Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2 sky gardens at 1 multi storeyed car park

Out of consideration, I won't say where they are, because I am not sure if they are "legalized" community gardens. One is focused on flowers with some vegetables, and the other is almostly entirely made up of vegetable plots. The second one is obviously run by someone who is quite experienced, as the getup (while hideous - seriously yours truly is living in a glasshouse and shouldn't cast stones) is highly efficient, with two crops per lot.
Close up on the portulaca on the right. Please ignore the shadow cast by my FAT arm *lol*
NSFW. Porn! I found it amusing that there were two grasshoppers f**king on the netting above my head.
Anyone know what this is? Some say it is edible. I say it is not.
Efficient gardening. The cucumber plant provides some shade for the caixin from the harsh sun.
I think this is malabar spinach!
weird looking lady's finger
another zinnia

Balsam with red and white petals

Monday, December 29, 2014

The Sorrowful adventure of Daikon

This structure was constructed from a combination of Daiso gardening wire (it came with plastic for cloching) + netting, to discourage thieving birds.

I was reading a Japanese gardening book on how to grow daikon (Japanese white radish) in a pot. Feeling very encouraged by the fotos + since Bobo and I like to eat the root vegetable + I wanted to compete against CU (chinese uncle - see earlier posts- who was growing them in the community garden downstairs), I decided to try it myself. The book advises sowing seeds in circles, then thin the seedlings out in phases so that only five daikon plants remain.

Well. Natural selection and my laziness in watering (I relied on the monsoon season) killed off everyone but two. So I ended up transplanting my tomato plants into the pot instead, devastating Bobo who hates tomatoes.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Sunflower Power @ Community Garden

So much sunflower power at the other community garden. Despite my misgivings towards transplanting sunflower seedlings, the Taiwanese lady had been pretty lucky (ok, she lost a lot of seedlings along the way), but she managed to have at least 2 sunflower plants beaming away. The rest sort of drowned in the monsoon rains.

I haven't much lucky with sunflowers so I consoled myself with taking photos of her big flowers and admired my little roses. *grin*. Maybe I will try sunflowers next year when we reallocate the plots again.

The difference between the two gardens. The older established one has loads of trees, so I can burn a lot of energy cutting branches down and rearranging plants according to MU's direction. It's been pretty awesome, I spend like entire Saturday mornings and afternoons in the garden, only coming up to feed and water Bobo so he wouldn't rouse from his zombie state.

I was given a tiny garden plot, thanks to the irritating Mr L (long story). And since I have planted Kang Kong (to feed snails, it seems, I caught 10! in one afternoon climbing the banana tree), I don't have to maintain it much. But I have demonstrated experience with roses, so my unspoken role is to enhance the beauty of the garden and provide some muscle to the elderly uncles. I am planting some of my drought resistant, easy to maintain and cheap Blue Daze, and transplanting the numerous red and white balsam plants so they can mingle with the blue of the Blue Daze to create a prettier garden, which has what MU calls the "Kampung style". Unfortunately the kampung style is not appreciated by the uncle living on the 5th floor at my apartment block (who has written many unpleasant odes about it to the *ahem*, the Town Council and even the Police *wtf right?*).

As for the other garden, it doesn't have that many insects and irritating snails. Just a lot of colorful personalities. That's why I refused several times to join the committee. There is no need to, when there are more knowledgeable persons who refuse to join the committee (Uncle Flower + Auntie Red, the former expert in all things floral, the latter all things edible), and plenty of noobs who are surprisingly more vocal than me and eager to show their leadership skills. I was telling Mdm Bear about it, and she said that these people are missing the whole point of the community garden. The visible bounds tether the garden tightly to the community center and its politics, so much that the politics are spilling over into the garden. Just reading through the list of names quoted for the garden, I could barely stifle a snigger. Obvious much?
I am not going to translate the names. Sorry about that.
So anyway the chairman (see what I mean?) said that the current land allocation was unfair as some people has more land than others. To me, these persons are coincidentally housewives and retirees who can manage their time more flexibly, so I have come to accept that they take more land (acceptance also came with my father's scolding me for being a dumbass. "You're not a bloody farmer so why fight with the old people over the land?" were his words). But the chairman himself doesn't have any land except for two miserable lemon grass plants, because earlier in the year, he was busy with his kids' study and home life without a helper, to stake his claim. We didn't even see him for months, until the holidays when he suddenly called for the meeting.

Unfortunately this new plan to reallocate plots will shorten the lifespan of the already growing plants in the garden. Everyone has to unearth their plants in February so that compost can be dumped onto the soil and everyone will begin again with their teammate on their plots, which we will draw lots for. I disagree with the Chairman's idea that the plots should be rotated, especially since he wants us to grow flowers and some of the flowers we prefer are perennial. His new idea of rotating plots is coupled to his initial plan of certain plots being allocated to growing certain plants, e.g. flowers, herbs. 

Since then, I experimented with two of my herb plants and they were very upset with the upheaval, dropping leaves like mad. And that was after I left them in the garden in the pots to reduce the transplant shock, and I did the transplant during the less painful monsoon December season instead of the more aggressive and hottest February, driest time of the year.

IMHO, it would be better if he does it the British allotment style where everyone is allowed to grow whatever they want as long as they grow flowers and vegetables on their plot, instead of forcing people to grow specific plants just because they were suay enough to draw the plot they didn't want.

From what little I have observed, I am pretty sure I will clash with the chairman if I were on the committee (his eagerness to accept my rejection of the role over the others' protests was very telling *lol*), and other than the American and maybe the Filipinos, I am the youngest gardener in that community garden. Would burn too much energy (not the right kind) to work my "charm" on the 20 other members in the garden.

I have enough fun @ Arbeit, without having to manage other people's personalities even when I am doing my favorite gardening. I try to incorporate the lessons お母さん is painstakingly inculcating in my interaction with others, but sometimes the snark just manifests itself. I can't help my inner bitch. Better to keep her leashed and my head down to the ground. Keep calm and garden.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Time to replace the cupboard

The previous owner left behind a really ugly plywood shoe cupboard. Being cheapo, I moved it to the outside in the L-shape and utilized it as a potting bench cum shoe cupboard. 3 years on, it has been really hammered hard by the elements and the top layer is peeling badly from being soaked with water.

My requirements for a decent potting bench:
- at least 1 m long
- tall enough so that I won't break my back working on the plants
- must be covered so that the wind will not wipe my belongings and blow them all over the floor. The monsoon wind is wearing my long-suffering neighbors' patience thin.
- ugly enough to dissuade thieving hands but not so ugly that it grates on my aesthetic.

I have four choices. I could:
(1) utilize the S$39 (discounted) toilet cupboard I bought from IKEA. I had bought 2, but only set up 1 in the kitchen balcony for my other plants.
(2) utilize that cupboard in the kitchen for my other stuff, and move another ugly plastic cupboard that the previous owner left behind outside. It's too narrow to use as a bench.
(3) buy a S$19.90 shelf from IKEA. It has no doors, which I need, because the crazy ass wind will whip the things off
(4) Really HIDEOUS cupboard from Toyogo, It has shelves on top (I can put my roses on the shelf) and a cupboard underneath. It's not in stock *annoyed*
(5) Buy a S$79 cupboard from IKEA but it is too narrow and short.

You can understand why I need to buy really ugly stuff because pretty stuff get stolen from the outside of my apartment. So far we have lost a few pairs of shoes but our next door, Gardening-committee got it worse. Some horrible person stole 1 slipper and left the other behind. 

Or I could take apart the wooden shelf my mother built with me and reassemble it into a potting bench.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Decorative Indoor Gardening Ideas


Materials needed:
Aluminium, Bark, Empty bottle, hot glue gun

1. Put the plant into the empty bottle.
2. Arrange the pieces of bark into appropriate heights, then apply hot glue to adhere the bark to the bottle.
3. Wind the aluminum around the bark.

Materials needed:
driftwood, sand, soil, ivory pebbles, seashells, wooden spoon, bamboo chopsticks

1.  Put soil within the crevice of the driftwood.
2.  Plant varied sizes of succulents in the soil. Water the plants before covering with a coat of sand.
3.  Lay out the seashells and ivory pebbles on the driftwood. 

Soap Box

Materials needed:
soap box, sphagnum moss, string, scissors

1. Retrieve the plant from its pot, and cut off excess roots.
2. Shape the root ball into a sphere with additional soil.
3. Cover the root ball with sphagnum moss.
4. Use the string to secure the moss sphere.
5. Place the sphere on the soap box.

Heart to Heart

Materials needed:
sphagnum moss, string, aluminum

1. Wrap moss around soil, wind thread around the shape before forming it into a heart.
2. Form a gap within the heart to put in the seeds before winding more thread around the heart to secure the shape.
3. Poke the aluminum through the heart to tie both hearts together before shaping one end of the aluminum into a heart shape.

Air Plant Picture Frame

Materials needed:
2 wood pieces 20cm, 2 wood pieces 12cm, 2 lengths of twine 40cm each, driftwood, seashells, nails, hammer, hot glue gun,resin

1. Form a picture frame by adhering white glue to the ends of the shorter wood pieces to the longer ends.
2. Nail the frame together to stabilize it.
3. Attach an appropriately sized driftwood to the frame with hot glue.
4. Wrap some twine around the frame in a decorative manner with hot glue.
5. Attach the air plant to the driftwood with hot glue.
6. Decorate the frame with seashells.

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Because Gardening makes me wanna Dance! Thanx for visiting!!!

Because Gardening makes me wanna Dance! Thanx for visiting!!!