Wednesday, June 29, 2011

ULAM RAJA against all odds: a story from London

I wrote about Ulam Raja, will it ever get to London on Tuesday, April 26, 2011 as I mailed a packet of ulam raja seeds to a blogging friend in London. It's almost two months now, then an email came.....

Dear Bangchik and Kakdah
The ulam rajah has arrived safely, thank you very much.  I have to tell you a story of its survival against all odds....
Firstly it ended up next door (postman's mistake) and they were on holidays, then when it came to the right address but then my partner accidentally picked it up with some empty envelopes and threw it into the bin - alamak!  I had just started a new job and was too busy to check my mail until the weekend.  That's when I was told about mail from Malaysia. We searched high and low and finally decided to go outside and pull out all the black bin bags, opening each one up, wearing gloves and sifting through the rubbish for that precious envelope!  Thank goodness that you had packed the seeds in a plastic bag :)
Secondly I must apologise profusely for not letting you know earlier that I've got it, about 3 weeks ago.  A friend was dying from cancer and my free time was taken up with helping out in his garden, staking up his tomatoes and cucumbers in his greenhouse as he was bed-ridden. He passed away last week and it was very sad to say good-bye to a fellow gardener.  We used to swap seedlings and talk about growing vegetables.  I used to look after his plants when he  and his wife go on holidays.
Anyway, things are calming down at this end and I shall be updating my blog which has been neglected. I did plant out the ulam rajah, placing an upturned plastic box over the tray as a make-shift cloche. Today was the first time I ventured out into the garden and would you believe it, there are 5 ulam rajah seedlings! I'll put them into pots tomorrow when the weather is drier and continue growing them under the cloche.  It has been bucketing down for 2 weeks. I'm very excited about this project and will write about it as one of my blog entries.
Terima kasih.

I hope our blogging friend doesn't mind having the whole email posted here. It's not about the letter on its grammatical merits, but its about the trouble ulam raja seeds had to endure, to finally rest in germinating pots in London.  Stories of hardship as prelude to success is always sweet and makes us feel better and stronger, ready to face the whole big stressful life.

bangchik and kakdah


  1. Very inspiring post on many levels. Thank you for sharing!

  2. The Ulam seeds have traveled hundreds of miles...

  3. Thank you for the 2nd episode of your ulam raja to London story. I find it touching.

  4. A wonderful story about ulam rajah finally has a nice spot in London.

  5. NotSoAngryRedHead
    Malay-Kadazan girl

    ~ Thanks everyone. It's a wonderful story of ulam raja, making their way to a greenhouse in London. I am touched by what the blogging friend got to go through with envelop in rubbish bag, about the new workplace, about a sick gardening friend. Ulam raja seeds were witnessing extreme emotional elements before they eventually felt water and air to handle lives on their own.

    I do hope ulam raja in London will not be too invasive, disturbing London ecosystem. I don't wish to be charged in London Court on "biological sabotage"! ... :)

    Have a great day.
    ~bangchik and kakdah, Tanah Merah.

  6. I would like to try growing this herb in Japan...

  7. Lrong
    ~ good luck to your adventure. by the way, ulam raja is a variety of cosmos plant.

  8. Survivor! Hurray for the ulam rajah. Thank you for the lovely story.

  9. Such an interesting and heartwarming story! Luckily, the ulam raja seeds survived.

  10. Keats

    ~ we thought gardening is a straight forward thing. Throw seeds, and harvest. The London Friend pointed out about Ulam Raja against all odds. It's a daily happening, about work, about life, about adventure...... it's sweet when success is very elusive, throwing odds and problems all over before it shows itself, SUCCESS!


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