Wednesday, 20 October 2010

I still have not managed to ID this species of costus. NParks should really make it a point to positively ID all their plants and have them labelled.

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

goldflame honeysuckle (Lonicera x heckrottii )

A few weeks ago, I chanced upon this lovely honeysuckle specimen at World Farm. Known more commonly as the Goldflame Honeysuckle, this twining climber bears sweetly fragrant, tubular carmine flowers that open to reveal creamy, yellow throats above pairs of round, blue-green leaves.

It can be trained to climb fences, trellises or arbors but a support must be provided for them to climb on. Heaviest blooming occurs in full sun in well-drained locations and slightly acidic to neutral soil conditions. Although it thrives better in hardiness zones of between 4 and 9, it does appear to grow fairly well in our humid tropical weather, though regular watering will be required to prevent the leaves from going limp.

Monday, 18 October 2010

creepers and vines

I have a soft spot for creepers and vines, not just because of the way they twirl around delicately but more so because of the majestic flowers they produce, which are often either borne singly or in large clusters.

Vines are usually divided into woody vines such as the sandpaper vine (Petrea volubilis), rangoon creeper (Quisqualis Indica), passiflora and thunbergias, and herbaceous vines such as morning glory. Vines climb in a variety of methods. Some, like the rangoon creeper and jade vine (Strongylodon macrobotrys) climb by twining their stems around a support while others like Passiflora use tendrils which twirl on anything they can hook on. And some others use twining petioles, clinging roots (Cup of Gold, Solandra maxima), thorns which pierce for support (climbing rose), hooked branches or adhesive pads (Shingle plant, Raphidophora celatocaulis).

Vines are useful when you have a fence which you want covered to screen off for privacy. You can also train climbers over pergolas or trellises or against bare walls or anything which you want covered. It is often employed by landscape designers to soften buildings or areas which are very built up.

So far, i've amassed quite a few different species of vines and creepers which I will use at my new place. As the new place is a corner semi-detached house, I have quite a long stretch of fence (made of Galvanised steel) which needs to be covered. I will probably cover it with something vigourous, like the rangoon creeper (Quisqualis Indica) or the different species of passifloras which I have. For the pergola area leading to the front door, i'll probably plant something elegant, like the jade vine (Strongylodon macrobotrys). The double-storey feature wall trellis (recycled from the cast iron grilles of the existing house) will probably feature either the sandpaper vine (Petrea volubilis) or the Afgekia sericea. The Cup of Gold (Solandra maxima) and Odontadenia macrantha will probably end up where the "nursery" area is going to be, together with the more delicate passiflora amethyst. Some of the walled areas will be covered with the Shingle creeper (Raphidophora celatocaulis). I will have to find a place for the Lonicera x heckrottii , Aristolochia labiata, and the leafy vine with long aerial roots!

Saturday, 9 October 2010


I saw this specimen at the hort park and this is my first sighting of the pink variety. So far, i've only managed to see the purple one growing at Lyndi's garden.

Not a lot is known about this creeper other than the fact that it originates from Thailand. Luckily for me, a trip to Ang Mo Kio nursery on Friday proved most fruitful as they had just brought in a new albeit young batch of plants. This will definitely go on some trellis at the new place, along with all my other creepers and vines.