Hello all.

I have moved to a new home! Thank you for your visit, even though I haven't been updating this blog I still manage to get more than 40 hits in one day.


The new webpage can be accessed here.

Eat well, exercise when you can, and take care of your loved ones.


Lyneham Wetland, Canberra

A community park is a very desirable place in a neighborhood. Rapid developments especially in city centers have caused more and more buildings to be built causing less and less public open spaces. People depend on community parks as a place for retreat, exercise and recreation. The role of public community parks is becoming more important as people are more aware of their health status. 

The closest community park to where I live in Lyneham, Canberra is the Lyneham Wetland. This constructed wetland is relatively new. Only recently the sign describing features of this park was built. I consider myself lucky as i get to see the growth of this wetland for the next three years. 

This wetland carries 3 purpose-- as a wetland, as a park and it connects the cycling path throughout Canberra. Canberra has an excellent bicycle/footpath that connects several suburbs right to the city, and i use this path everyday to get to school. 

The main purpose of this wetland is to improve the quality of urban stormwater in the Sullivans Creek Catchment. It harvests the stormwater network at the inner north part and also captures runoff from surrounding suburbs. As designers, it is important to understand groundwater flow and identifying the best location to be turn into a stormwater catchment. Improper planning and poor analysis can result in inefficient design of water bodies and can further worsen a flashflood effect. I went for a stroll with my little man and captured some photos of the site.

[1] View of the (almost) the entire lake. The banks of the lake are connected by a bridge that overlooks the ducks swimming in it. There are several signs that says-- do not feed the birds. Feeding a wildlife animal can result it these animals being dependent at humans, making them lazy to find food for themselves.

[2] View of the bridge

[3] The bridge is wide enough for a wheelchair, making it accessible for everyone. I reckon the slope degree also to the benefit of wheelchair users.

[4] View from one of the bench located throughout the site. The developer uses plant species that resembles a real wetland. This can also help lessen maintenance cost as use of plants that need proper maintenance increases cost.

[5] Another view of the lake

[6] Information on the lake and features it has. 

[7] View of the wetland wall (flume), designed to divert high flows through the wetland and prevent build up of excess sediments and nutrients. There is even a sensor installed to detect oxygen levels. If it drops, it triggers a water mixer to begin re-circulating water in the wetland.

[8] The main drainage into the wetland, which may cause high flows into the wetland, thus having the wetland wall.

[9] Earlier in May 2014, there was a tree planting program, open for people living around this park. If only I knew there was such program, I would definitely join it.

[10] The bicycle path that leads to the city center.

[11] About 3 months ago, some workers modified the main drain that leads to this lake. I'm not sure what those two holes are for, so if you know what it is, please leave a comment :)

[12] One of the signage at this area. This one is located at the bridge, saying no cycling on the bridge.

[13] Signage indicating distance and direction for users.

[14] The path. With my son as the model ;)

[15] Of course, where there is a park, there is a playground.

Rhodanthe anthemoides

Scientific name : Rhodanthe anthemoides
Common name : Chamomile Sunray
Location : Botanical Garden, Canberra ACT
* perennial, Asteraceae

Prunus spp.

Scientific name : Prunus spp.
Common name : Sakura, cherry blossom
Location : Australian National University, Canberra.

Tulipa spp.

Tulips! I should have upload this last 2 months. It was the Floriade Festival at Australia. Thousands of Tulips, vast variety of colours and widespread arrangements. Back in Malaysia, Tulips can be found only during special flower fests of at labs. There are more than 70 wild species and 

Scientific name : Tulipa spp.
Common name : Tulip
Location : Canberra, ACT, Australia

Water feature at Australia's National Portrait Gallery

It has been so long since my last update. Few months back, I was busy packing for Australia and once I have arrived I was busy settling down. I have been here since end of August and frankly, I am still adjusting and settling down. 

Today we went to the National Portrait Gallery. We arrived quite late but manage to enjoy the exhibition. The building's design was modern with wonderful cement render finish that I always admire. Nothing compliments a modern building better than a water feature. The water feature complimented the lush greenery surrounding the gallery and softens the harshness of the concrete building. 

The purpose of the National Portrait Gallery is to increase the understanding and appreciation of the Australian people – their identity, history, culture, creativity and diversity – through portraiture.

Next visit will be the National Museum, hopefully :)

At the end of the water feature, the catchment is equipped with wire mesh, trapping leaves and any solids.

The arrangement of tiles are repeated inside the water feature.

The ripples of the water creates soothing music for the area.

The water feature is tiered, and there is no stagnant water.

Entrance to the gallery.

The water feature from the main road.

Pruning gone wrong

Sad to say, this is a frequently seen scenario happened here, is our country. Plants that are pruned the wrong way. Even worse, pruning plants that are NOT supposed to be pruned. That is why it is so important for Landscape Architect or even home owners to know about the plants they want to use in their garden. Even if the home owner is not an expert, at least inquire information from the nursery owner about the plants they about to buy. No hurt in gaining extra knowledge, right? I was on my way to a wedding when we passed by this house. Immediately I ask my husband to capture this image.

What is pruning? How important is pruning? There are dozens of articles about these topics, please read them for better understanding.

Pruning is essentially the act of discarding old plant materials to allow the plant's resources to build new growth. This ongoing procedure will make a garden or landscape get stronger and stronger. Some people prune their plants to control its growth. Some because they want to shape their plants to certain shapes (topiary). Some of the techniques in pruning includes thinning cuts, heading cuts, pinching and shearing. 

What ever the reason, we have to understand the nature of the plants around us - how it grows, how fast it grows etc. We may not be expert is plants and how to maintain/prune them, but with a little reading, it can really help. 

Hymenocallis caribaea

Scientific name: Hymenocallis caribaea
Common name : Spider Lily
Location : Taman Botani, Putrajaya, MY

Ludwigia sedioides

Scientific name : Ludwigia sedioides
Common name : Mosaic flower
Location : Serdang, Selangor, MY

I just love the geometric character of this plant. The spread of its leaves is perfectly aligned to form a very interesting pattern on the water surface. It requires full sun or part shade. It is easy to grow and is a beautiful container plant. From an internet source, it was mentioned that this plant have yellow flowers I have yet to see.

Wisma Selangor Dredging

Every student that have the intention to pursue education outside of Malaysia must take a special English language exam. There are two types of exam. TOEFL or IELTS. I took my IELTS exam last week at British Council, KL. The Britich Council office is located at Wisma Selangor Dredging- a beautiful 4 block building with a courtyard. The ambience of the place is very cooling and relaxing. Wisma Selangor Dredging is a commercial office building, nestled along Jalan Ampang. 

I managed to take just a few photos of the courtyard area because I was busy enjoying myself there :)

 View from the British Council towards the courtyard. The water feature gives a very welcoming (sense of welcoming) and cooling effect. 

 Palms, Palas, Spider Lily and spiderwort. Even though a courtyard receives sunlight, we have to remember- tall buildings allows a brief dash of sunlight. It means, no flowering plants is suggested to be planted in the site. As can be seen here, the plants chosen are green and plants that need shade.

Surprisingly, I spotted a tropical swallowtail moth. I wonder how it got here.

Thaumatococcus daniellii. 

A dash of sunlight at around 11a.m. 

The water feature ensures high humidity level around this area. The aerial roots of this Ficus helps collect water and nutrients. 

Refreshingly cool. At the British Council, apart from english exams, they also held English classes for kids and even for adults. So if you feel the need to improve your English, this is a very nice place to study.

Tradescantia zebrina or spiderwort. It took me quite a while to recall its name.

This plant gives an interesting dash of purple amidst the green in the courtyard.

Cobble stone paving completes the look of this courtyard.