Monday, December 8, 2008

My Garden of Scent

I wasn't exactly born with green fingers. Never recalled being successful in planting, save for those taugehs that I cultivated for science class! He! He! Somehow, after the birth of my third child, things changed. Suddenly everything that I planted sprouted like bean sprouts. There's no turning back, since. When I was doing my PG, I made time to work on my sekangkang kera front lawn. The result: my garden of scent.

Truthfully, my garden is no Hanging Garden of Babylon. Neither does it have a theme - English, Bali, tropical, etc. It's just a quirky collection of flowers chosen for their scent and colour. Although my MIL owns a plant nursery, I actually acquired knowledge about the plants from Garden Asia, Better Homes & Garden and to some extent, Laman. Then, with my partner-in-crime (who else, My Amoy le...), we would shop for the plants at the nurseries near the Sungai Buloh Hospital (THE place to go).

Below are the gems in my laman.

Kesidang @ kerak nasi @ Vallaris Glabra
Fell in love with it, the first time I saw it at my MIL's nursery. Has the scent of pandan. Needs support - therefore, a pergola would be perfect. I'd trim it once in a forthnight. Flowers about 8 times a year. Very hardy. Cultivated by stem cuttings.

Kemboja @ Frangipani @ Plumeria
Has this strong smell which permeats the night, giving my former Indon maid, the creeps. She couldn't comprehend, for the life of her, why I would want to plant a "bunga kuburan" in my laman. The plant needs little attention but I do fertilized it now and then. The flowers, left floating in a bowl of water, makes a quick and chic table centre-piece.

Mawar @ Rose
Pink roses are definitely my favourite. This variety smells of tea-rose. The rosebuds will keep popping every week provided you deadhead the wilting blooms. Had a hard time to keep the plant growing until I was introduced to this special rose potting-mix by a "nyonya" who has a rose nursery along the Subang-Sg. Buloh trunk road.

This yellow rose has a stronger smell than its pink counterpart. It's also a climbing variety, currently reaching the roof of my porch! It's flowers are bigger than my pink roses but do not bloom as often. Grasshoppers like to feed on its leaves, though.

Bunga Cina @ Gardenia
My prized possession (not easy to find!) After looking high and low for it, found it in a nursery near the Sungai Buloh Hospital. Has a strong smell like the Frangipani.

Akar Dani @ Rangoon Creeper @ Quisqualis Indica

A climber which must be constantly trimmed. It's pink and white (and eventually red) showers would fall nicely from the pergola. The flowers will start to emit its scent from dusk right up to dawn.

Melur @ Jasmine @ Jasminum Sambac

My favourite scent. Flowers bloom all year round. Very difficult to care because it has many predators. Makes natural car air-freshener. Has to be trimmed now and then.

Kenanga @ Ylang-ylang @ Cananga Odorata

Another classic flower with a unique scent - a cross between sireh (beetle leaf) and banana. Blooms all year round.

Honeysuckle @ Lonicera Japonica
A plant which has a sweet-smelling scent - rasa macam nak makan pulak sebab bau macam gula2 Hudson's. Scales fences in no time.

Flower from the Kalamansi plant
Has a sweet scent. When the flowers fall, the buds will grow to become Kalamansi oranges (limau kasturi)

My scented garden is a favourite place for my children and I to hang-out after dinner. While we sat on the rusty swing, we would savour the heady scent of the flowers. Other nights, I'd just draw back the sliding door and let the exhilirating scent creep into the living area. The flowers make great potpourri, too. Best of all, I can just pluck the flowers from my garden should I wish to indulge myself in an invigorating "mandi bunga". Now isn't that cool?


Shamsul Yunos said...

Wish I have green fingers, My father can plant anything but me? everything seems to rail to sprout, even with a large dose of fertiliser

Mumtaj Yasmin said...

Hi, I would like to buy jasmine sambac. Can you please tell me where to buy in sungai buloh?thank you

Koonch said...

I used to frequent the nurseries near Hospital Sg Buloh. But that was years ago. Don't know if the nurseries still exist...