Sunday, 9 August 2009

Orchids and bonsai

The Johor Bahru International Orchid and Bonsai show was held at Danga Bay from 6 to 9 August 2009. We had the chance to visit the show earlier in this afternoon, the last day.

For a gardening enthusiast like me, it was a wonderful way to spend an afternoon. In the convention centre, there were decorative pavillions prepared by horticulturists from different countries. Hundreds of species of orchids were on display and the myriad of colours was breathtaking.

Mrs Oldstock at the entrance display

Combination of colours
The Sarawak pavillion

This arrangement from Taiwanese participants

At a separate section of the centre there was also a display of bonsai plants. The beauty of these miniature trees is simply amazing. It must have taken the bonsai growers so much patience and care to shape their plants to such lovely living sculptures. A trait that I do not have.

A backlighted bonsai plant

Miniature asam jawa tree

Pine bonsai

Slender sloping bonsai

Short squat bonsai

Outside of the convention hall, the organizers had set up stalls where orchid growers displayed their products for sale. As it is the last day, many of the stalls offered the plants at discounted rates. There were so many to choose from... rambang mata dibuatnya.

After much browsing, I finally bought one with white flowers and a few cuttings of other varieties. Cultivating the cuttings and seeing them grow gives me more satisfaction, although I must say that I'm not that successful in getting my orchids to flower they way they do at the nurseries. In fact, with the exception of bougainvillea (bunga kertas), I do quite poorly with flowering plants. I am more adept at the leafy plants such as palms, ferns, shrubs and caladium (keladi).

Colourful orchids on sale

One of the nursery stalls

I like the colour of this flower

And these ones too...

The latest addition to my collection

For the past month or so, I have been spending most of my weekends trying to rehabilitate my garden after more than a year of neglect. The plants that I have re-potted are now looking healthy and I hope to post something about this in another month or two when hopefully, some of them have started to bloom.


HLiza said...

I've never tried mom never succeeded before..i think it must be very difficult..see what i can learn from you!

mekyam said...


i too love orchid and/or flower shows.

frida said...

Salaam perkenalan Mrs Oldstock;

i've been there too! memang menawan semuanya, tp tak sempat merewang ke bahagian luar. cuma ambil gmbar bonsai sahaja.

my blog

my flickr

VersedAnggerik said...


I like the asam jawa tree! Its like injecting something local into an imported art...

Chahya said...

Mr & Mrs Oldstock love orchids? Y'all may want to see this:


Lady Marko said...

That short squat bonsai is gorgeous! I remember back in my primary school days, a friend's father had a keen interest in bonsais. His daughter pulak liked miniature things so what she did was built miniature houses, complete with picket fences and put them underneath the bonsai. Siap ada miniature farm animals. It was really intriguing especially to a 7-yr-old me at the time. I used to imagine those minaiature animals betul2 hidup... hehehe!

Oldstock said...


I used to have 6 or 7 species of orchids but only 3 survived. Only one particular type is growing quite well to the extent that I can propogate more cuttings and transfer into additional pots which I donated to some neighbours. It has a blue/purplish bloom.

Yang lain tu macam hidup segan, mati tak mahu. I'm still trying to find out why I'm not doing too good with orchids. Could it be the fertilizer, the position of the pots, the watering, the pests??? Kadang-kadang pening kepala jugak.

Oldstock said...

Hi mekyam,

Welcome. Hope you have a wonderful garden too.

Oldstock said...

Salam frida,

You are writing to me or to my missus? Mrs Oldstock is not quite an online junkie like me... dia guna pc cuma bila nak YM dgn anak kami yg study overseas. Anyway thanks for dropping by this blog. Nice to have another JB based reader as a friend.

I see you were there too. The bonsais were great, weren't they? Will pop over to your blog soon.

Oldstock said...


The asam jawa bonsai is planted by a Malay gentleman. He won a merit prize for this effort. First time I see an asam jawa tree cultivated as a bonsai. As you said, injecting a local influence into a foreign art.

Oldstock said...


Mrs Oldstock has zero interest in gardening. Most of the pokok yang ditanam are my effort and some from my mother (she visits us occasionally). I get this gardening hobby from my mom. My three sons are like their mother, tak minat langsung pasal tanam pokok bunga ni.

Wow... your mom's orchids are wonderful. Some people memang ada green fingers. I belum sampai tahap tu lagi.

Oldstock said...

Lady Marko,

Sedap la nama baru ni madam :-)

Anonymous said...

wow..what a lovely sight..!!

didnt know that they have this show when we passed by Danga Bay last week on the way for makan at Singgah Selalu...

Me too love orchirds & bonsai.. pernah tanam... tapi tak panjang umur pokok2 tu..kesian...!! hehehe..


Oldstock said...


I'm always puzzled why Singaporeans suka makan kat Singgah Selalu. I've eaten there once and found their service not up to the mark.

I tried to make bonsai using a bunga kertas plant once... tapi give up, takde patience.

Anonymous said...

Singgah's just a convenient makan place that we could find along the way... just a few minutes drive from my home.. minus the jam....

yes, u are right abt the service..


mekyam said...

dear mr oldstock,

alas, i don't have a garden. i live in a highrise, you see. so i make it a point to go to flower shows and visit flower gardens in the parks come spring & summer.

i do have some plants in my apt, but the only flowering ones i have are my two pots of jasmine in the living room. every year from spring to fall they'll flower their hearts out, bless 'em! :D

my other pride is two pots of rose-geraniums. mine don't flower but the beautiful leaves waft a wonderful scent at the slightest brush.

they remind me of my late grandma because it was her favourite plant. the plants are also mosquito repellents. so i have a huge one in the bedroom and another in our home-office.

Bonsai Amy said...

Check out this new bonsai guide I recently got. It's really useful for any type of bonsai lover.
It has illustrations of other bonsai trees from all over as well. It contains knowledge for beginners and experts alike.
I posted the link where I got it from in my name enjoy!
Very nice blog you have here
Your followers will love this link

3yearshousewife said...

My Abah used to have about 200+ of orchids pots. Now reduced to less than 100. Lots been given to friends & families who keep orchids. He said he keeps only the classy orchids now. I remembered all the fuss he went through to keep his orchids lively and perky. Unfortunately,none of us picked up his hobby.

Oldstock said...

3yrs h/wife,

Please introduce me to your abah. Maybe I can get some tips from him.

Anonymous said...

Hello Mr Oldstock,
I wonder if you can help me...
i am trying to find out the name of the orchid in the bottom photo on this page (the white one with a hint of green, 3 rounded petals and 3 pointed ones. Also roughly what size are the flowers?
As its your latest addition i thought you may have a lable with the name on it!
i dont have a account with any of the listed sites for you to reply to, so i hope you can post me a comment in reply. will check back soon!
ps. fantastic photos!

Oldstock said...

Hi Donnya,

Firstly, it is quite surprising that I can still get comments for old posts and I thank you for the interest in my blog. Unfortunately, I can't help you much on your query about the orchid's name.

I do have some orchids in my garden but I'm not the real enthusiast when it comes to names. There was a label at the flower stall where I bought the plant but I didn't pay any attention to it. Very sorry. The bloom is about 2.5 inches.

Apologies for not being much help. There was this blog of an orchid grower that I came across recently that has plenty of pics complete with names of the species. Let me see if I can dig up the blog's name.