Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Helping Weina to garden.

Weina, a silent follower of this blog recently wrote an email seeking suggestions for her side and front garden. She just shifted to a house. The previous owner left behind a few ornamental plants in the ground and some healthy bamboo.

My field of expertise is civil engineering, gardening is something else I am very passionate about, beating golf by a whisker. ... it may not be easy to suggest without actually looking at the place. So my initial suggestion would be general in nature. I manage to come up with a few sketches for illustration.

Weina Garden: The layout

Weina Garden: The description

About Garden

To start with, there should be adequate lawn to walk, enjoy, bask and roll around. Lawn always become a lot greener whenever vegetables are grown. Possibly the excess fertiliser goes to the grass as well. Then you may want to decide where to grow your veggies and other plants, in some manageable layout. I would suggest the front garden, being a little bit small is reserved solely to flowering and ornamental plants. Side garden is definitely large enough for you to experiment with vegetable growing. I am suggesting some patterns or concept to put veggies in. A neat layout sometimes is able to conceal a little bit of failure with vegetables.

Pattern of Vegetable Bed.
  • Rows - plants are grown in rows.
  • Layered - Combining tall and short plants.
  • Circular - An excellent element to break off the monotonous rows of vegetables. You may want to try out the Legend of Three Sisters!
  • Sunken Garden - Scoop out a few inches of soil. The place will be a lot wetter than the rest. An excellent site for pandan, and other water loving plants. You can even grow rice!!
What plants need.

Plants are unique, that seeds from the same mother plant may not grow uniformly. They differ on size and health level.., just like us. They have tantrums too, reacting aggressively if their needs are not met. They need fair amount of sunlight, water and nutrients. If grown in the ground, the soil has to be fairly loose for roots to spread and anchor, and sip nutrients. Meeting their natural needs, they will become friendly and very generous with lovely flowers, and leaves.


    Dear Weina, give it a thought and plan out.  If you really enjoy vegetable gardening, I would suggest, go for simple and flexible approach, and be pragmatic about it, unless you wish to engage a contractor and pay a handsome sum. Gardening is developmental and progressive in nature. Both the gardener and the garden get better as time goes. As parting remark, No Garden is Ever "Done"!

    Who knows, some readers may want to add, to help Weina out, and Weina gets in to be less silent. Cheers.

    bangchik and kakdah
    Tanah Merah, Kelantan, Malaysia


    1. Bangchik, thank you for sharing your help to Weina for her garden flower and vegetable gardens. I hope she is able to incorporate some of your suggestions into her new garden. I look forward to hearing more about how she is progressing!

    2. Interesting as my husband is also a civil engineer who likes gardening!

    3. How nice to shared some tips to your readers.

    4. This comment has been removed by the author.

    5. Bangchik, your drawing and plan is very good.

      I would also like to suggest our Malaysian native plants. Gingers such as galangal, tumeric (kunyit) and common ginger are edible and useful and the have nice exotic foliage that blends well with other plants. I use cat whisker (misai kucing) as a ground cover. Pandan, lemongrass and other herbs are grown in the backyard just beside the kitchen. Their natural fragrance and 'edible' look motivates me further when I am cooking in the kitchen.

      Good luck and happy gardening to Weina!

    6. Wonderful sharing Bangchik. I need a drawing too. :)

      My sharing:
      1.If I were to redo my garden, I would use Cow grass instead of Philippine grass.
      2. Papaya is a joy. It does not take up a lot of space like other fruit trees and is very rewarding.

    7. Bangchik: WOW! Thank you so much for all that valuable advice! Your illustration and proportions of my garden is actually quite accurate although you haven't seen it before! *thumbs up*

      I can't wait to get started this weekend! But first, a visit to the DIY store and Sg Buloh is in order! :)

      Thanks so much again!
      P/S: My brother went to uni at Newcastle-upon-Tyne too. :)

      Autumn Belle: Great ideas!

      One: Papaya sounds good! Must remember to save some seeds the next time I eat a good one.

    8. I love the way how your suggestions elicited some real good advice from your commenters. There are so many Malaysian bloggers available here. Maybe later you will double up not only as an engineer but a garden designer!

    9. Theanne and Baron
      I think she is creative enough to handle it by herself, since her work requires lot of creative elements. Of course it is nice to someone else views.

      Green Lane Allotments
      Coincidence indeed. I bet he is extremely good, with greenest fingers.

      Yeap, I guess blog of this nature has SHARING as its essence.

      aha... we can always turn this blog into some community online gardening lesson... free!

      Autumn Belle
      Thanks Belle..., Weina would appreciate that. Yeap, if she is extremely busy with no maids around, we can even suggest automatic watering system to fulfill her green dream!

    10. One
      You need a drawing too?... Give some details, I will prepare a nice one for you, but bear in mind time is not always on my side. I can squeeze somehow. Or you an expert on sketches yourself? Cowgrass is natural to Malaysia, so it shines here, in a natural sense. Pearl and the rest are the immaculate types.

      Wandernut @ Weina.
      so you wish to break the silence.... it's really a small world that your brother went to Newcastle upon Tyne too. Papaya is the kind of plant that take such a long time at initial stage. 7 of mine are at 2 feet, sown in November. But papaya will shoot up after this, and within a year, you can sharpen the knife for the first slice!

      Good Luck, I am sure it will turn out to be the greenest garden in Putra Height within a short time.

      Thanks, as always blogging is about sharing. At least the post will put a definite mark to Weina's gardening endeavor. Who knows, I may evolve into a garden designer. For now I still have a task pending..., turning this blog into a book. I am still figuring how to start..

      Cheers, and good luck to Weina!
      ~bangchik and kakdah

    11. "Teringin" to see the before and after of Weina garden. Thank you Bangchik for documenting such comprehensive plan and tips.

    12. Aishah
      It is nice to ease out the first hurdle for her. She has enormous creativity and drive to see it through. We are happy for her. But please Aishah dont ask me to design a garden for your boat (or boats?).

    13. Agree with aisyah..i also would love to have a look on Weina garden before & after. Thank you Bangchik for such a great sharing to garden.

    14. great advice! Useful tips for us too! Thank you!

    15. That's a very good plan, I should learn from you... I never plan, when I plan, I fail miserably, so I just follow whatever my craze is at the moment! Wish Weina success with her garden, and you are such a sweetie to help her!

    16. ~AyuKirana
      ~kitchen flavours
      Thanks. I think Weina will do before and after post.... to share with us. When we plan, it should not be too rigid.. allow some minor changes along the way. By doing so we are the master, plan is just a tool. it should not be the other way round.


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