Sneak Peek on Lil’ Guardian Alphabet Book

Finally done with the layout and cover. I have listed down and illustrated flowers from A to Z. It’ll an interesting read with your young ones. Still pending ISBN and editing. The title is a working title, not the final one. Still thinking of a catchy title.

Currently editing MY KL Scrapbook— this has taken a bit longer than expected. Hope to get it out with Lil’ Guardian soon.

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Fraser’s Hill flowers and plants

Fraser’s Hill is a combination of sub-montane and montane forest and with its temperature between 16°C – 24°C, the hill makes a good place for some temperate flowers to grow. As a person who loves flower, this is very exciting. I am not sure of the nativity but I reckon some of the species were brought here when the British developed the hill station. Else, they just grow.

Here are some of the flower that I got to see:

Angel’s Trumpet — Also known as Brugmansia, this plant is  a large shrub or small tree, with semi-woody, often many-branched trunks. It has pendulous, trumpet-shaped flowers, that have no spines on their fruit. It has a very pleasing fragrance.


Daylily — I was having hard time looking for the correct species because there are hundreds of them! I think this one is the Hemerocallis Hyperion species because it has blade-like foliage. A border favorite for decades. Sweetly scented and yellow flowering, also both heat and drought resistant and long lived plants.

Everlasting Daisy — This species is a large tribe of Aster, a sub-species of Daisy. Also known as Golden Everlasting, its distinctive feature is the papery bracts that resemble petals. An Everlasting Daisy consists of a central disc which contains a number of tiny individual flowers, known as florets; that sit directly on an enlarged part of the stem known as the receptacle. Around the disc is an involucre of modified leaves, stiff and papery petal-like bracts. Arranged in rows, these bracts curl over and enclose the florets, shielding them before flowering.

 

Violet Queen Spider flower — Also known as Cleome hassleriana, this plant is made up of groups of 5-7 leaflets, cylindrical seed-pods and long stamens that resemble the legs of a spider––the inspiration for its common name.  It has bright green hand-shaped foliage.

 

Azalea — It is an ornamental plant but also grows in forest. Commonly grown as border or fence. These flowers are known for releasing a sweet scent, and having bright, cheerful colours. The white azaleas are frequently used by gardeners as a backdrop for other brilliantly hued blossoms; however, these flowers come in a variety of shades from orange and yellow, to pink and red.

Flaming Trumpet Vine — A vigorous and rambunctious climber with tendrils, this vine produces abundant clusters of flaming-orange coloured trumpet-shaped flowers. The vine is draped over a large pergola, fence or espaliered on a trellis or building structures. I found this vine near the Pine Tree Trail area.

I actually have more photos of flowers but I could not find the name of the species. Nevertheless,  I was excited to see this one plant:

Poinsettia tree!!! I normally see potted Poinsettia during Christmas time and did not know that it actually can grow so big! This Noche Buena is native to Mexico and Central America and who would’ve thought that it is found here at Fraser’s Hill.  The colored bracts—which are most often flaming red—are actually leaves. Because the flowers are unassuming and do not attract pollinators, brightly coloured leaves developed (aka bracts).

When I look closely, the leaves were infested with white pests. I think local authority should take care of this plant and try to breed as many trees as possible.

Anyway, an effort by Tourism Ministry will see that a new RM4.2mil floral park will be build here to add to the existing attractions. In addition to a glass house, the park would be planted with many plants including as impatiens, spider flower and enthurium. Here are some pictures of flowers already planted for this project.

 

References:
http://www.bluestoneperennials.com/HEHY.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xerochrysum_bracteatum
http://www.robsplants.com/plants/CleomHassl
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Azalea
http://shoaibnzm2.blogspot.com/2011/12/azalea-flowers.html
http://www.jaycjayc.com/pyrostegia-venusta-flamevine/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Euphorbia_pulcherrima
http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2012/6/23/nation/20120623165624&sec=nation

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Lil’ Guardians representing Malaysian flowers

I know. It’s very hard to find what’s native because we can actually find all types of flowers here in Malaysia, even the rarest ones. But I am trying hard to list down flowers (from A to Z) that can be found or planted and survived the weather in Malaysia and illustrate them all. Here are two typical flowers with their own lil’ guardians. I am excited to draw the others! I have four so far, 22 more. Here’s two.

Watercolor on watercolor paper.

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Cape Town’s Flat Flowered Mountain Aloe

I like to look back at my photos and among my favourites are those from Kirstenbosch Gardens, Cape Town. The flowers are beautifully breathtaking. One of the flowers I observed was  Aloe Marlothii or Flat Flowered Mountain Aloe. I have never seen such a big aloe in my life. The one that I have in my front yard is very small and does not have flowers.

Aloe Marlothii is a striking, robust, large, single-stemmed aloe with a majestic presence. The mountain aloe is undoubtedly one of southern Africa ‘s most rewarding aloes to grow and adds an interesting slant to aloe culture.

Aloe Marlothii is a succulent and therefore well suited to withstand periods of drought, owing to reserves of water stored in the leaves and stem. The thorns on the leaves and very rough, hard, dried leaves along the stem act as a defence against browsing animals. In times of extreme drought, kudu have been observed browsing the leaves despite the plants defences and may denude the leaves of the plant entirely. If conditions are favourable, plants recover within six months. Another defence against browsing is the eventual height obtained by A. Marlothii to escape browsing animals. By growing out of reach of browsers the species has a greater chance of surviving drought.

So, if you are into flowers and aloe species, and will be visiting Cape Town soon, do consider visiting Kirstenbosch Gardens situated at Rhodes Drive, Newlands, Cape Town, South Africa.. It is the largest of a country-wide network of nine National Botanical Gardens administered by the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI).

Operational hours are as follows:
Sep – Mar (Summer): Mon – Sun
08h00 – 19h00

Apr – Aug (Winter): Mon – Sun
08h00 – 18h00

Conservatory: Mon – Sun
09h00 – 17h00

 

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