Sunday, 1 October 2017

Speaking To Dear Cempaka

Hi everyone

The condition of plants in your garden reflects the kind of care you give them. Sometimes despite the good care the plants still don't grow well . People say to help them thrive you need to talk to them. It is said that since voice is sound it has vibrations. It has effects on the plants.

Have you tried (?) hehe.

I used to laugh at the idea of talking to plants. I don't know whether or not the belief has been proven true. What I know is you got to give what it takes to make them healthy, enough water, sunshine and suitable soil and fertilizer.

We have our own reasons for gardening. Me? I have thoughts of having a garden with healthy flowering  plants, for colors, freshness and scents. Also of course the trees and shrubs can give shade, filter out the dust and noise and to a certain extent protect your privacy.

The interest in gardening can come and go depending on your circle of friends, time and trend or what really you want to fill your life with. To have plants around you can be pleasing, calming and therapeutic.

At one time I had fifty to sixty pots of orchid plants. That was many years ago when I closely befriended an orchid enthusiast who owned quite a big plot of orchid garden. He was actually my  super super duper senior colleague.

Following him to his garden and watching him and his wife harvesting the orchids for cut flowers to be sold at the local market inspired me to have my own collection. But then if you cannot give full attention to care for the plants you can only have pots of orchid leaves. No flowers. My interest soon waned .

If you see the plants in my garden now . . . hmm. . . they are quite pathetic especially in time of less rain and long hot season.

It sure reflects on my haphazard gardening practices. Sometimes I have no time or forget to water or to move the plants to shady place or to sunnier spot accordingly or to loosen up the soil. To be exact, yes, I, most time neglect them.

I give them fertilizer only once in a blue moon but some of the plants and trees thrive on their own and some which looked half dead would revive when the rain comes again. So not to worry. Some patiently give me flowers through out the year though  the plants look pitiful.

See? It must be the good earth . . .

My small compound is crammed with decorative or not so decorative plants and trees. Most are the unfussy type. Once the root system is established they are on their own hehe. They need minimal care. That is why I call these plants unfussy.

Trees? The four gaharus, the mulberry, belimbing besi, dukong and the "twins", they are the cempaka, plus smaller kaffir lime, calamansi, and the over grown and spreading five finger palms, occupy most of the ground. And the keladi and passion fruit plants creeping over the trees make my garden look like a little jungle.

About the cempaka twins. They are off springs, joint at the base which actually is the stump of the mother tree.

The twin cempaka trees in the  centre have grown tall
Originally I bought the cempaka sapling believing that it was of the smaller/dwarf variety. I planted it in a big pot and it was supposed to flower within two to three years. I wanted a scented garden you see. But it was not to be. The plant overgrew the pot and was yellowing due to water logged.

How to fix it? I hammered  the pot. Ganas!

The plant survived. Over the years it grew bigger and taller but still there was no sign of flower.

I did not give a thought of talking it to flower at the time. Instead I took a chopper, made cuts and scores on the trunk. Then I sprayed fertilizer over the cuts. I also spread a full packet of fertilizer around the tree. Then, hope.

Actually the spouse had for a long time wanted to fell it because the cempaka  had become too big and was inclined towards the house. He was overly concerned of the danger it posed whenever there was strong wind. I was definitely against it. You see I wanted a scented garden. So never touch that tree.

Believe me or not the the cempaka flowered at long last. And there it materialized , my scented garden. Beautiful.

Come to think of it, was it because of what I did or was it because the cempaka tree understood my inner feeling. But my common sense tells me that the tree had attained the maturity and was high time for it to flower. It was in fact, not the smaller/dwarf species. It was the giant type.

Sad. The tree had to go and here are some memories . . .

The mother tree 
The scented flower from mother tree

Fruits of the cempaka when fully ripe dispersed little red seeds

Conspicuous yellow
There were a number of new plants sprouting from the stump but I cut them off except the two. And these two have grown very tall now but they are smaller in their circumference compared to the mother tree at this stage.

Surprisingly the spouse is not so concerned anymore the possibility of trees falling over the house. The gaharu trees are now taller and bigger than the the old cempaka tree. He has not mentioned about cutting down the trees.

So my twin cempaka, grow in peace. Bring back the sweet scents to my garden.

I hope the twins are aware of my thoughts. Do you want me to talk to you dear cempaka?

Happy gardening.

Bye . . .

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