Pruning

Curious Gardener recently blogged about savage pruning. Mummy, as you all know, is also called Scissorhands. But let me tell you the moral of the story. Sometimes pruning is not just a good thing. It is essential!

Look what happened to poor Godma who did not prune often or savagely. What a disaster!

Poor Godma

That is Godma’s driveway. She could not get in or out by car! It was all very exciting – I thought so, but Godma did not seem to think so. Anyway, it was a terrible job chopping up the tree and carting it off in pieces. Now Godma has pruned (actually, chopped down is more like it) SIX MORE TREES! I can go select some new ones for her, hopefully.

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Kept for Seed – Uh uh

Novice Gardener and Curious Gardener are very good about keeping some fruit til they are really old and then saving the seed. I thought I would try that too. Actually the truth is I didn’t see the red okra til it was OLD so I thought I might as well. I am not sure how I missed it because red okras are very RED indeed.

Because of the rain, the okra pod didn’t dry up and become rattly. Instead it became nasty-mouldy!

Forgotten Okra

The Bitter Decline of the Bittergourd

After giving us many, many bittergourd, our bittergourd plants caught powdery mildew from all the rain and the overgrown frangipani that blocks out sunlight. I wonder if the plants caught the mildew from Curious Gardener’s marrow!

Here is a leaf which looks as if someone sprinkled icing sugar on it:

Scattered White

I think the whole trellis is a goner!

Uh oh

Gardeners United!

I borrowed that title from Novice Gardener who has such nice posts on how us gardeners should unite. I have a nice story to tell you.

NParks gave every Primary 3 boy at my school a little bag containing a little pot, a ziplock bag of soil and a packet of seeds. I got roselle seeds.Oh, in case you are worried, I am sure if there were girls in my school, NParks would have given them the bag too; but I go to an all-boys school. We were supposed to grow the plants and my science teacher said it was a competition as to who could grow the biggest and healthiest plants.

Anyway, Mummy and I popped the seeds into our seed planter. As you know, everything we grow shoots up magnificently (spelling word). But not these NParks seeds. Out of 6 seeds, only one germinated. Seriously! And that One Measly Roselle (OMR) shoot looked half-dead (like me when I was sick and mottly). Mummy and I looked a bit doubtfully at it, but I was desperate to win the competition so we transplanted it into NParks’ pot and soil. Mummy complained a lot about the soil which seemed rather cocopeaty and had many nasty white pebbles in it. She also complained about the pot size (too small), the holes at the bottom (too big) but I said we had to use what was given if not it would be cheating.

OK, here is the sad bit. The OMR keeled over and died!

I got rather panicky about it. Mummy said to take our kind neighbour’s roselle plants but I said that was cheating. And anyway who would believe I grew a 2-foot plant from seed in 2 weeks???  I got Mummy to send an SOS to Novice Gardener and Curious Gardener. Novice Gardener couldn’t find her roselle seeds. Curious Gardener offered roselle shoots but I said that would be cheating too (she did offer to look for the youngest shoots so it wouldn’t be so obvious that I hadn’t planted it). So Curious Gardener kindly swept up some fallen roselle seeds from her patio and soaked them in a very dilute solution of seaweed fert, so that they would germinate quickly. Guess what! They did!!! Che Che RZ couriered the seedlings to me and I popped them into the no-good pot and soil.

They are doing very, very well indeed. Look!

Roselle1

Roselle2

Thank you, Gardeners and Courier! I am sure I will be the only child in Singapore who has hothoused roselles!

PS I am watering them everyday with dilute seaweed and fish emulsion and worm tea. I am determined to win this competition.

I’m Back!

I am back from holidays and school has started. School interrupts my life terribly. Anyway, we have re-planted the garden, so soon I will have lots of lovely photos!

Corn GiantWhile we were away, my corn managed to grow all by itself. It is now 8 foot tall. We have corn issues. They are all gigantic. Curious Gardener was most envious when she came to visit! Look!

Sorry it isn’t very clear. Those Chinese New Year lanterns Mummy hung up are very DISTRACTING!!! She convinced our neighbours on either side that they were beautiful, so now 3 houses in a row have the same lanterns. The Big Sister made uncomplimentary comments.

Palma ApologeticaThe Big Sister’s friend gave me a present. It is a Japanese cyclad, or sago palm. This is the friend who knocked off some of my frangipani leaves. Here is a photo of the palm. It is very spiky but quite handsome.

Mummy says the best present ever was a Meyer Lemon tree, all the way from Florida. Her kind friend got it for her from a Very Secret Source. It even had a tiny lemon on it! The Meyer Lemon is a very fragrant lemon. It smells all lemon but is as sweet (almost) as an orange.

Here it is:

My My MeyerHello babyIf you look at the photo on the left, you can see the graft sticking out on the right side? We have to cut it off once we pop the plant into the ground. Isn’t it a pretty plant? Don’t get distracted by the lanterns!

Parakeet Hunt

Curious Gardener was visiting one afternoon when we noticed a white parakeet on the government tree outside our house (I thought it was a cockatoo but she said it was not).

Well, Parry the Parakeet has been coming back again and again, and Mummy noticed it was because he likes eating the trumpet fruit from our trumpet tree. In case you don’t know, this is what the trumpet fruit looks like on the right.

 

Then today, guess what I saw? Parry’s nest! Can you spot it?