Saturday, April 30, 2011

More Rattan Furniture

Apparently, I am really getting into these Rattan sets. This new line of "Nest" products is from the Danish company Cane-Line. What I really like about them is that they have the artistic design quality of Franco Albini's classic pieces. Each piece like a piece of art, and this is what is somehow missing with the new rattan furniture which is mass produced. I should really get to that store in Seremban to see if they still have the round ottoman I want to pick up.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Light Fixture in Office Bathroom

I'm getting ready for B to make the mirror over the sink/vanity in the Office Bathroom as the Ikea mirror selection didn't have a mirror that would work here. In my recent post here, I shared the photo above which shows the weird yellow fixture over the sink/vanity that doesn't go with the bathoom or the other light fixture over the jacuzzi.

Close up of the yellow light fixture

So I looked around for some cream colored acrylic paint to try and paint the back part of the fixure, I didn't find the cream color I wanted, but found some pearl off-white paint with a bit of metallic in it. So I thought I would give it a try. Using my finger to rub the paint over the fixture, I didn't want it to look to solid. I wanted the paint to be slightly translucent, so that the color underneath was still present. Just wanted to downplay the brightness of the yellow color.

Here is a shot of the fixture after painting. It looks better and blends into the wall much better. But it's still an ugly fixture. For now, we use this and when we spot a nice fixture for over the sink/vanity and a vertical fixture to compliment it for near the jacuzzi, we can change them.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Galangal Plant Growing

Awhile back I wrote about the Galangal Rhizome I found at Family Store see here. I wrote that I might try to buy some roots from Family Store, and so I did. I put one rhizome in wet paper towel and plastic to see if it would grow leaf shoots. I let the bag sit for a couple weeks. Eventually I saw a green shoot and moved it to the Laundry Room where there is a large window. It keeps growing, so I guess it works. But now I'm pretty sure I don't want to put Galangal between our house and our neighbor's for privacy as I originally was thinking in my post here. I am currently thinking about Bamboo for this part of the property. But concerned bamboo will get out of control. Anyway, I need to find a place to plant this Galangal in my garden sometime soon... maybe the back corner.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Buying Ground Coffee in Malaysia

I like real coffee opposed to the instant type which is quite popular here in Malaysia. So finding good ground coffee isn't impossible, but a bit of a challenge. I can always go to Starbucks and spend a huge amount on a bag, but I didn't do this in NYC and I don't want to do it in Malaysia either... The best and most economical I find is at Tesco which sells about three varieties of Tesco Finest (the one in the photo above is Java Sumatra) and costs about 9.99rm for 227g. It is decent enough.

With the exception of "White Coffee", the best ground Malaysian coffee I can find in Seremban is 'Kapal Api' (about 4rm per bag). It really isn't good by itself at all! It tastes like Turkish coffee, bitter and strong. So when the selection of the Tesco coffee is running low (as it is now) I sometimes mix the Tesco Brand Coffee with the Kapal Api and it comes out as a good daily Coffee mixture.

I should write a whole post on White Coffee sometime soon.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Water Hyacinth in Bloom Already

It has amazingly been only two days since I took the photos of my new water bowls with the Water Cabbage and Water Hyacinth floating plants here. And this morning I woke up to a fully blooming Water Hyacinth. Where did the flowers come from? The plant must truly be one of the fastest growing plants in the world. The Water Hyacinth blooms, strangely, look much more like small Iris flowers than the bulb type Hyacinth flowers I grew in New York. I can't believe how fast the flowers grew and bloomed. But, then again, many things here in Malaysia amaze me in terms of how fast they grow.

Friday, April 15, 2011

2 Asian Water Bowls for the front of the House and a Big Vase/Planter

R liked the water bowls to my surprise and even suggested getting one for the patio too. We bought a large black one for the front and found a large planter/vase in dark grey/black to go next to the water bowl. We will eventually get a big plant for it, maybe a palm.

It became clear to me why R had agreed to get the bowls so easily, apparently, he liked something he saw outside a store in Seremban, it was a big water bowl with only big green leaf flowers floating in the bowl. He said he wanted something like that. So I went back to the site of said water bowl and had a look for myself. After doing some searching online, I determined that the green leaf 'flowers' R likes are Pistia or commonly known as Water Cabbage or Water Lettuce. And so I went about finding some Water Cabbage to fill our new bowls. Not easy in Seremban, but I finally found a place and bought all they had. They scouped the Water Cabbages and all of their roots and sludge into plastic bags. I came home and then washed off each 'rosette' and added them carefully to the water bowls. I was going to use the Water Cabbage in the front larger black bowl and add a small flowering Lotus with its lily pad type leaves to the blue water bowl on the patio. However, at the nurseries I found out that water Lotus plants, along with other water plants' roots need to be in soil at the bottom of water bowls.

This was a surprise to me and I wasn't really prepared to put soil at the bottom of either bowl. Because we put pretty black polished pebbles in the bottom of the black bowl and the blue bowl has a beautiful blue glaze color at the bottom (of course now, I see that it doesn't matter because with all of the water plants, the bottom doesn't show anyway). Nevertheless, I opted only for 'floating' type water plants for these water bowls. At another landscape shop, I found a lovely blue flowering floating plant (in the photo above it is the plants with the tube and bulbous stems in the bowl). I brought the plants home with blue flowers, but the next morning the flowers were totally gone. Maybe because they were nearing the end of their blooming, or maybe because of the stress of the transporting/transplanting the flowers died. Weird though, they buds totally disappeared. This blue flowering plant, I searched it and found it, is a "Water Hyacinth" check the wikipedia article on the plant and how they are one of the fastest growing plants in the world. The Water Hyacinth is also considered invasive because it grows so quick that a formation of multiple plants can block ships from traveling through waterways due to their thick roots. Very interesting. Let's see how fast mine grow!

Blue water bowl on Patio with Water Cabbage and some strange flat round floating leaves made up of numerous diamond-like leaves

We went back to get a big blue bowl for the patio so that there could be two, but the large blue bowl was imperfect. We should wait to see if the place gets another or one in black/blue.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Asian water bowls

Today's an exciting day... R has said he will come to look at some water feature bowls at the local landscape center in Seremban after lunch today!!!! I want to show him the 'bowls' I'm not sure what they are actually called. But they are planters that don't have holes in the bottom and are glazed inside so that you can put various water plants in them. I plan to put water lilies!!!! I'm thinking about placing a big water bowl 32" round and possibly a 24" round and 18" round as a group of three on the tile section at the front of the house that is currently empty (see above). But maybe just one big one and planters of plants instead, I don't know.

These are the biggest and best I could find in Seremban (photo above 32" round). I would prefer plainer, but maybe the black ones are ok. Will get R's opinion on the matter.

Inside the 24" water bowl.

24" water bowl

Below are some photos I collected of water plants inside bowls. I have seen other, better images but can't find them right now. Oh, and the local ones I see around are even more beautiful. They look best when it looks like they have been there awhile.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Landscape Planters in Malaysia

We have been looking for planters for around our property. I haven't really found any large black pots in square shapes (which I would prefer) in Seremban. Actually, I haven't found anything perfect yet in Malaysia but I haven't been to many garden stores in Selangor where there is a better selection. But, of what I did see, the delivery costs (as the items are fragile) seem to be high and the selection isnt that much better. I think it's best to pick something from Seremban. So I was at the garden center near my house where I happened to find some nice dark grey /nearly black matte pots which aren't bad. And at 6Rm each, they are cheap. But the problem is they only had 6 and the pots themselves are a small. I figured I'd buy them to get some plants going in the yard and can move these to the back of the house if/when I find something better. So I bought a few plants to put in the two pots at the front of the car park and planted them.

A shot of the pots at the Seremban garden center

AAI places 4 pots along the wall by the front door and am now looking to see what kind of plants I can buy for them as it is low light in that section under the front patio. I will be looking for other pots/water bowls for the front section of the house that is tiled (will post soon on that).

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Mysterious Vine Growing on the Property

The other day I noticed this mysterious vine growing down from the rambutan tree at the back of the property. It's like it appeared out of nowhere and is now hanging down with lots of green fruits (?) about 3 1/2 feet above the ground. It looks like a long beanstalk vine. How strange. Things grow very fast here in the tropics.

Now what is it??? I should research what this fruit is and if we can eat it.