Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Lemon grass

When I needed lemon grass stalks for curry last weekend, I checked out every single vegetable stall in the wet market to find the freshest bunch. Whilst I don't need the best for my dish, I wanted the best looking ones for my garden.

Sure enough, I found one bundle with succulent stems. Two stalks went into my curry, the rest were plonked into a vase.

It's funny how the inner stems started growing taller the very same day. At the end of 4 days, new roots have already formed at the base. The thought of having my very own lemon grass patch in the patio makes me very happy.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

My poor veggies

This morning, my lettuce and xiao bai cai were a picture of health. When I got home from work, they looked like a wreck. I can only guess they've been ravaged by the heavy downpour. The delicate leaves are battered beyond repair. Sigh.

Guess where they all ended up? I managed to salvage some good lettuce leaves for my tuna sandwich while the rest ended up being fed to the worms in the compost bin.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Whimsical flower pots

When I saw these handpainted ceramic pots from Thailand, I couldn't resist taking them home. Now they sit prettily on my window ledge.

Oh, how they brighten up the room and bring a smile to my face.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Mulberries & dragon fruits

We've had this mulberry fruit tree in our farm for years yet nobody bothers to harvest the fruits. I only took notice when I found my gardening friends discussing about this in their blogs. We have a goldmine in the backyard without even realising it. I climbed on a ladder and picked some ripe mulberries. Oh, they were sweet!

Here are some photos which are blurry because I can't seem to focus properly perched on the ladder.

They are even growing on the low branches.

So many dragon fruits too!

I planted a pagoda plant seedling years ago and now we have a yard full of them.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Egg plants are blooming

After seeing how successful the farmer near my parent's place is with his eggplants, I had been egging on the flowering success of the ones in my patio. I've been keeping them happy with a healthy diet of chicken manure and enough water, now they're rewarding me with pretty flowers. Not one, but all of them are doing their best to keep me happy.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Nifty watering can

I don't buy sweet drinks at home except for the occasional bottle of blackcurrant cordial. It's lovely to enjoy a cup of icy cold Ribena after working out in the garden. I wasn't too pleased to find the recent price hike though. From $10.50, a 2-litre bottle now costs $13! It's a big jump.

To further stretch its value, I converted the plastic bottle into a nifty watering can. Aren't my plants lucky to get showered with blackcurrant scented water?

Monday, April 13, 2009

Crude trellis

My cucumber and soybean plants are growing so rapidly, I find myself in dire need of a trellis, pronto.

I gathered some old bamboo poles chopped from my bamboo trees months ago and fashioned a crude trellis. To hold everything together, it's cable ties to the rescue again. This happens when a girl can't tie a knot to save her life. I think cable ties are the best invention ever!

Looking at the crooked and somewhat goofy trellis, I feel a sense of accomplishment. I know, it sticks out like a sore thumb in my patio but it does the job for now. Well, it's not pretty but at least it is eco-friendly.

Soon these little babies will be climbing all over the skinny poles.

Did I tell you my eggplants are flowering? The flowers are in a pretty shade of lilac.

Eggplants in a row.

Here's a resurrected cycad. For years, it was hanging on the most awkward corner of the railings, exposed to the harsh sun and deprived of water. I finally brought it down to join the rest of the plants. Now that it is receiving more TLC and daily showers, the shoots are beginning to show again.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Worm bin

I finally made my worm bin yesterday. Composting with worms is great for gardeners without a big yard space. By feeding vegetable scraps, fruit peel and other organic material to the worms, you'll end up with nutrient rich worm castings which will make plants grow really well.

Instead of buying the ready made composters in the market, I bought a garbage can, drilled some holes so the worms can breathe and we're ready to go. Only thing is, worms are not readily available here but I know where to get them. Watch out wormies, here I come!

Monday, April 6, 2009

New seedlings

I bought a bunch of seeds from Known You last week. When I sowed the seeds this time, I chose not to label them so I'll have fun guessing when they germinate.

Jugding from the size, this must be a soybean seedling. It will produce hairy pods with 2-3 big. Barring any unforseen circumstances, I should be harvesting soybeans in about 70 days. I love eating the freshly steamed ones in Japanese restaurants.

These three could be cucumber seedlings. The variety I picked is an attractive one with deep green fruits with smooth surface and small seed cavity. The flesh is thick, crisp and sweet. The rind is very thin.

I was so excited to find spring onion seeds at last. In the past, I had grown them from bulbs. Look at how cute the seedlings are! They're like needles.

Here are some of the existing plants in my garden. This coriander simply refuses to grow up!

The butterhead lettuce is growing slowly but steadily.

The spinach should be ready for harvest in a few days time. I don't want to make the same mistake like before when I waited too long until the stems became woody.

That looks like a flower bud on my egg plant! The fertiliser I applied over the weekend must be working.

Even the giant red spider lily plant is flowering. Not one but 2 buds on the same plant! Somehow the flowers always come out slightly defective unlike their white cousins.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Around the neighbourhood

I brought my camera while I was out walking Rusty this morning and shot many things that we came across.

Mangosteen tree.

Black cat under the mangosteen tree.

Many more cats along the way.



Spider lily.

Water plant.

Are these frangipani flowers pretty?

They almost look like they're painted.


After seeing cabbage being grown in temperate climates like Taiwan, I thought it would be impossible to grow them in our tropical climate. I was so wrong!

When I was at a fish farm this morning, I saw big cabbage plants scattered all over the yard. They're not even planted in special soil or given extra care and attention, yet they're thriving so well. I'm so impressed, it's going to be my next project.