Tuesday, June 16, 2009
The other day I thought it was time to stroll the Orchid Garden Kuala Lumpur to buy a couple of the free flowering type. Also, to find out what's new there, if any.
I was pleasantly greeted by a riot of colours. Hues of orange, purple, red, yellow, pink, and a mixed palette. The many shades astound my senses. Hey, sunshine equals flowers! And we've been having plenty to have the sweat trickle down our necks. A big sign welcomes visitors: TAMAN ORKID KUALA LUMPUR.
It's an easy wander around the orchid garden. It sits atop a hillock and the slightly undulating terrain makes a more interesting walk. Benches under a covered canopy with lots of ferns among the orchids give respite to tired feet. The sound of cascading water from a fountain or two makes the place so inviting , to sit and soak in the beauty around.
Even towards the early noon, the insects were singing their songs above the peaceful air about the garden. The birds were calling too. But if its anything more raucous , it's from The Bird Park which is just a hop over from the Orchid Garden.
Orchids are extraordinary wondrous beauties. The Orchidaceae probably constitutes the largest family among the the higher flowering plants. Many hybrids exist today. It is the Vanda Miss Joaquim, a free flowering hybrid which started off the orchid industry in South East Asia. Later, this gave rise to commercial interest throughout the world.
Besides being cherished for its beauty, the orchid is appreciated for its decorative qualities. Many artisans are inspired by the orchid in the making of jewellry, ornaments. Orchids are also favourites for corsages to be pinned on the lapels of VIPs for events. Not forgetting lovely bouquets too. Walk into hotel lobbies and chances are orchids stand centre stage to greet tired visitors with their burst of colours.
I bought a Dendrobium Genting Rose from one of the stalls. Cuttings, plant, souvenirs etc are sold at these stalls. The assistant was an Indonesian chap. He impressed me with the names of the flowers. To every name asked, he gave them with hesitating. One caught my eye and I asked . His reply: 'It's Aranda Doctor Siti Hasmah.' I whipped out my camera again. Certainly this specie needs attention. After all, she is our former Prime Minister's wife.
I wish City Hall (DBKL) would take a cue from him. Look into labelling the plants. It'd be good to rattle off a few names as we view the flowers. Names can be tongue -twisters but familiarity makes it easier!
My orchids do not stand out among my green plants as I have only a few pots. But when they flower, they do attract compliments. I take the easy way out and nurture the free flowering ones namely the dendrobiums.
The common pigeon orchid (dendrobium crumenatum) holds special memories. It came from my late mother -in-law's garden . She was a garden enthusiast herself and she grew lots of orchids of the Vanda specie. At the base of the plants were dried clumps of cow dung. Organic and nourishing! These lined the driveway to her house.
The pigeon orchid was all forlorn on a tree trunk. So I took a stalk. As the name suggests, when it fully blooms, it is shaped like a pigeon. No mistaking , pure and white.
My brother -in-law gave me a dendrobium anosmum ( whitish pink) with its hairy lips.It is another of my fragrant plants.
In a corner of my garden clasped against the tree trunk of the Filicium Decipien, is the Oncidium, commonly known as Dancing Lady. My husband in one of his rare romantic gestures, bought me this plant for my birthday. Over the years t has flourished. Now it's growing wild!! So, love is STILL in the air! A riot of yellow colour there! As it hangs, the large protruding yellow striped lip is the most prominent feature of the flower.
The Orchid Garden is definitely worth a visit. Take a stroll and enjoy these glorious beauties.
I could do with a gift of flowers anytime :))