Garden updates for November-December 2013

Bird's nest of Pycnonotus goiavier (Yellow-vented Bulbul), 26 Dec 2013Something got us really excited on Christmas eve!

We came across a newly built nest right on top of our potted Macarthur Palm at the backyard. Such a wonderful surprise… a fabulous Christmas gift and blessing!

A couple of Pycnonotus luteolus goiavier (White-browed Yellow-vented Bulbuls) finally decided to start a family, right at our doorstep, so to speak. Unintentionally, we’ve missed the birds’ nest-building process in our busyness.

Pycnonotus goiavier (Yellow-vented Bulbul), nesting at our backyard, 30 Dec 2013

Has the female bird laid any eggs, I wondered and quickly grabbed a high stool and my camera to capture the inside of the nest. What a glorious find… two beautifully spotted eggs!

A clutch of two eggs by Pycnonotus goiavier (Yellow-vented Bulbul), 26 Dec 2013

This species of birds have nested on our potted Lady Palms at the front porch on several occasions previously but stopped ever since we discarded the palms in 2011. The palms were destroyed to prevent the Bulbuls from nesting further at the same location, having seen them faced several disastrous attempts as narrated here and here.

Collage of Bulbuls' nest on Macarthur Palm and Maxi, our petdog at the backyard, 30 Dec 2013We’re extremely delighted and exhilarated! Definitely didn’t expect to see a bird’s nest up-close again. This time, it’s hidden atop our potted palm at the backyard where our beloved pet dog, Maxi resides. He appears to be oblivious of the current happenings and the birds seem not to mind his frequent thunderous barking at stray cats.

Our backyard is just behind our kitchen and there’s no way to avoid disturbing the female bird as we go about our chores, in and out ever so frequently or feed/play with our pet. Too bad that the female bird feels threatened each time it sights us and flies away. Thank goodness, it returns without fail to continue its hatching task dutifully.

Two eggs recently laid by Pycnonotus goiavier (Yellow-vented Bulbul), 29 Dec 2013

We await excitedly to see the breeding events unfold. Hopefully, all will be well for the would-be-parents, this time around. Probably their hatchlings will be 2014 New Year babies, huh?

Garden-wise in our little paradise…

However hard we try to give the best tender-loving-care to our plants, there are bound to be casualties. Blame it partially on our finite knowledge and the forces of nature. Similar to human life… what man proposes, God disposes!

Plant galore at our front yard, December 29 2013

In a way, it’s a blessing in disguise… we get to indulge in adding new plants and give our garden a face-lift as often as we desire. One of the perks of gardening, right?

Whenever possible, we’ll embrace such opportunities to go plant shopping! Got these lovely beauties in early November…

Newly purchased foliage and flowering plants on 4 November 2013
Clockwise from top left: Variegated foliage plant with no ID yet (please help ID?) ID is Schismatoglottis calyptrata (much thanks to AhSeng of GCS Forum), Alocasia micholitziana, Antirrhinum with soft pink flowers, 2 varieties of Gazania, Platycodon grandiflorus with purple and white flowers and Dianthus with double-coloured blooms.

However, our joy was shortlived – both pots of Gazania decided they didn’t want our company and breathed their last in mid-December,2 varieties of Platycodon grandiflorus (Balloon Flowers), 21 Nov 2013 while the Variegated Alocasia was infested with red mites and had to be shaved bald a week ago. Just checked and observed that there’s sign of new growth now after the severe cut… yay!!

Thank goodness, the rest of the recent purchases are growing fine.

The Balloon Flowers and Antirrhinum seem especially pleased with their spot at the inner bed, while the Dianthus is thriving well at the outer bed. Even the no ID variegated foliage plant is happy being located at the courtyard and had flowered.

Antirrhinum with attractive soft pink flowers, 30 Nov 2013 Vibrant magenta-coloured Dianthus, 18 Dec 2013

Platycodon grandiflorus (Balloon Flowers) with beautiful purple flowers, 22 Dec 2013 Platycodon grandiflorus (Balloon Flowers) with fabulous pinkish-white flowers, 30 Nov 2013

We enjoy strolling leisurely in our tropical garden, just to feast our eyes on the beauties that love showing off. And, definitely more than sufficient for us to delight in. Do enjoy some of our garden pictures taken along the way! ;-)

Rhododendron simsii or Azalea indica (Sim's/Indian/Chinese Azalea), 24 Dec 2013

Heliconia stricta, Costus woodsonii & Pseuderanthemum reticulatum, 30 Nov 2013

Tibouchina, Ruellia simplex, Sansevieria trifasciata 'Hahnii', Dwarf Tabernaemontana divarcata - 10 Dec 2013 Episcia cupreata 'Frosty' (Flame Violet, Carpet Plant), 30 Nov 2013

Tecoma stans (Yellow Bells) at the inner bed, 19 Nov 2013 Ixora coccinea 'Dwarf Red' (Jungle Flame/Geranium, Flame of the Woods), 2 Nov 2013

Ruellia brittoniana 'White Katie' (Dwarf White Bells, Dwarf White Ruellia), 2 Nov 2013 Peperomia clusiifolia 'Jellie' (Red Edge Peperomia), 2 Nov 2013

Aglaonema 'Valentine', a pink/green Thai hybrid at our courtyard, 29 Dec 2013 Schismatoglottis calyptrata with beautiful variegated foliage, 10 Dec 2013

Flower of Curcuma longa (Turmeric or Kunyit in Malay) at our backyard, 30 Oct 2013 Red Capsicum (Red Bell Pepper) at our backyard, 8 Nov 2013

Garden wise, 2013 has been an eventful year for us, especially for yours truly. As my health and strength gradually improved from early this year, I was able to indulge once again in my gardening passion, somewhat with a vengeance. It was truly wonderful and fun, playing in the dirt with my beloved John, after almost a year lapse due to my illness last year.

We praise and thank God for my miraculous healing, manifold blessings and gifts. Words are just insufficient to express our gratitude to The Almighty, the ever-gracious and merciful Father.

Being able to harness our energy together for the betterment of our tiny tropical paradise is super fabulous. Anticipating and seeing the results of our labour of love is another awesome experience altogether. Not discounting too, the many plant-shopping hours spent gloriously choosing and buying the many beauties we favoured to improve our garden landscape.

Counting our numerous blessings… and feeling so blessed, joyful and grateful!


Last edit: June 12, 2016

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3 Responses to “Garden updates for November-December 2013”

  1. james Says:

    Have a Wonderful New Year!!!
    Its truly very colourful to see your garden with fresh bursting full of life blooms adorning your garden.

    And a new life (the birds) truly bring more delight in your garden.
    May God bless and increase your blessing with great measure.

  2. Jacqueline Says:

    Oooh, James… Much thanks for your well wishes and blessings, and sharing our garden joy and delight!
    May you and your family too have a fantastic New Year 2014 that’s overflowing with God’s goodness and blessings. Have a wonderful week ahead.

  3. Jacqueline Says:

    Cristina Edwin commented on 3 Jan. 2014 :
    (at my facebook page)
    “Aunty, such an amazing article that you wrote at your website. Truly, you are such a talented writer. I, also love gardening but my garden is a tiny one and nothing to shout about. But it’s soothing and consoling to the eyes, mind and heart. I wish one day if you don’t mind I would love to visit your lovely garden. Thank you for posting this wonderful creation story of happening from your backyard. Take care. Shalom.”

    My reply :
    “Much thanks for your encouragement, my dear Cristina Edwin… you’re too generous with your compliment. I suppose writing something I’m passionate about is much easier though I do face writer’s block occasionally and sometimes find hard to put my thoughts into words….”

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