Love In A Puff

Have you seen the Seeds of Love?

They can be found inside puffy seedpods like this one.

This plant is called Love in a Puff, Heartseed, Heart Pea or scientifically, Cardiospermum Halicacabum.

It's climbing stems carry little white flowers.
Love in a Puff  is an invasive weed.

Nevertheless, I still grow them for the little white hearts they produce.
It is restrained in a pot to prevent from outrageous growth.

Have you seen any other seed that comes with a heart?


Butterfly with a Heart

Unlike most butterflies who come to drink nectar, this one just hovered around my daughter for a very long time.

After doing some research, I found out that it is called the Danaid Eggfly or Mimic (Hypolimnas misippus).

From my research, I also discovered how it looked like as a caterpillar.
Hey! That looks familiar!
It is one of those who ate up my cabbage leaves.

I am glad that it came back to say hello.

Surprisingly , it stayed around pretty long.

I wonder if this was the butterfly who created the heart on my cabbage leaf and allowed the flowers to be noticed.


Who Like Weeds?

I've just been to GardenWalkGardenTalk and discovered that she likes weeds.
You would like them too if you have weeds like hers.
More and more people are loving weeds, admiring what other creatures of nature have been attracted to all these while.

This is a weed loving butterfly.

Insects love to hang around wild flowers. 
Some are there to drink nectar.
Some are lurking around to capture those that are out for a drink.
Others might just be romancing.

Goldee loves weeds. I often find her eating them.
Some people says that dog eat grass or weeds when they don't feel well.
Goldee definitely doesn't look ill to me.
She probably likes the fiber and nutrition that comes with weeds.

Who else love weeds?


Terrarium or Dish Garden?

Today, I had some fun making a few small terrariums.
Err... I mean dish gardens.
Thanks to Andrea and GardenWalkGardenTalk for highlighting this to me, I should be calling them dish gardens instead of terrariums because terrariums are enclosed and self contained.

I have chosen a collection of compatible plants; mainly succulents and cactus.

As such, there would not be a need to water them for the next one to two weeks.

Since there are no drainage holes, it is important to create a space at the bottom for water to flow to. 
I have used leca balls for this purpose. 
Moss or pebbles can also be used.

While I was designing the terrariums, my daughter converted her little ice-cream cup into a little planter.

Please share your experiences with terrariums or dish gardens.


Photography and Backdrops

Do you think the insect and weeds stand out with the beige background behind them?

With a dark-coloured backdrop, we could see the weeds clearly from this angle.

The green foliage of the chilli plant with yellow moss rose stand out with a soft, furry background.

Sometimes, I use items like a foot or a paw as a size comparison to the object in focus.
As you can see, my black and white backdrop is multi-functional.

If not properly used, backdrops can be distracting to an otherwise attractive photo.

Occasionally, I put the backdrops in focus and blur the surroundings to appreciate their importance.
Whatever would I do without them?


Chilli Collection

Several varieties of chillies have been added to the garden a few months ago.
They were all grown from seeds.

Black Pearl Chillies
This is an ornamental variety with dark coloured foliage.
The purple flowers turn into light green chillies and then to black pearls. 
Eventually they will all become rich, deep red.

Bird's Eye Chillies
This is very common and is known as 'cili padi' here.
However, the lady beetles usually call it their 'home'.

Round Chillies
The flower is white on the outside and purple on the inside.
I don't know the name to this one but it is pretty small in size; less than 2cm. 
 They do look like tomatoes but taste nothing like it.
Yes, I have tried and smoke came out of my ears!


Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day Oct 2010 at Onenezz

My second pot of lotus is showing its first bloom today.
I thought I should take this opportunity to participate in Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day for the first time.

3 days ago, my dragon fruit flower bloomed.

This morning, a fruit is forming at the base. Yippee!

Portulaca - Yellow

More Portulaca


Mandevilla Vine with Mt Fuji Morning Glory in the background.

Titty Fruit Flower...

....with Titty Fruit

My second agave plant is in flowers now. 
The first one which I posted recently is showing signs of old age.

I found these blooming in the shop. 
Thought you may like it.
For more blooms, please visit Carol over at May Dreams Gardens.


Design of a Dragon Fruit Flower

Have you ever wondered why the dragon fruit flower is designed as such?

The anthers which consist of the yellow pollens are part of the male. 
The greenish portion that resembles a Tillandsia, known as stigma is part of the female.
If the stigma shifts to the centre of the flower, surrounded by anthers, pollen grains will naturally drop on the stigma and fertilization occurs easily.
If the stigma can shift location slightly, there would be no need for insects to handle pollination. 

Yet nature is as such that the male and female are nearby yet not touching.
In fact, the female is taller than the male.
If it is the other way around, pollination would occur easily because pollen grains will drop on the stigma due to wind and gravity.
Now, we need to rely on insects to complete the process of pollination.
What if there are no more insects in the world?
Does it mean we don't deserve to eat fruits without insects?

Flowers often bloom one at a time for a young plant.
The insects' role is not meant for handling cross pollination because even without cross pollination, dragon fruits still form.
So why is the design and location of the stigma and anthers are as such that we need the bugs to transfer the pollens a few centimetres away?

Why does it blooms at night and closes in the morning?

My Conclusion

No night bugs, No pollination, No fruits.
Solution : Hug More Bugs!
Alternative Solution : Always Hand Pollinate.

Previously I hand pollinated using a cotton bud to transfer the pollens to the stigma. 
You could also use a clean paint brush instead of a cotton bud. 

This time around, I just pluck a few anthers and left them on the stigma.
I believe I would see a dragon fruit soon.
But I can't help wonder why the design of the flower is as such.

 I believe Autumn Belle's deduction is correct.
The design is as such in order to reduce the possibility of self pollination.
Although self pollination do produce tasty fruits, the genes of the seeds may not be as healthy as compared to those which are cross pollinated.
Cross pollination would produce better quality seeds and eventually stronger off springs.
Thanks again for offering this suggestion, Autumn Belle.

This is one the fruits produced by the same plant previously.


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