Friday, December 31, 2010

A kind of "Cherry tree" in my garden

This "cherry tree" voluntarily planted itself in my garden a few years ago. Last season it started blooming for the first time and this season it continues to do so.

Formerly, this tree grew wild in the forests around Dalat. Thanks to its flowering during the new year, local people have started to hunt for smaller trees to plant in their gardens. Mine, perhaps, was grown from a seed blowing in the wind!
The blossom has 5 petals and is light pink. It comes in clusters and last for a few days. When the tree is old enough, it can be covered with multitude of blooms, which makes the tree looks quite spectacular.

I don't know whether it is any way related to the cherry tree of Japan. I hope some kind visitors to my blog give me more information on this tree.

Friday, December 24, 2010

A very special sun-flower

I got three seeds of this sun-flower from Stephanie, a gardening friend overseas. I sowed them and two germinated. This happened a few months ago. Now both plants are showing flower heads.

Instead of the usual yellow blooms, these plants has dark chocolate blooms. Isn't that very special?
I'm thrilled at seeing these heads. I hope at least one of the heads will open while I'm here and that I will have viable seeds for next time.
Many thanks to Stephanie for these.

Update December 26th, one of the heads has opened. The flower has dark chocolate color. I'm so impressed!

Update 28th December: the bloom is fully open.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Sweet Nymph

One more bulb from Royal Colors - Sweet Nymph - is showing off its first bloom.

Parly open, she looks like a lotus, doesn't she?

There are two scapes with 4 buds on each one. Will see how she turns out to be when fully open tomorrow.

Friday, December 17, 2010

More photos of Evergreen in full bloom

I posted when the bulb first opened its bloom. Two days now and the bulb/plant looks even more glorious.
Here are a few more photos of Evergreen in full glory.

I'm so happy with Evergreen; such a good bulb!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Updates on Royal Colors Amaryllis

Until today, all my four bulbs have produced scapes. And the Evergreen is fully open.

I didn't notice that Evergreen would have more than 4 blooms per scape so I was very happy to see that each of its scapes has from 8 to 10 blooms!

It's really a treat.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Royal Colors amaryllis

I ordered 4 amaryllis bulbs from Royal Colors of the Netherland. They finally arrived last Monday after circulating nearly half the globe!

These bulbs have probably been pre-chilled to be bloomed around Christmas time. First thing I did with them was to clean them off brown, papery skin to avoid possible rot.

Then I soak their roots in water for a day before planting to help them recover more quickly.

Finally, I planted them in a good mix yesterday afternoon.

This morning, I was greeted with this.

Wow, it's quick, really!

Update: I found one more scape emerging from another bulb - the Evergreen, this morning Dec 2nd. It's very exciting watching these.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

New blooms on the slipper orchid

This NOID slipper orchid blooms every year when the weather is cooler around November and December. Its blooms last a very long time, too.

But in the past it didn't give me as many blooms as it does this year.

Slipper orchids prefer cool climate. I cannot grow them in my Saigon garden.

Friday, November 26, 2010

My coffee corner in Tuysonvien

The first thing I do in the morning is to have my cup of coffee outdoors, at the coffee corner.
This is my coffee corner in Tuysonvien. We have two chairs here, one for me and the other for my dog when my husband is not here (and he's mostly not here anyway).

We sit here, me with my coffee and my dog with his biscuits, enjoying ourselves. The air is always cool and crispy and the view beyond looks so calm. Sometimes it's foggy but sometimes it's clear enough to see the hills and vegetable patches on the other side.

Life is really good.
Photos of the coffee corner in my Saigon garden.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Big surprise

In August I put two amaryllis bulbs in my fridge to force bloom them.

When I brought them out and planted them, I found that one of them didn't do nothing while the other was showing signs of life after three weeks.

I thought the "silent" one could not perform this season. However, to my surprise, just yesterday I found this on the bulb.

Guess nature can never fail to bring you big surprise when it can, right?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Update on my "Amazon"

Well my "dense forest planting" called Amazon has grown so lush thanks to the frequent rains we had up here.
But, despite a dense forest, this looks too much disorder and I felt it needed thinning.

So I went ahead removing those over-grown violet plants to give room for the several ferns to grow.

Now it will need a dose of fertilizer to fill in again. Funny how I want it to be neat and to be exuberant at the same time!

Cymbidium season

My cymbidiums start spiking around August and producing their blooms around end of October.
This year, perhaps due to Global warming effects, they bloom somewhat earlier so that by now, mid-November, all the 4 spikes on my Golden Elf are fully open.

I also have a NOID in full bloom, too.

I have brought them inside to enjoy their fragrance and color. They fill the air in my living room sweetly.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Jade vine blooms

My jade vine has produced its first blooming spike after around a year and a half growing from a rooted cutting. Not too bad, is it?

Although this spike grew out of the last node on the vine so it is not perpendicular from the arbor, I don't mind so much.

Hopefully its next spikes will be dropping right from the top of the arbor.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Re-potting ground orchids

I used to pot my ground orchids in a mix consisting of rice husks and perlite. During the dry season, this mix seems fine but in the rainy season, my plants don't look very happy in it.
In my last visit to Chatuchak market in Bangkok, I noticed that the people there had their ground orchids in pure coconut chips (don't know if I got the word correct, what I mean is the 'outter skin' of the nut, not the 'shell', chopped to small square pieces). The plants looked very healthy and produced many flower spikes.
So I decided to re-pot my orchids using 'tree fern roots' (another word which could be mis-used here, but I think you can see clearly in the photos) I also use this medium for my 'air-orchids' such as Cattleya and Brassavola.

This medium retains some moisture and is very airy, so hopefully my plants will like it. The down-side maybe I will need to water more in the dry season.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Blooms on Amazon lily

This is a new comer these days - the Amazon lily.

The plant blooms once a year when the whether is cooler. It has light fragrance during the day but stronger in the evening.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Colors of the garden

My Saigon garden is for tropical plants who like heat and humidity.
I keep several kinds of orchids, some perennials and evergreen. I don't have many annuals here as I cannot afford to replace them all the time.
This week I have these showing their pretty colorful "faces".

They keep me company and happy, everyday!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Miniature spathoglottis plicata

I have a few spathoglottis plicata plants but only one of them is the miniature type.
Got this plant from a young fan of my blog last year. All this time I thought it was a seedling of the regular type spathoglottis.
Recently, it bloomed and I realized it is the miniature type, which Stephanie asked me once.

The plant overall size is about 30cm. It used to be in a small seedling pot.

I just re-potted it yesterday into a bigger pot.

Hopefully it will be happy in its new home.