Calathea lancifolia with captivating foliage

Calathea lancifolia (Rattlesnake Plant)

This captivating tropical plant that showcases dazzling variegated leaves had us really smitten when we first sighted it.

Potted Calathea lancifolia (Rattlesnake Plant) at our courtyard, 7 June 2013Then, it was out of sight, out of mind until we needed to source for some variegated foliage plants for our courtyard. The quarter-moon pebbled border therein seemed somewhat bare, with many potted plants being devoured by mealy bugs and red spider mites.
Hence, there was an urgent need to replenish the bareness.

Fortunately, during our plant-shopping spree, we came across several potted Calathea lancifolia about 3 years ago that were readily available for sale at a garden nursery in the neighbourhood for just RM5 per pot.

Of course, we grabbed one without hesitation for our garden. This gorgeous plant with impressive variegated foliage fitted our desire perfectly!

Passiflora incarnata, a floriferous and captivating vine

Passiflora incarnata (Maypop, Purple/True Passionflower)

A captivating and enduring vine which is floriferous.

Passiflora incarnate (Maypop, Purple Passionflower, True Passionflower)We have never grown Passiflora incarnata but have enjoyed growing Passiflora edulis and delighting in its edible and refreshing fruits.

We first saw these gorgeously flowering vine in abundance at a garden nursery in Jalan Sungei Buloh, Selangor.

That was in 2007, about nine years ago. Unbelievable, right?

I thought it would be lovely to share the lovely photos of them from my photo archives and write an article on it.

It is the State of Tennessee wildflower.

Calla Lily to brighten our garden’s shady areas!

Zantedeschia aethiopica (Calla Lily, Arum Lily, Trumpet Lily, Common Arum Lily)

A strikingly beautiful and hardy perennial to add to one’s garden and to brighten shady areas.

Zantedeschia aethiopica (Calla Lily, Arum Lily, Trumpet Lily, Common Arum Lily)We’ve not grown the Calla Lily  before as unsure where to purchase this lovely plant.

Nevertheless, we were captivated by the loveliness of its flowers that contrast wonderfully with its dark green foliage.

It was love at first site when we first saw these gorgeous flowers in August, 2011 at Genting Highlands, Peninsula Malaysia.

It is the national flower of the island nation of Saint Helena, where it grows widely.

Farewell Maxi, our beloved and adorable companion

May 11th, 2016 had been a very, very sad day for my beloved spouse, John and I. (*tears*)

Our dearest, darling and beloved pet, Maxi had gone to heaven, a better place where there’s no more pain and suffering. He had been sick for about 2 months with a weak heart and lungs, worsening as time progressed with water retention in his lungs.

It had been an ordeal seeing him suffering. R.I.P our lovable and adorable boy!

A poem by unknown author in tribute to our darling Maxi, a miniature pinscher….

“You no longer greet me,
As I walk through the door.
You’re not there to make me smile,
To make me laugh anymore.
Life seems quiet without you,
You were far more than a pet.
You were a family member, a friend
. . . a loving soul I’ll never forget.
It will take time to heal –
For the silence to go away.
I still listen for you,
And miss you every day.
You were such a great companion,
Constant, loyal and true.
My heart will always wear,
the pawprints left by you.”


Mentha spicata has many culinary users and health benefits

Mentha spicata (Garden/Common Mint, Spearmint, English Mint)

Menthe spicata (Garden Mint, Common Mint, Spearmint, English Mint), growing in abundance at our backyard, Nov 5 2015We just love the smell of Mint leaves. Growing one’s own herbs is great as you’ll ensure that they are free of pesticides for good health.

We have been planting Common Mint for several years in a pot at our kitchen garden at the backyard.

Moreover, it’s so easy to plant them.

A bunch of Mentha spicata (Garden Mint, Common Mint, Spearmint, English Mint) from the supermarket, Apr 9 2013Just buy a bunch of fresh and healthy-looking Mint leaves from the supermarket or grocery store. Then fill your pot with garden soil and thrust them about 2 cm deep into the soil and water them regularly. Simple right?

We can’t do without the Common Mint with its wonderful aroma. Love to add its leaves to egg omelette and spaghetti.