Thursday, April 29, 2010

Veggie update

Thanks to plenty of rain, my garden is looking lush and green again. It's pretty good timing really because the press was here recently to do a feature on vegetable growers. Thankfully my plants looked green and healthy, I didn't have to dig a hole in the ground to hide my face.

I've always been passionate about growing things and I'm reluctant to throw seeds or cuttings away. You can find lychee and bittergourd plants, sweet potato vine and yam all over my garden. I even grow aquarium plants that my son discarded from his tank.

Some of the bittergourd vines that were so healthy last week are beginning to show signs of distress. I often have trouble with keeping vines in a container. They look so good one day and just wither and die the next. I hope some of the bittergourd plants (below) will survive and bear me some fruits!

I have a pot of chives in my garden too. It's not easy to grow chives from seeds. The ones I have were dug out from my dad's vegetable patch. I like the idea of harvesting my own home grown chive for eating.

The sweet potato cuttings have also flourished into an attractive plant. If you want a hardy, dummy-proof plant that won't die on you, try growing sweet potato vines (below).

The lettuce are doing better than I had expected. The ones below with a reddish tinge is Red Rapid.

These skinny ones below are Georgia lettuce.

These are basil seedlings that I sowed some weeks ago from the seeds given by my friend. It's the first time I am growing basil from seeds and I'm pretty surprised at how quickly they grow.

The prettiest vegetables in my garden are the mustard green. I won't say they're the tastiest but they score well in the looks department. They're robust and showy, and so hardy too.

Thursday, April 8, 2010


In case you're wondering what a cashew fruit looks like on the tree, here are some photos shot by my son while he was in India. According to him, the smell of cashew flowers is very sweet and fragrant. I can imagine...

This is the fruit of the cashew tree which will expand into a bulbous cashew apple which has a sweet smell and taste. The cashew nut, which is actually a seed, will grow at the end of the apple.

Oh, how they grow!

I've got lots of babies in my garden now. The seeds that I have sowed a week ago have all germinated.

I have 3 types of lettuce in different containers including seeds which my friend sent from Korea.

The chye sim and bai cai (below) vegetables have also sprouted.

The sharp leave spinach seedlings look rather crowded but they'll grow up fine.

The larger kang kong seeds were the last to germinate but they sure grow up quickly.

Even the shallots are making progress. I will have spring onions in no time.

Finally, look at the amaryllis below.

Aren't they gorgeous?

Thursday, April 1, 2010


Women are known to enter a shoeshop to buy pantyhose and exit with a bag full of shoes they don't need. I'm not that crazy about shoes but I must admit that certain plants can make me go weak in the knees.

I went to the nursery to get a small hoe and ended up purchasing a bunch of herbs that I already have in my garden. There is no comparison of course, the dill and basil in the shop were already flowering while mine are merely in the early stage of germination.

How can a gardener resist this beautiful dill? We only see dill as a garnishing in the restaurant, it's not often that we get to see them in their full glory.

Look at how delicately gorgeous the dill flower is!

While I have several pots of sweet basil growing in my garden, I have only started growing the other kind of basil used in making pesto. The seeds that I have sowed a week ago have already germinated but it'll take a long time before I can actually use them for cooking.

When I saw this healthy basil plant in the nursery, I had to bring it home.

Basil flower

Basil plant

For the sake of my pineapple growing experiment, I ate 2 whole pineapples so that I could plant the 'tops' in soil.

Since I was already getting my hands dirty, I decided to try growing yam too. If these grow properly, I am going to transplant them into the school garden and hope that someday the kids can make pineapple tarts or yam cake during their cooking sessions.