Euphorbia bracteata with quaint bird-like flowers

Euphorbia bracteata (Little Bird Flower, Slipper Plant, Candelilla)

Birdlike flowers (cyathia) of Euphorbia bracteata (Little Bird Flower, Slipper Plant, Candelilla), at a garden centerAn attractively beautiful shrub, Euphorbia bracteata is home to numerous quaint-looking birds when it blooms. Figuratively speaking, of course! They’re not our feathered friends, the chirpy and lively birds in the real sense but flowers that appear so similar to birds that make them as desirable to have in the garden.

Collage of Euphorbia bracteata (Little Bird Flower), including seeds and seedlingsOur special thanks to a generous Church friend, Connie, who first introduced us to this lovely plant by presenting us a couple of seedpods and a stem cutting last May. In addition she gave us 2 potted seedlings several months later when propagation failed. We’re glad her persistence paid off and we now have them growing well, though a tad too slow, in our garden. Looking forward impatiently to enjoy the green birds on our plants, probably a year from now.

December 2011 – our tropical garden update

Some new plants were added to our little garden paradise in December. Not perfectly timed though as we purchased them three days too early, just before our dearly beloved mother’s (John’s mom, my mother-in-law) unexpected sudden demise on December 12th. She’s much loved and missed by us all but God loves her more.

Closeup on flower bud of Costus woodsonii (Red Button Ginger, Scarlet Spiral Flag)Inadvertently, the garden was neglected during our recent bereavement and needless to say, there were some casualties during the couple of weeks surrender to nature’s harsh heat.

Fortunately, a pot of Costus woodsonii (Red Button Ginger) that were newly planted at our inner border survived the ordeal and even managed to produce some suckers.

However, some leaves were scorched and appear unsightly while others have yellow spots on them. Hoping that the yellow leaf spots were caused by water on the leaves with exposure to direct sunlight or nutrient deficiency and not some pest infestation.

Christmas 2011 & New Year 2012 Greetings



May your hearts be filled with God’s pure joy
and perfect peace,
Your gathering with laughter….
May your home be warmed with His enduring love
at Christmas and long after.

Have a wonderful celebration of God’s gift of Jesus,
our Savior and Redeemer!

Christmas 2011 and New Year 2012 greeting card

We’d like to take this opportunity to thank all visitors and friends to our garden website. We truly appreciate very much your visits, kind comments, and your continuing support and encouragement through the years. God bless!!

Chrysanthemum (Dendranthema) hybrids in diverse forms and colours

Chrysanthemum hybrids (Mums, Chrysanths)

Chysanthemums in yellow, white and tangerineIn the blink of an eye, it’ll be Christmastime and will be followed closely by the Chinese Lunar Year in January 2012! Hence, Florist’s Chrysanthemum and the brilliant red Poinsetta (Euphorbia pulcherrima), besides other popular holiday plants, are being displayed on a grand scale at garden centers and stores. Festive seasons are the best time of the year for them to cash in big-time on lovers of decorative plants and flowers.

Chrysanthemum hybrid (Mums) with brownish flowers at a garden centreNonetheless, because of Chrysanths apparent popularity as garden favourites and cut flowers, one can see them on sale all year round.

Blooming non-stop through the growing season, they’ll make perfect specimens to brighten any garden spot. In the United States, Mums (short for chrysanthemums) is known as Queen of the Falls where fall-blooming hybrids signal that Autumn has arrived and flowers are seen in all lovely colours except blue.

November 2011 in our tropical garden

Somehow there are always some surprises in our tropical garden every month and November 2011 is no different! That’s the beauty of gardening and enjoying its rewards.

Abelmoschus esculentus (Okra, Lady’s Fingers)

First flower on our 4.5-month old Abelmoschus esculentus (Okra, Lady's Finger, Gumbo)It took about 4.5 months for this beautiful soft yellow Okra flower to emerge for the first time since seeds were sown in late June. Even though the flower smiled for only a day, it was sheer joy to be able to scrutinize its beauty and capture its loveliness on camera and to observe that it took just 3 days to produce the fruit that could have been harvested 3 days later.

First fruit on our 4.5-month old Abelmoschus esculentus (Okra, Lady's Finger, Gumbo)Since one little finger is definitely insufficient to tickle our palate, we allowed the fruit to mature further on the plant and use the seedpod to grow more plants.

Hope to experiment further with the Lady’s Finger since our first crop of 4 plants, appeared not as healthy as desired. Rather disappointing as plants are skinny, stunted and leaves tainted with leaf spots… wonder why?