Wednesday, 28 March 2012

I'm so excited..and I just can't hide it

Remember The Pointer Sisters? They sang the song "I'm so excited". If you grew up in the 70's, just like me, you are no stranger to the song and its singers. And it will bring smile to your lips.

I am so excited today. So excited that I just can't hide it! Guess what? My yellow hibiscus and yellow rose, which was badly infested with disease, bloomed this morning!! It was unbelievable, really. There were new shoots too growing from the dried almost barren like diseased parts. I just kept staring at it for a long moment and then said a little prayer of thanks to the Lord who made this miracle. SubhanAllah!

My garden has revived! I must say there's a lot more to be done to purify the air surrounding my garden. But for now lets enjoy these beautiful pictures I took this morning.

Simply beautiful pose 
Stigma is hidden

The yellow rose too made a brave bloom despite the mites attack. The flower size is smaller though. Its okay for now :)

The houris thank the Lord for this healing touch and look forward to more adventures in her tiny garden. And what do you know, the houris was dancing to the tune of Irene Cara's hit song in the 80's (again..!), "What a feeling".

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Pests, pests, pests..everywhere

Barely 4 months old, my garden was infested by pests and diseases. I must say, this is a very sad episode for me as an amateur in gardening . Overnight, my garden turned into a nightmare. Mites, white-flies and mealy bugs invaded on each and every plant! The mona lavender and euodia ridleyi didn't survive. They both went bald.

In an attempt to save the rest of the plants, I quickly headed down to the nearest DIY store to get help and comfort in pesticides. I didn't know which brand to buy but bought one anyway. For more than one month now, I have been battling with these pests and I'm actually quite worn-out. I have finished 3 bottles of different brands of pesticides but there is no stopping to these pests. At this point I realized that they are here to stay, no matter what. They kept sucking every drop of goodness from the plants till there's none left. To this I have to say, is there really an effective pesticides after all? The brands that I bought were all renowned brands.

Then, a dear friend, Ms Autumn Belle of gave me really good advice. She told me not to get so stressed up by pest problem as pests are part of the natural cycle. She recommended pruning away or disposing off the diseased parts/plants. Autumn Belle added "in the long run, this method is less stressful and more cost-savings whilst applying pesticides (chemical or organic) doesn't really reduce our stress. Just remember to do a proper disposal and cleaning up so that other nearby plants are not affected. If plant is too weak to survive, don't wanna waste time, water and fertilizer. Can replace with another new one. However, plants that can survive a pest attack will certainly emerge stronger than before. Dilemma indeed."

So, I did just as advised by Autumn Belle. Prune here prune there and my plants look as good as new, with all the diseased parts out of my sight. And what do you know? I have never felt so relieved before. Then I was asking myself why hadn't I thought of doing this before.

I guess I'll just have to wait for another week or so to see the progress of the remaining plants. Much to my delight, the walking iris was not affected at all by the pests. Thank God for that. The hibiscus which is a hybrid species seem to be fighting it. Despite being infested I can see 3 buds waiting to bloom..if it blooms at all. 'Pentas' seem to be taking it well too.

If you are encountering pests problems right now, just do like what I did. Don't let frustration eats you up. After all, plants and flowers exist in our life to cheer us up and not otherwise. So be wise. As Ms Autumn Belle put it, "plants do die and we can grow new ones. Grow another healthy plant and we shall be delighted with the gorgeous blooms once again."

The houris has this to say..Ms Belle, you are God sent, really. Thank you so much for your invaluable advice. Here's wishing you happiness and may your garden be blessed! :)

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

How it all started...

never thought i would be gardening, now i am
never thought i would have a blog, now i'm writing on it
-the houris-

Going down memory lane....
I have always loved the smell of fresh fragrant flowers. I would go to the florist every week to pick out some nice sweet scented fragrant flowers for my home. But it got more expensive by the week and at times it was  inconvenient for me to get out of the house just to replace those wilted ones.

Then I was wondering if I could have fragrant flowers in my home without ever having to leave home. 

My mind was telling me to start planting fragrant flowers at home. But where do I plant them? Will it survive? I live in a high-rise condominium with no balcony. What seems to be like a patio at the end of my living room was framed by huge windows. I looked at it with the strong sun soaking in it from morning till the afternoon everyday and realize therein lies the answer. Gardening by the window! I had doubts, of course, but I had to give it a try :)

Come, come, whoever you are,

Welcome to my Garden!
It started with 3 pots of plants (jasminum sambac, evodia and yellow rose) stacked on a bench which I bought from Ikea and placed at the corner of my patio. The 4th pot (orange jasmine) had to sit on the floor because it was too heavy, and also no more space on the bench. 

After 3 months, the frenzy of having more plants set in :)
I guess it happens to all garden lovers! And what do you know?! My garden expanded!! There were more than 10 pots! Can you believe it? I can't either but that was it. 
The bench had to go to create a softer look. Not to mention the curtains! All gone for the love of my garden.

See what I mean...

Close-up view of the garden at the center of my patio.

I have enjoyed gardening ever-since and never looked back. The houris has left her magic touch in every plant that I brought in. I wish I could move to a house where I could actually garden to my hearts content. But for now, I thank God for blessing my tiny garden.

Now, lets have a closer look at all the flowers which have bloomed beautifully in the houris garden, shall we... 

"Murraya Paniculata" or commonly known as Orange Jasmine

Locally known as "Kesidang" or Bread Flower

Our local rose, known as "Ros Kampung" in yellow

Pentas or Egyptian Star Cluster

Plumeria Cultivar Rubra (pink)

Hyacinth in lilac

Mona Lavender

Angelonia (purple) or Summer Snapdragons


Our national flower, Hibiscus, in yellow

I wake up every morning to the sweet smell of freshly-bloomed fragrant flowers in my garden. Dream come true, really.

So, if you live in a high-rise condo and have passion for gardening, the houris have this to say, 'go for it'. All it needs is direct morning sun and plenty of tender loving care. Don't worry if you have a green thumb or not, actually, does the term really exist?

The houris can't help noticing the similarity fragrant flowers have on spirituality. Among flowers, the most fragrant ones are the ones in white. Highly spiritual people are usually very 'fragrant' people. They carry pleasant smell and people found themselves attracted to them. Their hearts are pure just like white flowers, with no black specks of dust. And their faces beaming with Divine lights or 'nur'.

Have a good day and may God bless your garden!