Garden Asia Asia's Premier Gardening Magazine
Wednesday, 08 April 2020
Your Garden Supplies
Volume 5
Cover Story

The Torch Gingers - Sentinels Of The Forest


ImagePlants of the ginger family called Zingiberaceae are a diverse group of perennial herbs with over 50 genera and 1500 species spread throughout tropical and subtropical regions. All gingers are closely related to heliconias, flowering bananas, cannas, and marantas. Although gingers are found throughout the forests of Malaysia, they are relatively new to our landscaping industry. Due in part to their large showy flowers, they have gained rapid popularity as garden elements.

Many interesting common names have been coined for ornamental gingers. Peacock ginger, ginger lily, shell ginger, dancing lady, and shampoo ginger are but a few. No matter how elegant the name, perhaps the most spectacular gingers are those in the genus Etlingera. One particular group in this genus, the "torch gingers" are surely the "sentinels of the forest" since each inflorescence is borne on a long, slender stalk arising from the base (rhizome) of the leafy stem. The prominent features of the inflorescence are the bracts, which are often mistaken for petals. The actual flowers inside the bracts, are small, tubular in shape and bloom many at a time in a series of concentric circles. Traditionally the term "torch ginger" referred mostly to the species, Etlingera elatior, but four other closely related species are found growing wild in Peninsular Malaysia and are considered for this text as "torch-types". These are Etlingera venusta, Etlingera corneri, Etlingera hemisphaerica and Etlingera maingayi.

Feature Garden

The Perfect Blend - The House On The Hilltop


Image The house perched high on a hill in Damansara Heights has always caught the eye of anyone passing the area. The architecture is ethnic Malay, probably of the east coast state of Trengganu, with its bumbung gajah menyusu, which literally translates to 'the suckling elephant roof'! When night falls, the lights, shining through the woodcarving form silhouettes that give a most ethereal scene to the hilltop. I have always wondered what the garden would look like given the fact that obviously the land space for a garden on the hillside would be limited.

Upon entering the front gate, one could not help being distracted by the details in the woodcarving of the fence and the anjung or verandah. As one walked up the wooden slabs of steps, one's attention would be diverted to the two massive columns of teak wooden pillars. The facade of the house had antique wall paneling that projected the look of a stately Malay house if not a palace. It would indeed be a challenge to landscape the grounds to harmonise with the concept of the house.

Garden Gallery

Laman Puteri Iskandar


ImageWhat and where is Laman Puteri Iskandar? If you are one of the many readers who ask this question, don't be perturbed. Follow us and we will lead you down the garden path...

An important item in the checklist for a great city is its parks and gardens. For example, when thinking of New York's cityscape, Central Park immediately comes to mind. Kuala Lumpur gets no exception and being Malaysia's capital, the government and city authorities have even ambitiously striven to make it a Garden City so that it is not just remembered for one or two landmark gardens.

Young Gardener



ImageCats! Cats! Mystical creatures of the night? Lazy sleeping felines? A Broadway musical? Or just another garden pest? What are they? What do they want us to think about them? They come in all sorts of forms, colours, and characters. The most common ones are the domestic house cats. A normal house cat has a routined schedule of sleeping, eating and roaming the neighborhood. I am a cat lover myself. I have three cats of my own: a gorgeous Persian female that will always keep my family company, an old cream coloured tom-cat that has been with the family for years and a young, but huge, tabby cat whose favourite pastime is eating! To me, cats are simply adorable! However, for serious gardeners, cats can be a pain!

What do these felines do to anger their owners or their owner's neighbours? Well, as I have found out, one of the problems with cats is these creatures just can't resist marking out their territories, especially around the garden! And no matter how many times we clean up after these feline companions, these pet cats will just come back and deposit their poop in our gardens again. It is their way of marking territories, I guess. But nonetheless, this poop habit can be a nuisance. Well, there are some tips to get those pesky felines off our precious gardens.

Garden Science

A Guide To The Flowering Pot Plants


ImageThere are two groups of flowering plants for indoor display. They are the FLOWERING HOUSE PLANT and THE FLOWERING POT PLANT. The difference between the two is that the flowering houseplant belongs to the group that can take up permanent residence in your home and can be made to flower all year round. On the other hand the flowering pot plant is a temporary resident in your living room. The cardinal rule is to ask your nurseryman what type it is before buying.

The flowering pot plant, although not permanent are usually so spectacular in their colours and attractive in form and shape that most of us do not mind the fact that they will only last perhaps for a couple of weeks at the most. When the blooms fade and the plants look like they are about to senesce, take a look again to see if they can be revived or propagated to bloom again in the coming year. Here are some guide for the care of some species and tips for propagation.

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