Garden Asia Asia's Premier Gardening Magazine
Wednesday, 08 April 2020
Your Garden Supplies
Volume 16
Cover Story

Lilies for the tropical landscaped gardens


ImageLilies are popular flowers for flower arrangements and most of us assume that the florist would have imported them in or obtained them from highlands in the tropics such as Cameron Highlands. However there are species that can thrive well in our lowland gardens as well as some of them are Asiatic in origin.

Since there are an enormous number of species belonging to more than 200 genera worldwide, it would be impossible for us to identify all the tropical species here. We therefore will do our utmost to bring to you some that are available in this region, used as landscape or potted plants.Apart from the genera within the Liliaceae family some genera from other families are also commonly called lilies. This article includes important and relevent lilies belonging either to the Liliaceae or Amaryllidacea families. Examples of other commonly named as lilies but belonging to other families in the tropics are black lily ( Tacca cristata, Taccaceae), water lily ( Nymphaea spp.), Nyphmpaeceae ), arum lily,(Arisaema spp., Araceae), ginger lily (Hedychium coronarium, Zingiberaceae).

Feature Garden

An Eclectic Garden


ImageWe try to bring to our readers a variety of gardens in the tropics, with different themes and it never ceases to amaze us the increasing numbers of plant species that can create different illusions to a garden. One such success is a garden designed to blend with a house influenced by a European style.If Kota Bharu is distinguished as distinctly Asian in terms of its geographical locality and rural ëkampungí quality, then this issueís Feature Garden completely contradicts that assumption. What we discover along the quiet back roads of one of Malaysiaís peaceful small towns could not be further from our idea of rustic living.

The property is in the town of Kota Bharu, Kelantan which is in the East Coast of Peninsular Malaysia. It is in the outskirts or ëjajahaní, of Panji one of the farming communities now sprouting with big houses, creating an upper-middle class surburbia. Sweeping across a 1.5 acres site, the ëTan Villaí dominates the local landscape with a dramatic infusion of the European. The moniker of the place already conjures illusions of grandeur, fantasy and escape, and is certainly established as such as soon as one sets eyes on the property. There seems to be no expense spared in creating this continental phantasm. As we approached the house from the main road, the impact of the large building rising from the surrounding local Malay houses was striking. We parked opposite the main entrance and had the advantage of the view showing the landscape outside the gate.

Garden Gallery

Garden gallery


ImageTropical isles have always had a special allure for nature lovers. Their remoteness, physical isolation and sometimes their geological origins have lent a special interest to their flora and fauna.  And when a paradise-like island like Pangkor Laut is involved, its mystique and allure are beyond description.  Let's join Pangkor Laut's naturalist Yip Yoon Wah and go on a guided tour of this fabulous emerald isle especially its flora and fauna.

Although Pangkor Laut lacks a street address, world travelers can nevertheless locate it at 4 degrees 14' North and 100 degrees 34' East. It is a 120-hectare (298 acres) granite island bathed by the year-round warm waters of the Malacca Straits.  It has a long sinuous coastline alternating between sandy bays and rocky headlands, rising steeply to about 112 metres on a bedrock of solid granite.Pangkor Laut enjoys a year-round equatorial climate characterized by warm sunny days and cool tropical nights. Doused by copious rains throughout the year, climatic conditions could not be more ideal for plant growth.  As a result, the island is covered by a mantle of lush green vegetation which often comes down to the water line. Primary rain forest still covers much of the island, especially on its central spine of low coastal hills. True to its commitment, the Resort has kept 80 per cent of the island under rain forest which continues to offer the greatest attraction and interest to its guests.

Young Gardener

Young Gardener


ImageAfter completing my IGCSEs, the school decided that it would be a good idea for the students to be involved in the working world. Job week is a time when the students are free to choose the line of work they are interested in enough to undertake for a whole week. As a wildlife enthusiast, I opted for the University Malaya's research station in Ulu Gombak.I was excited to be working alongside some of the Malaysianís scientists and lecturers. Ulu Gombak has been one of the top research stations in Malaysia since the time it was built.

Both international and local scientists and organizations come to this research station to study the flora and fauna that can be found in the Malaysian forest. I have to say that I was not disappointed with the outcome.The research station is about a 20-minute drive from the LRT station of Gombak. It is situated in the middle of the Malaysian forest, a short walk from the Orang Asli village. The research station has a building with a verandah overlooking the huge forest trees and a few rooms for visitors to sleep in, and another smaller building consisting of an office, a bedroom and a briefing room. Just a short walk out of the office and you will find yourself engulfed by the beautiful and majestic atmosphere of the forest.

Garden Science

A Guide to Foliage Plants


ImageHeliconia illustris
This heliconia variety does not flower in our climate and is treated as a foliage plant. It has wide leaves similar to the banana plant but is green with vanilla coloured strips. It prefers shaded areas of the garden and does not like direct sunlight. It is suitable as a potted plant and can be an attractive houseplant.

Wrightia religiosa (variegated)
This variegated variety of Wrightia has green leaves with creamy white shoots. The white shoots overshadow the tiny flowers. The shrub looks  good if pruned to keep shape and new growth of the shoots give the striking white contrast against the green.

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