Chlorophytum comosum ‘Variegatum’ can be eye-catching too!

Chlorophytum comosum ‘Variegatum’ (White Spider, White-edged Spider Plant, Variegated Spider Ivy)

Hanging pot of Chlorophytum comosum 'Variegatum' (White/White-edged Spider Plant, Variegated Spider Ivy), Sept 6 2011Do you judge Spider Plants to be plain, ordinary and common?

Well, we did judge it so until about one and a half years ago when we spotted a few lovely hanging pots of Chlorophytum comosum ‘Variegatum’ at a garden nursery. This very popular cultivar has bright green to bluish green leaves with white margins. They looked so healthy and lustrous. And, encircling beneath the plants were countless baby spiders dancing along the elongated branched stolons… so prolific and eye-catching!

We were momentarily flabbergasted… have never seen such a magnificent display before!

Chlorophytum comosum 'Variegatum' (White/White-edged Spider Plant, Variegated Spider Ivy, Ribbon/Airplane Plant), with countless baby spidersAnd of course we did bring home one of those lovely pots of White Spider Plant that day.  Just anticipating the great number of plants that can be propagated from the dancing babies or presented as gifts to friends kept us smiling all the way home!

We simply dished out a single note of RM10/= to buy it and got more than our money’s worth instead! Isn’t that wonderful?

March to April 2013 in our tropical garden

Unpredictable weather can be so annoying at times! Blasting sunshine with extreme heat and interspersed with sudden erratic thunderstorms, lightning and heavy rainfall have been the norm for the months of March and April! Hardy plants just love them while the less hardy ones especially newly planted or repotted plants simply dread such extreme sudden changes in temperatures.

Overall, our garden plants in tropical Malaysia managed to challenge the dreadful weather and their happy smiling faces give us the impetus to carry on, regardless.

An overview of our tropical garden, captured March 29 2013


Asparagus densiflorus ‘Sprengeri’ with delicate fern-like leaves

Asparagus densiflorus ‘Sprengeri’ (Sprengeri/Sprenger’s Asparagus Fern, Asparagus/Emerald Fern, Basket Asparagus)

Our potted Asparagus densiflorus 'Sprengeri' (Sprengeri/Sprenger's Asparagus Fern, Asparagus/Foxtail Fern, Plume Asparagus)Though commonly known as a ‘fern’ because of its delicate fern-like leaves, this beautiful ornamental asparagus is not in any way related to it. Instead, Asparagus densiflorus ‘Sprengeri’ belongs to the Lily family, and is much easier to grow than ferns that are fragile and quite demanding.

A popular plant that will look its best if grown in a hanging basket or container, with its slender and cascading stems that are covered with emerald-green needle-like foliage, billowing gracefully in the breeze.

Asparagus densiflorus 'Sprengeri' (Sprengeri Asparagus Fern, Asparagus/Foxtail Fern, Plume Asparagus) with fern-like foliage and flowersAn ideal groundcover plant for the border too since it is dense, mounding and spreading in nature.

This herbaceous plant will be more captivating when it’s covered with white flowers and vibrant red berries as seen in images at Dave’s Garden. An outstanding contrast against the green foliage.

A wonderful foliage plant that is extremely versatile and most desirable to have in the garden.

February 2013: critters and flowers in our tropical garden

Definitely easier to capture shots of plants/flowers than flying insects and creeping reptiles, right? Flowers are so well-behaved, like inanimate objects for still life painting, unless swayed by the wind. And, one can always choose to photograph them later when the wind subsides.

Not the flying insects though. The fluttering butterflies, bees and others just zoom into your garden, not caring two hoots as long as they got their nectareous drink from your flowers and then disappear without a trace. Mating flies, on a Pandan Leaf, at our backyard gardenChasing after them for a photo shootout can be quite a hassle! Nevertheless, it’s sheer bliss whenever I do succeed!

Sometimes, opportunity knocks and I’ll seize the chance to snap before it quickly disappears, such as these mates who were oblivious of being caught in the act… :D

Dracaena braunii: better known by its synonym, Dracaena sanderiana

Dracaena braunii (syn. D. sanderiana), commonly named Lucky Bamboo, Ribbon Plant, Ribbon Dracaena, Belgian Evergreen

Dracaena braunii or D. sanderiana (Lucky Bamboo, Ribbon Plant/Dracaena, Belgian Evergreen) at a garden nurseryWhenever the Chinese Lunar New Year approaches, traders far and wide will be laughing all the way to the bank with pockets full from selling these Lucky Bamboo plants. It’s a very profitable trade during the annual festive season as the plants are in great demand and sold like hot cakes because of its traditional significance in Chinese culture.

During such times, Dracaena sanderiana are presented in different attractive shapes and sizes. Varying lengths of stem cuttings are bundled together with golden bands, and creatively twisted, bent, twirled and so forth, making them appealing to potential buyers. Their beauty are further enhanced with red ribbons, bows and beads.

Dracaena braunii or D. sanderiana (Lucky Bamboo, Ribbon Plant/Dracaena, Belgian Evergreen) as table decor at our sitting hallMost buyers grow these plants in water as table ornaments or centerpieces in homes and offices. The larger ones can be placed on the floor as stand-alone specimens or those taller stems with cork-screwed or spiraled tips can be placed in decorative floor vases as a dramatic focal point.

These plants are well-regarded in the Eastern practice of Feng Shui, especially by the Chinese, as a symbol of good luck, hence the common name, Lucky Bamboo, though it is not a bamboo at all and lucky?… that depends on the person’s beliefs and sentiments. Our view is that it’s more of a lucrative marketing strategy by businessmen. Nevertheless, we do find the Lucky Bamboo with its luxuriant and glossy foliage, very charming as table decorations in our home.