Brugmansia suaveolens and hybrids, with dramatic floral display

Brugmansia suaveolens (Angel’s Trumpet, Angel-star, Angel’s Tears)

Brugmansia suaveolens (Angel's Trumpet) - a hybrid with coral pink flowers, maybe 'Rhapsody'The exotic Brugmansia suaveolens is a small tree or large evergreen shrub that is cultivated exclusively for its dramatic floral display. A prolific bloomer that may grandly display as many as 100-200 stunningly beautiful flowers at one time under good growing conditions. Simply spectacular… as if presenting rows and rows of chorus line dancers!
The enchanting fragrance of their flowers, especially strong in the cool evenings and nights, is an added attraction!

These stunning tropical flowering shrubs do thrive in our lowlands though rarely seen. Usually, we get to enjoy these beauties in our highlands. We were delighted indeed to have seen them during our recent holiday to Cameron Highlands in Pahang last month.

Our tropical garden update for August 2011

Hmm… we thought that we’ll run out of garden news eventually since our garden plants were greatly reduced due to health problems (i.e. John’s suffering from lumbar spondylosis that impairs his gardening activities). But it appears there are still leftovers that aren’t willing to be categorized as run-of-the-mill as yet. Some plants just want to be noticed and did their best to get our attention by putting up a show to amaze us!

Epidendrum x obrienianum

Our Epidendrum x obrienianum (Epi, Crucifix Orchid, Reed-stem Epidendrum, Sun/Star Orchid, Poor Man’s Orchid) blooming again after more than 2 yearsLast flowered more than 2 years ago. A year passed, then two and still no show at all. About a dozen new reed-like stems were added over the years and that was about all. Occasionally, the leaves were spotted with disease and had to be trimmed off or sprayed with pesticide, something we dislike doing as I’m allergic to pesticides. We had somewhat given up hope that it’ll ever flower again, threw in the towel and thought of disposing it.

Could it have heard our rumblings and decided to reward us? To our utter surprise, a long flowering spike finally emerged early last month! We were extremely excited, very sure that we’ll be enjoying its lovely blooming presence in our garden for at least two whole months.

Hemigraphis alternata, a colourful prostrate-creeper

Hemigraphis alternata (Red Flame Ivy, Red Ivy, Cemetary Plant, Metal-leaf)

Hemigraphis alternata (Red Flame Ivy, Red Ivy, Cemetary Plant, Metal-leaf, Purple Waffle Plant), seen at Sg Klah Hot Springs, SungkaiAn attractive and colourful low-creeping herb that’s sure to draw one’s attention, especially mine! I do admit to being a sucker for just about any plant with variegated leaves!

We were somewhat mesmerized when we first sighted those lovely ground-cover plants, less than two years ago at Felda Residence Hot Springs in Sungkai, Perak.

Hemigraphis alternata, seen at Sg Klah Hot Springs #3/5I was amazed at the foliar variegation. A myriad of colourful hues greeted us, where each leaf is artfully designed and appeared different from one another in tones. Mostly metallic grayish-green and randomly stained with purple or reddish-purple on the upper leaf surfaces, and coloured wine-red underneath. Simply marvelous!

St Anne’s Church in Bukit Mertajam, a renowned pilgrimage center (Pt 2)

Continuing from Part 1 of Pilgrimage to St Anne’s Church.

July 26 2011

This date marked the actual Feast Day of St. Anne and St. Joachim that falls on July 26, each year.
St. Anne sanctuary, Bukit Mertajam (1846)Two English Masses were celebrated, one at 5.30pm while the second at 7.30pm, followed by the procession at 9pm. The crowd at St. Anne’s Sanctuary that day, though huge, was not as massive when compared to the 100,000 pilgrims and devotees who attended the Feast Day celebration on Saturday, July 30th, where seven Masses were celebrated to cater to the enormous turnout.

St Anne’s Church in Bukit Mertajam, a renowned pilgrimage center (Pt 1)

Pilgrimage to St Anne’s Church, Bukit Mertajam

The magnificent St. Anne's Church, Bukit MertajamThe Church of St. Anne in Bukit Mertajam, is Malaysia’s largest, most magnificent and spectacular Catholic church! This mammoth new church with attractive multi-tiered Minangkabau roofs, lovely Gothic architecture and spacious inside with a seating-capacity of 1,800, was built from year 2000 and dedicated on St Anne’s Feast Day, July 26 2002. An imposing and monumental structure to glorify and pay tribute to Our Heavenly King, The Almighty God who has blessed (and continues to bless) His people who visit this sanctuary, with countless miracles and healing through the powerful intercession of St Anne, the gracious mother of the Blessed Virgin Mary and grandmother of our Lord Jesus Christ.