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Saturday, March 24, 2012

Carnivores Galore

I've been quite busy again these few weeks with school, so I was unable to blog. My education do have to come first after all. Fortunately, I was able to clear up most of my work so I finally have some time to update my rather inconsistent blog. I appreciate your views and comments a lot.

It's been scorching hot these few days, so I had to water my plants daily instead of the regular 2 days interval. My plants can go from fresh to wilting by midday, though they recover rather rapidly after a generous spraying with the garden hose. Carnivorous plants generally enjoy bright sunlight so the weather have been quite conducive for their growth, though they require constantly wet environment as they hate getting dried out. That means extra work and care on my part, though when it's rewarding when I see them thrive.

My minibog has been growing nicely and rather vigorously, relative to the general rate of growth for carnivorous plants. The drosera and nepenthes are the most vigorous plants, in comparison with the other carnivores (pinguicula, dionaea, sarracenia, utricularia). Here are some pictures to share.
























A plugged-up pot filled with more carnivorous plants and water.

























One of hardiest, though a bit slow, nepenthes hybrids ever, N. x dyeriana growing beautifully in my backyard.



























Introducing a rare jewel into my collection, a heliamphora (Marsh Pitcher Plant) together with some sarracenias. Though it has a reputation of being one of the most difficult pitcher plant species (second only to Darlingtonia and Ultra-highland nepenthes), I have hope that it will survive here since a few people has got it to grow in lowland conditions. Do ignore the messy background; I still don't have time to rearrange and weed things out.




Monday, March 12, 2012

The Garden Behind

Though I have quite a large garden, my dad does not give me the freedom to landscape and plant stuff as I want to. He prefers foliage plants and a formal look, while I prefer flowers and a natural look. Fortunately, I have the 'balcony' (really an extension with a flat roof) at the back of my house to grow plants as I like. Here are some photos of it. I still don't have much time to weed and rearrange stuff so it looks kinda messy hehe.





















Most of my carnivorous plants, including my minibog is located there. There's plenty of sunlight for these sun-loving plants for photosynthesis.





















My attempts at growing vegetables organically. This is pak choy.




















More random plants.





Friday, March 9, 2012

Contrast

My current examinations have finally ended and a one week break has started (just what I needed). Though I still have my art project and some competitions, I hope to be able to spend some relaxing time and releasing stress in the garden and through blogging.

Sometimes one just have to appreciate the little details and niceties found all around us. A walk through the garden can be an interesting experience if one looks carefully enough. The many different colours, textures and patterns of nature all around us can produce a harmonious effect and an aesthetically-pleasing sight. This is especially evident in foliage plants through the the variegation of leaves, but some flowers exhibit fantastic patterns too with contrasting colours.

The intriguing shape and arrangement of tillandsia leaves have always gave me the impression of exotic bromeliads from the steamy tropical jungles. The blooms are often very bright and clear as the colours contrast drastically with the leaves. Here is my Tillandsia funckiana in the process of flowering. Notice the bright red buds against the pale greyish-green leaves?




This is not an everyday occurrence as my white hibiscus has produced a pink blossom! I'm not sure whether it's a dormant grafted branch that suddenly turned active or a weird mutation in the pigmentation of the flowers, but it's certainly gorgeous when the pink contrasts against the other white blossoms. There's some white pigment on the exterior side of the petals though, and it has the same dark red center, so I think it's a mutation, but can it mutate so drastically?




One of the hardiest and easiest plants in my garden, the angelonias are ever-blooming with their cluster of indigo blossoms. Angelonia always seems to be covered in powder or pollen as you can see from the photo. 




I just love the sight of aristolochia. I think the heart-shaped leaves are cute, but the flowers are certainly a sight to behold! It's obvious how it got its common name, Dutchman's Pipe. Though I'm sure you certainly don't want the flower anywhere near you face as the scent somehow reminds me of dirty socks. I love the interior of the petals which are covered in countless fine hairs, looking so fuzzy! The rich maroon veins on the flower petals are also quite unique.




And last but not least are the foliage plants. Variegation produces such interesting patterns on otherwise dull green leaves. This produce great contrast between the green and white pigments, and therefore produce aesthetically spectacular results. And the patterns are also not constant and fixed, but always vary from leaf to leaf, so each leaf is unique and special. 







Thursday, March 1, 2012

When It Rains, It Pours

The first exam of the first semester is about to start, so I have to start studying now. Hopefully it will be over in a flash so that I can concentrate on my piano lessons, art project and most of all, gardening and blogging.

 On a side note, the rainstorms have been increasingly harsh and thunderous. Luckily my plants are still thriving, except my little butterwort that got splashed too much. Here are some after-rain photos.

The carnivorous plants are enjoying the constant showers, though I'm worried about the rain triggering the flytrap's traps (such a waste of plant energy).



















The flowering plants are growing robust and flourishing, especially the constantly flowering hibiscus.


























More random plants drenched in rain drops.




















But my Aristolochia deserves special mention, as it has finally produced blooms for me after almost a year. Still waiting for a chance to smell it.