Geraniums or Pelargoniums?

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Two very confusing plants! I think most people are more familiar with the name ‘Geranium’ compared to “Pelargonium’. Though Geraniums and Pelargoniums are both closely related (Geraniaceae family), apparently there are some differences between the two. From many sources that I have read, the differences between the two are:


  • True Geraniums are known as Hardy Geraniums or Crane Bills, referring to the shape of the seed pods. Hardy and grow in cold climates.
  • The flowers have 5 petals of the same size and shape.
  • Seedpods have curls that explode when ripened.
  • Have many thin stems that attached to fibrous roots.

Possible Geraniums in our garden. Though I am not really sure, but these have 5 uniform petals, so I assume they are Geraniums. Then again are they??????

Single Red Flowers:

Geranium Red Geranium Red 2

Geranium Seedpods

The seeds look like pods that can explode to release the seeds when ripened.

Single Salmon/Orange Colour with White Center:

Geranium - Single Salmon Orange Geranium Salmon Orange


  • Native to South Africa. They are used to be regarded the same as Geraniums that are originally grow in cold climates of Europe.
  • The flowers have 5 petals with the upper two differ in shape and size that the lower 3.
  • Seedpods have feathered ends to let them float in the wind.
  • Stems are succulent to be able to keep moisture during the draught.

Possible Pelargonium plant in our garden. The 5 petals  have two bigger ones compared to the other 3.

Pelargonium crispum - October 2015 Pelargonium crispum Oct. 2015 Pelargonium crispum

Pelargonium Seeds

Seed looks kind of feathery ????

This one has double ruffled petals, so it is impossible to tell. What is it? Geranium or Pelargonium?

Pelargonium/Geranium - ruffled petals 2

Pelargonium - ruffled petals

People call this Rosebud Geranium, but is it actually a Geranium or Pelargonium? Still very confused!

Rosebud Geranium

Rosebud Geranium

They say that it is actually Pelargoniums that are commonly grown in gardens and sold in the shop. Could it be that all these that grow in my garden are Pelargoniums?????? The funny thing is… if I say Pelargonium to all my friends they don’t have any idea what it is, but if I say Geranium, all of them understand  :(

For further read to end the confusion:


Orchid Cactus – Disocactus ackermannii

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This large red Disocactus ackermannii is one of the very first orchid cacti that we have. During the years I had planted few stems and these are from one of the cuttings that now has been mature and it is bearing many blooms. The mother plant had grown so big and last year the stems were damaged eaten by snails and slugs. I cut all the reasonably good stems (27 cuttings) and plant them. Most of these cuttings have grown new shoots, but they are still too young to flower.

The flowers seem very red if you look at them, but in the photos the inner petals have shimmering mauve tint. The throat is greenish in colour while the stigma and stamens are white. I have never seen this orchid cactus grow fruits.

It is always fun to take photos of the flowers as the results are always beautiful. Doing it at night is perfect to get dark background :). My camera cannot make very black background, so I have to edit these photos to achieve pitch dark colour. It may not be perfect, but they are good enough for an amateur like myself :)

Disocactus ackermanii Oct. 2015 Disocactus ackermannii - October 2015 - Night photo Disocactus ackermannii - October 2015 Blooms Disocactus ackermannii - October 2015 Disocactus ackermannii Oct. 18 -. 2015

Orchid cacti, jungle cacti or Epiphyllum have long and flat succulent leaves, and some people think they are not attractive. Unfortunately, it is true that these less interesting leaves that you will see almost all year around. Though the flowers are breathtakingly beautiful, they will not last long once they are open. Some only last for a day/night but many will last between two to three days before starting to wilt……..

Garden Early Spring 2015


Australian Painted Lady Butterfly

Australian Painted Lady Butterfly

What a glorious spring morning now, very clear blue sky and the air is still with hardly any wind blowing. Now and then the silence is broken by the chirping noise of birds. The temperature will reach 27 deg. C, and right now is a pleasant 23 deg.

The garden is fragrant with so many spring blooms. With more than enough rainwater during the winter, all plants look so healthy and luscious. Many honey bees and painted lady butterflies are busy themselves to get as much nectar as possible from one flower to another. Even some big flies are joining the feast.

Himalayan Lantern (Agapetes serpens):

This odd looking plant has bulbous base, the long branches are arching. Single leaves grow all along the branches and red or pink lantern shaped blooms grow dangling down in rows. This pretty plant is originated from the foot hill of the Himalayas.

Himalayan Lantern - Agapetes serpen Himalayan Lantern - Agapetes serpens 2

What plant is this

Himalayan Lantern – Agapetes serpens- Bulbous base


The Scented Pearl Michelia yunnanensis along the fence near the driveway is flowering heavily this spring, the best ever. The white flowers and the coppery brown buds are in good contrast with the green colour of the leaves. This little tree is good to be pruned to keep it from growing rangy and untidy. Respond well to be shaped as topiaries.

Michelia figo is also known as Port Wine Magnolia. The tiny pinkish flowers have unusual fruity scent and they are very fragile and will crumble at a slightest touch. This neat growing little tree is also very suitable for topiary.

Michelia yunanensis 'Scented Pearl' (2)

Michelia yunanensis 'Scented Pearl' - 1st. october 2015

Michelia yunanensis 'Scented Pearl' - october 2015

Michelia yunanensis 'Scented Pearl'

Michelia yunanensis ‘Scented Pearl’

MIchelia figo - Port Wine Magnolia

Michelia figo – Port Wine Magnolia

Genista racemosa:

Our two Genista racemosa plants are fully covered with bright golden flowers. The one at the front near the letterbox has suddenly grown very big, the round canopy looks heavy with flowers. It is amazing that this plant can do so well with half of the roots were completely broken off when hubby pushed a large stake down too close too one side of the trunk. Now half of the trunk on soil level has completely rotted away and gone. We had to anchor the plant to a large wooden pole to keep it from falling down.

Near the Driveway

Genista racemosa - Sweet Broom.

Genista racemosa – Sweet Broom.


Garbage Truck:

Garbage Truck Garbage Truck - Rubbish Collection

The other day while taking some photos in the front garden, the garbage truck from our Council came and it was a chance for me to take some photos. The truck has a hydraulic bin lifter that can be steered to lift garbage bins and tip the content into the back of the truck. The same system is also apply for garden waste and recycling waste. The costs of these garbage, green and recycling waste removals are included in the Council Rates.

Council Rates are a contribution each ratepayer makes towards community services provided by their local council. Rates also contribute to the cost of running your local council. The amount of these rates depend on the value of a property. If someone owns a property in a rich area where property value is high, then the amount of the rates will be higher too.

More Cymbidums and Others


Wasp (2)

The spring weather was back to cold again in the last few days, and today is also grey and cool around 15 deg. C. I spotted a wasp the other day and took few photos. It was more than likely a European wasp, the colours are yellow and black. Meanwhile more orchids are blooming.

Cymbidium  Vogelsung ‘Eastbourne x So Bold & Bountiful’:

Large size flowers that are nicer to leave them growing naturally cascading down. This easy to bloom Cymbidium is pretty pink in colour with noticeable lines on the petals.

Cymbidium Vogelsang ‘Eastbourne’ x So Bold ‘Bountiful’ – 24 September 2018 Cymbidium Vogelsang ‘Eastbourne’ x So Bold ‘Bountiful’ – September 2018 close-up Cymbidium Vogelsang ‘Eastbourne’ x So Bold ‘Bountiful’ – September 2018

Cymbidium Marvin Gaye ‘Royale’:

This orchid was given to me by Rika about two years ago. Last year it did not flower, but now it is blooming nicely.

Cymbidium Marvin Gaye ‘Royale’ - 24 September 2015 Cymbidium Marvin Gaye ‘Royale’ -September 2015 close-up Cymbidium Marvin Gaye ‘Royale’ -September 2015

This large no-id yellow Cymbidium was one of my first few orchids. It is very easy to flower with multiple spikes. So far I have split it into few divisions:

Cymbidium yellow - Sept. 2015 Cymbidium Yellow Noid - September 2015 Cymbidium Yellow Noid 2 - September 2015

Another Cymbidium with no identity. The flowers have nice colours but they tend to grow on short spikes and the flowers grow too close to each other:

Cymbidium Noid - September 2015 Cymbidium Noid September 2015

The Sweet Amy Cymbidium with three spikes are fully open now. This time the colour is very nice, with clear and clean white petals which is in a good contrast with the pink lips.

Cymbidium 'My Sweet Amy' 2015 - 3 spikes Cymbidium 'My Sweet Amy' 2015 Cymbidium 'My Sweet Amy'.- Spetember 2015

Beallara ‘Eurostar’ (syn. Aliceara Eurostar):

This frail looking orchid looks a little bit unusual. When I bought it last year in Caribbean market, I was a little bit hesitated as it has only an old bulb and another bulb with flowers. So far it has grown another bulb and it has a spike with four flowers.

Beallara 'Eurostar' - September 2015 Beallara 'Eurostar'

Soft Cane Dendrobium (syn. Den Nobile):

It was given to us as a bonus when we bought Sarcochilus orchids two years ago in an orchid farm in Langwarrin. Now it has four stems/canes, three of them are leafless. I notice new green bumpy growths on the two bare stems, but I am not too sure what they are going to be. Hopefully they will be flowers, but if they turn to be keikis, I don’t really mind.  It was only a young plant when we got it. I read somewhere that the soft cane Dendrobium will grow flowers along the old stems, and often when the stems are leafless. Oh yes, when I read about this orchid online, many people call the bumpy growth ‘nub’. How interesting :) I have started to feed it with weak solution of orchid fertilizer for blooming season. We will see what is going to happen.

Soft Cane Dendrobium - September 2015

Soft Cane Dendrobium 2 - September 2015

Water Garden in Containers


A goldfish lover asked for an update about the goldfish in our water garden in containers:

Miniature Water Garden in a container is very interesting. It is not only for keeping few goldfish, but it can display water plants that help with the balance of the ecosystem. Water plants that grow totally immersed in water like for example Anacharis/Elodea (Egeria densa) is an excellent oxygenator for fish and it can help with filtering to achieve clear water. Other plants like for example water lilies can add beauty with the pretty flowers and floated foliage. Marginal water plants like for example the Japanese Sweet Flag Grass (Acorus gramineus) is small in size and it is very suitable for miniature water garden. Floating water plants like for example Duck Weeds (Lemna disperma) are enjoyed by goldfish to munch.

Wide containers that have some depth, with minimal 100 l water capacity is recommended. We use rainwater to avoid the need of chemicals (water ager) to eliminate chlorine in tap water which is harmful for gold fish. To keep water clear it is better to keep the amount of the gold fish and the feed to minimum. We use home made water filters that are made of plastic bottles with large mouth that are filled with gravels and plastic scorers (those for washing dishes). The filter is run by a small submersible water pump. Once a week, the filter can be cleaned and reusable.

New Ceramic Tub in 2013

New Ceramic Tub in 2013

Water Garden - Near Front Door

Water Garden – Near Front Door

Water Garden - Near Back Door

Water Garden – Near Back Door

Water Garden - Gold Fish 2

Water Garden - Gold Fish 3

Water Garden - Gold Fish 4

Water Lily early 2015

Water Lily early 2015

Water Garden - Gold Fish

Garden Late Winter 2015


Pear Tree

One sunny morning few days ago.

Today was mostly cloudy and now in the afternoon it feels clammy and colder. After the coldest winter around Melbourne ever recorded for more than 60 years, the promise of approaching spring can be seen around the garden. Some spring flowers have started to bloom, roses are showing off their new red leaf buds. Meanwhile the birds are busy and chattering. Occasional distinct sounds of common koels can be heard nearby.

Cymbidium orchids are still blooming nicely and some more to come in a few weeks time. The native Australian Dendrobium delicatum orchids are bearing many tiny flower buds. The Phalaenopsis orchids have also managed to develop flower spikes in this cold weather.

Here are some colours in the garden that lately brighten cold and grey days:

Pink  Magnolia:

This small Magnolia tree has very pretty light pink blooms. There are many varieties and unfortunately we lost track of the name of this one.

Pink Magnolia 2 Pink Magnolia 3 Pink Magnolia

Aloe spinosissima:

This flowering aloe looks spiky but  the leaves are actually quite soft to touch. If grown in an open and sunny spot it will form a large clump and the orange flowers are pretty and nectar eater birds love them.

Aloe spinosissima

Aloe spinosissima.jpg 2

Osteospermum the African Daisies:

We have 2 different African Daisies, one has white flowers and the other one is dark pink. The white one tends to grow lanky and untidy after finished flowering, but the pink one is more neat and manageable and spreading nicely, good for ground cover. Very easy to grow and it will flower abundantly in spring with dazzling colour.

African Daisy - Osteospermum

African Daisy - Osteospermum 2

White African Daisy

Jacobinia fauciflora ‘Firefly’:

After completely scorched during the last few years of extreme summer heat, now it has started to grow back and fully bloom. Each tiny bloom looks insignificant but if they grow in plenty covering the whole plant, they will really look bright and beautiful.

Jacobinia pauciflora 'Firefly'

Star Jasmine – Trachelospermum jasminoides:

A robust climber that need regular trimming to look tidy, but the sweet fragrant blooms are to die for. This one in the picture actually grows next door on the back fence that spills out to our place. We also have it near the gate but hubby chopped too hard and it has not fully grown back yet.

Star Jasmine (Trachelospermum jasminoides)

Cotyledon orbiculata:

It looks similar to Kalanchoe, but I think ours is Cotyledon.

Cotyledon orbiculata with orange bell flowers

Division and Repotting Failure


Last year I divided and repotted Cymbidium Paradisian Surprise – Devon Parish ‘Devon Falls’ x Sarah Jean ‘Peach’. I have done it many times and it was successful, these last two divisions were a total failure. The plant was so healthy and just had 15 spikes of very pretty yellow small blooms with purplish throat. Within few weeks after division and repotting the leaves started to wilt. It happened so quickly.

What I did I do wrong this time? What did I do differently from the previous ones? Is it that they were burnt by the addition of blood & bone meal and dolomite lime that I mixed in the growing medium? My attempt to save the plants by removing the barks and regrowing it in fresh mix without any fertilizer addition at all, did not help. It never happened like this before, though I am still at lost, I have a feeling the addition of blood & bone and dolomite lime is the culprit.

Previously, I repotted the plants by using fresh growing media. The fertilizers were added later on the surface of the media, so I did not mixed them in. To be safe, it is better not to add any fertilizer when repotting. Weak solution of sea weed is safe. Few weeks later, after the plant is readjusting itself after repotting, fertilizer for growing season can be added on the surface of the media.

Next time I change the growing medium, I will make sure not to add anything. I never did before…..

Dua bagian setelah ditanam kembali

Newly divided and repotted C. Paradisian Surprise – Devon Parish ‘Devon Falls’ x Sarah Jean ‘Peach’

Dying Cymbidium Orchid

What is left now

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