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Difficult Dahlias

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Dahlias are natives of Mexico? And they are not well suited to extremely hot and humid climates?That comes as a surprise. As far as I can remember, these are my mom's favourite flowers. She grew yellow, red, orange, pink, white, purple dahlias and  they flourished and some were so beautiful that they got stolen. My first attempt in growing dahlias was after coming back from Fraser Hill, Pahang. Over there, they were grown as ornamental plants but they were not as many and beautiful as the ones we used to see back home in Taiping's Maxwell Hill, long renamed Bukit Larut; used to, I say, because for a long time now , you don't see dahlias in the hill. Before there were rows and rows of white, red, yellow, purple dahlias tended lovingly by Indian gardeners. One could even go up for a beer and have some chicken chop and order some dahlias to take home. Someone once told me dahlias are not an easy plant to grow. I suppose that was why my one and only attempt at growing dahlias …

Puppy Love

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Puppies are adorable! I remember someone picked a few from the roadside once. Apparently, someone else had abandoned them and the good Samaritan had taken them in. According to world-renowned veterinarian, Dr. Ian Dunbar, puppies are babies. They need close watching and tender loving care. That also means they are not to be left outdoors, not even under a tree, I suppose. As a child, I had seen puppies abandoned there and had wished to take at least one home. Of course, mom wouldn't allow and so that was it. No man's best friend for me!

No Missing Links

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In Lombok, I saw for the first time, variegated roses; red roses with white stripes, not as big as the normal roses and not as pretty and dainty, I figure; but prettier and daintier than green roses which I remember seeing in my cousin's house a long, long time ago. Some variegated roses, I understand, are also called Bourbon roses, and come about from natural hybridisation between the damask, roses from the middle east and roses from China.  That occurred on the Ile de Bourbon, an island in the Indian Ocean.  Ile de Bourbon presently is known as RĂ©union Island. If the roses in Lombok are indeed Bourbons, they are links between old and modern roses. No missing links here, yeah?

Nemo

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The 2003 American computer-animated adventure film Finding Nemo was appropriately set in the Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Otherwise, it could be set in the Red Sea for these are two of the places where a clown fish could be found. Nemo is an orange clown fish with white stripes if I remember right. A clown fish can also be yellow, red or black in color depending on its species. Most clown fish are also said to be protandrous hermaphrodites. That means they can change their sexes at some point in their lives. It doesn't happen to Nemo in Finding Dory, but do you ever wonder if it could happen in subsequent sequels, changing sex, I mean. Imagine the trauma it'll go through especially when there are religious bigots to ruin one's life.

A Good Garden Plant

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Such a beautiful plant. The orange daylily; native to Asia, Japan, China, Korea, has everything a gardener would wish for in a plant. Its orange flowers are big and attractive; and the leaves, elegant and add color and texture for the garden. While most plants perish in adverse conditions, the orange daylily persists wherever it is chucked into, regardless of poor soil quality, summer heat and humidity. Very adaptable, it is easy to grow, multiply quickly and is pest free. A good garden plant indeed if you don't grow tired to it!

Souvenir from Cameron

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When my niece and her mom and aunties went to CameronHighlands the other day, her mom bought home a pot of begonia. The plant with the pink flowers do look like begonia to me at least. I remember seeing a different variety of Begonia with less attractive blooms growing wild while climbing  Gunung  Inas, a mountain in the Bintang range in the early 90s. The plant are native to moist subtropical and tropical climates; so I suppose I did see a Begonia there where it was moist and warm.
Well, which of these has been bought from Cameron Highlands?


Fields of Flowers

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Perhaps, the first time I saw a field of flowers was in the early 90s in the the Mackenzie region in the South Island of New Zealand. It was towards the end of the year when I was there with some old friends and were we delighted indeed  to see what the New Zealanders consider weeds : lupins -  mostly purple and pink; covering a wide expanse of earth, on the roadsides and so many at Lake Tekapo. Lupins are not native to New Zealand,; and grandmother's tales had it that some farmers' wife planted the seeds on roadsides to liven up the place; only to alter the ecology of the area; something not so good really. Adverse effects withstanding, back home in Malaysia, I'm equally delighted with the little man-made fields of flowers in Cameron Highlands, Pahang.These aren't lupins definitely!