Sunday, May 22, 2011

Vegetables love sunlight

Many people who have never grown tropical vegetables have asked me about the amount of direct sunlight needed. Well, at least 6 hours a day. In fact, the more the merrier.

If you're thinking of growing chye sim or bai cai indoors, you can forget about harvesting them. The seeds will germinate but without enough sunlight, the seedlings will grow up weak and spindly.

In my patio garden which is bright and warm but seriously lacking in direct sunlight, I have difficulty growing tropical vegetables. Only the rocket (which is not a tropical plant) is doing well.

On the other hand, at our office balcony where the sun is so harsh that our lantanas were quickly fried and killed in the heat, the vegetable seedlings are thriving.

Both pots of chye sim and bai cai seedlings, sowed in early May, are exposed to full sun all day.
They seem to enjoy the heat as they're growing up rapidly. They look so lush and healthy too.

Green Cafe!

I had lunch at this cafe in Bishan Park last week. While the food was nothing to rave about, I love how 'green' the building is. Just look at the lush greenery growing on the rooftop!

Sunday, May 15, 2011


Another Jasmine plant in my patio is suddenly filled with fragrant white flowers, so much so that the scent wafts into the living room on a breezy day.

These flowers are small but their scent is so intoxicating. Everyone should grow one in their garden.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Growing vegetables @ the office

Now that our new office has a big balcony, I have more room to grow plants. I scattered a handful of vegetable seeds into two large pots just to test if these seeds have expired. To my pleasant surprise, all of them germinated. So much so that there is overcrowding in both pots.

If I am not wrong, they are the leafy cai xin vegetable. With the soaring temperature, our concrete balcony gets extremely hot in the afternoon. Fromthe photo, you can see that some of the leaves are already burnt.

I'm hoping for more rain and less sun, or these seedlings will never make it to adulthood.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

White beauties

The jasmine flower may not be very attractive, but it is one of the most popular garden plants here. Small with a potent scent, the flowers are commonly used for religious offerings and garlands. I have one in my patio and I'm always intoxicated by the lovely fragrance.

I have more than one variety of jasmine in my garden. The water jasmine is often used as a bonsai, and the fragrant white flowers usually grow in a cluster. My friend has a large plant in her garden, it is a joy to sit there and breathe in all that lovely scent.

The other variety in my garden is the wrightia antidysenterica which produces white flowers that are larger and stiffer. The flowers are scentless but more attractive than the other two.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

A real farm!

My parents must be the luckiest people in Singapore to live in a farm. They've got fruit trees and vegetables growing in the front and backyard.

The passionfruit vine is filled with big round passionfruits.

The flower is so pretty.

There's an old grape vine too.

The dragon fruit plants are doing well. It's fruiting season.

This is the bud of a dragon fruit flower.

The starfruit trees are also filled with tiny pink flowers and fruits.

This ripe one is ready for eating.

They even have their own yam plantation.

This vegetable is very popular here.

The tree below is grown from a seed of the milk fruit which I brought back from Vietnam.

The longan plant is also flowering.