Sunday, June 28, 2009

Let them bolt!

Remember the lettuce we were growing in our green house? Here's what they looked like one month ago.

Since we did not harvest them for eating, we decided to let them bolt so we could collect the seeds. They look like christmas trees now!

Most of them have flowers and seeds. Aren't they pretty against the sunset?

I pulled out a radish that I grew in a flower pot. It's still rather small despite growing in a pot for months.

Being located in the north-western part of Singapore, we get to enjoy beautiful sunsets at my parent's farm.

The dragon fruit plants never fail to impress us! This is a bumper crop!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Small is beautiful

I decided to get rid of all my eggplants this weekend. The plants are stunted because of unhealthy roots but I'm glad I managed to harvest one small brinjal for my months of effort.

I trimmed my frangipani plant because it's growing too tall and straggly. A gardener never lets anything go to waste, so I chopped the branches into smaller pieces and repotted them. I hope they will sprout new shoots and grow into bushy frangipani trees.

Beauty is everywhere if you know where to look. I found lots of little flowers in my garden today, from the sunny yellow portalucca to the delicate flowers of weeds. They may be tiny but they're all beautiful.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

More colours

We found the garden a wee bit too green, so we added a couple of flowering plants over the weekend. Now we've got yellow, pink, red and orange blooms to wake up to everyday!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Roselle plant

Finally, I bought myself a roselle plant today, one that's laden with fruits too. I could use the fruits to make a tangy drink rich in vitamin C and anthocyanins. In the Philippines, the leaves are an important ingredient in many dishes. It's known for its medicinal values too.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Laden with fruits

The plants at my parent's place are always laden with so many fruits, my little patio garden looks quite pathetic in comparison. Well, the good thing is, we get to eat what my dad harvests. The more he grows, the better it is for us!

Lady's fingers.

I didn't even know we have a custard apple plant.

We have more than enough papayas for sure.

Even the soursop plant is flowering!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

R.I.P. Cucumber

I woke up one morning to find my cucumber plant and fruit lying on the floor after a heavy downpour. The strong winds had blown it off the trellis. After that, all 3 plants started to do badly. The leaves turned brown and the vines were drying up, clinging sadly onto the trellis. They just looked pathetic.

I harvested the (one and only) fruit, removed the dying plants and replaced them with chilli seedlings. Now the garden looks neat again.

What about the cucumber? It's now in my tummy. I made a salsa using cucumber, tomato, onions, chilli padi and shallots. For the dressing, I used truffle oil, balsamic vinegar, black pepper and a pinch of sugar and salt.

Cucumber eaten on its own can be quite bland, but when made into a salsa, it rocks!

Friday, June 5, 2009


I've been growing gloxinia for many years now. I was initially attracted to the beautiful blooms, but over the years, I realise they're hardy and resilient. They thrive in a cool and shady environment, making them perfect as an indoor plant. This gloxinia in my office is more than 3 years old, yet it produces beautiful flowers to our fascination.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

The joy of gardening

In the past, gardening to me meant buying plants from the nursery, taking them home and watching them grow under my care.

Nowadays I derive more joy from watching a tiny seed grow into a big plant. All you need is soil and some knowledge. I get immense satisfaction when I see plants growing healthily and producing flowers and fruits. It's hard to imagine how a miniature seed can grow into a robust plant. Oh, the wonders of nature!

This mulberry plant grew from a small stem cutting from my parent's mulberry tree. It's probably less than 3 months old but it's looking good and strong already.

These are lychee plants that I sowed after eating lychees. I know they don't grow in hot and humid climate but who knows? They may do well in my shady and cool patio.

The eggplant is growing rather quickly. It's such a pretty shade of purple, I wouldn't bear to eat it. There's only one, so again, it's going to be difficult to cook just one eggplant. We'll see...

After cutting up some chilli in the kitchen that day, I tossed the seeds into my planter box and ended up with a whole bunch of seedlings. Now I have two dozen baby plants in my patio. Oh, I'm going to end up with an endless supply of chilli!

I gathered some seeds from the periwinkle in our estate's garden some months ago. Now I have periwinkle flowers in the patio all the time. They, in turn, are producing seeds of their own which I scatter in the pots for regrowth.

These are watercress seedlings which I grew from seeds. They're such delicate and slow growers, they should do well in the protected environment of a terrarium.

The ones below are bigger seedlings sown some weeks back. I had almost forgotten about them until I found them tucked away beneath the shady palm tree.

There's something else that I like about gardening. It's sharing amongst gardeners. That day, Petunia gave me some chamomile seedlings and dandelion seeds. Sadly, the chamomile didn't make it. They have died within two days under my care. I suspect the delicate seedlings were killed during a heavy downpour that morning. I have sown the dandelion seeds and can't wait to see them germinate.

When I was at my friend Steph's place yesterday, something familiar caught my eye. She has a planter box full of pretty red flowers. The name of this plant suddenly slipped my mind but she reminded me that they were from me. Ah, I had given her some young plants years ago and now they're thriving under her care.

Now it is her turn to give me some. My garden needs more colours, so I took these young shoots home (below). I hope to nurture them into an attractive patch in the shady corner of my garden.

Isn't gardening wonderful? It's even better if you have friends to share the joy with. If not, a pet who appreciates gardening (like Rusty) is fine too.

I shall leave you with a lovely spider lily blooming in my garden today. It has just emerged, so it is in the most perfect condition at this moment. When the sun comes up, the petals will start to become limpy and weak, so enjoy it while it is at its best!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Happy gardener

Finally, after months of waiting, I am proud to present my eggplant's first fruit!

The soybean plants are working hard too. I have more than 20 bean pods from the 3 small plants.

The cucumber has grown bigger. At one time, all I had were male flowers. The situation has reversed. Now that I have no partners for my 3 female flowers, they are starting to shrivel up and die. Thank goodness I had successfully pollinated one!