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Showing posts from 2016

Garden leaves

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Good morning Shrike

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The much-awaited bird came close to the garden this morning.  After hearing its call, I came out to the garden to locate its where about. Its sharp cracking call alerted me to its location.  Perching on an electric cable at the edge of the garden, its eyes were intent on the ground below probably sighting its prey.  It came in a party of three and when they re-grouped, their calls reverberated over the neighbourhood in joyful chorus.  This bird is peculiarly seen in Kuching and I find it rather difficult to see them in Bintulu.


The garden palms

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The Malaysian garden is nothing without palms of which the Pinang Lakka or Red-Sealing Wax palm (Cyrtostachys renda) is queen of them all. The Kuching garden is sufficiently covered at many spaces with this palm and many others as well.  A well-deserved palm to be planted in any Malaysian garden is the Sea Cycas (Cycas rumphii) which exhibit rigid feather-like leaves.  It grows well at coastal locations in Sarawak.  At the front porch is located the Butterfly Palm, variously called as Golden  Cane Palm, or simply Yellow palm (Chrysalidocarpus lutescens).  This palm is appealing for its slender leaves and stems that bend gently in the breeze.  A recent  import to the garden is the Foxtail palm ( Wodyetia bifurcata) which is somehow famed for its pretty  'fox-like' tail fronds, planted initially from seeds I collected from friends.  The three specimens in the garden are growing well and are about twice the human height already.  Finally is the planting list of palm species in …

Strong wings and an outstanding white breast

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This morning I feel strong because of a bird.  I have seen the White-breasted Woodswallow in many towns throughout Sarawak, preferring the overhead electric supply lines as their favourite perch. Its  stout body  is an icon of strength and agility.  I saw one perching next to the side garden this morning and for a brief moment did not notice my presence.  A small group of three were about the garden area and nearby electric posts to prey on insects.  At one occasion I noticed one of them making sorties to the ground and even rested on the lawn hopping and chasing the insects. I love these birds for their swift wings, grey body and an outstanding white breast.  Being swallows their flights are exceptionally acrobatic, targeted and pleasant to watch.  This bird now is very commonly seen at this housing estate and for that reason I have no qualms to include it in the list of common garden birds of Sarawak.



Whites in the garden

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Some garden close-ups

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( All images taken using Nikon D5100, August'16)

Bright purple covers

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I have been experimenting with the Seribu Bahasa as a cover plant in Bintulu as well as in Kuching.  At both places the result were pleasing.  Here at Kambatik garden, I find today that the plant grown in a small mass looks  very healthy and flowering well.  The bright purple flowers attract the Eggfly butterfly.  The ethnic Berawan people of Sarawak call this plant 'Seribu Bahasa'.  I saw the plant growing wild initially  at the Kambatik Park in Bintulu from which I got the initial stock for propagation purposes and brought some to Kuching.  My planning for the Kuching garden is therefore to plant more of this species for covers and skirting since the plant seems to manage well in open sun and semi-shade locations.


Reds in the garden

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The Foxtail palm in semi-mature form

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It is of no mention that in any Kambatik garden (Malaysian garden) there must be some sight of a palm tree or many.  True to the concept of the Malaysian garden I have planted various species of palms in the garden to exude the exotic tropical look.  Of course the Queen of Sarawak palms is the Red Sealing Wax palm or Pinang Lakka according to some quarters.  Yes, we have a good number of them in the garden for the colourful red to orange crown shafts they brilliantly show.  A late introduction in the garden is the Foxtail palm (Wodyetia bifurcata) which is not a native palm but nevertheless attractive for its compound feather-like  and fish-tailed leaves. The three trees planted here are semi-mature and it would take a couple of years for them to produce flowers or inflorescences.  There are solitary palms grown in the garden from seeds, thus there is no  material cost involved.  The Red Sealing Wax palm on the other hand has a clumpy habit with side shoots that grow uninterrupted.


Flowering and fruiting trees

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There are two flowering fruiting trees in the garden right now while at the same time there are also two fruiting trees.  The flowering trees are the Coconut tree and the Starfruit tree.  What interests me the most is the Coconut tree which sets record for the first time flowering since  planted a few years ago,  The Starfruit tree has flowered and bore fruits before in large quantities and it seems that this time around it would not  be that productive judging from the quantities of flowering branches.  A short distance from the coconut tree is the "Kedondong"(Spondias dulcis) and "Ciku"(Manilkara zapota) tree, both are bearing fruits.