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!



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.


After my post on Mr Beethoven, the flowers on my papaya tree did Nothing. I waited and waited but the buds stayed buddy. I got all worried because Novice Gardener said that the buds might be boyayas (useless) rather than girlyayas (fruit).

But today, guess what? The buds opened!

A bit spotty?

Does anyone know why the flower has spots?

Grandpa says the papayas are finally doing things because he transplanted the tree into a bigger pot. He accused Mummy of cramping their style so we all made a trip to Toyogo in Toa Payoh and bought the second-largest pot there. Grandpa wanted the biggest pot but Mummy said she was absolutely not having the papaya tree the size of our (now gone) okra plants. Grandpa planted those in the ground and they grew up past our second storey windows, so it was a terrible job harvesting pods. Mummy was particularly annoyed because they were meant to be dwarf plants.

We needed a lot of soil to fill the pot. Luckily my wonderful dentist’s wonderful husband sent me 2 huge bags of peat. He is the man who owns the power generator at Gardens by the Bay that burns all the plant waste from the Gardens and all around Singapore. It is called a biomass power generator or combined heat power steam turbine, I think. I read it here and here. Anyway my peat is from the Gardens and I filled half the pot with it, so maybe that’s why the papaya tree is happy.

Jubilee F1

This F1 is not a race. It is my hybrid sweetcorn! I estimate that it is 55cm tall. Like me, the corn is Growing Like a Weed. I think it is because the soil is excellent – I mix Tref, Greenback compost, burnt soil, humus and plant food together before filling the pot.

Like Novice Gardener, we put the corn into 2 cages to keep it neat and tidy. My Grandpa thinks it will be at least a month before we see the start of any corn on the cob. My corn was attacked by butterfly eggs once (I spotted it on the underside of the leaf). Grandpa snapped off that leaf and saved the day!