Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Garden of Prosperity

For those who want to see spectacular lights display in the form of a garden, the nearest to us in Klang Valley will be i-City! It was so fortunate of me when a fellow neighbour who is also a close friend brought me to i-City last night. i-City is located in Section 7, Shah Alam. To go there, take the Padang Jawa exit on Federal Highway & follow the i-City signages that will lead you there.

As our car turned into i-City, the beautifully-lit trees up on a higher ground greeted us from afar. Like little children, we all got so excited and just couldn't wait to get down. It's like we were approaching a fairy wonderland.

It seems that the light display had started since December during the Christmas celebration. Thus, there are 2 different lights display, i.e. the Garden of Prosperity & Frostie's Wonderland. I will let the photos below take you through a tour of i-City.

For those who are keen to go to i-City, the lights display will be on till early March. Entrance is free-of-charge. There will be a Chap Goh Mei celebration on this Saturday, 27 February. Chap Goh Mei is the 15th day of Chinese Lunar Calendar and it is also the last day of Chinese New Year celebration. Please see details below.

For residents who live in Klang Valley, do not miss out on this spectacular light display. The sights are to behold and they will turn you into a little child as you wonder through this fantasy world of lights.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

CNY Decoration Tips for Plants & Flowers

Happy Chinese New Year everyone!!! It's only another 4 days before the Lunar Chinese New Year arrives!! Those of you who are celebrating the CNY must be rushing to do the last minute shopping and house cleaning.

Chinese firmly believe that without flowers, there would be no formation of any fruits (有花才有果). Therefore, it is of the utmost importance to have flowers and floral decorations during Chinese New Year. Cashing-in on this belief, nurseries & florists in town stock up plenty of auspicious plants & flowers for the CNY decorations. Usually their prices are inflated during this festive period. So, why not we put on our creative cap and start decorating the plants in our own garden with ideas captured from the florists or nurseries?

As red and gold are traditional symbols of luck and prosperity, they are generously used in the decoration. Hanging red ribbons on plants or even tying a piece of red clothe into a butterfly knot around the pot can easily turn it into an attractive piece of art. Throw in some gold ingots, coins & glitters to add the touch of good fortune! Let these photos jolt your creativity juice into action!

Combine colourful pots of flowers with foliage to line up your driveway. Here the florist lined up a combination of lime plant, small pots of chrysanthemum, mother-in-law tongue & cane plant (not sure if I get the name right). Use a pot as a stand if you need to add height to your plant. Then use smaller pots of flowers to surround the supporting pot.

Beautiful big clusters of hydrangeas in pink and green for sales. This will certainly brighten up any home & catch the attention of your guests. So, if you have a pot of blooming hydrangeas growing in the garden, place it at the front entrance of your house. Be proud that the blooms are results of your hardwork in the garden. Share your love of gardening with guests.

I have seen this ornamental plant appearing at florists every year. Can anyone tell me what is its name? Get some of these bright orange and yellow fruits, tie some ribbons on the branches, voila, you will be looking at a very fascinating piece of decor.

Furnish your bonsai plant with hanging miniature lanterns & maroon coloured beads (probably from your X'mas tree decor) in order to add a festive feel to it.

Dress up a pot of blooming plant with satin ribbons and add some gold coins for a prosperous touch!

Or adding ready-made ribbons to your indoor plant also make it attractive. These ready-made ribbons can easily be found in supermarket or buttons & ribbons shop.

It is also a traditional Chinese belief that blooming plants symbolize rebirth and new growth. Flowers are believed to be symbolic of wealth and high position in one's career. Lucky is the home with a plant that blooms on New Year's Day, for that foretells a year of prosperity. That is why Pussy Willow is a favourite. Its fluffy white blossoms that resemble silk will bloom, and they soon give forth to young shoots the colour of green jade. We, Chinese, enjoys such sign of growth that represents the coming of prosperity.

Miniature Pussy Willows plants are also available in Malaysia now. This can be bent and decorated with artificial cherry blossoms, ribbons & gold coin ornaments. Voila! Another creative idea instead of the usual tall pussy willows sitting in a pot of water. These Miniature Pussy Willows only cost RM10 per pot from Petaling Street. Adding the artificial cherry blossoms & gold coins may just require an additional RM10. At a total cost of RM20, it is so much more affordable than getting the plants in the photos below from the florist. Apart from saving, you get to put on your thinking cap and let your creativity flow! *wink*wink*

A pot of Chrysanthemum with a huge ribbon added certainly enhanced its look.

Lucky bamboo is shaped into a pineapple is another prized plant for CNY. Why in the shape of pineapple, you may ask? Pineapple in the Chinese Hokkien dialects (used by those who hailed from Fujian, China) is called 'ong lai' and that sounds like 'fortune comes' in the same dialect. Thus pineapple symbolizes arrival of good fortune. That's why pineapple lanterns or the fruit itself are offered at the prayer altar. You may even see some pineapple lanterns being hung at the porch of houses during CNY. In the photo below, the clever use of ribbons and Chinese knots add to the beauty of this plant.

During Christmas, we have Pine Tree decorated with ornaments & lights. How about having a Cherry Blossom Tree during Chinese New Year. This is what I found decorating the foyer of Plaza Mont Kiara's office block. Adding lights make this pot of artificial flowers brighten up in the evening. What a welcoming sight!

Create an Oriental touch by adding caligraphy of auspicious words, such as Prosperity (福), Joy(春) or Luck (吉) on flower or plant pots. You can buy stickers with these caligraphy from shops that sell buttons & ribbons. Or simply cut them out from any angpow packets.

If you have a deep pocket, bright colour blooms like these real orchids or artificial orchids & peonies will certainly add charms to your home.

Plants & flowers are the emblems of reawakening of nature, they are also intimately connected with superstition and with the wish for happiness during the ensuing year. I would like to end this posting by wishing everyone a new year full of passion, liveliness and prosperity! Happy Year of the Tiger!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Green Fingers Tip - Adequate Drainage

I read this in a magazine today & posting it here to remind myself about this tips, at the same time share with my fellow green fingers friends!

Adequate drainage is very important. Place a layer of stones at the
bottom of the pot before adding soil. This will prevent the roots from
becoming waterlogged and keep your plants healthy.


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