August 30, 2010
1. Cactus and Succulent
Cactus, Euphorbia, My garden, Rare Plant
I am very upset now! One of my Euphorbia obesa plants died. It was getting very soft and eventually it collapsed.
I bought two Euphorbia obesa cactus more than ten years ago. One day we went for a drive to the Mornington Peninsula and there was a Sunday market in Hastings. In this country market I bought a pair of Euphorbia obesa which is also known as Baseball plant. It was supposed to be a male and a female pair. The seller told me that I should buy a pair to produce seeds.
To cut the story short, one of these rare South African cactus plants, I think the female one, was never grown as good as the other one (male). It was always stunted and kind of yellow. Both had flowers but they never produced seeds. After more than ten years sulking and miserable, lately I started to notice that it was very soft and more yellow. I was already very careful during this winter to keep it dry and warm. But it did not help at all. Yesterday it completely collapsed. I took both plants out of the pot and replanted the healthy one into a different pot and I cut the dead one into 2 sections to see what was happening inside the poor plant. The inside was mushy and it had holes (similar to lotus root).
For a long time I had tried to buy more Euphorbia obesa in the shop but it was not available. I can buy different species of Euphorbia, but not the obesa. I have two other euphorbias - E. anoplia and E. melbraformis.
Well, I have to be careful with my cactus plants now. No more over watering. I am really sad to think that one of those Baseball plants was slowly and silently rotting away…. or should I say that it was rotten in peace???
To view my previous post about Euphorbia obesa:
August 20, 2010
4. Seasonal Garden Notes
It is the ‘Melbourne weather’ again around this time of the year. One minute it is bright and sunny but another minute it is grey and drizzly. The cold wind makes me want to stay indoors and hibernate till spring time.
In the garden it is wet and soggy but I notice that some of the plants have made themselves ready for a new beginning in spring. Water lilies and the aquatic Alisma plantago have started to sprout their new leaves. The reddish leaf-buds of the roses are growing larger.
How strange that every time I look at the gold fish in this cold weather, I start to shiver. I cannot imagine how cold they are in that water. I know that actually they don’t really mind the cold at all as they are not tropical fish, but I am glad that I am not a gold fish. Ha…. If I have to be an animal in my garden, I would prefer to be a spotted turtle dove. At least they have feathers to protect them from the chill. Talking about the doves, I hear they are coo-cooing more and more. It sounds that they are talking to each other with their head bobbing up and down.
I’ll be busy for the next two weeks or so as it is time for re-potting the bonsai trees. I just hope that the weather will be better and not too windy. Right now I am going to take pictures of some flowers in our garden. I chopped the tibouchina last autumn as it was lanky and ugly. Now it has started to grow and flower. I just hope that it will grow more compact. The large red camellias also start to bloom.
This time my enkianthus is doing much better and it is covered with so many flowers that look like little bells. I think it grows better in colder winter. The cyclamens still remember to flower again this time of the year though I always tend to neglect them after every flowering time. …………
The double white narcissuses/daffodils are in full blooms, but I don’t think I like the smell as much as jasmine or gardenia……..
In Greek mythology there was a tale about a young lad by the name of Narcissus. He was smitten by his own look and spent many times looking at his own reflection. He spent most of his precious time just to gaze into the pool water to see his own face. One day he felt that he was not close enough to the water, so he lowered his face closer and closer to the water surface and he fell into the deep pool and died of drowning. Soon a clump of pretty flowers grew on the spot where he knelt near the edge of the pond and the pretty flowers were called Narcissus…………
White Narcissus ‘Erlicheer’:
Purple blue Tibouchina ‘Jules’:
Large dark-pink Camelia japonica:
Pretty bells Enkianthus campalunatus:
Neglected pink Cyclamen:
Previous notes about my garden:
August 17, 2010
Indonesian Language, My Food, Thought
Hari ini aku membuat Kaastengels. Sebelumnya aku lihat resep resepnya di internet. Heran semua resep dan gambar kaastengels diberi taburan keju diatasnya. Dulu dimasa mudaku engga ada modelnya begitu! Cukup diolesan kuning telur supanya terlihat mengkilat kekuningan…..Sebetulnya kue kaastengels ini sudah mengandung cukup banyak lemak karena memakai mentega, kuning telur dan keju. Heran sekali masih ditambah keju lagi sebagai taburan diatasnya? Perlukah ini?
Selain resep dan gambar gambar kaastengels, aku lihat kue kue lainnya. Aku jadi bingung, kok banyak sekali resep resep kue yang ditaburin keju? Rupanya orang Indonesia itu sekarang begitu getol sama keju. Masa lapis legit ditaburin keju? Cake manis yang sudah mengandung banyak sekali kolesterol karena memakai banyak telur, mentega dan gula, masih juga ditaburin keju? Perlukah ini?
Yang runyam tidak saja keju dipakai untuk makanan ala barat, tapi sudah banyak diselundupkan dimakanan tradisionil, makanan asli Indonesia. Misalnya saja getuk, masa getuk pakai keju? Apakah rasanya malah engga jadi salah kaprah? Kalau aku bikin getuk ya seperti nenek moyang kita bikin getuk, yaitu memakai gula dan kelapa. Mentegapun tak akan kupakai untuk getuk, apa lagi keju! Ya betul, aku lebih suka ‘getuk ndeso’ yang asli dan bagiku malah lebih enak dan lebih sehat.
Mungkin bagi anda doyan sekali keju karena rasanya gurih! Betul juga keju itu asin dan gurih, namun keju terbuat dari susu dan mengandung ‘bad cholesteral’. Jadi menurut pendapatku, tak perlu semua kue kue ditaburin keju. Apalagi kalau taburan keju di kue kue itu hanya sebagai hiasan supaya lebih menarik, aku lebih memilih kue kue itu polos saja tanpa keju diatasnya.
Dizaman modern saat ini dimana makanan melimpah, kita harus berhati hati agar tidak keterlaluan dalam mengkonsumsi lemak yang mengandung saturated fat ( berasal dari lemak hewan). Makanan seperti cake dan kue kue yang banyak mengandung mentega, telur dan gula jangan dikonsumsi terlalu sering. Apa lagi kue yang sudah rich sekali ini dan masih ditambah keju? Perlukah keju ini? Cobalah anda pikir. Tanpa penambahan keju saja sudah enak dan mengerikan kandungan lemaknya, apa lagi kalau ditambah keju lagi? Untuk makanan tradisionil sebaiknya dipertahankan kemurniannya dan jangan diubah ubah dengan membubuhkan bahan asing lain yang tak diperlukan yang mengandung banyak lemak seperti mentega dan keju.
Hari ini aku membuat kaastengels dan aku tak menaburkan keju diatasnya, karena menurutku ini sama sekali tak perlu!
August 14, 2010
Australian Native, Bird, Indonesian Language
Kemarin waktu pergi ke Brandon Park Shopping center, kulihat ada sekelompok burung Galah di-rerumputan dekat tempat parkir dipinggir jalan. Sayang aku tak bawa camera. Dari semua jenis burung kakatua yang ada di Australia, yang paling kusukai adalah yang namanya Galah karena warnanya yang bagus kombinasi antara merah jambu/pink dan abu abu.
Galah, Eolophus roseicapilla, adalah jenis kakatua yang paling banyak dijumpai disekitar rumah penduduk didaerah perkotaan. Burung ini berwarna merah jambu bagian dadanya dan abu abu kepala, sayap dan bagian belakangnya. Galah sering terlihat berpasangan atau berkelompok dilapangan memakan biji biji rumput. Setelah dewasa galah jantan dan betina kelihatan sama dan hanya bisa dibedakan dari warna iris matanya, yang jantan berwarna coklat kehitaman dan yang betina betina berwarna coklat kemerahan.
Seperti jenis burung kakatua lainnya, Galah bisa hidup puluhan tahun dan bisa dijadikan binatang piaraan. Sebagai binatang piaraan, bisa cepat jinak dan lekat pada pemiliknya dan bisa diajar berbicara. Banyak orang yang memelihara burung Galah memperlakukan burung ini sebagai layaknya anggota keluarga dan tidak dikurung. Dengan bebas burung ini tinggal didalam rumah dan biasanya hanya diberi tenggeran didekat tempat makan dan minumnya.
Sebagai burung piaraan tingkah laku burung Galah amat lucu dan kocak, maka ada sebutan: “You are a silly Galah!” yang maksudnya ‘Kamu konyol/tolol’.
Walaupun aku senang juga melihat burung Galah dipiara karena lucu dan bisa berbicara, namun rasanya aku lebih memilih melihat mereka hidup bebas di-habitat masing masing. Banyak jenis burung kakatua lainnya yang nyaris punah disebabkan oleh ulah manusia karena pembakaran/pembukaan hutan dan perdagangan burung dengan jalan ekspor ketempat lainnya yang bukan habitatnya. Marilah kita hentikan membeli binatang exotic dari negeri lain karena perdagangan binatang langka akan penyebabkan kepunahan.
Nanti deh, kalau kebetulan aku lihat burung Galah dan kebetulan bawa kamera, pasti akan kuporet burung yang bagus warnanya ini. Menurutku burung Galah tidaklah konyol tapi cantik, cerdik dan amat lucu………….
This is a YouTube link to view Galah birds in the wild…. they are so cute!
August 11, 2010
1. Cactus and Succulent
Epiphyllum, My garden, Mystery
I could not believe my eyes when I saw it in Garden World! It was the only epi-cactus that was blooming, the rest were just small cuttings. It was sitting there on the bench leaning on the other plants as it was too heavy for the quite small pot.OMG, so many flower buds! I thought all Epiphyllums flower toward the end of spring, but this Gold Coin Epi is flowering now!
Here are the images of the Epiphyllum ‘Gold Coin’ that I bought yesterday (August 11, 2010):
If you read on the comment box, I wrote that my ‘Gold Coin’ Epi looks different from those that I saw online. For comparison, here is the one from http://cgi.ebay.ch/Epiphyllum-Epicactushybride-Gold-Coin-/200489881951:
August 14, 2010: I think I like this new epiphyllum that I have more and more…. it has a very lingering but gentle and sweet scent. After matching the flower with those that are available online, it looks very similar (not 100 % the same) to the hybrid ‘Fruhlings Gold’ (Spring Gold)…. I haven’t got a chance to go back to Garden World to look at all epiphyllums there to find the match. I’m so sure that it is not Gold Coin!!
Sunday, November 14 – 2o10:
A very strange plant! The last flower of this whatever breed of Epiphyllum look like this:
Yellow Epiphyllum …Fruhlingsgold ?
Why the look of the flower suddenly changed? This last flower is more like Fruhlingsgold. Is it possible if you put two different kind of epiphyllum together, it can changed the blooms????? It is just weird to me! I wonder how the flowers will look like next year, can’t wait to see!!!
August 8, 2010
Cymbidium, My garden
Today has been a nice change weatherwise, it is quite warm and sunny. A little bit windy, but I can’t complain more. Two of my cymbidium orchids have started to bloom, so this morning I took some pictures. The results are not too bad……………………..
Oh yes, beside the excitement of my blooming orchids, there is another surprise! Guess what?
Collingwood Magpies won last night playing againts Geelong the Cats! About the time!!
Go Magpies Go!!!
You can do it this year!!!!
Monday August 09, 2010: Today the next day the Claude Pepper ‘Sensation’ orchid is fully open:
August 7, 2010
6. Wonderful Plants
My garden, Shrub
This last month of winter (August), we have been having so much rain. The ground is absolutely soggy and cold. It is hard to believe that the Jacobinia pauciflora is fully covered with tiny flower buds.
Jacobinia pauciflora ‘Firefly’ is also known as Justicia rizzinii. This plant has small scarlett and yellow tubular flowers that borne profusely over a long period of time during end of winter to spring.
About the plant and growing requirements:
- Rounded evergreen shrub (Acanthaceae family) native to Brazil
- Part shade position away from frost and direct hot sun
- Heat and humid tolerance
- Grow best in rich and well drain soil
- Small application of slow released fertilizer
- Water requirement normal to wet
- Attractive small foliage
- Twiggy little branches
- Respond well to trimming after flowering
- Height to 75 cm and Width to 75 cm
- Showy bright and contrast colours little flowers
What I like best about this plant is the low maintenance. Once it has found the perfect place in the garden, it will practically look after itself. For awhile we tend to forget about this plant until it starts to show the brightly coloured small flowers.
August 5, 2010
The other day my son talked about planning a trip to the Surfer Paradise in the Gold Coast, Queensland (Australia). I said that it would be nice as he would see pretty angels in golden bikinis. He thought that I was joking!
In 1964 parking meter machines were introduced along the streets of tourist area in the Gold Coast and there was a worry that paid parking and parking fines would reduce tourist attraction. So as an effort to make more tourists coming, a very clever promotion was created. Pretty girls in yellow bikinis and a tiara were introduced. They would put coins into expired parking meter to stop the car owners to get fines. They named the girls ‘Meter Maids’
Later in 1967 after terrible cyclone disaster, the local government used the meter maids to bring tourists back and since then the meter maids’ popularity was known all over Australia and also abroad.
Today, tiaras have been replaced by attractive hats to protect the beautiful face from sun burn or another pretty head pieces to wear to match the season. Until today, the Gold Coast meter maids are still in operation even in some areas the parking machines have been changed with the ticketing system where drivers have to display the parking ticket inside the car on the dashboard and the girls will not be able to save you from fines if your ticket expired. To boost tourist attraction today ‘meter maids’ also sell little souvenirs for visitors to buy.
Yes, meter maids have been part of tourism history and have become one of the most important icons of the Gold Coast.