19 September 2012

My garden in Ipoh

Three years on in Ipoh, my garden reflects the blossoming life that we have adapted to in our new town. Well, not so new now.

We have come to love our house and our life here.

I am happy to share the fruits and flowers of my labour.

The light blue plumbago bloom profusely, especially in the drier months. They are hardy and maintenance-free, save for the occasional trim.

 The heliconias were painstakingly planted by yours truly next to the filtering station for our fish pond. It is another species of hardy flowering plants, well suited to our tropical climate.

The anthuriums are a new addition, which I added to a shaded sandy patch that Bonnie my dog kept digging up. She stays away now that the anthuriums have taken up residence there.

These lantanas are also relatively new to the garden. I was looking for something to brighten up the lawn area on the front left portion and read that lantanas provide colour with little care. They sure do brighten up the garden! But when you bend down close to the flowers, they don't smell like roses! They give out a slightly offending smell, probably for its self defence.

The periwinkles are doing fine, and I especially love the bright pink ones. Really easy to grow.

I wasn't too sure about the pentas (star-flowers) as they looked quite delicate. But they too have flourished.

Of course the white spider lillies, the first to be planted into our garden, have proven sturdy and reliable bloomers.

My umbra (kedondong) have been a joy. They produced fruit 9 months into the ground, just as the lady who sold the plant to me said it would, and hasn't stopped since. I've juiced it and enjoyed them as rojak.

My little mango tree with its flower buds, ready to give another crop of fruit.

This custard apple tree (nona) came with us from KL, from my mother's garden. It gives succulent and sweet apples.

I hunted around for this butterfly pea flower, so that we may use its blooms as natural colouring for desserts.

The roselle, has provided its calyx from which we made natural "Ribena"! I have half a dozen more seedlings soon to be transplanted.

My lush basil, superb for garnishing, as a clear soup, for making pesto. So wonderful to walk alongside the basil patch as its aroma fills the air. And my Rottie dashes in and out of them to catch butterflies.

Bayam kampung, and my brinjal plants.

Cat's whiskers (misai kucing) look delicate and bright. Will read up on how to use its leaves for tea.


The jatropha and costas are doing well.

My limau purut (kaffir lime), with fragrant leaves, perfect for curries. The fruits are plentiful and it is such a pity to waste them, but I have found no recipe for them. I tried making  juice from the kaffir lime, but my advice is please don't! The juice smells pleasant and fragrant, but it has a powerful bitter aftertaste. So, looks like the fruit will just adorn the tree with no use in the kitchen.


  1. Nice garden! So many varieties of plant! You are so talented in taking care of your garden. I notice that there's a lot of hard work, effort and time put in. Your family must be so proud of you! ;)

  2. Hi Megan! Thanks for the compliment. It is a lot of hard work, but it is worthwhile to watch life flourish around you :) I also have 4 dogs and a pond full of koi, so my hands are full (not forgetting the 2 kids!)

    Hubby is not a garden sort of person, he just lives in his study on his PC and the internet and his audio equipment stuff!

    I'll put more pics up if there are new varieties in my garden for you to enjoy...

  3. wow what a great garden! So jealous of your basil plant and your butterfly pea vine.

  4. Hi Annie and Nate, glad u like my garden!

  5. Hi,

    can you please tell me where can i buy a kaffir lime tree in Kuala Lumpur?


  6. Hi Vietnga, as I don't live in Kuala Lumpur anymore, I am not sure exactly where to get a kaffir lime tree. But I am sure you can get it from any nursery there. There are lots of plant nurseries in the well known Sungai Buloh area.

    Hope u find your kaffir lime tree. Let me know!

  7. nice to learn some names of the herbs u have. I just started planting veg n herbs and learning to use them lol. Do u know the name of the not sure if herbs or veg (abt 4-5 inches long) that they cut into small pieces and mixed with soya sauce to serve with chicken as dips? It has a nice corander like smell. ppl in market told me the chinese names but unfortunately i do not know chinese, sad to say. Tq

  8. Hi Don Lucia

    I think the herb you mean is coriander./Chinese parsley. In Cantonese, it is called "yuen sai".

    I have tried growing them in my garden, but failed. Hope your herb garden brings you much joy!

  9. Hi, tks for the quick reply. i spent the whole afternoon looking for the name and you are right, its coriander but its of the mexican type (Eryngium foetidum). they are much shorter and in single leave. It is used in alot of vietnamese dishes too.
    Oh, i just bought bunga tonkin plant this morning, hope it will survive. though they told me that it's very easy to grow. It is believed that the flower is good for the eyes.

  10. Hi Don.

    So u r into growing herbs and eating heslthy? Very good.

    What's bunga tonkin? Sounds interesting.

  11. Hi again, yeah I m into growing anything that will improve my health, sigh. Was busy working when I was younger, never have time to source info and never really like eating veg. But as times goes by, high blood pressure setting in I tend to look into eating healthy instead of eating medicine. haha.
    yeah, i just got to know abt this bunga tonkin or chinese violet. The flowers r yellowish in colour and its very fragrant. can cook in omelette or soup. supposed 2b gd for eyes. seems that the leaves can b pound and put on sore skin. leaves r like heart shape.

    1. Hi Don

      I can understand how busy you can get working and raising your family. Well, now you have some "me" time, enjoy being in your garden and growing herbs! Good for your health and your soul.

      I read up about the bunga tonkin - very interesting! My mom and MIL never mentioned this plant before, must be they don't know how to use it! Haha, we learnt something new from Chinese culture ourselves huh? There is even a Chinese legend about it.

      Try growing the misai kucing/ cat's whiskers. It is very easy to grow. Get a starter plant, then when it flowers and produces lots of leaves, you can pluck the leaves, dry them and use them as tea leaves. I have a jar of dried misai kucing leaves now.