Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Pak Choy in Johor

Pak Choy
coming to 2nd week now  

pak choy in pots (27 Nov 2011)

pak choy in pots, different view (27 Nov 2011)

pak choy close-up (27 Nov 2011)

bangchik and kakdah
johor malaysia

Friday, November 25, 2011

Roselle in Johor

Roselle is the first to be in the little vegetable garden plot. The seedlings were brought from Tanah Merah. I managed to squeezed in 11, with one left as spare just in case any one failed.... Roselle is not so fussy about soil.  We have enough experience over roselle in Putrajaya and Tanah Merah. We did notice about red bugs as angels of death, swarming over roselle towards the end of their healthy lives in Putrajaya and Tanah Merah... Lets see if red bugs around here can smell the eleven plants growing at the back of our house.

Work on six rows of vegetable bed is still in progress. I can't wait until all is ready, therefore 11 roselle plants were planted as early quickwin. I guess to keep enthusiasm  going there should be adequate number of quickwins spread along the journey. Applicable to gardening or any long term projects.

Definitely 11 roselle is the biggest so far, compared to 7 in Tanah Merah and 5 in Putrajaya. With 6 rows of vegetable bed, we can make sure that roselle remain as permanent feature, rotating from one row to another over the many years. 

A sure promise of juice and jam within two months..

bangchik and kakdah
Little Vegetable Garden in Johor

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Courtesy visit to the Palace

A courtesy visit to the Palace on 15th November 2011, last week. Very beautiful palace indeed, fringed with green. The session was in  relaxed mood. It's an ocasion on 15th  December 2011 we were discussing about.

The Sultan of Johor was very concerned about preserving Johor heritage especially buildings and culture. If we drive along Johor Bahru we can sense the atmosphere of such heritage like Sultan Abu Bakar State Mosque, Muzeum and Palaces.

Blue is the royal colour for Johor State, and HRH reminded us not to be too excessive with blue for 15.12.2011 ocassion. While it is alright for carpet to be blue, HRH doesn't expect napkin, table cloth, etc to be all blue.

With HRH Sultan of Johore 15th November 2011.
 (from left: zulkifli, shab, HRH Sultan of Johor, bangchik, suzana,and johaini)

bangchik and kakdah
Johor Malaysia

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The old mulberry and the new pak choy.

Yes a new place and a new garden indeed, but at the moment contents are old plants brought here from Tanah Merah Kelantan. Somehow potted plants love the new setting, weather and shady environment created by two massive rain-tree....

The Old Mulberry
There is quite a history about mulberry. We first grew two potted mulberry plants in Putrajaya then moved  to Tanah Merah for a year,  and now in Johor.  It seems to grow well, sprouting flowers and berries but I notice a few bites at the leaves. It could be grasshoppers from the large field at the back of our house. It is alright, grasshoppers can take the leaves, we can take the berries.


Mulberry with bitten leaves


The New Pak Choy
Pak Choy is one of the many veggies we would try here. Twenty five seedlings are coming to the fourth leaves. Next week, they will be transferred to bigger 5 inch diameter plastic pots. They will remain in pots til harvest. I don't think they can grow well outside with rains coming everyday..

Pak Choy seedlings

Pak Choy seedlings, 25 altogether.

Pak Choy seedlings.

There is steady progress on six rows of vegetable bed. Three completed and three more to go.  Eleven Roselle seedlings brought along from Tanah Merah are the first group of plants to be introduced into our vegetable plot, the rest will wait...  Our new garden is really a combination of old and new.

bangchik and kakdah.
Johor Malaysia.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

What's in store for the new garden.

Coming to a new place, one will have to assess what's in store for gardening adventure. Over here space is definitely big for gardening. Vegetable garden will remain small for sustainability. For the two of us, we dont really require big harvest. It should be enough for home use and ocasional giveaways to neighbours. So it looks like 6 rows of vegetable is enough. We are planning for 3 different spots for climbers, with steel trellis.... permanent feature for the garden.

 Potted Plants
Potted plants are recuperating well after such long journey,
and in a way fills up the emptiness
of not having a vegetable garden.

Kakdah likes this evergreen plant....

Fern, easy to look after


An ordinary orchid

New seedlings

Ulam Raja, Kangkung and Ladys' Fingers come out nicely and now at second pair of leaves. We will let them grow bigger and stronger in pots before putting them in vegetable bed. Lettuce, chili, clitoria ternatea, cabbage are joining the queue...

20 ulam raja seedlings.

Kangkung and lady's finger seedlings

Getting Vegetable Garden ready

Additional soil brought in for vegetable bed

Monsoon and Flood
Soil is very clayey,
with a tendency to hold and retain water.
Water will take sometime to move to the drain, hence a little flood.

Flood, just temporary before surface water gets into drain

Water drained away within a few hours

So water is going to be a problem. We are planning to raise the vegetable bed a little higher to avoid being completely submerged during rainy season. Two lorryloads of soil should be adequate. Sand which will come soon, will be added to improve drainage and texture of garden soil. I only have weekends to handle all these.... That will take a month or two.....

bangchik and kakdah.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

New Place, New Garden.

The longest journey in decades, starting off around 10am, arriving the next day at 3.00am. It was leisure driving, 750 km altogeher, numerous stops along the way. It's tiring, but it's alright. Over the many years, we probably have done millions kilometers of driving.. So, 750km from Tanah Merah to Johor is little...

The very next day, clitoria ternatea, sunflower and ulam raja were germinated in small brown pots. Being fresh seeds, ulam raja sprout within two days.. The other two stay quiet. Then kangkung and lady's fingers were soaked and wrapped in tissue. They are OK now...

Most potted plants are here in Johor, getting used to new environment. It's cooler around the house than Tanah Merah. Two large raintrees almost covered the whole sky.....

Plants in new environment in Johor.

YELLOW ORCHIDS, facing the road

POTTED PLANTS  in a new setting


HANGING POTS: at the back of the house
Kakdah's plants hanging in a different house.
and quite visible on the ground is future vegetable bed, clearly marked.

Three rows of vegetable bed half way through.

The space at the back of the house is massive......
I will need sometime to create  new litle vegetable garden in Johor. Not too ambitious, just enough to keep the spirit going. It is going to be exciting.....

bangchik and kakdah

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Saluting them, bidding farewell

Should farewell be all about sadness, hugs and tears? Not necessarily. I went around the garden before sun broke loose it's monsoon anger...... with Nikon D90, to assess how they feel about us leaving. The plants I mean.

~The world of orchids ~
That is Kakdah's world, orchids and orchids. 
They come in all sort of colours, shapes and sizes. 
When they bloom, Kakdah is happiest. I wonder if it should work vice versa.

Pic 1 ~ yellow orchid

Pic 2 ~ yellow orchid

Pic 3 ~ yellow orchid

Pic 4 ~  light purple orchid

Pic 5 ~ another orchid
Pic 6 ~ orchid still  in buds, protruding out

Pic 7 ~ colourful orchid, Kakdah's delight.

~ Cardinal Vine ~
An ordinary flowering vine from childhood days, less seen now, but given some prominence in our garden. They are flowering again and again ~ clear bright red little flowers with white filaments in the middle.  When they climb high into the sky, looking so brave and happy, they probably are singing along with Freddie Mercury (Queen) on that heroic number, we are the champions.

Pic 8 ~ cardinal vine flower among pokok daun kesum
Pic 9 ~ Cardinal vine, filling up the air.

~ Lantana, the brightest ~
No other flowers can beat lantana on being showy and bright. No scent, just being fashionable . I remember how the late Negeri Sembilan's Tuanku Jaafar went on describing the Malays... "colorful, most flamboyant". Lantana describes that well.

Pic 10 ~ Lantana, bright orange and yellow

Pic 11 ~ Lantana, teaming up.

~ Periwinkle; being simple ~
Another simple flowering plants, periwinkle has that soothing healthy looking leaves with non stop flowers . Being so ordinary, not many like to keep periwinkle, that most end up as wild flowers in villages and outskirt of towns. But as I keep reminding Kakdah..., "it is alright to live with the ordinary, because taking off all the dressings of modern life, indeed we really are very ordinary", as humble as a periwinkle.

Pic 12 ~ Periwinkle, light purple

~ Ulam Raja ~
indeed like a forest in the garden. How  many of our lunches had been accompanied with delicious salad of ulam raja. How many times the little boy from the front row of houses came and said "Mak mintak sikit ulam raja" or translated as "Mom ask for ulam raja". And how can I forget the memorable voyage of ulam raja seeds to London (click here: ULAM RAJA against all odds: a story from London).....

Pic 13 ~ Ulam Raja bush with winged beans at the back.

Keeping in tune with Mr Mohamad's wise words, Mr Shab's J factor where every thing has to JIVE in,  in a JIGSAW puzzle, Mr Jalil's worry with golf balls having minds of their own and young Mr Faudzi's grasp on reality of life, I look at the garden and keep wondering if  farewell needs to be teary hugs and kisses........

bangchik and kakdah
Tanah Merah, Kelantan
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