Sunday, February 28, 2010

Banana seedlings, another attempt.

pisang tanduk 
little baby on previous vegetable bed

pisang tanduk 
little baby on the ground

pisang tanduk
I hope it will grow and bear fruits like these.

We brought home 12 little banana seedlings recently. Ros and Din are staying in one of the residential area in Sitiawan , Perak. Rose is Kakdah's younger sister. They have three clumps of pisang tanduk, laden with fruits. Pisang tanduk is a popular banana, which is a delicacy when fried. The locals love pisang goreng as snack.

I choose two locations for them to grow in Putrajaya... the other 10 seedlings are left under the shade of papaya as reserves just in case the two fail to make it. Its going to be a year long adventure with this banana. What strike me most about this banana is that, it produces little babies only when it is fruiting, unlike our wild banana in the garden which keep on producing babies around them, forming a dense cluster.

I begin to understand their likes and dislikes after more than 2 years keeping the wild banana. They love;  fertile and wet soil,  with lots of organic matter and mulch,  steady moisture and a little bit of shade. But they hate: strong gust of wind, extreme variation of temperature and if  left alone with no other plants nearby.

Pisang tanduk is one plant at a time, whereas wild banana stays in a dense cluster, just like rhinoceros which love staying solo and  elephants in a herd.


Saturday, February 27, 2010


It has been a month since the day Bilbo arrived. The tropical Putrajaya must have been A LOT greener than he thought. As a gardening gnome and mascot, he must go on. A real diplomat he is... I assemble 6 posts to feature Bilbo while he is here. Today is the seventh post on Bilbo and he is ready to declare where to go next. We roll small pieces of paper with names on.
  1. WHERE IN THE WORLD IS BILBO: ready to pack. February 27, 2010
  2. WORDLESS WEDNESDAY: The last dinner and a magazine... February 24, 2010
  3. Bilbo is homesick?  February 14, 2010
  4. A cat eyeing bilbo....January 31, 2010 /
  5. SPEECHLESS: Bilbo scary encounter! January 27, 2010  /
  6. WHERE IN THE WORLD IS BILBO: Putrajaya, MALAYSIA ~ the garden January 26, 2010 /
  7. WHERE IN THE WORLD IS BILBO: Putrajaya, MALAYSIA ~ arrival January 25, 2010/

    Bilbo seems happy on hearing Canada as the next destination.

    Tootsie, Central Alberta, Canada of 
    TOOTSIE TIME " Life's not about waiting for the storm to pass... It's about learning to dance in the rain." A blog about gardening and Life.

    ~ bangchik
    Putrajaya, Malaysia.

    Thursday, February 25, 2010

    The last of our marigolds


    the last marigold.

    Marigolds seem to be growing forever. Little yellow dots appear tirelessly adding colour and character to our vegetable garden. Marigolds used to be regularly featured in this blog, but now they are about to go. That branch is the last to stand.... they are nearing the end.


    Tuesday, February 23, 2010


    WORDFUL WEDNESDAY: The poet and the gardener

    How's radish from Sweden?

    Older radishes adding more leaves.
    But where is the bulb? It is too early to form or they simply refuse to bulge?

    the newer radishes adjusting to replanting.

    Radishes are growing bigger now. I am trying to figure where will the beautiful red bulb be, above the ground or in the ground? The earlier radishes are shown in the first picture. The second picture shows younger radishes on a different vegetable bed.  I really am going for a continuous supply of radishes. They dont seem to be affected by the hot temperature for now, and  I hope they get acclimatised with Malaysia weather away form their motherland Sweden.

    Snails are not attracted to these young radishes for now... I hope it will stay that way for a lot longer. But grasshoppers had already left their mark on the leaves...


    Monday, February 22, 2010

    Getting serious on container gardening.

    New round and shallow pots
    RM 60.00 purchase of 6 medium size 
    and 3 small ceramic pots. 
    Gardening soils are leaning against the wall.

    Older pots
    Little seedlings in the old ceramic pots. 
    The pot on the right  will require some thinning soon...

    Kakdah agrees to the idea  to explore more on container gardening. We end up purchasing 6 medium size and 3 small size containers or ceramic pots. With gardening soils, the purchase totaled RM60.00.  We already have a few bought last year..., but getting more pots offers bigger freedom in vegetable gardening.  Vegetables are so pampered that  any change in weather will weaken them somehow. So container gardening get round the changing weather... We can always bring them in if storm is coming!! and away from the scorching heat if it is too excessive....

    Grasshoppers which love  veggies so much, live among the grasses and little bushes, 
    and having containers closer to the house or at the porch with adequate sunlight 
    can more or less gurantee pest free greens. That's what we intend to do... But we still grow veggies on vegetable bed, to continue the experiential learning.

    ~ bangchik
    Putrajaya, Malaysia.

    Sunday, February 21, 2010

    Tomato plants get new trellis

    Six tomato plants, 
    growing in two rows.
    Coconut husks used as edgings, clearly visible. 
    The husks coming to second year now. 

    to support the soft stem and branches as they grow taller.
    The black things are oil palm fiber as  additional mulch.

    Gardening tips regularly mention about putting down stakes early before the roots start to spread far. So, early staking will reduce damage to the tender tomato roots. We did just that. Just for a change we used white electrical conduits.  A little bit out of place, with our current organic gardening drive. Bamboo stakes would suit just nice. Surprisingly the white conduit really add color to our little vegetable garden. It doesn't cost a penny, because it is another of my regular salvage from a friend's construction site....

    This particular post is the update of our tomato plants. On the first of February, they were just planted on the vegetable bed at the start of a new gardening season.
    Two weeks later they were really getting acclimatised in the new environment and were doing really fine
    and now growing even bigger with a new trellis as well. I used bamboo  stakes previously, and I thought using other material for trellis would be refreshing.

    The plants keep growing, adding more leaves and the leaves are getting bigger and longer. The stems are getting thicker at the base, probably anticipating wind soon. All six are doing fine. The 7th ended up in a container. 

    The weather is getting very hot now...,  little clouds and no rain. I wonder if my tomato plants will be able to withstand the increasing heat. By the look of it, they will brave through.

    Cheers.... Have a great weekend!

    Putrajaya, Malaysia

    Saturday, February 20, 2010

    White chili

    the white chili

    The white chili
    They never become green or red.


    An attempt at growing white chili is quite interesting. We have been so used to growing ordinary little chili or cili padi which will eventually turn from green to red.  

    But these are different. They are white... or rather greenish white, and they will never turn green or red. Two plants in pots and two on vegetable bed. These are their first array of fruits. Just for fun, I looked for scientific name of chili. It says Capsicum annuum.


    Friday, February 19, 2010

    Ground Orchid about to show its true colour.

    ground orchids 
    showing the true rich purple buds

    ground orchid

    ground orchid

     ground orchid
    Swan heads breaking into a couple more little heads

    Ground orchid
    in pots

    An ealier post  shows the buds almost like  swan head
     Now the true color is coming very clear. But the blooms are still hidden. As predicted, the color is going to be rich purple. Thanks to Tes , for suggesting  the name. Ground Orchid! I googled and found ground orchids, and they are exactly like mine. The other day both of us went over to the Tono's Nursery, 5 minutes away, and to my surprise, ground orchids are not limited to just purple blooms. Over there I saw beautiful white ground orchids sold at RM8.00 per polybag. Tono didn't have purple ground orchids.  We then discussed about exchanging the two orchids. We will wait until our purple ground orchids produce more babies.... So this is going to be our first attempt at doing barter trade with Tono.

    ~ bangchik
    Putrajaya, Malaysia.

    Thursday, February 18, 2010

    Container gardening: an attempt

    17.2.2010 Wednesday 8.30pm
    Medium size ceramic pots
    Pot 1 : Kale (Ning Di Agriculture and Seeds Ltd)
    Pot 2 : Sawi Pendek (Agriculture Department)
    Pot 3 : Corriander  (Trio)
    Pot 4 : Kai Choy   (Trio)
    Pot 5 : Sawi Putih Taiwan Pendek (Agriculture Department)
    Pot 6 : Brocolli (Serbajadi)

    Are they related somehow?


    This butterfly visited our front garden. It looked so much different compared to peacock pansy.  and Papilio helenus or swallowtail   shown in earlier posts. Its rapid movement made capturing it in photographs very difficult indeed. The butterfly must be enjoying the nectar of mussaenda flava or white wings flower. I missed the vintage pose, only a couple of pictures, mostly hidden behind the leaves and some a little bit blurred. But the basic feature and color were there....






    A caterpillar was seen crawling over a stone. It was very quick, a lot quicker than most caterpillars. It has so many minute legs, that probably helped his rapid crawl. Looking at the colorful creature made me wonder if it is related somehow to the butterfly in the earlier pictures. They looked awfully similar.

     Some of us may know the name of the butterfly and whether the caterpillar is really related.

    ~ bangchik

    Latest Update:
    Scientific Name of the butterfly: Papilio demoleus malayanus (Lime Butterfly)
    .. Reference 1: Malaysia Butterfly Checklist
    .. Reference 2: from James:   Fly Away! Fly Away! Fly Away!!!

    Scientific Name of the caterpillar: no info yet so far


    Tuesday, February 16, 2010

    Mulberry second fruiting season.





    The plants were bought at one of the stalls during Putrajaya Flower Show, last year. We put them in two clay pots. The plants survived through the period when we were away for one and a half month last year. Now they are fruiting once again. The berries go through the various stages; green, red and black colour. They are quite tasty!  I am thinking of making mulberry jam, but I need to have more berries. And that ask for the plants to be propagated into more pots or on the ground. I heard, this plant can grow through cuttings.

    Anybody growing this mulberry?

    Putrajaya, Malaysia

    Monday, February 15, 2010

    An orchid after a year.

    An orchid growing in clay pot.

    A swan... 
    taken from 

    The plant has been with us for a year, growing healthily but without sign that it is going to bloom until this week. There is swan like stalks shooting out, with the bud lazily swaying and drooping...... almost like swan head. The stalks are long, about the right proportion of a swan neck. I am trying to imagine the look and the colour when the bud opens up....I visualize that the stalks will straighten up bringing along the  flowers to face the sky. I am guessing the colour of the blooms to be deep reddish purple... Huh.

    I don't know the name of the orchid. Is it really an orchid to begin with?...


    Sunday, February 14, 2010

    Bilbo is homesick?


    We went out to the centre of Putrajaya. The place is Putrajaya Square, overlooking the Prime Minister Office. Putrajaya Mosque was a little bit to the left. There was this nice looking telephone booth, red body and a black handset with a bold red hello . I sensed Bilbo was missing home terribly, but too bad he had completely forgotten the number.









    This warning signboard was at the fence of a restricted area. The message was meant to be read in any of the 4 languages; English, Chinese, Indian, and Malay. Malaysia is really multilingual and multicultural. I guess we have to continue living that way, be accommodating and respect each other to live happily and peacefully.
    But Bilbo said, he hasn't seen much other than Putrajaya! Huh.....

    Putrajaya, Malaysia

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