Monday, November 30, 2009

Dalat poinsettias

When I was in the US two years ago, I didn't see any poinsettia "trees". What I saw was small poinsettia "plants", potted up for holiday decorations.
In Dalat, poinsettias are grown in the garden, more often at the property fence. This is what I saw the other day.

And here's my poinsettia tree, in Tuysonvien.

Christmas is coming near, isn't it?

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Flower chair

I have always wanted an old, broken chair to use as a plant stand in the garden. Now I have it.
These are the final products of this morning's labor of hubby's and mine.
The flower-chair, mine.

The air-plant mount, his.

I'm glad our coffee break this morning turned out so beautifully!

Monday, November 23, 2009

An easy self-seeder - Torenria

Back in early September, I had the backyard garden re-do. Just a few weeks afterwards, I spotted numerous torenia seedlings growing all over the deck. Hubby and I spent our morning coffee breaks re-planting the seedlings to cover the bare patches of soil at the base of other trees.
This week, these torenia plants are blooming cheerfully.

I remembered buying two baskets of them, one dark violet and one pink, more than 10 years ago. After many seasons of self-seeding, now I noticed there are four different colors.
A dark violet with purple center.

A dark violet with off-white center.

A lavender with off-white center.

And a pink with white center.

Don't you think they look pretty?

They are so easy to care for, in fact, they just need some water. And they self-seed so voluntarily, too. What else would you look for in a ground cover?

Friday, November 20, 2009

My flowers this week

I have been working in my garden preparing my flower beds for Xmas and New Year. All is done so I spent some time photographing my flowers.
This is a planter full of "discarded" plants. These plants were pulled off somewhere in my garden and put there because I didn't have the heart to throw them away. Sometime ago, I top-dressed the planter with some compost and look at how the plants reacted.

My hoya pubicalyx blooms again. I just love its smell.

And here's one of my roses. I like this one best because it's a faithful bloomer for me.

Finally, a new pot of petunia which I bought last week. I want to use it as a source for propagation. Next time when I'm back up to Tuysonvien, I will try to propagate it.

Will see if I succeed.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Our trip to the Mekong Delta

Last week we travelled down to the Mekong Delta. Biam was also allowed to come along as we couldn't find anyone to take care of him for a few days. He took the trip much better than most other times he were in the car with us. Perhaps he's got used to our car now.
Back in 2000 I often came down to Hòn Chông, a remote seaside place in Kiên Giang Province, to conduct training. Hòn Chông is the home of a Swiss-Vietnamese cement joint-venture as limestone mounts are abundant in the area. I liked the place and thought of having our second home there, instead of Tuysonvien, because it was so peaceful.
Nine years later and although there were more inhabitants, more houses, more shops... what I liked most - the beach ... was still very deserted, very quiet.

Should the distance be shorter to Ho Chi Minh city, Hòn Chông beach would be very popular with foreigners who wants to "get-away-from-it-all".
On the way to Hòn Chông, we stopped at Hà Tiên for dinner. Hà Tiên is on the border with Cambodia, so it actually is the western-most city of Vietnam. It was founded by Mạc Cửu, a Chinese refugee way back in the early 18th Century. Now we can see his statue on the entrance to the city.

Biam was very curious about the place and just wanted to run so my husband had to hold him tight.

When we were walking along Mũi Nai beach in Hà Tiên area, the sun was about setting so it reminded me of Lake Travis when, for the first time, I watched how the sun sunk into the water. It was very spectacular!

We went back up to Ho Chi Minh city via another route. This time we were driving along a canal, not knowing that it was Vĩnh Tế Canal, a very famous man-made waterway that every Vietnamese knows from their geography lessons.

The canal runs parallelly to the road we were travelling all the way up to Tịnh Biên, where there is another border-crossing to Cambodia.

The trip was well-worth our time. I'm looking to explore other regions of Vietnam next.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Typhoon again!

Our coast got hit again with Mirinae. Although the storm wasn't very strong, it caused so much rain that many of the provinces along the coast are now in deep flood. People and animals are being affected badly.

This is the 11th typhoons that hit Vietnam since the beginning of the typhoon season. I'm praying that there will be no more to come!