Monday, August 31, 2009

Beautiful sedum jelly-bean

I brought this jelly-bean sedum back from the US back in 2007.

At first I kept the plant in the shade house, the plant looked all green and lanky.

Then I moved it outside to get more sun. It turned to a dark chocolate color, and still looked lanky.

To improve the look of the plant, I trimmed off almost all the long growths and kept the plant in full sun. After several months, the plant has achieved this new look.

Beautiful, isn't it?

Another succulent dish garden

I think I'm deeply in love with succulents so much that I just made another dish garden. This time the main player was an euphorbia.

In addition, I used a portulaca afra

a stapelia

and a sedium NOID.
This is the finish product.

So far, I have had three succulent dish gardens and an outdoors bed. Can't help but loving them so much :-o)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The water has run-over

Yes, the "water" from my succulent fountain has run-over.

After 10 days, the little sedum has grown so much it has covered the whole base and other plants. Look! It has definitely run-over.

The sedum burrito from the top has also grown at least 1cm longer, and a lot more new growths have sprouted from the center, too.

Since there's full of "water" in the fountain, two toads and a frog have made it their home. Can you see them?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

New dish planting

I started this container last time I was at TSV. I fell in love with the "tree" when shopping for containers and thought it would make a nice "mini-landscape" in a shallow dish. So I bought it and the dish.

Two weeks passed, and now my "tree" was established in its new home. The ground cover has also taken off nicely, too, and everything looked lush and green.

I just added a family of duck to enliven the "mini-landscape".

Just love how it looks!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Holiday cactus blooms

My holiday cacti are all blooming now. This is their first show; their second show will come around Thanksgiving and Christmas.
I have a few with different colors. The pink, orange and white are blooming this week. I hope the other colors will follow suit.

These days, my small living room is adorned with cactus blooms. All look so fresh!

Friday, August 21, 2009

New bloomer

It's the ground orchid, with two spikes.

Once this orchid blooms, it can go on and on for several weeks, with one bloom opens one day and the next bloom on the next day, and so on. And buds continue to form at the tip of the spike.
I have 3 different kinds of ground orchid; a white one;

a purple one;

and the "blotchy" one. The "blotchy" one gives bigger blooms than the other two.

I planted these ground orchids in soil and treat them as other garden plants. They are quite easy to keep and bloom very regularly, not following a certain blooming season like other orchids. The white one blooms non-stop, you can hardly ever find it without blooming spikes!
Do you have ground orchids in your garden?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Nepenthes are pitchering - Hurahhhh!

It was my first time trying to grow nepenthes (pitcher plant) and I was worrying that I would kill them for not providing the right culture.
But luckily, all my 4 neps are growing well and pitchering nicely after trying to adjust themselves to the new growing environment in my backyard.
Nepenthes ventrata is growing robustly. It even produces a new growth at the base and this new growth is pitchering, too! The baby green pitcher looks so cute.

Nepenthes thorelli seems to be slow in recovering from the changes. All the pitchers that came with the plant dried up. But it has produced a nice new pitcher; unfortunately some culprit has damaged it. I figure, perhaps, a big ant while trying to escape the pitcher, has bitten into it and made the hole!

Nepenthes bicalcarata looks so handsome with its new pitcher, quite large. This is one of the two plants I bought from Thailand last month. Just love it!

And Nepenthes rafflesiana - the one with the biggest, spotted pitcher - is also catching up with two new, developing pitchers.

I feel so happy about all this. It proves that I can grow pitcher plants all right!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The petite survivor

More than a year ago, I cut a "branch" off my mature ZZ plant to propagate. I planted the cutting in a small pot but left the pot outside in the garden. Then the cutting got rotted and only a "stump" was left.
A couple months ago, I needed a small pot for some other plants, so I upturned the pot with the ZZ stump in it only to find out there was a tiny shoot under the soil line!
So I re-potted everything and put the pot at the place where I could easily watch it. Finally, the new growth surfaced!
Today, I cleaned the pot, placed some pebbles and decorative mushrooms in it to look pretty.

From now, the baby ZZ plant will reside at my kitchen windowsill so I can look at it while cooking.

ZZ plant is easy to propagate as you can see. And even if you only have a "stump" left of a cutting, don't throw it away but keep watering it, you may eventually get the plant you wanted.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Some of my AV collection

I have been growing African Violets since 2005. Because AV is scarce in 'Nam, my collection is rather small in number as well as varieties.
Most of my plants are NOIDs, starting from leaves.
Recently, I was able to identify three of my AVs. Here're the named varieties.
Frozen-in-Time (from Rainbow's Violets).

Galactic Storm (from Rainbow's Violets).

Mac's Southern Springtime (from Rainbow's Violets).

And here're the NOIDs.

I hope eventually I'd be able to assign names to these NOIDs. They're all very pretty, aren't they?

Monday, August 17, 2009

All about succulents

My succulent plants continue to grow well.
This is the "fountain" when I started it on July 25.

And this is how it looks after three weeks' time. Notice how much it has grown.

Meanwhile, the "garden" also looks good.

Succulents sure are wonderful plants. Can't help but love them :-o)

Bud development on my holiday cactus

I think this container of Thanksgiving cactus will bloom in a week's time. Look at how far the buds have grown on it.

It even has a half-way opening bloom, too.

I have had this cactus for nearly five years now and every year it never fail to give me a flabulous show of blooms, though a bit too early for Thanksgiving.

But I won't be without cactus blooms for the holidays, either, since I have several containers of them :-o).

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Another foggy morning

Very often TSV would be enveloped in fog.

Across the valley from the garden, the hills looked like the wavy ocean. The air was so still and no sound was audible. I just sat there, motionless, at my back porch, trying to behold the view. It was like heaven, you know.

Then the sun broke in the horizon and you could see the silhouette of the pine trees.

Another day has begun.

Everyday I feel thankful to the Great Mother Nature and sweet DH for this little piece of heaven on earth for me!

Friday, August 14, 2009

The medium I use for epiphytic plants

I use a certain medium available locally to pot my hoya, anthurium, epiphyllum, and my holiday cactus.
The medium is a produce of the tree in the photo here. This kind of "tree" is abundant in our forest, so I guess it's renewable. But of course it may take quite some time for them to grow to size.

The tree then would be cut into logs.

The logs then would be cut into "slates" (?) for mounting species orchids. The photo shows the back of the mount and you can see the orchid roots went through the slate in this photo.

Those that are not big enough for slates would be chopped into something like this and used as potting medium.

When I buy this stuff, I would normally cut it into smaller "grains" (?) so that the roots of the plants can easily penetrate and attach themselves.
This stuff - chopped tree fern, or Dớn in Vietnamese - is very porous, in fact it holds no water except what it has absorbed.
My above mentioned plants love this medium. They grow and bloom for me regularly, even non-stop like my anthurium.
PS: This post is for Lynn.