Sunday, March 22, 2009

Showing off true colours

Coleus planted in a long planter box.
In Kuching I noticed that the coleus or botanically known as Solenstemon are very popularly grown as a house garden plant. This city seems to have the perfect climate to grow them. Indeed as seen above they prefer the direct sunlight and well-drained soil. Grown mainly for their colourful foliage, the stems are succulent and therefore require heavy watering. They love to be fertilised with manure and after a week of application will show off their true colours which are extremely eye-catching.

Above, coleus are planted as edging plants and continually pruned as a ground cover.

A light green and yellowish coleus variety in mixed planting.

Sunday Flowers

On any Sunday in Kuching you can feast your eyes with a vast collection of flowers and colourful foliage. The happening is as always at the Satok Sunday market . Orchids, Hibiscus, Bougainvilleas, Roses, Coleus and many more varieties of indoor plants and fruit trees are in abundance to cater for the diverse interests of garden enthusiasts or hobbyists. It is a great place to see the latest additions of plants for the eager consuming Kuching crowd.

At one corner of the market I was impressed by this rich collection of bougainvillea species. The colourful bracts of the bougainvilleas make up for their small significant flowers.

The above is my prized possession of the day, a begonia rex species. The colourful foliage with 'batik-like' impressions on the leaves are indeed awesome. The varying colours and patterning are a show of nature's masterly handiwork. Nature will forever continue to amaze me.

This variegated draceana species ( Draceana fragrans 'Massangeana') will do fine as an indoor potted plant.
Overall, a perfect day for flower shopping.

The Rajah Brooke Birdwing Butterfly

On the front wall of the Natural History Museum building at the Sarawak Museum garden I saw this giant replica of the Rajah Brooke Birdwing Butterfly ( Ornithoptera brookeana). The butterfly was named after the first white Rajah of Sarawak- Sir James Brooke by Alfred Wallace while on his travels to Sarawak in the middle of the 19th century.

Friday, March 20, 2009


Below are two views from our house at Kuching. The sunrise is seen from the back of the house and the sunset from the front garden.
On both views the mountains and hills form the distant backdrop.


Swimming Pool

The swimming pool at Damai Resort Beach hotel, Santubong.

End of Road

Driving around the village of Santubong we came to the end of the road that saw the beach and this modern country villa. The Mount Santubong and the blue sky provided a magnificent backdrop.

White Bougainillea House

Took a left turn before reaching Damai Resort. And came down to the village of Santubong. Followed the road that encircled the village and met this white bougainvillea house. Malay houses here are either constructed as one level or two. Older houses are made from timber, while newer ones of concrete and brick walls. At the far background is the Mount Santubong.

Damai Resort

This hotel apartment nestled snugly on the foothills with lush greenery and peaceful surrounding. The place: Damai Resort, Santubong, 40 minutes drive from Kuching city.

The split level carpark harmonises with the sloping terrain and the tropicalness evident from the coconut palms, green mountains and blue sky.

Arches of Petra Jaya Mosque

The hundreds of tall column arches of the Petra Jaya Mosque are seen reflected on the clean terrazzo floor. I performed the Friday prayers here this afternoon.

Another view of the open air section of the Petra Jaya Mosque.

Damai Beach

Today I took a 40 minutes drive to the coastal area of Kuching. The place is Santubong and at the Damai Beach there we spent the afternoon in the hot sun,warm breeze and peaceful surroundings. The coconut palm with its swaying leaves against the green backdrop of Mount Santubong was a perfect post card image of a tropical vacation.

CU of the Coconut Tree

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Commodity trading

Just outside a shop at Gambier Road a notice board welcomes farmers to sell their commodity there. The two commodities the licensed buyer is interested in are pepper and cocoa.

Batik Sarawak

Along India Street I saw yards of Batik Sarawak material displayed in front of the shop, Fabriko. The flowing floral-like designs above are peculiar of one of the many ethnic groups in Sarawak called the Orang Ulu, comprising the Kelabits,Kayans, Kenyahs,etc. These designs are either printed or hand painted on silk, cotton or polyester.

Jalan Satok

This is the main Jalan Satok or Satok Road. Satok Road is a major shopping, banking and eating area in Kuching. On weekends city folks flock here to do their weekend shopping at the Sunday market which kick off on Saturday afternoon till Sunday morning. Daily in the evening one of the car parking spaces will be turned into a hawkers food centre .

Vespa sprint

It was a vintage Vespa sprint scooter I saw last Sunday at the Satok Sunday market. Many shoppers had a closer look at the old faithful. Judging from the registration plate number, the scooter must have been on the road for 50 years now. The proud owner now uses it as a 'traveling' shop selling small items like pickled fruits, sweets, packet drinks, tea and coffee satchets.

Yellow Saraca flowers

On a stretch of road at Taman BDC I came across these beautiful yellow blooms of the Yellow Saraca ( Saraca thaipingensis). This is a short tree and grows very slowly. Therefore I think this species is ideal for house gardens, small roads and parks. The flowers are fragrant.

CU of the Yellow Saraca flowers, that typicaly offshot from older branches.

Lines and colours

Against the clear blue sky protrudes two white roofing structure of the godown amphitheatre ( foreground) and the pinnacle of the new Sarawak State Legislative assembly building is the far background. Here I attempt to make a simple composition using straight and curved lines and three colour hues.

Chinese Temple near Kuching Waterfront

Located near the Kuching waterfront area this Chinese temple has become a popular tourist attraction these days. Built sometime in 1876, the temple houses the deity 'Tua Pek Kong' - a paternalistic god among the many gods in the Chinese pantheon.