Hippeastrum species and hybrids – bold, brilliant and dazzling!

Hippeastrum (Hippeastrums, Hippies, Barbados Lily)

Potted Orange Hippies (Hippeastrum hybrid) at our backyard, June 2008 3 flower stalks of Orange Hippeastrum at our backyard, Aug 2007

Rhapis excelsa, an extremely versatile palm tree

Rhapis excelsa (Lady Palm) –

Potted Lady Palm, standing tall above the rest, at our front garden porchAnother impressive palm that adds a touch of elegance to our tropical paradise.

We love that it is not only strikingly attractive, but relatively small and slow-growing, just perfect to be grown in containers to suit our small garden which is mostly paved.

Furthermore, Rhapis excelsa is included in the list of air-cleaning or air-purifying plants, which was the impetus for its addition to our garden in 2003.

Yellow-vented Bulbuls nesting on our Lady Palm Tree!

The month of May 2008 was very significant for us! We have VIP visiting our home garden since the third week of May. A pair of White-browed Bulbul (Pycnonotus luteolus) Pycnonotus goiavier (Yellow-vented Bulbuls) had finally succeeded in building their nest outside, on our potted Rhapis excelsa (Lady Palm), at our front yard! Yippee, the breeding season/cycle has begun! :D

[Note: Recently discovered in April 2014 that this bird is actually Pycnonotus goiavier (Yellow-vented Bulbul). Sorry for the wrong ID]

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! :(