Admiring our garden from January to March 2016

Our tropical garden is marvellously exciting to look at… at least to us anyway! (“wink”)

It never fails to cheer us as we walk around leisurely in the mornings, afternoons or evenings, mesmerised by the sheer beauty that abound and at the same time being always grateful and thankful to God for His awesome creations and fascinating designs.

Sharing below are some photos of our colourful flowering plants, starting with

The Fiery Reds…

The fiery reds (Periwinkle 'Pacifica XP Really Red', Dwarf Red Ixora, Azalea simsii and Red Button Ginger) at our front yard, Feb 14 2016

Ctenanthe burle-marxii ‘Amagris’ with attractive fishbone pattern

Ctenanthe burle-marxii ‘Amagris’ (Fishbone Prayer Plant, Ctenanthe Amagris)

Flowering Ctenanthe burle-marxii ‘Amagris’ (Fishbone Prayer Plant), July 17 2013A charming foliage plant that was added to our courtyard in July 2013.

Though its variegated leaves aren’t that dramatic, the dark green fishbone pattern set against a light greyish-green background certainly attracted our attention and curiosity!

The purple-coloured underside of its leaves is an added bonus, to say the least.

Mostly variegated foliage plants, incl. Ctenanthe burle-marxii ‘Amagris’ at our courtyard, June 19 2014We gladly brought a pot of ‘Amagris’ that costs only RM5 home, knowing for sure that these unusual foliage plants with remarkable variegation will compliment a crowd of other green plants that reside at our courtyard.

They thrive well at this location which receives brief sunlight, depending on the planet’s motion around the sun. Air circulation here is rather cool and isn’t as dry as our garden at the front yard.

Ravenala madagascariensis, a majestic landscape tree

Ravenala madagascariensis (Traveller’s Palm, Traveller’s Tree)

Ravenala madagascariensis (Traveller's Palm, Traveller's Tree) in our neighbourhood, Dec 28 2013This is definitely a majestic tropical tree for landscaping!

Ever so often, we come across these remarkable Traveller’s Palms that are either solitary grown or in a single row and even en masse. And, somehow we’re always awestruck by their strikingly impressive structures.

A profile of Ravenala madagascariensis (Traveller's Palm, Traveller's Tree) seen in the neighbourhood, Feb 4 2016Though not a true palm tree, it is called a palm.

Its common name, Traveller’s Palm/Tree, is derived from the fact that fatigued  travellers would quench their thirst on the rainwater that has been collected in the cupped base of the stems. Another probable explanation for the common name is that the fan leaves tend to face east to west direction, providing a crude compass for a disoriented traveller to find his/her way.

It is popularly grown for its unique, unusual and captivating form.

Euphorbia tithymaloides ‘Variegatus’ is both gorgeous and toxic!

Euphorbia tithymaloides ‘Variegatus’ (Variegated Devil’s Backbone, Jacob’s Ladder, Zig-zag Plant)

A stunning plant with fabulous variegated foliage Pink flowers of Euphorbia tithymaloides (Devil's Backbone, Jacob's Ladder, Zig-zag Plant, Redbird Flower, Slipper Spurge/Plant, Japanese Poinsettia), June 21 2013and attractive pink or red flowers. Its zig-zag stems are an added attraction too.

It is popularly grown for its unique, interesting and curious form.

However,  if you’re one of those people like me who’ll experience skin rashes when in contact with its toxic milky sap, it’s advisable to avoid it at all cost.

On the other hand, if you’re still  desirous for it, just remember to wear gloves when handling it.

Green-leaved Euphorbia tithymaloides, Croton and Caesalpinia pulcherrima in our garden, Oct 28 2005Euphorbia tithymaloides with green leaves as shown in the left image, had graced our tropical garden slightly more than a decade ago.

Unfortunately, it had to be removed pronto when it showed its beastly self, causing skin rashes on my palms and hands when I had to prune off some of its straggly stems. Well, I could have worn gloves when handling it but I tend to forget oftentimes and it can be rather cumbersome too.

Therefore, it is a definite no-no for us no matter how beautiful or captivating it is.

We just have to be contented, gazing adoringly at them in other peoples’ garden!

Tillandsia ionantha: an exotic airplant with captivating flowers

Tillandsia ionantha (Tilly, Air Plant, Blushing Bride)

We have been captivated by these fabulous Airplants when we first saw them hung at nursery gardens along Jalan Sungai Buloh several years ago. However, these nurseries, being too far away, about 40 km away from our home, somehow deterred us from acquiring any.

Newly purchased cluster of Tillandsia ionantha (Tilly, Air Plant, Blushing Bride), June 29 2015Fast forward to last year, sometime in June, we chanced upon a bunch of Tillandsia at a nursery in the vicinity of our neighbourhood. It rekindled our love and desire to possess it.

Even though it costs RM35, quite pricey for that smaller than fist-sized cluster, we joyfully brought it home to add to our garden collection.

Moreover, the nursery helper informed us that it needed no garden space or soil at all. That’s great info as our small garden has space constraint!

Our Tillandsia ionantha (Tilly, Air Plant, Blushing Bride) started blooming, Dec 13 2015 Tillandsia ionantha (Tilly, Air Plant, Blushing Bride) started blooming beautifully for the first time, Dec 15 2015Aptly known as Air Plant, it’ll be happy and does just fine if provided something to hang or sit on.

Amazingly, with our tender-loving-care, our exotic plant started to show signs of blooming six months later as seen in the images on the left.

We did not expect flowering so soon. What a happy and delightful surprise!