Sunday, August 10, 2008

Orangy Ixora coccinea

Arrangement # 66
There is not much good blooms this morning at the garden outside except for an ixora shrub which apparently do have some fresh early morning flowers. Instantly my mind was driven to make an interesting composition based on its rich orange colours. Once satisfied with three cuttings, I strolled around the garden for leaves to match. Three variegated leaves species I selected were the wild banana ( green and dark purple colours), mother-in-law's tonque ( Sansevieria trifasciata ) and the irisine leaves of light red and dark purple combinations.
I placed them in a glass container which I hide inside a local mini 'tambuk' ( carrying basket ) sold as a popular souvenier item to tourists visiting Kuching. Finally, I added a stalk of white ginger ( Hedychium coronarium) to add a much needed interest.
Ixoras to me is a must for our local garden. They flower furiously year round. They are native to this region ( South East Asia) and have a good range of colours. Those that have pink colours are called Ixora siamensis while yellow ones are sometimes referred as Ixora coccinea var.lutea . One peculiar feature is their tubular flowers with four spreading lobes in dense clusters. I used to pluck these flowers and suck its tubular stamens for its nectar. Nowadays there are cultivars that possess traits of special appeal to landscapers like dense inflorescences, tiny leaves, low maintenance shrub, hardy ( especially for shaping and or topiary purposes) and sun loving. One such cultivar is the popular dwarf ixora known also as ' ixora sunkist '.
For being such a popular, hardy and lovely native species, fitting the bill of landscapers and home gardeners alike, I shall call this composition....My Lovely Native Ixora.

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