Friday, December 31, 2010

Blooming Friday

Year 2010 is divided into two phases, before Putrajaya and after Putrajaya. Putrajaya has been our home for almost three years. With 2 months left in year 2010 I have to say goodbye to Putrajaya, and slowly get my hands and feet into Tanah Merah, Kelantan. The obsession with gardening never fades....

Basil has been very central to our container gardening, quietly letting out  slightly purplish   little flowers and puts up pagoda like structure reaching for the sky. The leaves had gone into Kakdah's menu for aromatic taste many times.

The plant goes by many names; bunga bakawali in Malaysia, wijaya kusuma in Indonesia, Queen of the night, Night-blooming Cereus, Dutchman's Pipe, Gul-e-Bakavali  in Hindi, Kadupul in Sinhala. Bunga Bakawali is in fact a cactus. It has been with us since April 2010. Now the plant is letting a bud..., and God knows when it is going to open. It has been reported that the blooming stage starts off around 9.00pm, fully opens around midnight and closes around 3.00am. It opens only for one night. The famous Arabian Nights mentioned about the Rose of Bakawali, There is mystic behind this flower at least in this part of the world. I am not going to miss the rare and one-night-only-bloom.

Oxalis Triangularis:  The plant never stop flowering. Now that the weather is so wet, the flowers stay closed and heavy.

The slight purplish colour is so pleasing.

 luffa offers nocturnal insects nectar
in return for pollination for future generation.

 On the other hand bittergourd
prefers daylight to display it's yellow five petaled flowers.

bangchik and kakdah.
bunga, kebun sayur dalam taman
tanah merah kelantan

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Being impatient with miracle berry / pokok ajaib

It was on the journey home from Cherating that nurseries along the way became a must-stopover.  Surprisingly there were not many  as compared to the west coast. We bumped into miracle berry seedlings (anak pokok ajaib) at Jertih Nursery. We  bought two at a price of  RM10 per plant.  At 3 feet high, they were not too expensive and looked alright. On the very same trip, at a nursery much closer to home, around Machang area, the young keeper by the name Yie showed us smaller plants at a knockdown price of 5 for RM10. We didn't think twice and immediately purchased 5. Now, we have 7 growing miracle berry plants, while the seeds sowed a week earlier are waiting for the right time to germinate. Huh, why do we need so many? Kakdah has a plan. She is thinking of giving a few away to relatives that come and visit us. First come first serve she says...

the bigger miracle berry  plants
(anak pokok ajaib yang besar)

 miracle berry plants are in large containers
purchased from Anwar's Nursery in Pangkal Meleret, 15 minutes away.

 The five smaller miracle berry plants still in poly bags.

 Miracle berry plants from another view.

 The two miracle berry plants in large containers will be with us. The other five will be giveaways to brothers and sisters. I will give them another two months or so for healthier and bushy look. I do hope berries will appear soon. Pictures were just taken, using flash....

bangchik and kakdah
Tanah Merah.
membeli anak pokok ajaib di nurseri Jertih dan Machang

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

From Cherating to Tanah Merah, a view

On the 22nd of December, we started the journey home from Cherating very early in the morning.  We drove through coastal road, passing through places like Kemaman, Dungun, Kuala Terengganu and getting back inland through Kuala Berang. Whenever we came across an interesting view, we stopped for a breather and clicked. So the journey was terribly long....

 a roadside view around Marang.

 another roadside view around Marang

 a view of paddy field around Pasir Puteh

 a view of paddy field
at Kampung Banggol Judah, close to Machang.

It was during this journey home, that we visited nurseries along the way. Then the impatience grew as we asked about miracle berry plants. I will post the story tomorrow.

Bangchik and Kakdah
pemandangan dari Cherating ke Tanah Merah.

Six petola / luffa taking turns flowering

Petola was among the first to be germinated with bitter gourd, roselle, sweet corns and ground nuts at the beginning of November 2010.  By the look of it, petola will emerge as winner, being the first to flower with  sure promise of fruits soon. I read an article A Legacy of Luffa by  Elizabeth Harwick about luffa showing the first signs of  flowers or fruit setting 6 weeks after the seeds sprouted. Luffa is following the same pattern here, and that is a promising adventure. 

 large yellow flower of petola / luffa
at the lower stem.
close-up of petola / luffa flower

Petola / luffa  flower 
at different stage of development.

 Petola/ luffa fruit forming 
with tip blossom about to fall off.

 Petola / luffa tip blossom is not open yet.

 another fruit forming, 
waiting for blossom to open at the tip

 baby petola / luffa
Quite visible is an ant searching for food.

bug eating leaf. 
This is exactly the same specie that had been eating 
cucumber leaves in Putrajaya Garden

Weather forecast is pointing towards rains and storm the whole week. Today it rained, minus the storm. I wonder if petola / luffa can handle stormy rains......

Bangchik and kakdah,
menanam petola di Tanah Merah

Monday, December 27, 2010

Tanah Merah Agro Exhibition 2010

It was far too early for most, when we drove to Tanah Merah Agro Exhibition on Friday 24th of December 2010. Most stalls were not opened yet, but we just moved from stall to stall to see what's in there. It was comparatively small compared to MAHA exhibition recently held in Serdang, but I suppose it was enough to rekindle awareness about gardening, green, agriculture and business related to them.

Kakdah stopped at the fruit stall and brought home 2 pineapples and a bunch of banana. She forgot to check the variety for pineapple purchased, but banana was fairly easy to recognised. The banana was of Rastali variety, sweet and delicious.

There were boys playing football at the adjacent football field. Football must have created some kind of craze here after Kelantan emerged as the champion of Malaysian FA Cup early November this year.

There were men walking towards a small field nearby carrying colourful bird cages.
These were birds lovers.

the referee

The young man caught my attention because he was so absorbed with the bird competition. He was doing all he could to persuade his candik so keep on singing.

The young man was whistling, imitating his candik

The young man was clicking his fingers.

Another man (in red) joined in.

The young man was leaning forward and clicking.

The man in red went back with the crowd, probably his candik had put up a tremendous show, but the young man went on supporting his bird untiringly.

I couldn't get close enough to do a close-up,
this picture from marlia blogspot is good enough 
to see what's candik all about.

burung candik
(from s0ul )
We didn't wait to see who emerged as champion, Two pineapples and a bunch of banana were the only thing Kakdah brought home.  Definitely, candik competetion was the highlight of the exhibition at least for both us.

bangchik and kakdah

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Missing the best part, Roses.

 the first bloom of pink rose

Kakdah was very exited with the first bloom. Whenever we were out of the house, she would rush to the  flower and she looked like the happiest wife, mother and grandmother on earth. Then I got to go to Cherating for a few days, taking her along, leaving roses and the whole garden to nature.

Back from the trip, she practically shouted exclaiming " No less than 30 roses!!" as we got out of the car. Some had passed their prime time. She never had so many roses from a single plant before and yet she terribly missed the best part, seeing buds taking turn to open and bloom happily.

 the pink rose plant in a pot.

 so many flowers

and most had passed their prime time.

Kakdah took the last three pictures.

bangchik and kakdah
Taman Kota Harmoni, Tanah Merah, Kelantan

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Repositioning Basils

We have grown basil both in pots and on the ground before. Of course plants love such freedom  on ground where roots can spread as far as they wish searching for water, food and getting better anchorage. Pots offer clinical approach in gardening. Water and fertiliser will not be wasted and location can be adjusted to suit environmental and aesthetic needs. Some plants enjoy such pampered environment.  The bigger plants probably finds pots a little bit constricting. Now we are putting 3 basil on the ground, just two steps out of the back door. That should make kakdah very happy....

 basil in a container, 
with white flowers.

 basil in a container
with purplish flowers.

 young basil on the ground.

M e r r y    X m a s s

bangchik and kakdah
Taman Kota Harmoni
Tanah Merah, Kelantan, MALAYSIA

Friday, December 24, 2010

Banana updates.

 a close-up of banana leaves
type: pisang ayam or chicken banana from Jertih.

at the front of the left veranda with the compound a lot greener than before.
 the two banana plants when we first planted them a month ago. 
they were then so tiny on a compound that was quite bare and red.

Banana plants (pisang ayam variety)  had been with us for about a month. They were tiny when we put them into the designated holes. The compound was red and bare then. Now things are changing, the turf  is closing up the gap and the banana plants are growing up, showing their true wide and big leaves. Generally banana takes a year to bear fruit, therefore we are looking forward to see the cool canopy soon created by banana plants and large fruits by the end of next year..

Earlier post on banana:.
bangchik and kakdah
kebun di Tanah Merah

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Growing roselle: they are getting stronger

Seven Roselle plants are growing healthily, enjoying full sun exposure from dawn to dusk. The other day Wan Zainuddin came over and looked around the garden. At first he thought that row of seven roselle was bendi or lady's fingers. He grows roselle too but the leaves are much longer. I remembered searching through internet for information on roselle when I noticed UKM (Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia) had developed 3 new varieties of roselle (New varieties of roselle produced by UKM) .

 I don't know which particular variety I am growing even though I have been growing the same variety over three years. The original seed came from my sister's garden in Pantai Remis. So that variety had gone through quite a process of acclimatisation over in Pantai Remis, Putrajaya and now Tanah Merah, Kelantan, not forgetting friends throughout the country had these as giveaways. And the same variety of seeds had travelled far overseas to gardeners/bloggers gardens. That's what happen to a single seed pod of roselle from Rosiah's (my younger sister) garden in Pantai Remis, Perak, Malaysia.

 the row of seven roselle

getting bigger, greener and stronger

Soon there will be lovely pinkish flowers decorating these roselle plants
and fruits, juice and jam to follow.

Ealier post on Roselle:

 bangchik and kakdah
Tanah Merah Kelantan

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

vegetables on raised bed

Rhythm of life is somewhat different now , more because it is only two of us staying in Tanah Merah home. Whenever I have to go outstation, kakdah has to join, leaving the whole garden to fend themselves. Two days without rain is enough to yellow any delicate plants. For now, I really have to go slow with vegetable gardening.... But some plants are enjoying secluded spot, with just a few hours of sun . So no watering for a couple of days wont hurt them.....

Angled Luffa or Petola is something new to me. They germinated fast, with 100 percent success. Now they are crawling up the white stakes. The solitary bitter gourd seems to be doing fine. Honey dew seedlings are not so lucky. Bugs mutilated their tender leaves to the veins. No choice, they have to be pulled out.

Trellis. I have to thank Ahmad, Anwar and PakNgah for their help, in setting up the structure. Trellis is something we cant happily do alone.... I have come to a point where, whatever I do with vegetable gardening should satisfy certain criteria. Tanah Merah is not used to seeing white painted bamboo stakes as trellis...... I suppose Tanah Merah is about to see new things...

angled luffa or petola
green and healthy.

petola climbing up

another petola climbing up

trellis for angled luffa or petola,
all painted white.

bitter gourd, 
same age as petola on another trellis

both trellis, 
one for six angled luffa or petola and another one for bitter gourd. Bamboo stakes for bitter gourd are not painted.

Sand was earlier added and mixed thoroughly with the clayey red soil. Peat soil was also added to soften the soil. Fertiliser has always been poultry pellets. Occasionally I will spray liquid fertiliser to the leaves.

 bangchik and kakdah
home vegetable gardening, Tanah Merah

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