Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The third banana get entangled.

entangled [earlier]


entangled [later]

leaves broken...

 new baby banana plants,
the biggest is the mother.

That is going to be our third banana. This particular flower is in a very awkward situation for getting entangled inside the roll of new shoot. Earlier, the flower is maintaining its verticality. It then gets heavier, and the shoot hasn't  open up, the flower droop but still within the roll of young leaf.

I also observe, that every time a flower is appearing, the leaves will start breaking up... a general weakening up of the mother plant, ready to die, sacrificing herself for the birth of a flower and soon fruits... And the mother plant will always make sure, enough babies are created around her to continue its legacy. That's a little story about our wild banana....

Putrajaya, Malaysia

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Forcing winged beans to stay low.

The trouble with  gardening is, we may grow more than required. It was our winged beans. The present beans growing are through reseeding.... That was a couple of months ago. Then, I have vertical trellis in a straight line like a fence, supporting 6 plants. More than needed and over ambitious. When the plants are about to die, I pulled them out and put them onto the compost heap. Seeds  from dry seed pods were strewn all the place..... After rounds of rainfall, baby shoots start to appear all over the place. I pulled out most of them, allowing a few at the front of sweet potatoes bed and another beside the purplish wild weeds. One group has the luxury of a three legged trellis and the other left to crawl.

I have been clipping the shoots, not allowing them to stray too far.... Now the plant is letting out its first flower. Pity this winged beans, refrained from climbing up and flapping the wings upwards, it is very much a deliberate move to force the plant  to stay low,. But it knows exactly when to bloom.....

this particular winged bean plant is forced to stay low

its first flower

 more flowers to emerge

the little shoot
grabbing the wild weeds for support


the little shoot
grabbing the wild weeds for support


the little shoot
grabbing the wild weeds for support

These little climbing shoots will soon be clipped to maintain the look of the plant,  in a bunch, a cluster and low....  I don't think it will bear a lot of beans because it is refrained from growing in its natural way.... hmmm.. against its will.

Putrajaya, MALAYSIA

Monday, September 28, 2009

Mas cotek, a new addition.

Mas Cotek 
Ficus Deltoidea 

It was during Floria2009, the most colorful flower show in Putrajaya, that while touring , we stopped at one of the herbs stall. Mas cotek attracted my attention for a brief moment. The guy came over and talked about this plant. The leaves are awfully stiff, the surface is a lot greener than the bottom. The fruits are white in color. How many times we came across with  lovely white fruits during our life time?.. Seldom.

The plant was in a big black polybag. The price tag was RM30. I wanted just a portion, not the whole big plant, I said. The guy was in such a good mood that he cut off 2 branches, pushed them in a plastic bag and just gave it to me. He reminded us not to tell anyone about it being free while we were still on the tour. The flower show has long gone, therefore it is alright to make it known... Thanks Mr Herb, whatever his name is....

I cut the branches further, and in the end we have 4 little cuttings in small pots. After a month, new shoots start to appear in all 4 cuttings.

mas cotek

mas cotek

I googled, and found this info:-
Mas cotek has been scientifically  researched by two local institutions, University Malaya and MARDI. Research result shows that mas cotek possesses 5 active components which are required by the human body namely: flavanoid, tannins, tritopnoids, proanthocyanins, and phenols. These active components is medically shown to assist in human memory and was used by doctors to treat patients with disability in mental concentration. In addition, mas cotek helps to assist in the effectiveness of vitamin C in controlling nitric oxide and blood circulation. Mas cotek protects the heart in 3 ways; prevent blood clot, control LLD (bad cholesterol) oxygenation and reduce blood pressure. [mas cotek: click here].

~bangchik and kakdah
Putrajaya, MALAYSIA

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Toying with coconut husks in the garden

coconut husks framing up the edges
of a vegetable bed.
That's sweet potato growing!

I seldom show the bigger view of my garden in this blog,
close-ups, ant's eye view most of the time.
You could probably guess some of the plants.. aha.
That's the pedestrian walkway,  many eyes turn and shoot  glances at our little vegetable garden,
and I just say hello to them, smile, talk a little bit and get back caring the garden with Kakdah. Huh,
I cant imagine what the passerby are really thinking as they walk past.... haha.

I always have problem maintaining the edges of vegetable bed. Heavy rain will wash the soil down, and there will always be a need to fluff the soil a little bit to get back to the original shape. I have been using coconut husks as edgings for certain plant but never for a real vegetable bed.

There are good points behind using these husks. It maintain the edges, will act as ground cover, reduce evaporation around the plant and make mowing grass a lot easier. Edging the vegetable bed with husks doesn't make it really beautiful, but definitely very earthy, a touch of ruralness and  and definitely tickle my nostalgic mood......

Have you tried these before?

~bangchik and kakdah
Putrajaya, Malaysia

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Serene is wordless and almost forgotten.

Serene is wordless and almost forgotten,
Location: 100 metres away from mother in law's house, Sitiawan, Perak.
Kakdah grew up there.

~bangchik and kakdah
Putrajaya, MALAYSIA

Friday, September 25, 2009

Senduduk blooms attracting tebuan.

Senduduk remains my favorite flower. Very ordinary but nonetheless very special. Flowering seems to be non stop. This cousin of bee or hornet, known locally as tebuan paid our garden a visit. Tebuan can really sting when disturbed. Also known as Vespa Affinis.

I always like to do post on plants. But insects are very much part of the gardening world, therefore they do deserve a space in this blog, however  mean they may be... haha.

senduduk flower




credit: Redzlan blogspot
That's a typical tebuan's nest.

Yeop, our eldest son, was stung by a few of these while playing under a tree, on one late evening .  He was 4 years old then. He run and yelled!... We quickly took him to the nearest clinic and he was given a jab. He slept on the way home until the next morning....

I was lucky, never bitten by tebuan! 

and finally about BLOTANICAL AWARD 2009 [click here], how I wish to thank all blotanists. It is quite a surprise to see Bangchik and My Little Vegetable Garden appearing in 4 categories for the finals;
  • Best Vegetable Gardening Blog
  • Best Asian Blog
  • Newcomer Blog of the year
  • Blotanist of the year.
Have Fun everyone.

~bangchik and kakdah 
Putrajaya, Malaysia

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Big red ants are here, Kerengga.



Ocoephylla Smaradgina
Weaver ants

I stumbled upon this in one of Kakdah's hanging pots at the porch. It was unusual because the nest was really small for these red kerengga or weaver ants. There were hardly 10 of them. I poured water slowly into the pot, trying not to disturb them.

It made me wonder why on earth they choose Kakdah's plant to set up up a new colony. These must be a splinter group from a bigger colony at Tanjung tree some 20 metres away. The council planted rows of Tanjung trees along the walkway... Are these ants chased out from their mainland, the tanjung tree or are they having stronger enterprising blood [do they have blood?] venturing out for greener pasture? Are they on practical assignment to sharpen their skills ?..huh.

I just grabbed  the camera ,
clicked a few shots and
got back in without saying a word.

Putrajaya, MALAYSIA

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

She said thank you..,

It was quite sometimes ago, that we received a mail from Sweden. A blotanist, Maria Berg mailed a nice necklace to acknowledge the correct answer she was looking for. A simple gesture that connects blotanists across the globe and continents.

It was about the answer I gave to her question. Delima (local name) or pomegranate !!. I wasn't an expert about plants, it just so happened that I had the experience of growing this particular plant before, and had enough knowledge to pinpoint its name. How can I forget pomegranate, its leaves, branches, shoots and fruits. Growing pomegranate had given us excellent juicy fruits many years ago...

Maria, all the way from Sweden was the title of my post on 27th of May 2009 to dedicate this particular Blotanical Friendship. I mentioned about giving the lovely necklace to Adlina, our first grandchild.

The recent festive season, gathered all of us in Perak. Kakdah put the necklace around Adlina's neck. The little girl said "thank you" and smiled.

Kakdah and Adlina

Adlina with the necklace
from auntie Maria Berg, Sweden

~Bangchik and kakdah
Putrajaya, Malaysia

Winged beans for salads

There are more and more winged beans to pick. For the two of us, we don't need many. Three or four would be enough to spice up the appetite. Therefore neighbors are enjoying the winged beans as much as the gardener themselves .....

Happy Gardening
~bangchik and kakdah

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Too much for marigolds to handle.

I haven't got much time lately for a meaningful gardening.. that crucial half an hour in the morning and evening. Then suddenly I saw these at the upper end of vegetable bed ... Heartbreaking indeed. I pull them out, push into a plastic bag to be taken away by garbage lorry.

Out of the many, two plants stand ground. I really want to see how the two plants fare..... I guess some are stronger than others to survive in a world where food chain is a way forward , where one will eat another. These are marigolds at the upper end of veggie bed, those at the lower end are doing fine and those recently trimmed marigolds at Walkway Bed are seen sprouting little side branches.

My late Mother
called these white things bena

Monday, September 21, 2009

Flowers side by side.

Not the usual bright colored and sweet scented



kale or kailan

buds not open yet
cousin of zinnia?

our priceless sunflower
chive flowers
with seeds maturing.

the new member in our garden.

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