About Me

My photo
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.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Macro Flowers and Today's Flowers - Bursting With Pride

I am just bursting with pride... gladiolus plants are currently bursting with blooms in my own garden!!! Can you believe that? I have already featured their story and mine, or should I say our history, in the previous post. Now I want us all to get up-close and personal with Dark Eyes and Her Majesty. Here they are :


I just can't get enough of glads. 

To view more lovely blooms, go to Macro Flowers and Today's Flowers. Click on the links which you can find on this page if you patiently scroll all the way down. Cheers and have fun.

Fertilizer Friday, Blooming Friday and Seed Week: Glamorous Gladiolus

This is a very special post for me. This Fertilizer Friday,I get to flaunt a particularly precious flower to me - the gladiolus. I had grown glads before. I used to get the corms from the Cameron Highlands. However, for a very long time, there weren't any available up in the highlands, and I had lost my source of corms. I pined for glads in my garden for years. Then just four months ago, I managed to get three packets in New Zealand. They were all out of glads and these three packets were obtained from different towns. I found Her Majesty, Dark Eyes and Tout-a-Toi!!!


In November, I planted all three packets. Her Majesty was of course given her own kingdom, Dark Eyes given her own private sanctuary, secluded from prying eyes, and Tout-a Toi ( translated as All-a-thee...could it mean 'all of you', I wonder?) were placed all together in a comfy home of their own.

In just days, the spears appeared, inciting so much giddy enthusiasm on my part that I watched over them like a mother hen watches over her chicks. I watered them ever so faithfully twice a day. Our weather was not so kind to them at that time, so I was careful to tend to their need for refreshments.


I was rewarded, and these shoots grew fast and in 70 days, they formed buds.
Another kodak moment! In fact, many kodak moments to celebrate this occasion.

When the first petal peeped from out of the bud, flashbulbs went off by the second. I almost wanted to give out cigars and put in an ad in the local dailies. Dark Eyes was the first-born. She was so glamorous, looking mysterious and exotic as she bloomed. 


Next to arrive was Her Majesty. Straight-laced and proper, a true Victorian. She grew to be such a beloved queen in my garden haven. She is all sweetness and light,never haughty nor naughty! Graceful and charming to all who come to her court.


But where's Tout-a-Toi? We await her arrival with great anticipation.

Gladioli blooms signify infatuation.If you receive a bunch of glads from an admirer, he or she is telling you that you have pierced the heart of the sender.The flower is also a symbol of faithfulness and honour.What else could you ask for - a smitten admirer who will be steadfast and loyal to you! 


For kebunmalaykadazangirls' Seed Week, here are some tips on how to raise gladiolus plants.

They are really easy to grow. Plant the corms shallow,about 6-8cm under the surface, the tip almost showing on the ground.They need to be about 12-15cm apart. The soil should be well-drained. Mix in some plant food with the soil to ensure bigger blooms. The plants will flower in about 70-80 days from planting. Gladioli plants prefer a sunny position.  

The plants will require staking, especially if planted in an open location. When the blooms have faded, they can be removed, but the leaves should not be removed. New corms will grow on top of the spent corm, and smaller corms called cormels will develop at the base of the new corms. Cormels can bloom 2 or 3 years after replanting.

And how does this post relate to  Blooming Friday's theme of 'scent' when the gladioli flowers do not have a fragrance, you ask? Well, for those of you who have been growing scent-less glads, here is the scoop. 

Headlines read "Deliciously fragrant gladiolus discovered!"
There is one species, native to South Africa that releases a fragrance at night. The scent is said to be a mix of honey-suckle and almond! As a cut-flower, it continues to produce that special blend of perfume. It has been described as an elegant species, with large, nicely-shaped blooms. 
It is ...the Gladiolus tristis.

Sadly, I don't have that species in my garden, but would be ever so grateful to anyone who has, to send me some corms. Who wouldn't want a tryst with Galdiolus tristis in the still of the night, drowning in her fragrance of almond-honeysuckle delight?! It would be a rendezvous to remember.

For more Fertilizer Friday, Blooming Friday and Seed Week, please click on the links at the bottom of the page.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Skywatch Friday - Sky above My Garden Haven

I couldn't believe my eyes...the skies above my own garden looked so captivating today. It was not the dramatic sky of billowing clouds, nor the melodramatic dark powerful storm clouds that might get me dashing indoors to grab my camera. It was just this - what do you call this type of clouds?

Remember my pergola? This is my favourite shot for this post-clouds over pergola! 

Looks to me like they are scurry-clouds...right then, I'll name them my scurry clouds! You can just sense that motion when you look up at them...there they go, scurrying off to the horizon, as if on a mission.

This is my second favourite - clouds above my Blue Pine.

I couldn't carry on referring to these clouds as "Scurry" all my life, could I? So, I checked it out, and comparing the photographs to my Scurry Cloud photographs, the nearest match I could find was "altocumulus". Oh alright, Alto is quite a cute name too.

To satisfy my curiosity, I found out some interesting gossip about our boy Alto - known to carry water droplets but can also carry ice-droplets when temperatures are low enough! Not a high-flier, though - a mid-level kind of cloud, hovering between 2,000 to 6,000 metres. I could tell that from his name... . Now Cirrus, though, that's a high flier! We'll meet him sooner or later.

Don't you just get a strange feeling looking at a sky like that?

So here we have arresting sky with altocumulus clouds filling the whole canvas above.

For more Skywatch Friday features, please click on the link at the bottom of this page.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Bodacious Blooms for bodacious. Why did I pick this B-word? Because I like it. I like the attitude that word conjures. I am a bit tired of using the plain old 'b' adjectives to describe the blooms that captivate me, that make my heart skip a beat. 'Beautiful' is a bit worn out and weary, 'bewitching' is becoming too familiar to cast that spell that would be needed for some of my favourite blooms. Hence BODACIOUS.

If flowers could be bold, brassy and bodacious these might make the grade:

Check out ABC Wednesday  for more B words..

Great Ocean Road

ur day trip along the Great Ocean Road had started out fairly fine. I can see why people opt for a tour to see the coastline... it is nothing short of spectacular.

It is usually the photographer's dream to capture the seascape here at sunrise or sunset.We had started our journey from Melbourne  in the morning after sunrise of course, and missed that photo opportunity. However as the day progressed, it was evident that we were in for some dramatic action. It was certainly not your run-of-he-mill ocean scenery we were about to witness.

As dark clouds rolled over the Southern Ocean, we were afraid that a storm would erupt, and that would ruin our chances of seeing The Twelve Apostles. Looking down from the cliff-top, we could sense the turbulence that was beginning to build up. It was a magnificent, threatening other words,beautiful! To a photographer, this was the photo opportunity that is better than any sunrise or sunset scene.

We could still make out the limestone rock formations of The Twelve Apostles. The muddy-yellow colour stacks have been created since 10-20 million years ago, and they stand about 45 metres high.

And look at the colour of the sea above. It looks like a black and white photograph! The wind was getting bolder, but the Sun behind the clouds refused to lose the battle with Neptune who had tried earlier to create mischief with some  wave-action. The sun cast an eerie shimmering light in silent victory over the wind and the storm failed to make an entrance. All we were left with were petulant clouds that insisted on covering the waters in shadowy darkness.

I wouldn't have missed this for any sunset for my Australian Great Ocean scenery!!!

Let us see what else is in store for us at Watery Wednesday. Click on the link at the bottom of the page.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Glimpses...of gardens in South Island, New Zealand

This house we drove by on our self-drive holiday down South Island attracted our eager-eagle eyes.We were on the look-out for nice gardens to see how home-owners laid out their gardens.This garden we glimpsed was so pretty, that after we had stopped for tea down the road, we took a leisurely stroll in the direction of all that 'prettiness' we had glimpsed!

There were no heavy gates blocking our view, no walls. There was only a wire netting through which we could clearly take in the beauty of the whole garden.

The owner must  certainly be one who is fond of her garden, but who in New Zealand is not? We saw a lady in coveralls raking the fallen leaves and thinking that she was the owner of the colourful beds and borders, complimented her on her well-planned garden. She was pleased, and invited us to take a closer look.

We were delighted...and what a truly delightful garden it was.
I just love the garden sign. Wish I had one like it.

As we took our leave, we thanked the kind lady who was actually not the owner, but the person who tended this garden! Our hope of a glimpse turned out to be a quick but happy visit to this sunny, pretty garden.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Today's Flowers-The Mediterranean Look.

Flowers of the Mediterranean, how I love them. It is not just the flower that is so beguiling, it is the style in which these plants and their brilliant flowers are displayed.

Display Number 1: The Smouldering Spanish Look.

This is how the streets in the village of  Sitges is made memorable for me. One snapshot for my album!

Display Number 2: The Charming Geranium-Balcony Look.

This typically Mediterranean balcony window display is THE essential Mediterranean icon. In every  village, town or city- even in shop windows, the lovely terracotta pots with their geraniums made me yearn to transform one part of my own garden into that  LOOK!

Display Number 3: Proud Petunias on the Wall Look.

Where else but in the Mediterranean  would you find displays of petunias in such a rustic setting as this? This snapshot is one of my favourites - taken in the town of Valdemossa, these were on the wall outside a souvenir shop in a quaint narrow street. It was along this street that we had the best hot chocolate - thick and heavenly sweet - so much appreciated on that chilly spring day. Another snapshot that brings back fond memories for me.

Display Number 4: Rambling  Roses  On Moss-covered Wall Look

This makes me think I've travelled back in time and I expect to see Don Quixote de la Mancha walk down the steps beside where the roses are clinging to the wall, saying to me, 'Welcome to my hacienda,  Senorita Rosie".

I hope these snapshots from my album bring some kind of nostalgic associations of the Mediterranean to you as well.

See more Today's Flowers at the TF Team's Blog. Click on the link at the bottom of the page. Have a great week, everyone!