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A garden enthusiast who loves to travel and capture the beauty of places and freeze the memories of her travels in photographs, as well as document her experiences in verse...thankful for the simple pleasures in life.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Skywatch Friday- Balinese Skies

My destination for Skywatch this Friday is Bali skies. The first picture is of a slightly overcast sky above a misty volcano.

The clouds here appear to be billowing out of the crater! Better run for cover!

The clouds are wispy here, drifting in the wind like cotton candy melting and slowly disappearing...


Here we have it...that perfect cloudless sky for a perfect kite in the sky image!

May the Garuda in the sky guard and protect you.

Go on ahead to Skywatch Friday for more skywatching thrills.
Click on the link at the bottom of this page.

Have you met my Belle of India?

My garden is beginning to reward me with fragrant blooms lately...the most dramatic blooms of all coming from my jasmine plants. This variety is the Jasminum grandiflorum L from the Oleaceae family, commonly known as Belle of India.
These bushes require regular pruning if you want a showy effect like in the photos below. The plants require almost full-sun in order to flower in profusion. If you plant them in flower pots like I do, make sure you water them frequently as they exhaust the moisture in the pot very fast. With moderate applications of fertilizer, these jasmine plants can be easily coaxed to flower. A great plant to have near your patio or favourite garden bench, for the perfume they provide is just heavenly!

                                     White buds impatiently waiting to burst into bloom.

                                White florets filling the garden patio with a delectable fragrance.

   Snowfall on a hot tropical day!!!


The Belle of her pure white sari, feeling the heat on a tropical afternoon.

For more Fertilizer Friday posts, please scroll down to the bottom of this page and click on the icon there. My thanks to Tootsie for hosting this meme.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Romantic Gardens of Bali

After a period of readjustment in my garden blog, I am longing to return to normalcy. I have missed that passion with which I had begun my blog in October 2010. I had neglected my love affair, that fine romance I have with the lovely gardens I had visited lately. To recapture that nostalgia, I shall post about my romance with the evocative Balinese garden.

I was in Bali in July 2010, just when Bali was in the grip of the 'Eat.Pray.Love' fever. Julia Roberts had just finished filming the 'Love' segment of the movie and I suppose romance was in the air since this was the segment where Liz finds love. Walking in the gardens among the ancient temples of this exotic island where paddy fields and bicycle lanes are the norm, not the exception in this rural setting, one can definitely feel the essence of romance here.

These photos help to convey the uniqueness of romantic Balinese gardens. The romance lingers even when you leave Bali...the scent of frangipani flowers, the incense of aromatic prayer sticks, the image of green moss on temple walls, the lilting music of the caklempong and bamboo angklung, the dark-eyed dancers expressing their anquish or joy as the tale unfolds in their cultural dances . So walk with me through these gardens and images of Bali and let's fall in love...

   Walk along the riverbank and savour the bright, beautiful day...feel the joy of being   
   among unique palms and trees.
   Breathe in the fresh, unadulterated Bali air.

     Lose yourself in the brilliance of the colours.

    Hear the trumpet flowers making swishing sounds in the wind, heralding your arrival.

 Luxuriate in the cool green shadows of the pines that stretch to the sky.

Embrace that old-world feeling in this rustic setting.

Be welcomed by these petalled water...used in spas to pamper and delight the senses.

Be awed by the skills of the ancient craftsmen whose works of art beautify the gardens.

Be uplifted by the cheery colours of the canna lilies.

Here we say good-bye to this lovely spot on the island of Bali. Truly a garden haven for garden lovers from everywhere in the world.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Saying Thank You To Blotanical With Flowers

2010 was the start of a wonderful new world of garden-blogging for me. I began posting regularly at the end of October 2010 after picking up a few tips on blogging from online friends. Within a few weeks I was introduced to Blotanical by blotanists who were warm and friendly, offering tips like loving neighbours sharing pies or cupcakes over the garden fence.What a great introduction to me, a newbie who meandered almost blindfolded in the blogosphere. Overcoming the fear of being laughed at, I meekly tendered questions(which,in hindsight I realise are ridiculous and laughable questions) to my neighbours 'over the garden fence'. And here I am, at the end of the year, emerging unscathed from my tumbles and falls, richer for the experience I had gained. But more than the experience, I value the riches I had gathered in the form of my new-found gardening community of Blotanists.

To my Blotanist friends and to all the other bloggers I have met and who had visited My Garden Haven,

 I wish you bluebirds in the spring,
 to give your heart a song to sing,
 and then a blog, but more than that,
 I wish you...great gardening!!!

Seasons greetings and a Happy 2011 from me and my flowers in my garden haven.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Sky Above Mt. Cook

This is specifically for Skywatch... my introductory skyscape is one of blue skies, nothing but blue skies above Mount Cook. A typical pale blue sky on a a spring afternoon in New Zealand, where the warmth of the sun contrasts with the  snow-covered peaks of the mountain. Oh, did I say nothing but blue skies? Watch that jet leaving a trail behind, heading for more spectacular skyscapes...which we shall see in the following weeks' Skywatch segments in My Garden Haven!

Do click on the link for Skywatch Friday at the bottom of the page.

Horizons in New Zealand

Here are some horizons I have been privileged to have been able to photograph during my travels. These are unforgettable moments  that I would always want to keep in my memory...and when the memory fails to recall the details, these photographs will enable the magical moments to live on.

No matter how far I roam, no matter how inspiring the beauty of foreign horizons, the horizon that I can see from my  window at home is where my imagination takes flight at the end of the day...

I would like to thank Roses and Stuff for offering me a chance to post my favourite pictures on horizons. For more of the theme "horizons", you can visit Blooming Friday when you click on the link at the bottom of this page.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


I think I have been terribly unfair! I have featured the blooms in my garden, singing praises and giving them close-ups, but I have overlooked the other part of my plants, making them play second-fiddle, cropping them out for the close-ups of the blooms. How could I have been so cruel, so unfeeling of their feelings! Yes, I'm referring to the forlorn , falling leaves of my garden plants. They fall to the ground unheeded, callously swept away. Hence, today, I am going to let the leaves have their the first ever Garden Bloggers Bloomin' Leaves Day (if I may, May Dreams Gardens?) However, this is most appropriate for Pam's Foliage Follow Up.


I would like to thank May Dreams Gardens of dreaming up this meme for us.
Click on the label at the bottom of the page to see more GBBD photographs.
Also, for more Foliage Follow Up, please click on Pams link at the bottom of this page too.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

From Plain Jane to Belle of the Ball

This is my first new posting from my new blogsite...and what more appropriate a post than to feature what's new in my garden for Today's Flower meme.

This plant I am featuring is nothing short of predictable. It has a strange habit of flowering only once a year...must be the clockwork mechanism inside its head that makes it magically transform from a drab green cast-aside plant into a splendid bright orange beauty that becomes the centre of attention in my garden. And this spectacular blossoming from ugly duckling to lovely swan takes place every year in...December, just in time for Christmas. 

I have four of these plants in rather large terracotta pots. The plants require quite a bit of space as they have to be staked to a frame around which they twine ever so lazily all year round. Then a burst of activity would begin when the tips of the young leaves begin to blush shyly, and slowly the blush deepens into an all-out expression of embarrassment until the bracts appear, scarlet with mortification!

Below is a series of photographs recording this phenomenon:

At first, the leaves are a fresh green.

Then a tinge of rouge appears on the small leaflets.

The vermilion-red paint begins to spread on Nature's canvas. 

Then the red leaves form a corolla and small yellow-tipped florets emerge.
Presenting the work of art.

Here they are, jubilant! Congratulations are in order, I believe.

My thanks to Luiz and his team. 
For more Today's Flowers click on the icon at the bottom of this page.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

In My Sun Room

Christmas Dessert in My Sun Room.   

                           Passionfruit Cheesecake in Martini Glasses

                                         Great fun in my garden sun room :)
                                 The red Begonia is real, you know?
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Posted December 5, 2010 by mygardenhaven1 in Categories — Edit
  1. Thanks for posting this on my Meme! :D Looks yummier in the sun room!
  2. Wow…looks very beautiful and inviting!!!

The Lofty Norfolk Pine

My favourite trees at the moment must be the three Norfolk Island Pine trees standing tall and majestic at the end of my garden. They appear to be surveying the neighbourhood from their lofty elevation, saying 'Howdy folks, how're you today?'. 

This pine can indeed grow even taller, up to a height of eighty feet! 

The leaves look soft as they nod and sway in the wind, but they are rough to the touch.

Just look at the textures…perfectly airbrushed by Nature.

Posted December 4, 2010 by mygardenhaven1 in Categories — Edit
Tagged with , trees
  1. I like your pine trees. They look healthy and straight. The closeup photo shows the beauty of the beautiful pine needles. Most of the similar pine trees I see in my neighbourhood are slanted or croocked. Yours is straight!
    • Maybe it is because they are sheltered by the garden wall, Autumn Belle. Yes, I agree that close-ups bring our attention to the beauty that we don’t often notice. Amazing how the camera makes Nature even grander than it is.
  2. Love your ‘Christmas tree’, should be lovely with Christmas decorations!
  3. Very pretty plant. Very exotic looking with great texture.
  4. Hi Donna,
    Yes, the texture is unique, different from the other pine trees we are familiar with.
  5. Hi!Your pine looks great! I always like to touch those leafs, but yeah they always are much harder than they seem.
    Thank you very much for joining the carnival! and sorry for the late reply, Hope to see more of your blog