On returning home to Bintulu last Friday, I noticed the spathiphyllum'Mauna Loa' by my back door showed two inflorescences. Spathiphyllum can be found in tropical America though there are certain species that are native to Malaysia. Sometimes called the 'Peace Lily'or 'White Sails', it has very glossy dark green leaves.
For today's composition I had the spathiphyllum, hybrid cannas and the fiery red ginger join the crowd.
Lastly, for scents I added in a spray of white ginger lily. Glad to have arrived Bintulu after an 11 hours journey on Friday evening, I dedicate this composition to....Happy to be back, Bintulu.
When I arrived Kuching on the 1st of this month, I have observed that the plants at the front portion of our garden were growing luxuriantly. Two species that stole my eyes were the white ginger lily ( Hedychium coronarium) and the 'Bunga Sepenuh' ( Eurcycles amboirensis ) as shown in the foreground of the picture below.
I love the Bunga Sepenuh for its broad heart- shaped leaves. I plant them close and let them form into an understorey. However the best part of planting this species is the waiting game for its flowers. Below I capture 4 days of successive flowering.
On the fourth day I decided to cut it for today's floral display.
Well, next to this Sepenuh plant is the white ginger lily with its satiny white colours and typical butterfly-like petals.
Impressed by the white and green colours of the flowers as well at their leaves, I decided to do a composition in white & green. I placed the display against a piece of Kelantanese 'songket' cloth.
This is the fifth variety of coleus that I have in my Kuching garden right now. Coleus plants with its very colourful leaves are a respite to the evergreeness of our tropical gardens and I think they are a must to be planted . Other species that can give the masses of colour to our Kambatik garden are like the caladium, cordyline, psederanthemum, irisine, pisonia and mussaenda among a few.
Arrangement # 125
Here three varieties of the coleus ( solenostemon scutellarioides ) are placed inside a glass vase which is hidden by the mini 'tambuk' . The red terminal bracts of the costus woodsonii are added in to add variety. Finally I add perfumery to the display by throwing in the flowers of the pink frangipani ( plumeria rubra). Surprised at the rich variety of colours I name the composition....Magic Colours.
My Kuching garden is slowly shaping up. Before we left for Bintulu last October, I had planted four varieties of the coleus ( Solenostemon scutellarioides ) which I bought from the Satok Sunday market. I noticed they are in their best looks today. Among the Malays the plant is called 'Bunga Ati-Ati'. They plant them for their multi-coloured variegated leaves more than for its flowers. They have 4-angled stems with small flowers and toothed edges. Planted in pots they are beautiful decorative plants for official functions. Coleus are native to this region ( South East Asia). Now you are likely to see more varieties appearing at the market place due to the fact that this plant is a favourite among hybriders who constantly try to produce new cultivars.
The coleus I chose above has dark maroon and red colours. Then to add contrast I plucked three flowering stems of the white jasmine flowers (jasminum multiflorum) .
Finally I like to name the above composition as ....Coleus in Contrast
I was extremely glad to notice that the plants at our front garden in Kuching were doing well in our one month absence. The Ixora coccinea shrub was at its best,very showy with orange flowers in a tight and compact form.
Arrangement # 123
But then as I moved around the garden which is very much 'in progress', I found that I could use the heliconias to good effect this time around. In goes the Heliconia psittacorum and Heliconia latispatha. To add artistry to the show I threw in two leaves of the variegated cordyline terminalis which have red colours around the edges of the leaf.
Having arrived Kuching in the best of spirits, I call the above composition...Kuching Melody.
Flowers bring peace into a room. A posy or a single bloom- can dispel a restless mood An atmosphere of quietude- haunts the place where flowers are. You forget the things that jar. So still they stand in vase or bowl. Their silence speaks unto the soul. Day by day now autumn comes- beautiful chrsysanthemums- bring proud summer to its close. Heedless of the fading rose- rich and deep their colours blaze. Season of the mellow days-as chrysanthemums unfold- wine and amber,bronze and gold. From a blue jug by my chair-they watch me and I am aware- of their beauty blessing me- with their own tranquility. Who comes within this calmingspell- cannot doubt that all is well.
written byPatience Strong( pen name of Winifred Emma, UK poet, 1907-1990)