Chinese Zodiac is a 12 year cycle. Each year of the 12 year cycle is
named after one of the original 12 animals. Each animal has a different
personality and different characteristics. The animal is believed to be
the main factor in each person's life that gives them their traits,
success, and happiness in their lifetime. A person may not remember the
year he was born, but he definitely what animal he is.
The Chinese zodiac refers to a pure calendrical cycle.
The animals are the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep (ram or goat), monkey, rooster, dog, and boar.
Today, I taught my students of the legend why the cat is not included in the Zodiac.
What is the difference between a mum and an aster?
They look pretty much the same to me.
Actually the Chrysanthemum family has been redivided into several over
the last 10 years or so. But the common mums you are probably thinking
about vary in flower type (cushion, daisy, button, football, spider, and
spoon petal), has a wide range of colors, and plant sizes from compact
to 3' or more (footballs). The leaves are deeply lobed and somewhat
serrated, while the color foliage is an olive to medium green. Bloom
time is early fall. Best if pinched each spring to encourage branching.
Also best if divided every couple of years and replanted.
Asters blooms pretty much fall into the daisy form, most are small, but
some to 2" The color range is more limited with blues, lavenders, and
purples dominant, but pinks and whites also available. The Aster foliage
is darker green, almost a blue green, and usually with a small slender
leaf. There are compact varieties to about 18" but many get 3' or more.
In most areas, they are hardier perennials, requiring less maintenance.
They bloom usually at the end of summer, prior to fall.
Rather than look for my archives of photos of my castor oil bush, I downloaded these three from google. The plant grows very well in Auckland, a very bushy one at Morningside. I was attracted by it's burgundy red which reminds me of a similar plant we used to call false rambutan in Borneo.
When I was young in the 60s, dad grew orchids. One of them was the Golden shower. We didn't value it was it was common. When I grew up, I saw these yellow orchids on display in hotels in Singapore.
The other day, I saw this, the colour was quite unusual. It was only when I got home, that I saw the shape is quite similar to the golden shower, except it is twice the size. My friend tells me it is an oncidium hybrid.
time I watch Jamie Oliver talk about organic farming, I think of Mum
and her farming. When we were little, we used to collect this
Tradescantia plant, chop it up and feed it to our ducklings. We called
this plant "Duckling grass." or ARP ZAI CHO.
in my garden, and makes me wish I can rear ducklings in my own back
yard, the way Mum did in Borneo. My colleagues told me to catch some at
***I took my new friend W. from Hong
Kong to Western Springs. She was frightened by the geese and swans.
Tradescantia grows very fast and ismajor plant pest when it has escaped
into bush land,
A member of the spiderwort family, tradescantia flumensis is native to
South America; its name commemorates the discoverer of the species, John
Tradescant, a 16th century English naturalist, gardener, and intrepid
The succulent green stems and oval leaves of this plant are accompanied
by simple white flowers, but no seeds are produced. Instead, the tiniest
stem or leaf is capable of sprouting leaves, and forming a new plant
which grows rapidly.
Tradescantia plants thrive in solid shade and form a dense mat
completely inhibiting the survival of native plant seedlings or ferns.
I grew it in my worm farm in school, and it has pushed out the lid. The
kids love it.
Chen Jie Xue 陈洁雪
I am the writer of:
1: From China to Borneo and beyond. 海外华人的中国魂:
2: Diary of a Bereaved Mother, Goodbye my baby 丧儿记:
Genre: Non fiction, self help, bereavement, infancy death
Available in New Zealand at:
Women's Bookshop, University Bookshop, Auckland, Church of Christ Bookshop, Online orders: Wheeler books,Fishpond.co.nz ,academybooks.co.nz/product/isbn/9780473187095/
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