Thursday, 16 July 2009

the move - sitrep 1

I'm knackered. Spent much of today moving plants from No. 3 and 5 to No. 53. I managed to move all my bromeliads, orchids as well as hanging plants such as hoyas and nepenthes. It took me several hours to move all that under the scorching sun, so much so that I have even got flip-flop tan-lines on my feet. Tomorrow, I will move the rest of my collection which consists mainly gingers, aroids, shrubs and plumerias. I will probably uproot some plants from the garden in No. 3 and plant them in the new place. I managed to construct some trellises for the hanging plants but from the look of things, I will probably need to build a couple more for the creepers and vines. Watch this space for further updates!

Sunday, 12 July 2009

calorie loss regime

I've started to pack and move some stuff over to the new place, just so as to free up the space for more packing. Over the last 6 years I have amassed quite a significant amount of tangible possessions, some more prized and valuable than others. These include my collection of plants!

Over the weekend, I uprooted some of the costuses and heliconias which I had planted into the ground late last year. I still have a couple more to go including the Musa laterita, the Calathea lutea and rattlesnake, as well as the large clump of Costus guanaiensis and the Heliconia bihai. I will probably also have to uproot or if that is not possible, take a cutting of the woody-stemmed rangoon creeper and passiflora to grow along the front porch and possibly, the along the fence of the new place.

However, my biggest complaint so far as to be the fact that the entire garden area on the front and side is covered with pebbles. These must have been there for a long time because quite a lot of it is deeply embedded into the ground, so much so that I can hardly dig through it. It is extremely frustrating, considering the fact that I intend to uproot and transplant the larger plants directly. I will have to discuss and negotiate sometime with the estate management guys tomorrow to see if a solution can be found. Otherwise, I would be most upset!

In the meantime, I must have burnt quite a significant amount of calories today as I spent much of the afternoon in hard labour; packing, carrying, pushing etc. If this persists for another 2 weeks, I am sure I would have lost some weight and gained more muscle.

Friday, 10 July 2009

morning glory

My earliest memory of the Morning Glory has to be the time I used to grow it from seeds. When I was very young, I used to buy seeds by the packet from Fitzpatrick's supermarket (which was bought over by Cold Storage in the mid-80s). Most of the seeds I bought were annuals. The Morning Glory was perhaps the only perennial I bought, which explained why it was the only plant to ever reach maturity. Anyway, the Morning Glorys I bought came in hues of magenta, violet and pink. The ones which we commonly find growing in the wild in Singapore are somewhat lilac in colour. The ones pictured here have a bluish purple hue and turn pinkish as the day wears on. I got this from World Far several weeks back and I allowed it to train along the passiflora, just to give it more colour. I will probably train it along the fence at the new place

Thursday, 9 July 2009

cup-of-gold - Solandra maxima

This is one of my favourite creepers because it's stunning and easy to grow. I've seen people grow this as a shrub as opposed to a climber but I think the former looks better.

Monday, 6 July 2009

orchid montage

dimorphism in orchids

PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketI've had this Catasetum for quite a few years now and every time it begins to bloom, I would always wonder what "gender" of flowers it would produce.

Catasetum, abbreviated as Ctsm in horticultural trade, is a genus of the Orchid family (Orchidaceae), subfamily Epidendroideae, tribe Cymbidieae, subtribe Catasetinae, with 166 species. Species of the genus Catasetum occur from Mexico to tropical America, with the majority in Brazil.

They have thick, cigar-shaped pseudobulbs which are clustered. The leaves are pleated in the upper part and deciduous. The pseudobulbs become spiny after the leaves have dropped. The inflorescence is borne on the basis. It consists of very fleshy flowers that are unisexual, which is exceptional for orchids. Catasetum have sexually dimorphic flowers; that is, male and female flowers are distinctly different in shape and color. The colorful male and yellowish-green female flowers are typically situated on different plants. Which type of flower a plant produces is determined by the conditions under which it grows. There are rare cases in which a single plant in intermediate conditions will produce both male and female flowers. These flowers are markedly different in size and color. At first, taxonomists even thought they were dealing with different species.

The male flowers have a remarkable technique for the ejection of the pollinia.

schomburgkia thomsoniana

tarzan's tree

If you don't believe in tree spirits, you may want to think again. Ever noticed how Banyan trees are often accompanied by small Chinese altars or shrines? Ever wondered why that is so? I have heard many stories about Banyan trees and how they are inhabited by evil spirits. This myth is popular in various cultures across Asia and particularly so in Singapore, as evidenced by the number of shrines. For example, there's one at Dempsey, just next to Hacienda. There's another at Robertson Quay just across from the Robertson Blue apartments. And at Fusionopolis, there is an outdoor carpark built around a banyan tree. According to my trainer at Fitness First there, the developers had planned to chop down the tree. But for some reason, every attempt to do so was marred by tragic accidents. One worker was killed during construction of Fusionopolis while another was trapped in his bulldozer when he tried to fell the tree with it.

did some research on the internet and found this locally written article on tree spirits and secret shrines . Although it doesn't provide any answers, it is an interesting read.

By the way, the photo of this magnificent banyan tree was taken at Fort Canning Park. Judging by the size of the tree and the long roots, this tree must be more than a 100 years old.