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Archive for July, 2011

 

The theme was Roses are Forever.  Yes, that’s one theme that’s been flogged to death, but if it meant that there would be lots of roses at the festival, then I was all for it.

A colourful expanse of torenias, cataranthus, impatiens, tagetes and roses led us towards the pavilion which housed floral arrangements and the plant bazaar. With barely two hours before nightfall, that was all we managed to cover.

I didn’t get any roses.

I ended up with a baeckea frustescens instead. I was fascinated by the beautiful prize-winning bonsai specimens but settled for a small plant which was within my budget.

They had just about everything at the bazaar; herbs, fruit tree saplings, flowering plants, foliage, tillandsias, orchids, epiphytes … you name it.

That fleeting visit whetted my appetite for more and I decided to go again on the last day. This time, I had to brace myself for the relentless mid-day heat.

Many plants had succumbed to the heat over the week and had to be replaced. But it would take more than a few scorched plants to detract from the beauty of the displays.


Not surprisingly, there were almost as many temperate flowers as there were tropical ones. There were rudbeckias, begonias, agapanthus, lilies, fuschias, hydrageas … and of course the countless rose cultivars.

Two exhibits stood out from the rest; the whimsical Gardens of the Yesteryears with their whitewashed arches and birdhouses …

and the local rainforest with jungle plants and lush undergrowth.

I zigzagged through the exhibits, and gravitated back to the bazaar. Perhaps there would be better bargains waiting for me.

I bought an adenium obesum; the hybrid Patuma has the loveliest double petalled light pink flower which actually looks much like a rose. It’s no wonder that they’re called desert roses.

So, my total haul – two tiny but treasured trophies. Until next year then …

If anyone’s keen, word’s out that the next floral fest at Putrajaya will be from 30 June – 8 July 2012; dates which may be worth noting in every gardener’s calendar.

More photos ….

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Telosma Cordata is supposedly good for the eyes. So dad used to buy the fragrant blooms from the market.

That was how I first saw them; clusters of pale green buds and flowers in pastel yellow-peach shades destined for the dining table. It makes a great soup!

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telosma cordata soup

I had no idea what the plant looked like until my neighbour told me about hers. This climbed over the fence 6 metres above the ground where I was standing. She not only enlightened me about its habits but picked me some flowers as well. More soup! Yums!

I got a plant for myself but it didn’t last very long. Then my neighbour propagated and gave me another. That followed in the footsteps of the first plant. When she asked about its progress, I had to admit that it was long gone.

She passed me a few cuttings, assuring me that they were not difficult to grow. By this time I was a bit of a skeptic but …, they actually rooted!

Then, after some long months of ‘dormancy’, I moved them out into full sun and planted them into a big pot.

I thought it’d continue to grow at the same sluggish pace but it proved me wrong. Then one day as I was about to prune the neighbouring plant, I realized that the telosma cordata has twined itself all over the former. And it was blooming too!

I replaced its small support with a bigger trellis, but I know it’ll soon outgrow the latter as well. I’m tempted to just let it ramble all over the fence. Maybe then I may have enough flowers for a telosma cordata stir-fry as well.

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telosma cordata seed pod

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telosma cordata seeds

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Care and propagation: full sun, well drained, fertile soil, water generously. Propagate using soft wood cuttings or seeds (mine fruited but alas, the vine dried before the seeds reached maturity)

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