Tuesday, 26 August 2014

sweet cinnamon basil

never thought I would see any herb flowering in my garden..

but it did!

and I'm so thrilled to bits

presenting my cinnamon basil! :)


tiny yet dainty sweet flower..

from this tiny pot which I bought from the supermarket 3 months ago!

if you are wondering if it taste like cinnamon..
it has the faint scent of cinnamon
but tastes like sweet basil

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Time after thyme

Thyme now..

Thyme when I brought home from the supermarket

Thyme after time
It has grown after  12 days of purchase

as peculiar as it seems this thyme strive better indoor

No fertilizer added yet
just to get the plant adjusted to the home environment
they are supposed to be sun lovers but not this one
probably they are too young
the sun seems to wilt it 

Will see how it grows when fertilizer is added tomorrow :)

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Tomato Cherry ~ Seedlings' end

Seedlings at 4 weeks

hairy leaves developed..

At 6 weeks now the seedlings have branched out really well
and the taproot underneath is very long

I'm so excited!
can't help myself grinning seeing this progress
time to transplant them soon for this seedling to proceed 
to its next phase of growth 

Good luck to me :)

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Ornamental Curcuman

First time I'm seeing the flower of this herb

and they look so sweet :)

love the soft pastel lilac color of each petal's end

This is one of the collection of herbs found in the Secret Garden
labelled as Curcurma 'Laddawan'
a horticultural cultivar.

"Curcuma Longa" pictured above is as tall my friend's daughter Sara
who was busy and serious with her so-called routine watering task
in their home garden :)

These leaves are sought after for our local cuisine especially "rendang"
and it is irresistibly fragrant!
Commonly known as turmeric ginger leaves or as
we call it in our Malay language
"daun kunyit"

Speaking of rendang makes my mouth waters..
Gotta cook it!

Monday, 10 March 2014

When "Hairy" met Sally..

Awesome flower!
Too bad I wasn't carrying an SLR when I took this picture
at the Secret Garden.
Couldn't get a good close-up of this flower
and the sun was at its strongest!

Never seen such hairy foliage before.
Believe it or not this beautiful plant is known as
(oh my goodness!!) 
"Hairy Wandering Jew" 

Seriously.. I'm as anxious as you are too!
why or how come? 
Now no offense to the Jews..
it's just a name :)

Simply delicate flowers in soft magenta color
with herbaceous foliage.

If you are not into watering plants so often
get this plant.
Drought tolerant all right
and a definite beauty to add to your garden!

Ciao :)

Friday, 28 February 2014

Takes my breath away..

Flowers are blooming in my garden :)
and I just can't hide the excitement!

You know the feeling...
when the mere presence of a bud, 
is considered significant! :)

There's so much about this "Plumbago Auriculata" that I adore,

its cascading clusters..

its imperial blue color..

which turns to almost white at times..

its soft textured petals in sheer simplicity...

which creates a cottage garden ambiance
to the tiny space by the window of my living room!

and what could be more appealing than that?

Have a good weekend everyone :)

Monday, 24 February 2014

Growing Tomato Cherry : Seedlings

Choose seeds from a ripe tomato.
I took 10 seeds at random.
How to tell if they are good seeds?
Can't really tell.

I recycled my old egg cartons 
into tiny green houses!
Cute eh :) 

Slit the bottom of the carton with a sharp kitchen knife for aeration.
Pour enough soil in them and water gently.
 Place the seed in the middle.
Cover the seed with some soil and
let the show begins!

The next two days this tiny white 'heads' popped out.

All 10 seeds finally germinated over a stretch of 3 days.
You can see below the different rate of growth 
for each seed by their height.

In this experiment only one champion emerged.
The rest were too weak.

And here it is..

Since this is the only one with potential of becoming a good seedling,
it needs more room for better growth.

I recycled a 500ml mineral water bottle as its new home.
Cut the bottle into half and use only its base. 
Many small slits were made for aeration. 

With more soil for its tap root to reach out
and gradual exposure to full sun,
in 2 weeks 
without a doubt..

A Star Is Born! :)

Please note: 
I use liquid fertilizer only
and water by gentle spraying  
due to the delicate nature of the seedling..

Wish me luck! :) 

Friday, 21 February 2014

Spring Onion Coming Up!

Spring onions are probably the simplest herb to plant!
All you need is shallots.
These were the last of shallots in my pantry when I started the experiment.
All dried up and almost hollow inside.
Not much soil left in stock too.
The picture below shows shallots planted in a flat tray.

See what happened the next day.
It got uprooted!

Clearly not a good sign as roots are exposed. 
So I got all four shallots transfered into the smallest round pot that I have.
The intention is to give it some depth so that the roots can reach deeper inside the soil 

The next day, one of the smallest shallots uprooted itself..phew!
(See above picture)
I decided not to disturb it at all this time and just observe the growth.

What do you know :)

You may wonder why each sprouted shallot have different growth rate?
Well..beats me!
I'm as clueless as you are..

The picture above is showing the 4th shallot about to sprout.
Should be seeing some new leaves tomorrow. 

Nice and easy..
Harvesting in a day or two from today :)

In a span of 8 days you would be able to garnish your soup with fresh spring onions straight from the garden.
Plan your time to plant your next batch of shallots
for continuous supply 
in your kitchen :)

It is that easy!
Sow it and you can forget about it..
Maintenance free and pest free!
and truly delicious..

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Lemon Balm or Lemon Mint?

What do you think?
Is this lemon balm..

Or lemon mint?

Or ..both lemon mint and lemon balm are the same plant?

It looks more like lemon balm to me.

I have been looking for lemon balm for quite some time already.
So when I glanced round the nursery yesterday
and my eyes caught this,
I knew I had to bring this home!

The nursery owner said that this is lemon mint.
Please share your experience.
It is much appreciated :)


Friday, 14 February 2014

Growing "Daun Kesum"

I'm into experimenting of late
especially with herbs and veggies.
I'm not giving up on flowers in fact choosing the right flowers
to go with the herbs that I intend to plant.
In other words, companion planting.

"Daun Kesum", a local herb, is used a lot in my cooking so I'm quite keen to
have a pot of this in my garden.
If you can see at the photo below the leaves are quite bruised
because I bought this from the supermarket.
Instead of throwing it away after cooking
I'm propagating it.

I soaked the stems of leftover daun kesum overnight..
check out how it rooted! 

I cut up the stems between nodes using kitchen scissors 
and I got 8 rooted sticks to plant.

After one month since rooting,
But only one seedling is growing which is good enough for me :)

The rest of the stems got eaten up by tiny white snails :(

I have failed many times to propagate this plant before.
Now I'm happy with just this one, 
which I believe will grow big and 
produce more leaves!  

All the best to you :)
Happy Gardening! 

Monday, 10 February 2014

White "Senduduk"

The intense white in this flower..

is a perfect reflection of
innocence and purity,

this "White Senduduk" as it is locally known,
had me mesmerised
throughout my visit at the Secret Garden!

With its unique flower pods..
and dark green foliage,

this wild flower is here to stay!

Unmistakably beautiful..
in any garden!

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Tutorial for growing Beansprout

Wash mung beans thoroughly with clean water and let it soak overnight

The next morning,
skin cracked open and gases released.
Wash and rinse thoroughly to remove the odour.

You need a good container.
Any container which can block-out light.

I chose my stainless teapot with a spout, 
easy to drain off excess water. 

Make a stopper at the spout to ensure total darkness.
Also to prevent creepy crawlies from entering.
I cut up a piece of the kitchen towel into half and fold it into a triangle
before screwing it tightly into the spout.

Take another piece of kitchen towel and lined the teapot. 
Place the bean inside.
Pour water just enough to cover the beans.

Then take another kitchen towel to cover the beans.
Cover the teapot with its lid
let the show begins.. 

The next morning...
Check out the sprout!
Sprinkle water on the beans 
Close the teapot.

Repeat sprinkling of the beans every 6 hours or so.
Do this for the next 3 days.

Beans sprouted nicely and ready to harvest!

Wash thoroughly and drain.

Beansprout all cleaned up and ready to cook!

It was fun experimenting this.
Tastes excellent too :)

Do give it a try..
Good luck :)