Monday, December 15, 2008

My babies in the nursery

I planted eight cuttings in the nursery about a month ago and so far only two of them are doing well while the rest had rotted away.

The cactus rose had only a couple of very tiny leaves and now the leaves are bigger. Let's see how it grows.

Update 7/1/09 .... Both the cactus rose survived the 2 weeks of neglect.

The purple basil too has more leaves and larger leaves. I had initially pruned the cutting to almost bald. Let's see how it grows.

Update 7/1/09 .... Both the purple basil died.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

My planted ones part 2

Here's another lot of plants I planted in the CG.

The mosquito plant I bought from Far East Flora when I visited Hort Park earlier in the month.
It is doing well too. Those I tried to propagate using the leaves all failed on me. According to HL, I have to use the stems instead. I'll let it grow a little stronger before I propagate them using the stems.

Update 7/1/09 .... Pelargonium survived.

Here's the Mugwort grown from the stem cuttings. They are doing well.

Update 7/1/09 ..... Mugwort survived.

Mulberry cuttings planted a few days ago. I have ten of these cuttings in the planter bed. Sending good vibes for them to root and leaf. These are from the big mulberry plant that's growing in the CG. Since it's too bushy to fruit, I gave it a pruning and hopefully fruits will appear some time later.

Update 7/1/09 .... Mulberry mother plant not fruiting yet. Five stem cuttings showed leaves sprouting.

The Pennywort was grown from stem cuttings too. I just planted them into the soil after cutting a clump out from the main herb planter bed.

Update 7/1/09 .... Pennywort growing well with lots of new leaves.

Planted these a couple of days ago. I want to use these to cover the planter beds. They are grown from stem cuttings too. Let see how it goes.

Update 7/1/09 .... Zebrina cuttings .... didn't see any new leaves growing yet.

My planted ones part 1

I'm going on a two weeks break and so I'm recording the plants that I planted so far in the CG.

This lot of Aloe vera was given to the CG by Serene. We had been trying to grow aloe veras earlier but they all rotted away as the soil was too wet due to the rainy season we're experiencing. With this lot of aloe veras, I'm trying again to grow them again. This time I build a mound to plant them on top and also plant one of them in a pot. This trick I learn from HL when I visited the Bishan Herbs Garden. Let's see if they survive after I come back.

Update 7/1/09 .... Someone removed the pot from the aloe vera and planted it into the ground.
I see the plants turning yellowish green. The rest are not doing well.

Boat Lilies planted some two weeks ago seem to be growing quite well with the rain and the sunshine it's getting. It's even flowering now.

Update 7/1/09 ... Boat Lilies are still growing.

This Cymbopogon was donated by Herb Lover to the CG. Planted two weeks ago, it seems to be doing well too cos' it hasn't died on me yet.

Update 7/1/09 ... Cymbopogon is growing well as I can see it becoming more leafy.

This Mirabilis was given to the CG by Irene from my dd's Kindy. It is doing well. I planted it about a month ago. I have the yellow and the red variety.

Update 7/1/09 ... Mirabilis is doing very well. They have grown bigger and became more leafy. I saw some red flower buds too checking them today.

This is the lime cutting I planted a week ago. The cutting was in water for about two weeks and yet there were no roots growing but the two leaves didn't turn yellow. I scraped out the green bark on the stem and planted it straight into the soil. Let's see how it goes.

Update 7/1/09 ... The lime cutting had rotted away.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Bishan Herb Garden Again

Sunday found me back at the garden again but this time with friends from Green Culture .... in the likes of Petunia, Serene, and Karen. Richard was there to show us around and there was Derrick and a couple of uncles who were users of some of these herbs that are growing in the garden. It was enlightening to hear so much from them.

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Here were the three plants that I learned about. The Stevia plant has it's uses for diabetics. I plucked out a leaf to taste and found it has a certain kind of natural sweetness. The Wedelia can be used as a flu medication and with the Spilanthes flower when I bit into it ... released a certain chemical that numbs the tongue. It is said to be good for toothaches and swollen gums.

Oh ... I even had a chance to drink 'liang teh' ... prepared by using the 'Poor man's ginseng' which is the Gynostemna pentaphyllus and the pandan leaves boiled a couple of hours together. This plant I've seen it in the CG.It is said to have anti-cancer properties. Here's the pic I got from Serene and the Liang teh I drank.

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Bishan Herb Garden

Saturday afternoon found dh and I trying to locate the year old Bishan Herb Garden. After about an hour of trial and error going to different parts of the park ... Bishan Park is not small and there are two parks ... Park 1 and Park 2, we finally found it located at Park 2 which is in the area after the Dog Run compound. Since we had to drive back to Park 2, dh decided to park at the HDB carpark at Blk 333 AMK Ave. 1 and we walked over the bridge towards the garden entrance. Look at the sign board and do remember the opening times .... we had a peak from the outside only and it was just like a jungle in there. Lush and green and really messy and I thought that my CG garden was messy LOL.

Here's a preview of what's to come .... so many medicinal herbs and I can recognise some of the ones I have in the CG. Some have labels and some do not. The scientific herb names in English are there on the labels and the common names and the uses of the herbs are in Chinese.
So poor me, who can't read the chinese characters will have to depend on some kind soul to translate for me.... haiz!
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Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Kampong gardening

Whenever I walk along this stretch of walkway along the two blocks I'm greeted with this sight.

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The history of the area has it that the people living here were relocated from the farms in Punggol and hence this gardening habit had also moved along with them. This stretch of walkway has the full blast of the morning sun and the greenary here provides some relief from the morning heat. I feel it too and I usually make my detour to the back of the block LOL.
When walking along this stretch I see the familiar culinary herbs like chilli, lemon grass, pandan plant and lime. I noticed medicinal herbs too like the Boat Lily and Rose Cactus. There is always the familiar banana suckers, papaya trees and tapiocas too. Some even grow Sweet potatoes. There is also a Mango tree in front of the ground floor flat. I see Hibiscus, Bougainvillas, Bryophyllum, Insectivorous plants like the Venus flytrap and the Nepenthes and Cactus too. There are many more ....
When the rain comes, the familiar buckets will make their appearance and rain water collected would be used for washing the corridors and maybe watering the plants at a later date. There was this case where one of the neighbours collected so many buckets of water that he couldn't remember where he left these water filled buckets. A bucket was left somewhere breeding mosquito larvae. When the Environment Authority came to check cos' the area had dengue cases he was fined $200 for breeding them mosquito larvae.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Flowers in the CG

These are growing outside the garden gate. White, yellow and pink Japanese Roses or Portulacas. The one in the centre is a Gesneriad (Chrysothemis pulchella) and below it is the Globe amaranth. They are pretty tiny flowers, all good for covering the planting beds.
If I could propagate these in all the planting beds in the garden ... it would be a lovely sight when the flowers bloom.
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Sunday, November 30, 2008

Vegetable greens in the CG

These have been some of the vege greens my neighbour has been taking care for the Elderly Corner. All of them are grown from seeds ... When grown to a good size they are harvested on a Friday evening and then stored at the Elderly Corner. The next day, a group of volunteers will cook enough veges to feed about 50 elderly folks. This is part of the community work that the community gardeners do to help the poor in our community.

Vegetable greens grown are Kang Kong, Sharp Spinach, Kai Lan, Chye Sim, Sweet Potato leaves.

We are also trying to grow the asparagus, cabbage and a kind of vegetable that looks like a species of the Tang Oh but it's gigantic in size. This plant I noticed that neither insects, snails nor bugs would attack. It definitely has the makings of a natural pesticide. The only problem is that not everyone likes the taste of the Tang Oh vegetable.

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Harvest Time (Kai Lan)

It was the first time in my entire life harvesting the Kai Lan greens. I helped my neighbour pulled those veges off the soil and there you see her cutting away those holely leaves to make them more presentable for the cooks who were cooking for the folks at the Elderly Corner of the RC. I must say it's back breaking work. Now I truly appreciate those green veges that I eat knowing the back breaking work the farmers go through to take care of them before the harvest.

Here you see some neighbourhood children who visit the garden. We let them help us weed a bed of Kang Kong planted for the Elderly Corner. Some enjoy it and of course some don't LOL
This acitivity helps the children to train their patience.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Rooting Stem Cuttings of Mints, Purple Basil, Lime

In these two bottles of water are the mints which Herb Lover from GCS donated to the CG. I also added a purple basil cutting and 3 small lime cuttings from the CG. Thanks to Herb Lover who gave me tips on getting successful roots from stem cutting, I hope that these will be successful rooted too. These mints will be planted around the Cymbopogon citronelle when they grow stronger.

Method :

Select a healthy stem with a growing tip.

Make a slant cut about 1 cm. below a leaf node.

Strip all the leaves away from the stem and leave about 2 to 3 leaves at the growing tip.

Immerse the stem in water and watch the roots grow in about a week's time.

Change the water every two days to prevent mosquito breeding.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Hydrocotyl asiatica (Pennywort)

I read about this herb from petunialee's blog and found it pretty facinating. This plant seems to be very versatile. It can grow in water with the pot submerged and also in the soil. I have transfered some of the stem cuttings with roots to another area in the CG. When transferred the plant went limp ... let's see how it grows in the new area.

This herb is good for elevating concentration and also for sleep too. Read all about how Petunia prepares it for her family.


Thursday, November 27, 2008

Hort Park GH Glass Houses

Behind dd M are the glass houses which keep the experimental plants from the cooler climate. for propagation. All the flowers here live in air-conditioned glass houses ... what comfort they have while the three of us were sweltering drops of perspiration in the sun. The blooms were big, beautiful and colorful too. However no fragrance of flowers could pass through those glass walls.
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Hort Park GH Ideas for planting herbs in CG

This was what I really came to Hort Park for :-)
How to mix and match herbs when planting them in the garden to make them look attractive.
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Hort Park GH Recycling Garden

Here's the recycling garden which is close to my heart :-) Interesting set up in the way they display the containers recycled from old common everyday things. This is giving things a second chance to be useful again. I wonder how many of us have second chances in our lives. I'm sure we have many .... so let's count our blessings.
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Hort Park GH Flowers

Here are some of the beautiful flowers seen at the hub ..... Can you name any of them?
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Hort Park Gardening Hub Visit

Here I was on a hot and sunny Saturday afternoon visiting the gardening hub to source for ideas on how to and what to plant in the community garden. It was information galore and creative gardening paradise for all green fingers and also the not so green ones too :-)

Here goes the many species of cactus, terrarium set ups, species of air plants and insectivorous plants too ... all found at Far East Floral at the park.

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The latest trend in gardening a wall .... I love the set up .... great for decorating barren and ugly walls with nature's greenary.
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