' to the home.

The pictures below show the spots that need to be displayed with potted plants :

Dining table

Living room

Kitchen table top

Display or utility shelves inside the toilet

Toilet bowl water tank 

Bathroom display or utility shelves

Bathroom water basin

2) To add more planters and plant more edible cum ornamental plants at the backyard. To add some garden furniture and to find ways to decorate the cemented ground, if budget permits. To transform the backyard into a really beautiful, functional and productive small backyard garden.

3) To plant more edible cum ornamental plants at the front entrance ( front yard ) planter.

May all tasks be accomplished by year end! All the best!

Happy New Year!

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