Our garden star in May 2008

Rhododendron simsii (Indoor/Indian Azalea or Azalea indica) Rhododendron simsii (sym: Azalea indica) or better known commonly as Indoor Azalea, Indian Azalea or Chinese azalea/Indica, is definitely our garden STAR FOR THE MONTH OF MAY!

Just look at these fabulous blooms in these images taken in early May…aren’t they impressive? Simply love those large and rosy-red blossoms with ruffled petals! There were 4 of them, lasting for about 3 wonderful weeks. I’m amazed that such a dwarf plant (less than 8 inches tall) with fragile looking stems can bear such ‘gigantic’ flowers! :)

Adonidia merrillii (Christmas/Manila Palm), small yet impressive!

Adonidia merrillii (syn: Veitchia merrillii; common names: Manila Palm, Christmas Palm) –

Potted Manila Palm, among others in our front yard gardenThese palms are popularly grown in our tropical country, Malaysia – in urban areas and countryside alike, as well as along coastal regions. Enchanted by its smallness and neat umbrella-like appearance with delightful symmetry, we added a young tree to our garden in mid 2005. Having limited ground space, we had no choice but to plant it in a container. It tolerated the restriction for sometime, but finally showed its displeasure by breaking its pot, about a year and a half later! :(

Agapanthus (African Lily) in fabulous blue and purple hues

Agapanthus (African Lily, Blue Lily, Lily of the Nile) –

Agapanthus praecox amongst some foliage plants in our tropical garden, shot Jan 2008 A fascinating bluish-purple variety of Agapanthus joined our garden family in early January this year. Just found out that this beauty loves to be pot bound. Aargh…we’ve already planted it into a large terracotta pot, too late now to be repotting to a smaller size, I think! Hope it stays happy!

It had a lovely 66 cm (26 ins) tall budding spike then, that blossomed into a large 20-cm (8-in) globular flower head with fabulous blue and purple hues.

When lighted by the sun, the trumpet-shaped flowers seemed purplish to lilac, yet wonderfully blue-hued in the filtered shade.

Photoshop tutorial – Create an artistic photo collage of butterflies

Overjoyed in capturing 16 fabulous shots of this strikingly beautiful butterfly Graphium agamemnon (Tailed Jay) recently, A collage of Tailed Jay butterflies that visited our tropical gardenI then proceeded to create a collage of this beauty! Something I enjoy doing when I possess the right photos. Most of the images were close-ups, but there were 3 that stood out well for my purpose which was to display the different positions of its wings in a single photo.

This is how it looked when I have finished creating this fun collage, an illusionary image displaying 3 lovely butterflies but in reality there was only one garden visitor that morning! Lovely, isn’t it? :D
If you’d like to make a photomontage like this, read on!

Graphium agamemnon, a green-spotted swallowtail butterfly

Graphium agamemnon (Tailed Jay, Green Spotted Triangle) –

Graphium agamemnon (Tailed Jay, Green Spotted Triangle) with wings fully spreadWhoa! I’m enraptured! Found this magnificent beauty in our garden a few days ago!

A large tropical butterfly with a wingspan of 7-8 cm. What a spectacular looking butterfly!

Apple green spots and bands of variable sizes beautifully contrast against its predominantly black upperside and fashioned in fabulous symmetry! Typical of the Swallowtail butterflies, its hindwings end with a short tail which is longer in the female species. Absolutely gorgeous!