Sunday, January 4, 2015

Revival

  
With the year end downpours, my garden is turning into a jungle. Besides the annoying weeds showing up everywhere, I'm also very amused to see other plants appearing out of nowhere. These were plants that I had grown over the years but were long gone. They have revived!

I've got a few snakeweed shoots growing strong. They can grow into huge plants! Oh no, I don't have the space for them.
 This weed called common asystasia is growing all over my garden. They're fast growers but thank goodness, are easy to get rid of as well due to the shallow roots.
















I love it when periwinkle flowers peek out here and there in my garden. They grow easily from the seeds dispersed and needless to say, they're a common sight in my garden.
This passiflora foetida (we called them chow pok in our childhood) is suddenly growing furiously in my garden. It is creeping all over my plants but I'm hesitant to remove it because the fruits attract birds. I'm pretty sure this plant is propogated by birds as I've never had this plant growing in my garden before.
 My son brought back some bidens seed years ago and this seed has never stopped flourishing in my garden. They can grow into large plants with lots of flowers which attract butterflies.
 I used to have the ceylon spinach growing years ago. For some reason, this new plant suddenly sprouted in one corner. I never quite knew what to do with this plant until I ate the leaves fried in spicy sambal in Jakarta.
When I spotted this singular leaf, I was so happy. I used to grow this plant (angel's wing?) some years ago but it didn't survive for long. The roots are still healthy which explains this sudden sprout.
 This is another long forgotten plant that I used to have which completely dissappeared eventually. One new leaf has popped up. Hope it will mutiply and flourish again.
 The most common plant growing in my garden now is Thai basil. The seeds from the plants  scatter everywhere and I'm blessed with so many basil plants that I can make basil chicken anytime I want.
 My mint plants have also multiplied. They're easy to propagate through stem cuttings. Simply snip and poke them in the soil. They thrive in wet and shady corners.
Eversince I poked some sweet potato stems in a pot, they have never stopped growing. The leaves are so pretty and they're delicious fried in spicy sambal. They grow effortlessly too.

 Finally, the episias are thriving in the shade. The leaves burn under the sun, but when they find the right spot away from direct sunlight, they're such a pretty sight to behold. These plants multiply quickly and will flower even without much care.


Sunday, December 21, 2014

Cabbage head troubles

My first attempt at growing cabbage has turned out to be quite a success. The heads are already forming and they look gorgeous.

But when I went to take a peek at them yesterday, my heart almost broke into two. Two heads were infested and nibbled. There were thousands of tiny green eggs inside. I'm not sure what bug they belong to but I doused the heads with plenty of water and then smeared minced garlic all over to prevent future infestation. Not sure if this will work though.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Lemon balm surprise

















Look at the lemon balm! You wouldn't believe they were almost dead and bald just 2 months ago. I saved them from the trash bin and plonked them in a large pot in a corner of my patio.

They continued to look miserable for weeks. I almost gave up on them and even stopped looking that way. Then yesterday, I was shocked to see how lush they have become! The rainy weather must have done wonders to the dying plants. I'm so thrilled that they're doing so well.

If you have never grown lemon balm before, you're really missing out. The leaves, when rubbed, smell zesty and so refreshing, just like a lemon. If you're wondering what you can do with the leaves, this blogger has all the answers for you - 12 things to do with lemon balm.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Cabbage in Singapore

I feel like showing off my cabbage because they can be difficult to grow in our hot weather.

They've been growing in my pot for a couple of months and are just beginning to look like cabbage now.  They're so pretty, they really are the show stealers in my garden. I doubt I have the heart to eat them when they're ready.



Rocket is the best






















If you can manage to grow rocket (arugula) successfully, treat them well and you'll get to harvest the leaves for a long time.

The plants I have are already many months old and they're still going strong. New leaves will grow as you cut the old ones. In fact, I tend to forget to harvest them until the leaves are so big and peppery.

I like to add them to my pizza for that extra kick.Needless to say, they are great in salads too.

Sunflower

When I was at our neighbourhood pet shop recently, I asked for a handful of sunflower seeds. These are big ones that are used to feed hamsters and guinea pigs.

I sowed them in a pot and even though several of them germinated, only one managed to do well. Due to the size of my pot, the plant grew to about my height and produced a beautiful flower.

For an entire week, the flower gave me so much joy each time I looked out the door. It was prettiest in the mornings when the gentle sun lit up the petals.





















Now, all the beautiful petals have fallen off and the bees and ants are busy doing the pollinating work. I'm just waiting to collect the seeds so I can grow a field of them!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Swiss Chard

Lately I have been having great fun growing lots of exotic vegetables. Those living in temperate climate might not understand the fuss about growing vegetables like swiss chard or beet in our hot and humid weather but I like the challenge.

I know we don't really eat kholrabi here but that didn't stop me from growing them. The red kholrabi grew so well in my garden!

Currently I am growing kale, red beet and swiss chard. What I have noticed is they grow really slowly. I'm not sure if it has anything to do with the heat, but I find that the best way to overcome this problem is to harvest them when young.

In fact, growing babygreens has many advantages. You don't need much space as they can be grown on shallow trays. Growing them as baby greens also mean you do not need to deal with pests as they can be harvested in 2 weeks. They can be organically grown too.

The photo below is swiss chard that is ready for harvest.