I'll be in Kuching for the whole month of October. While busy studying and preparing for my series of tutorials next weekend, assignments that follow and an exam slotted at the end of the month, I'll continue to pick up on my back courtyard gardening. The side garden is more or less completed by now, though more continuing experiments, additions and subtractions are a pleasant activity to further improve it. The yellow bells flowers (Tecoma stans)(see inset) mark the entrance to the back courtyard. My idea of the back courtyard according to my "Laman Kambatik "or the Malaysian Garden concept is basically that of an edible garden. In Malay there is at present no name for 'edible landscaping'. Thus I have coined a term to describe it. I call it "Sara Landskap" in Malay. Truly, I'm the only one soul to use this term in Malaysia at present. Whether it will be used commonly in future is yet to be seen. If it ever does, then the word originate from me. Will it be taken up by DBP? I wonder. (Note: This is a re-posting. For full story and images,please follow this link...>>>>http://myussop.blogspot.my/2009/10/on-way-back-courtyard.html )
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.
I saw one Pink-necked Pigeon perched on the tall "Poui" tree (Tabebuia rosea) at the back garden this afternoon. I was about 50 meters away. I heard its whistling call and soon another male bird joined it. I did not see any female of the species at today's sighting. Now it seems customary for them to gather at the Poui tree at the start of day and in the evening before sunset. This is one beautiful bird that decided to call the garden its home. Over the years I noticed that its preferred areas for making nests are on the branches of the 'Ong Lumok' (Artocarpus odoratissimus) tree and Yellow Bamboo clump nearby the Poui tree. The planting of tall trees in the Kambatik garden is essential if you want to attract these lovely birds to make home in your garden. This fact has been proven many times over at the Kambatik garden here in Kuching. This is one of the highlights of gardening the Kambatik way. Here wildlife is most welcomed.
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 …