Friday, December 30, 2011

New herb collection

When I saw tiny pots of herbs at Marketplace @ i12 Mall last week, I thought to myself, "These will make great Christmas presents (for me)!"

Well, Christmas has come and gone and I found myself missing these plants. I couldn't stop thinking about them especially now that I'm reading "Under the Tuscan Sun" where oregano grows profusely like a weed.

So, I went back there yesterday and was pleased to find they've replenished their stock. I bought four pots and promptly replanted them in bigger pots. Let me introduce my new herbs:

1. French Tarragon - the slightly anise tasting leaves pair well with egg, chicken and fish dishes.

2. Majoram - the sweet and mild leaves are great for flavouring meat dishes.

3. Sweet basil - highly aromatic and great for salads and sandwiches.

4. Sage - used as a medicinal herb (for treating everything from snake bite to longetivity) long before it has been a culinary herb.

Even though they like full sun, I'm keeping them under partial shade to help them acclimatise to the heat and humidity.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

What a waste!

Just because I couldn't bear to harvest all the radish when they were at their prime, I ended up throwing them away. Well, at least now I know I can grow my own radish at home. Next time, I'll make sure I eat them when they're looking their best.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Onion and tomato seedlings

It's probably not the best time to sow seeds due to the wet weather but I couldn't help myself. The onion seeds have germinated but they are still very weak. Many get washed away when the rain comes pelting down.

When I use fresh tomatoes for pasta, I usually discard the seeds. That day, I decided to sow them instead. Now they have all germinated.

I'm not very keen on growing tomatoes actually, because the plants attract lots of mealy bugs. Also, it is not easy to nurture them to maturity. I'll be lucky if I can get even one good sized tomato for my dinner plate but a gardener never gives up.

Another garden rack

SK bought himself a new garden rack using money he earned from his vacation job. All his nepenthes have now migrated to this new stand while the bromeliads have taken over the other one. My garden is beginning to look neater now.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Garden rack

If there is one thing that is sorely lacking in Singapore, it must be good-looking garden trellis. I have been seeking high and low for a nice one for my son's nepenthes collection and finally settled for this wire rack after trawling the nurseries.

It's not the most ideal but at least the pitchers can hang properly now instead of sprawling all over the floor.


After a very long wait, my hydrangea finally produced a small bunch of flowers. I grew it from a stem cutting a couple of years ago.

It's a really small bunch but still, it's worth the wait. I have seen humongous ones in temperate countries but in our hot and humid climate, I'm lucky it gives me flowers.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Growing weed

I hope this header doesn't get me into any trouble. I'm growing a kind of weed (not that kind!) which I found in a forest recently. I really like the shape of the minty green leaves.

Being a weed, it's hardy and grows quickly. I even love how they creep out of the pot. At the rate they are growing, they will take over my entire patio in no time.

Sunday, November 27, 2011


I finally harvested two radishes yesterday. They were a bit dry because I harvested too late but still, the thin slices went so well with blue cheese and brie.

Thursday, November 24, 2011


I am often so reluctant to eat my own produce that they end up rotten. I didn't eat the mulberries in time and they were gone when I went looking. The birds or snails must have eaten them or they simply rotted away.

Just look at these gorgeously plump limes. One is so large (thanks to the rain), it almost looks like a small orange. I'm sure I can get loads of juice from it.

One is already rotting away.

And one has fallen onto the ground.

Now I am quite unwilling to harvest the radishes. I have all of 6 fully developed ones and they have grown so nice and round, I don't have the heart to eat them.
I wonder if other gardeners have this same problem.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Charming lotus flower bouquet

I really love how simple yet charming this bouquet is. It was created by the equally charming owner of a boutique hotel in Siem Reap called Villa Medamrei. I would love to stay there again.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


The hoya keeps flowering. They're so pretty, they look like little bridal bouquets!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Mulberries already?

Just a month ago, I planted four mulberry cuttings in a pot. Two didn't quite make it and died soon after. Of the other two, one seems to be doing really well, so well that it produced a small bunch of fruits.

Today, I discovered that the fruits are ready for eating. This is awesome for a small plant that is not even a foot tall.

3 days later...

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Riot of colours

My son is also into gardening and has shoved his collection of bromeliads, orchids and nepenthes into my patio. It's getting crowded but I'm not complaining because when everything starts to flower all at once, the garden is no longer just green but peppered with bits of yellow, purple, pink and orange all over.

Friday, November 4, 2011


Recently I bought a cute succulent because I was attracted to the curly leaves. The plant came with long limpy flowers which weren't attractive by any stretch of the imagination.

After the flowers were gone, I was intrigued to see small red ball-like fruits forming at the tip of the leaves. The fruits look succulent, almost like you could eat them.They are small though, like the size of grapes.

While watering the plant today, I noticed that some of the ripe ones have indeed been eaten, likely by birds visiting the window sill. The flesh inside is white with lots of tiny black seeds, almost like miniature dragon fruits. I am curious to know what this plant is. If you can help me identify, that would be great.

We've had dragon fruits growing at my parent's farm for years, so there is indeed some similarity except that the real dragon fruit plants tower over me and they produce really large fruits. (below)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Little red cuties

These babies are so cute, I can't stop raving about them! I know I sound like a gardening idiot but when I sowed the cherry radish seeds along with carrot and lavender seeds, I wasn't expecting anything to germinate.

In a way, I was quite right because there are still no signs of carrot or lavender seedlings to date. The only thing that worked are the radish seeds. I have grown the long white tropical ones before but these red round ones are my first. I always thought they can only do well in cooler climates.

Granted, the weather has been very cool lately, I'm still surprised at how well these babies are doing in this humidity.

I've also had lots of success growing arugula (rocket), so it only goes to show that you'll never know unless you try.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


I have been away for a week and how quickly the radish seedlings have grown.

Strangely enough, this succulent growing right next to the planter box has started producing little fruits that resemble red radishes. I wonder if they can be eaten though.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Growing radish outside the bedroom

I have such limited space for growing that every inch of usable space around the house counts. Even the bay window outside my bedroom is not spared.

Can you spot the rubber plant (which I had grown from seed), an orchid and cactus-like plant with curly leaves below? There is also a hoya plant hanging from above.

Since the bay window is starting to receive some sunlight at this time of the year, I sowed some radish seeds to try my luck.

And guess what? The seeds germinated in 3 days! They should be ready for eating in 60 days.

I hope to see some cute, red radish in my salad bowl soon!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Starting over

One year ago, I blogged about how my mulberry plant was fruiting like crazy. Then I must have neglected it because one fine day, the plant had turned into a stick. I didn't even realise it was dead until someone asked me for a cutting. I couldn't even recognise the plant anymore.

So for months, I pined for another mulberry plant, yet I refused to buy one in case it suffers the same fate. The main problem in my patio is the lack of sunlight for the first half of the year. Thankfully it receives full sunlight during this time of the year, so I've been taking full advantage of the sunlight.

When my son brought back some mulberry cuttings, I quickly planted them in a sunny spot. Most of them are doing very well. If I am lucky, I might be able to enjoy mulberry fruits again next year.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Coriander seedlings

This photo may not seem much for for me, it is quite an achievement. I have been trying to grow coriander for the umpteenth time and this time, the seeds finally germinated.

For years, I couldn't understand why my friends could grow coriander so easily. I've tried smashing the seeds (coriander seeds have a thick husk) or sowing them during different seasons. Two weeks ago, my friend shared her secret.

"Let the seeds germinate indoors."

I cheated a little by leaving the freshly sowed seeds in a cool and shady spot just by the balcony door. Technically, they are just 2 cm away fromthe living room and presto, the seeds began to germinate about a week later!

Now I've brought the seedlings out to a warmer part of the garden so that they receive a daily dose of filtered sunlight. With 10 seedlings growing in the pot, I think I'm set for the rest of the year.

What I like about growing coriander is, the leaves can really add pizzazz to a tomato salsa salad. The store bought ones don't keep very well. Having freshly harvested coriander leaves from your own garden is the most ideal. After harvesting, you will be pleased to know that new leaves will form quite quickly. You will never run out of this fragrant herb again.

Monday, September 19, 2011

New lease of life

When I accidentally broke my herbal brewing pot (for Chinese medicine) last year, I couldn't bear to throw it away. It has been given a new lease of life in the garden. It's home to the easy growing episcia now.

Robust rocket

I haven't been harvesting the rocket salad in my garden and now they have grown so big. What I like about the rocket is it keeps producing new leaves after each harvest. I'm going to make a salad tonight using rocket, tomato and mango, dressed in vinaigrette.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Flowering season @ office

The huge amount of direct sunlight our office garden gets is quite enviable really. While my home patio is lush and green from the lack of sunlight, it's exactly the opposite scenario at our office.

The frangipani trees at home have not flowered in years but the one in my office is constantly flaunting large bunches of flowers.

Bougainvillea plants thrive in hot and bright places, so our office patio is the perfect place to grow them. Given our extremely hot weather these days, the plants are bursting with red petals.

Needless to say, it would be a waste of time and space to grow them at home. Luckily I have the best of both worlds.

Sweet longans

I waited six long years for our longan tree to bear fruit and finally, we're enjoying homegrown longans for the first time!

A friend gave me the sapling years ago. I planted it in my parent's yard and have been waiting for harvest ever since. It's still a small tree. I thought the growth was stunted and had given up completely until I saw some flowers last year. Unfortunately the flowers fell off without developing any fruits.

Seeing its potential, my father must have nurtured it back to health because we're having a good harvest this year. The flesh is softer and sweeter but lacks the crunch of the Thailand species.

Considering it is organic and homegrown, it's the best longan I've eaten!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Show stealer!

I saw this gorgeous Phalaenopsis Orchid on sale at S$5 (USD4) at Far East Flora that day and I'm so glad to have bought it!

I remember these orchids used to cost a bomb, but the garden centres are filled with them now. Still, it was a steal at $5!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

The simple life

I can't really complain about the lack of space in my patio garden because I get to romp about in my parent's backyard every weekend. They rotate the crops regularly and these days, the yard is dominated by gigantic yam plants. My dad is really good at growing them. The tubers are huge and they taste fantastic simply steamed.

They have so much vegetables to spare, mum is always urging me to bring some home. Every Saturday evening, you will find me harvesting bags of sweet potato leaves, 'Di Huang Cai' or chives. They are organic and free. What more can a girl ask for?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


This is what you get when you combine two different plants in one pot.

When both my hisbicus plants became straggly and sad looking, I decided to repot them into one large pot, wondering if they would ever flower again.

After adding some organic fertiliser two weeks ago, I spotted some new buds. Today, the patio is ablaze with two huge flowers!

Quite amazing really.

Monday, July 18, 2011

New plants

I was planning to add a wooden deck just outside the balcony but I didn't expect the cost to be so high. The deck area is only (12x5ft) 60 sq ft but I can imagine how it would make a difference to my living room space. That would also mean hacking off part of the old boardwalk.

I'm still deliberating.

While I don't have any new deck to flaunt, let me show you some new plants I have bought.