Garden Asia Asia's Premier Gardening Magazine
Thursday, 23 May 2019
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Volume 3
VOLUME 3
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Cover Story

Scented Flowers 

 

ImageFragrance is an essential part of our everyday life. Smells and scents are the most evocative of all sensory perceptions and we can recollect them better (than forms or colours) although they cannot be conveyed as we do in print for visual images. From the delicate to the strong and musky, beautiful scents that pervades the air will intensify the pleasures of gardening! There has always been a special place for the scented plants in gardens be it in the form of tree species, shrubs or herbaceous plants. There are numerous varieties of scented plants and Dr. Yahya starts our series on them with the tree variety of scented flowering plants.

Feature Garden

A House On Tanglin Hill 

 

ImageOur search for a house with a Balinese themed garden stopped at Tanglin Hill, Singapore. It was unexpected to have discovered an abode with sprawling 'manicured' lawns on an island that is not unknown for its diminishing space for dwelling places.

Sitting in the lounge of the house on Tanglin Hill gave me the feel that I was in a resort far from the city for I had no glimpse of any neighbouring building or structures. My gaze rested on a huge raintree that stood oblivious to all else and showed its invincibility by spreading its limbs towards the firmaments. Before the tree, came rolling slopes that ended down at a meandering waterway in their midst. I commented that this plot of land was vast and the proud owner of the home quickly added that the property ended at the low hedge of Pandanus sanderi and other low bushes screening the waterway. The singular raintree at the far end of the slopes and the rows of trees after it belonged to the Singapore Botanical Gardens! (How marvelous to have a plot that stretches to the fringes of reserved land for one gets to enjoy - even if at a distance - the luxuriant foliage otherwise found only in the depths of tropical rainforests.)                         

Garden Gallery

Taiping Lake Garden 

 

ImageAs I switched off the engine and stepped out of the car the afternoon air was fresh and crisp after a heavy downpour earlier. The sun was just peeking out of the rain clouds showering its yellow tinged light onto the water of the lakes and the green grass beyond. A few drops of rainwater still dripped here and there from the moistened leaves. The huge trunks glistened from the newly appeared sunlight. Their long branches arched over towards the lake water on the other side. Rays of light filtered through the trees gradually drying up the pavement below.

The meeting of the cool rainwater and the warm surface of the pavement induced fine mist that floated in the air. And when it met the rays of the afternoon sunlight streaming through the foliage it was a wonderful sight - a fleeting gift of nature to behold for those who knew and cared to enjoy at nature's marvel. Not too far away in the distance, the bluish Bukit Larut (also known as Maxwell's Hill) was peeking from behind a veil of low and puffy white clouds. The heavy downpour must have swelled up its rivers as a long stream of white water gushed from a waterfall that punctuated the otherwise greenish blue luxuriant canvas.

Young Gardener

The Heavenly Scent 

 

ImageIt may not be easy to find fields and fields of them but nothing can stop us from wishing that they were easy to locate. Ahh! I delight in seeing them sway in the warm sunlight, as if they were following the mesmerizing gentle breath of the wind and in seeing bees going from one to another as if they were savouring the spread at a buffet table (and what a spread it must be). The picture is more than complete when butterflies flutter to and fro as if they were saying 'hello' to each other.                          

Flowers. They are truly God's most heavenly creation. They bring sparkles of joy in us and they provide our Mother Earth with the most splendid 'dress' of different hues. Flowers come in all sorts of shapes and sizes but the most heavenly kinds of all are the scented ones. Flowers have always been popular for their scent and their brightly coloured petals. The rose, jasmine and cananga are but a tiny handful of the kinds of scented flowers.

Garden Science

Landscaping For Soil Stabilization 

 

ImageOnce disturbed, the soil will loose its inherent integrity and therefore prone to erosion and surficial movement of soil. This soil disturbance may occur at any time, by natural means or due to human activities. In many human activities, such as agricultural or infrastructural development, in situ natural vegetation will be destroyed.

This will lead to hydrological imbalance and soil instability, thus intensifying soil erosion and earthslips or landslides. The problem could be worse if the area is in a sloping terrain. High rainfall in Malaysia, with the mean ranging from 2000 to 2500mm per annum in most places, could aggravate the problem.

There are many approaches that can be used to stabilize slope and control soil erosion. With the current awareness on environmental issues and greening the nation, the 'green-approach' using vegetation is perhaps the most preferred option. This approach is frequently termed as soil bioengineering. Soil bioengineering techniques have been used around the world for centuries and currently being practised on a smaller scale in Malaysia. This is done through the reestablishment of vegetation for surface cover and soil restoration.

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