Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Hail to the Heliconias

Today's pictures were taken in Bintulu and I'm posting them from Kuching. The reason being, I was too busy with preparations to go to Kuching that little time was available to prepare for this post in Bintulu.
Today ( 1st July) I'm back in Kuching after a month long stay in Bintulu.
Today's show comes in a progression. I have used three types of heliconias. Stage 1 - the yellow bracts of parrot flower is set against the green leaves of the lady's palm. Stage 2 - the green tips and orange colours of the Heliconia latispatha join the crowd. Stage 3 - the red 'Firecrackers' ( Heliconia rostrata) finally tops the show.

Stage 1

Stage 2
Stage 3 - as the final arrangement.....Arangement # 147.....Hail to the Heliconias.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Wild and Pasionate

Today the Trumpet Flower ( Bignonia magnifica) were in rich splendour as they reach over the aviary and onto the adjacent trees. I would like to team them with the colourful leaves of the Blood Banana. The purple flowers and dark red spots of the wild banana leaves seems to hold on to each other well, I thought.
For a simple arrangement I would name it.....Wild and Passionate.

Arrangement # 146

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Pure white and common?

Is the Common Gardenia so common? Try to search for it in towns and there's a 90% chance that you'll hardly see it at all now. I used to see them in abundance in the sixties in village compounds or town houses. These days you'll be thankful if you can stumble upon one. For that reason I have planted scores of this shrub at my farm to keep it in ready stock. I plant it mainly for its scented pure white flowers and its dark green leaves.

Arrangement # 145

I have tried to keep the theme fresh and green today. Thus I have matched the pure white flowers of the Common Gardenia ( Gardenia jasminoides) with eye- relaxing green colours of young 'pandan' leaves. Would love to name this composition simply .........Fresh, Young and Pure.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Red Lobster's Claws

I was thinning out some bushes at the vegetation island today when I bumped into a clump of heliconia strictas or red lobster's claws. The pleasant encounter gave me ideas for today's display.
Arrangement # 144
I was thinking if only these were real lobster's claws they would not stand a chance to look pretty. Probably will end at the cooking pot. Well, man or woman, cannot live by bread alone. Often we need need aesthetics to recognise God's majesty. So today I rest my soul in the warmth of nature's love as I am feeling pleased that my attempt to grow heliconias here as wild as possible has succeeded to surprise me. Without further ado, I say why not call this composition...S u c c e s s.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Saturday Matinee

Early this morning I was happy to notice the Creamfruit ( Roupellia grata) plant showing off its white flowers ( see inset). This plant was bought from Kuching a couple of months ago. When pruned the plant seems to grow into a beautiful shrub and may exhibit a climbing habit if left unchecked. To match it I gathered as many flowers and colourful bracts as I could.
On the list are the heliconias ( 4 varieties), gardenia ( 2 varieties) and the lilium or pink lily hybrid. Today's special I thought. Make the composition as colourful and striking as possible.

Arrangement # 143

Today being a Saturday, I would like to name the composition as ...Saturday Matinee.

Friday, June 19, 2009

A Lady Blushing

There is so much of fragrance, sweet fragrance in the air today. I see the common gardenia or Cape Jasmine ( Gardenia jasminoides) and the Plumeria rubra var.acutifoloia throwing their scent to the wind. How could I miss this opportunity? Below is a closer view of the plumeria having smaller sized white petals flushed with yellow in the centre.
Like the gardenia, plumerias flower continuously. Their bunchy flowers are eye-catching .

Arrangement # 142

Having gathered the flowers of the gardenia and plumeria, I placed them inside a glass vase. To add greenery I threw in the variegated leaves of cordyline or 'Ti" plant as they are known in Hawaii. The pink colours of Lilium would provide much sparkle to the show. What would you say to a pretty girl in yellow, pink and white ? ......I would say "Wow, You're Pretty."

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Colourful Bracts

In Bintulu now. After spending a month in Kuching we miss the garden flowers here.  Thus early this morning I made cuttings of heliconias, alpinias and crotons.  They were a magnificient show.  Alpinias are ornamental gingers that like semi-shade and its roots love rich and moist soil conditions.  A favourite of mine is the Red Ginger ( Alpinia purpurata) due to its attractive red or scarlet bracts.  Today I saw one inflorescence with a number of plantlets from which I normally propagate the plant apart from the usual way of splitting the rhizomes from the mother plant to mutiply its numbers.

Then I noticed the new variety of heliconia which  I brought from Kuching a few months ago producing red and yellow bracts different from others in my collection so far.  I have yet to find the common name for this species ( see below).

Today I attempt to make a composition in three stages as illustrated below.
Arrangement # 141  ( in 3 stages)

After adding three varieties of heliconias to the single red ginger I find the display lacking in accent.  Thus I added the multi-coloured, variegated, curled and twisted leaves of the croton.
I am settled for this simple composition and glasly name it .... Brilliant Bracts.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Two Hearts

Arrangement # 140

The south garden is shaping up well.  Today I made a cutting of the scarlet inflorescence of the Costus woodsonii ( see picture to the right).  The scarlet cones can last for a week or more and thus ideal as cut flowers.  Then I saw a blooming red rose.  It matched well with the scarlet colour of the costus.  Without thinking further I plunged both of them inside  yesterday's glass vase and thus recycled yesterday's variegated leaves of the Ctenanthe pilosa. It interesting to see the leaves still looking fresh today.  Such a simple and fast composition  deserves a rapid title I think.....Two Hearts