Sunday, May 9, 2010

This blog is no longer active. Pls visit new blog.

Dear readers,

Due to a technical error, this blog is no longer active. It will be deleted in a month's time. Please visit or follow me in my new blog. The new blog houses the same posts in addition to new ones on rose growing in Malaysia. Visit my new blog at

Thank you for visiting.


Kepada pembaca budiman,

Atas kesilapan teknikal, blog ini tidak lagi aktif. Ia akan dipadamkan dalam tempoh sebulan dari sekarang. Sila lawat dan ikuti saya di blog baru. Blog baru memuatkan paparan yg sama di samping paparan terbaru mengenai penanaman ros di Malaysia. Sila lawat blog baru di

Terima kasih kerana berkujung.

- Rough Rose

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

A bouquet for a day

My intention was purely to deadhead spent-flowers so that I could carry the routine thrips insecticide spraying.

TIP 1: It is one of the best practices to deadhead all blooms before spraying as the tiny droplets of the spray solution often miss the inside of the blooms. Inside the many and thick layers of petals, always is the best home for thrips.

TIP 2: Usually I would quickly toss the flowers away in a plastic bag and close it at once so the thrips clinging to the flowers would have no chance of escaping to thin air. It is indeed alarming that 1 single adult thrips can produce up to 200-300 of eggs. A garden can easily be infested by merely few dozens thrips.

Lovely distraction

But my intention was distracted as I was cutting the flower one by one. Instead of putting them in a plastic bag like I always do, I hold them in a bouquet fashion on my left hand. My thought was I’ll soon get a plastic bag on my way to the other side of the garden. It is always better to put away the flower in the plastic bag as soon as it is cut but I was slightly lazy that day.

I was captivated by how beautiful the bouquet was as I added more and more flowers and later cancelled the idea of putting them in a plastic bag. Well, at least until I was done savoring the beauty and taking shots of the masterpiece.

TIP 3: If your garden is free from thrips or its heavy infestation, using your spent flowers as cut flowers can be a pretty good idea. The flowers do not have to be half open as needed to like true cut flowers, they can be full blown or almost spent. This way, you can have longer bloom time in the garden but also a bouquet for a day.

Least distracted

The splash of colors and my 9-months old daughter sleeping in the background.

"Roses are red my love, violets are blue, sugar is sweet my love, but not as sweet as you"

Bobby Vinton - Roses Are Red

Surprise! Twin blooms

Last week, one of my roses surprised me with twin blooms.

It was the first time I have seen such in my garden after years of growing and caring for so many different varieties of roses. I felt privileged to have seen it with my very own eyes. The blooms were weird looking but they were nothing but a pretty sight.

Chances that it will happen again in my garden are very much slim. So, I took pleasure to have lived in such moments by taking lots of pictures.

The rose tree that I was referring to is my hot orange miniature rose.

What causes a rose bud to split and form twin blooms?

I kept asking myself this question for days. So, I visited few websites and tried to uncover for myself the science behind it. I found there are few causes to such occurrence:

Random mutation

  • A random mutation can occur during bud formation process. It could be triggered by a sudden weather change hence the randomness. It could also be triggered by the effect of certain fertilizer or the change in dosage.

Genetic mutation

  • Some varieties of roses are more prone to genetic mutation as compared to others.

Herbicide / Insecticide effect

  • Damage can also occur during bud formation process, caused by the use of herbicide or insecticide. However, I ruled out this possibility as my insecticide spraying routine hasn’t changed since last month. It wasn’t the frequency of spraying or the concentration of the solution either.

Disease spread by mites / insects

  • A mutation can also caused by a disease spread by mites or insects, that caused the plant to produce excessive growth or distortion.

My best guess would be the result of random mutation caused by sudden weather change.

I noticed my garden has been receiving plenty of downpours since the beginning of the month. The downpours usually occurred at about 2 pm or 3 pm every day when the day’s heat was still at it's peak. In the previous month, the downpours always occurred very late in the evening.



Saturday, April 3, 2010

Looking at why my 1st rose plant died

My first rose plant died because I didn't have the right knowledge in caring for it for the first few weeks after I brought it home. It's as simple as that.

Many of us forgotten that a plant is simply a living thing, much the same as if you bring a puppy home.

When you bring a puppy home, you study the many things that are required for its survival and subsequently, prepare for its arrival. You learn about what it eats and when, where it sleeps, when to bathe it and how, and so on so forth.

As a plant may be easily replaceable, we often pay less attention to details pertaining to its survival for the first few weeks in our home. We often lured by its beauty that we urge ourselves to own it at once but fail to own the responsibility of caring for it for the next few important days of its life.

TIP: It's vital to know how to care for a plant during its first 3 weeks in our home.

So, I kept on buying new roses to replace the ones that died, but soon after they too followed the same footstep. Each and every time I had new ones, I blindly tried new methods of caring in hope that one method will eventually work.

After countless trials and painfully watching my roses died again and again, I began to understand one simple thing. That one thing was to begin fresh with just understanding the basics. Once I did that, my roses thrived.

My mistakes were:

  1. I didn't know where my roses came from. The treatment would have been different to ease the shock and stress due to change of environment.
  2. I didn't study the location where I placed my roses to ensure adequate sunlight and at the same time protected it from being too stressful under the intense Malaysia sunlight.
  3. I didn’t know when to water, how much to water and how to water such a young plant.
  4. I didn’t know when to fertilize and how much to fertilize.
TIP: Roses are plants too! Learn their 3 basic needs- water, nutrition/fertilizer and sunlight.

Friday, April 2, 2010

My first rose plant

I bought my first rose plant when I was shopping for a furniture. Go figure!

The magnet in roses

Roses have this super power of captivating you in a certain way which you can’t never quite explain. That makes you return to the racks where they display them so you grab a pot of the healthiest looking, full of blooms at their best and many more buds of promises of even greater and more blooms.

They smell intoxicating when you stick your nose in. They blind you with their exotic colors and perfect form. They simply make you a special person by just owning them.

Well, at least that was what I felt when I grabbed my first pot.

Never a gardener but a plant serial killer

Back then, I was not a gardener. What I had for a plant is the idea of having a plant. I had a cactus as I recalled, but even then, I almost killed it few times if not for my husband who seemed to care for it better than I did.

When I purchased my first rose, my aim was simple that was to have roses in my garden, that's all. But never I imagined that it changed me in a way that I never truly have expected. It was not my gardening skills that changed but it was my attitude!

It taught me to remain positive and never give-up.

It taught me about respect and love.

My first rose plant was a striped rose, a miniature which I purchased from IKEA. It died shortly, after 3 weeks in my care.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Terkena racun ros melalui kisah dongeng?

Dulu saya bukanlah seorang yang minat berkebun.

Entah bagaimana saya boleh jatuh cinta, ataupun dengan kata lain 'terkena racun' ros pun saya tidak tahu. Yang pastinya sekarang saya telah mempunyai 70 jenis ros di halaman rumah dan tidak syak lagi bilangan itu semakin bertambah daripada tahun ke tahun.

Kenapa saya begitu sekali meminati bunga ros? Mungkin kerana termakan dek kepopularitian bunga ini yang digembar-gemburkan oleh media barat dan adanya kaitan (association) dengan lambang cinta dan kisah-kisah romantik yang sememangnya secara tidak langsung memberi kesan yang mendalam terhadap tahap minat seseorang.

Tetapi bilakah 'racun' ini bermula atau berlaku ke atas diri saya?

Teori racun

Saya mempunyai satu teori mengenai tentang bagaimana saya terkena racun ros (haha! teori melalut... layan saja) Saya rasa saya telah secara separa sedar dipukau daripada sejak kecil lagi tentang keindahan bunga ros ini.

Saya terpukau oleh enchanting moments cerita-cerita dongeng (fairytales) yang memuatkan bunga ros sebagai isian terpenting cerita ataupun yang menambahkan lagi keindahan cerita itu sendiri.

Contohnya seperti;

Beauty and the Beast
  • Beauty meminta ayahnya membawa pulang sekuntum mawar putih sebagai tanda kasih
  • Masa yang diberikan kepada Beast untuk mencari cinta sejati diabadikan dalam bentuk sekuntum mawar merah yang magical.
  • Beast menunggu kepulangan Beauty di taman mawar putih kesukaan Beauty

Sleeping Beauty
  • Puteri yang lahir diberi nama Briar Rose
  • Mawar liar memenuhi dan menutupi istana selepas Briar Rose ditidurkan

Snow White
  • Wajah Snow White yang diumpamakan putih cerah dan bibir merah bak mawar merah menyala

Dan mungkin beberapa lagi cerita yang saya kurang ingat dan tidak berapa pasti.

Daripada cerita-cerita dongeng masa kecil sebeginilah saya telah menyimpan angan bahawa pada satu hari nanti saya akan dapat bersiar-siar dan bermain di dalam taman ros yang sebegitu rupa, seperti yang digambarkan melalui lukisan-lukisan dalam buku-buku tersebut.

Hakikatnya, apabila dewasa angan-angan itu masih ada dan serupa, tetapi aplikasinya telah berubah. Saya meluahkan keghairahan yang sama tetapi dengan menghasilkan taman bunga ros daripada usaha dan titik peluh sendiri. Bukan sahaja bunga ros yang berkembangan di laman menjadi kepuasan, tetapi berkebun juga menjadi sesuatu yang menenangkan jiwa.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Rahsia kenapa ramai orang menyukai ros

Saya sering bertanya apakah yang menarik minat saya menyukai bunga ini sebenarnya?

Sejak bila pula bunga ros meraih populariti dan mendapat tempat dihati orang ramai dan sejak bila pula ros menjadi begitu sempurna sekali hingga dimertabatkan sebagai lambang cinta?

Mungkin jawapan terhadap persoalan saya tentang bagaimana saya meminati akan bunga ini akan terjawab sekiranya saya juga mendapat jawapan bagi soalan diatas.

Menilik sejarah

Yang pasti, manusia telah meminati dan memuja bunga ini sejak berkurun lamanya iaitu sejak 5,000 tahun yang lampau. Ini terbukti dengan penemuan fosil-fosil dan lakaran yang mempunyai corak bunga ros.

Manakala orang Roman pula menanam bunga ros untuk kerabat diraja mereka yang amat memuja bunga ini. Ia digunakan untuk apa jua situasi dan keadaan daripada sebagai hiasan meja makan, ramuan mandian, wangian, confetti hinggalah sebagai herba. Ia sungguh berharga pada masa itu sehinggakan masyarakat Rome telah mengalami kebuluran apabila pengusaha ladang lebih cenderung menanam bunga ros dari menanam tanaman makanan.

Dari pemerhatian saya, mungkin ramai yang tertarik menyukai ros kerana beberapa sebab:

  1. kerana kecantikan kelopaknya yang tersusun sempurna
  2. kerana wangiannya yang menusuk kalbu
  3. kerana durinya yang tajam yang juga membawa maksud 'aku bukan calang-calang bunga; hati-hati jika menyentuhku'; sifat yang hanya dimiliki oleh si ratu sahaja
  4. kerana rupa bentuknya (kelopak, duri, dll) yang ketara yang menyebabkan ia cukup senang dikenali dan diingati berbanding bunga-bunga yang lain
  5. bunga ros seperti mempunyai jiwa (roh)nya yang tersendiri
  6. kerana ada lebih daripada 30,000 jenis ros di dunia ini dan bilangannya bertambah daripada tahun ke tahun; pastinya ada satu ros yang disukai untuk setiap orang
  7. kerana bunga ros mempunyai bermacam-macam warna dan juga kombinasi warna yang begitu luas

Atau mungkin juga atas sebab-sebab lain yang masih belum tersingkap.

Kepopularitian ros

Tetapi yang saya pasti, ros mempunyai daya kekuatan dan tarikannya yang tersendiri jika dibandingkan dengan bunga-bunga yang lain, sekaligus meraih tempat sebagai bunga yang paling sesuai untuk membawa maksud 'cinta'.

Dan yang paling jelas, kepopularitian ros pula digembar-gemburkan oleh mereka yang meminatinya melalui beberapa laluan expresi yang kita sedia ketahui:

  1. kaitannya sebagai bunga pembawa lambang cinta; sekuntum bunga ros melambangkan 'I Love You'
  2. lakaran seni dan puisi indah nan romantis
  3. menghauskan poket di Hari Valentine sehinggakan ketiadaan sejambak ros untuk si dia bermakna 'kurang bemakna' hari itu
  4. keindahan taman bunga ala-ala English garden
  5. lagu-lagu yang merdu dan puitis

Emm.. apa yang menarik minat anda terhadap bunga ini?
Kongsilah dengan saya sebab-sebab anda ya!