Wednesday, 28 March 2018

Come To My Fragrant Garden

Hi Friends

A fragrant garden!

An environment that delights your senses.

As you stroll into the garden it would be like walking towards a perfume counter in an upmarket shopping mall. Scented, aromatic, sweet smelling. Never overpowering. Just beautiful.

Ha ha ha I am just imagining. My scented garden never really materialise. It cannot qualify to be called a fragrant garden.

That is not to say the garden does not feature any sweet-smelling flowers, it has, but too few to give an effect.

My garden is actually a yard beside the house haphazardly planted with trees and shrubs and common house and garden plants. It does not have a concept but it can be aptly called natural bush garden hehehe. It is messy. And now with the falling leaves it is messier still.

At the beginning of my gardening endeavor, I have a vision that one day my side yard would somehow develop into a scented garden where the air is filled with the fragrance of the flowers.

Fat hopes because I am not so serious and my time is mostly taken up by other hobbies . . . and the household chores . .

As I mentioned earlier I have only a few plants with fragrant blooms and so what I get is only a whiff of the scent sometimes. Of course, if you go near and sniff the smell would be stronger.

Come to think of it, if those few plants all bloom at the same time the fragrance should be better and stronger but even then the effect won't be heady like, mmm . . . say when you spill a bottle of perfume?

Here are my fragrant flowers, just to share.

My bunga kesidang plant very rarely blooms. But when it does the flower lasted for quite a number of days. The pleasant odor is very noticeable. I never miss taking a sniff at the flower whenever I pass it.

Now this plant is getting bigger and it has started to climb up the mulberry tree.  One day I should see it producing more flowers, I hope. 

The flower, what's the name, below, is a pleasant surprise for me because initially when I bought it I never knew it as a flowering plant and on top of that the flower emits fragrance though quite faint. I bought it because I was attracted to the glossy leaves.

The plant has been with me for so many years already and the pot dragged to here and there many times. And at the very last spot, it stays there until the roots dig into the ground. It is at this spot that it begins to produce flowers quite often. Then I don't move it anymore hehe.

You cannot miss the distinctive odour of the cempaka but my twin cempaka trees are not producing enough flowers to effect a fragrant garden. The few flowers are situated so high up that the fragrance cannot reach the ground.

The lower branches are not bearing any flower. I put the blame on the neighbouring gaharu tree which is shielding it from the sunlight. I wonder when this gaharu will get injected and die.

Below is another one in my garden collection. The kemuning flower. Nice fragrance and the smell more pronounced when the plant is flushed with flowers. They do not last long. The plus point is it flowers quite often.

Below is the gardenia. Is it a dwarf plant. Won't it grow big.

Its fragrance is very faint, not the same as the bunga cina I used to play with in my kampung when I was small. At that time gardenia shrubs form the fencing for our kampung house. I remember waking up in the morning to the smell of gardenias.

Or is it my sense of smell is now diminishing? 😟

There is a jasmine plant but is stunted and not producing any flower since being uprooted from the ground into a pot. It was done so because of some house renovation. I have been quite patient with it and hope it will not disappoint me. I wish it would flower like before so as to make my neighbour jealous again hehe.

Then there is also a limau kasturi, the calamansi plant at the back part of the compound. When it blooms you get a very fresh smell. It is quite old already and producing less and less flowers and fruits.

But today I am so happy, just realized, the once about to extinct from my garden fragrant orchid gives out a flower. What a pleasant surprise. 

So there, a few fragrant flowers in my collection.

Hope you like them.

Till next entry, bye . . .

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Watch Out!

Hi friends

My house is inland a kilometer away from the seafront. If there are no buildings or greeneries in between I can have the view of the sea. How nice it could be.

Many, many years ago I lived in old government quarters on a hill slope facing the sea separated from the beautiful and pristine sandy beach only by the main road. There was nothing to block the view.

The house was strategically built where there were windows and doors open out to the sea view. From the bedroom the hall and the dining, and right up to the kitchen you would be able to see the setting sun.

The big french door opened out to a verandah where the family used to sit and relaxed. Living there was like staying in a holiday bungalow.

At the beginning of my stay there, I used to sit in the verandah and gazed out to the sea for hours. In those days I remember most of the time the view was clear and colorful with the shimmering water changing colors as the sunlight striking it at different angles at different times of the day.

On some days the view was so breathtaking that you could really fall in love with the sea.

My beautiful experience there is all history now. I can only dream of having such a place. So the next best thing I did was to have bought this house which is quite near the sea.

The beach is where I usually frequent. Love them, the blue sea, the blue sky. the white clouds.

Not that on all days the view is that colorful and romantic.

Sometimes it is just dull and gray, quiet and lifeless.

Certain time the sea is dotted with people and the next day the beach would be littered when the crows, a lot, would be having a good time scavenging.

There could be a worse time when you don't want to be by the seaside. You could hardly see a thing. The haze!

May I add?

You could even be green with jealousy, just standing there and watching. Oh, not so bad. You could feel a little envious watching out at the open sea . . .

The above are photos I captured on one hazy morning. Hope you like it.

Till next entry, bye.

Friday, 16 March 2018

Don't Be Angry

Hi friends

It is now still early but the sun is already giving out heat. There are no trees around here. Just few palm trees that can't do much to help cool down the place.

Around is all concrete. The house I am sitting in is a unit in the many stories building.

I peek out through the window I see there is an effort by the people and the authorities to green the adjacent area by planting trees there. 

In this kind of hot weather can the young saplings survive. 

I hope it will. 

It will take many years for the trees to grow and able benefit the people.

Anyway, it is better late than never.

But of course, some who planted it may not be able to enjoy it later. 

People say those who plant trees plant them for others.

See, me when back at my hometown walking and relaxing under the trees around the area I just take for granted of their existence there. Do I care to appreciate those past people who planted the trees that have become so beneficial? 

I notice the angry look on this tree that makes me answer.

Oh yes, I do appreciate.

The face of a tree.

See you in next entry.

Bye . . .

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

We Want More

There are no seasons here,
sunshine mostly throughout the year
But we fret at the time 
when the rain hampers our plans

There is no winter
every day in summer
yet we want a heater
'cos we can't stand the cold shower

There is no spring
autumn neither
trees growing in full swing
giving shade in sunny weather

I can go on and on 
and sing about the good things we enjoy
but we still will look beyond
the border
and feel 
what we are blessed with 
is always lesser

Wednesday, 7 March 2018

Gardening It Is

Hello again friends

These days I have so much free time. How come?  It's because I spend less time surfing on the internet as the telephone is still dead and stingy me, try to reduce usage of my mobile data. 

Since I quite like to garden then gardening it is what I do to fill up the time.

Some of the plants badly need repotting and shifting of places.

First here about this dracaena plant. It was rejected before and pushed away to stay among the bushes and the bananas for a number of years.

Dracaena after repotting
Some weeks back I retrieved it and placed against the column of the porch to green the house a little bit. But it would topple at the slightest gust of wind because it was top-heavy.

Since I have given it a new, bigger and heavier pot it is now standing tall. However, the leaves are still a little limp. I’ll give it a little more time to improve. If not it has to be taken away and replaced with a better plant.

Pushing and dragging the heavy potted plants help burn some calories, a motivation there.

Plant it into a bigger pot
Give it some drinks

Then there is another plant. This plant has been there in the compound for umpteen years. No one pays attention to it.

I don’t really take good care of it except for the showering when I happen to be a little caring. Left there under the trees for a long time it became bent and twisted as it tried to get some sunlight on its own.

The plant is so resilient. It survives against all odds.

It is worthy of my respect. I need to put it into a new pot and place it where it deserved. It has its own specialty to show off. It has the special red /pink margins on the narrow and pointed leaves.

Red-margined dracaena leaning forward to welcome you

So there you have it, the red-margined dracaena standing gracefully welcoming you to my house!

Then there is the spotted-leaved Japanese bamboo also known as dracaena surculosa, if I am not mistaken. At one time this plant was very popular. I don’t know how it is now.

I have three or four pots of these plants tucked away under the clumps of lady finger palms. Yesterday I pulled out the pots and plonk them into bigger plastic pots and group them together and hey look! Aren’t they beautiful?

I think whatever plants if they grow well will look nice and beautiful.

And now I am getting carried away doing up the plants. I have started to pull out the sansevieria plants, popularly known as the mother in law tongue, from the corners of the compound and put them in pots. 

Work is not yet finished. Many more pots of these plants are needed. I need to collect more. I am still thinking of how best to arrange them outside the low window. Perhaps I will blog about it when it is ready.

I guess I should stop writing and bragging now.

So, till next entry, bye.

Monday, 5 March 2018

The Healthy Life Style Run And Ride

Hi there

It has been more than a week since my last entry. I would have written and published the entry earlier. It’s because the internet connection to my house is down . . . yet again.

It is still not ok. I am now using the free wifi at a family club. I feel so reluctant having to get out from the house to here though it’s only a mere 5 minutes drive and typing on my laptop with many people sitting around. What can I do? I have to try to ignore the distractions but at the same not be too absorbing minding my manner as I am not in the privacy of my own home. I don’t want to draw any attention.

I have wanted to write an entry about a Saturday event as soon I reached home last week Sunday, while everything was still fresh in my mind. What to do life is full of surprises. I thought the downtime was only one day but it has stretched to more than a week. Sigh . . .

However here is the story.

On the 24th February, there was a Healthy Life Style Run & Ride 2018 organized by the Health Ministry.

The colorful medal

Naturally, the aim was to promote a healthy lifestyle by encouraging people to be active and take their fitness to higher levels by getting involves in exercise and sports such as walking, running, cycling and etc.

The event was held at the Putrajaya wetland park so that as you run or ride you can enjoy nature at the same time. The reason the venue was picked as said by the MC that day.

There was a quite a good crowd of participants but I think it was so much less than the crowds at the two running events in which I took part last year. Perhaps I shouldn’t compare because the previous ones were definitely organized on a grander scale.

Started early in the morning

My sister and her daughter took part in the 14 km Ride, while me and daughter, as usual, the 5 km Fun Run (mostly walking for me).

My aim, as usual, was not to finish last hehe.

The track was more challenging this time. The terrain of the Wetland is undulating. It was going uphill most time, very tiring for the legs. Part of the path was rough, muddy, sandy or graveled, made worst due to previous night rain. There were pools of water at certain parts and therefore you got to watch your steps.

You can’t really run or walk smoothly and at the same time enjoy the views of the Wetland.

Attention to safety was most important.

Anyway, I am happy because all the anxiety and the physical stress I went through did not trigger my heart beat problem. This is something positive for me.

I managed to finish in less than an hour. I realized there were many more runners came to finish later. Perhaps they took time and stop to enjoy nature along the way.

To say that I didn’t enjoy the run is a little bit too much. To say that I did enjoy it, well, it is not fully. We were so gung-ho on the night before the event but feeling a little down after the run and ride.

Getting ready on the night before the race

Sad. This time there was a mishap.

My sister fell off her bicycle. It was actually about five minutes ride to the finish. She was riding downhill and did not realize there was a narrow but higher than usual road hump. There was no warning that she was aware of.

Lucky she was not cycling at full speed so the fall was not that bad, only bruises and a swelling wrist. It was bad enough to have made her cancel attending a young relative’s birthday party later in the day.

Packing up  for home
I think cycling could be dangerous especially to old people. Our bone which has become low in density due to aging easily succumb to fracture if we fall. It is better to stick to running or walking. If you really have a passion for cycling you really must wear all the protection gears for such sport.

We found many shortcomings in a certain aspect of the organizing that has left us perplexed. It dampened our spirit a little. Hope the experience do no discourage us from joining such events in the future.

That's it my long overdue entry, hope you enjoy reading.

Till next entry, bye.