Monday, December 29, 2008

My Lemon Grass Had A Haircut....And More!

It was quite intimidating at first. And to some extent, quite intriguinging. I just don't know how to harvest my lemon grass. And it is growing like nobody's business.

So I remembered reading a book, entitled, I Can, You Can Too! by M. McCullough. I remembered a phrase she wrote, "if you don't know how to start, just start!", or something along that line. In other words, if you want to do something, and doesn't know how to do it, just do it anyway. Start doing something to get started. So, for someone who have a tendency to procastinate like me, that phrase really have an impact, everytime I get into a situation.

So I start googling again...(instead of just harvest them...haha!) Found some good sites and some information. Some even suggested that you should wear gloves and eye protector. Gloves, makes sense. The other day, when Chahya suggested to trim the lemongrass, first try, and I got a sharp blade cutting my fingers and some skin irritation on my arms.

So, my lemongrass had a haircut last weekend.

This morning, i 'braved' myself and get the gloves, the trimmer (yes, the one that cut the bug) and a spade. Hmmm...... they said, get a bulb at a time. If it's in clump, just pull it anyway. And I tried pulling and sepearting a bulb, but it moved a clump. I pulled it, and hey presto! I got a few twigs harvested! Finally!

Hey, that's not so bad! Quite easy, actually. Then you just need to clean it up a bit by removing the outer layers and cut off the top grass part.

My first lemongrass harvest! There's still a few stalks in the refrigerator from the supermarket. So, I guess I'd make the simplest recipe I have on lemongrass. Just steep a crushed bulb or fine cuts into a hot water and you get Lemongrass tea! Simply aromatic and delicious!

To read some of the great benefits of lemongrass tea, click here. The rest of the benefits, hey, just google it!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Honeybun at the Herb Garden

Honey loves the birds, Honey loves the bees
Honey loves chasing the bugs
Among her favorite things

Under the basil tree
Besides the lemon grass
Honey doesn't leave any leaf unturned

Once she spots on vision
Honey gets in her position
Pouncing on her unsuspecting prey

Eyeing, positioning, pouncing her way
Alas, the prey is never a prey
Because they always gets away

Hahaha....bad poem! I know, I know! Just wanted to try rhyming a few hymn. Whatever!

This is what Honey normally does whenever accompanying me gardening. She really enjoys being among the plants and bugs. Ain't she a beauty now?

Monday, December 22, 2008

Home Sweet Home 2

Haah...just came back from another travelling. This time more of visiting relatives kind of vacation. No pictures, coz I didn't even go out much except to one mall, more of a stay home and get pampered as a guest treatment...hahaha. Nice, but its great to be home...again. :)

First thing after getting home, a quick trip to my backyard! My beloved herbal garden!! Oh, I missed it so, this time. Thank goodness, everythings alright.

Then to the vet to fetch the adorable hairballs, Minty and Honeybun from the hotel, er, hostel stay. Honeybun was said to have gone through diarrhea and depression, but the vet took care of it. First time boarding away for her. Oreo is left to guard the house, we left him with the food and water dispenser enough for the duration. So far he's risen up to the occassion. The house was intact, eerr...except some cream furs lying all over the grass at a few spots. Evidence of territory protections. And a couple of territorial markings, suspected from the alley cats that Oreo's been chasing.

But back to my little green haven. Some have really grown!

Aaahh.... the much amissed corner.

The ladies have transformed into beauties!

Yummy spread at the vegetable bed. I wonder when will it be ready for my table?

Something's been eating this one. Just you wait, ok!

Ok, this one, the slimy culprit is is caught red handed. It didn't live much longer after this pose. I cut it with the trimmer together with the leaf.... eeewwww.. urggghhh....@#$&!*+!!

On a happier note, a latest addition to the family, donated to my garden collection. The whole pot! Tq! Tq! Tq!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Herbal Talkings

Hi there! it getting too crowded for you? I think I have a solution. I should eat you up! Eeerr... I should harvest you and cook you up! Same thing....haha!

Ma cherie la tomato! You grew so fast, I didn't have time to set the trainer for you! That's why you bend to your likings. I will still do it for you, soon...hehehe!

Ho ho ho! You guys sure couldn't wait to grow up and stand tall, aren't you? Too late with the sticks, you're already all over the fence. Come give me some Brinjals, quick!

Aiyoo......and you! I thought were were supposed to be a row of Salad Lettuce....for my Garden Salad. But you turn out to be ..... another row of brinjals?

My Lady Fingers. You're another speedy gonzales, aren't you? You sprout in no time, and now you're ready to fruit.

Upclose pose of Ladyfinger. Why you blur up? Don't be too shy!

Hello Cucumbers! You finally decided to sprout out and see the world! For a moment, I thought you're really shy. But your previous friends almost sprung overnight...beautiful and flowering.... until that fateful day when Honeybun decided that it made a great leap fence but landed on it instead. Don't worry, I'll watch her next time. She's just too fond of chasing after the bees and flies away from me when I do gardening.

Moi Butterheads! You certainly take your own sweet time, huh!

Dearie, you have to decide, are you growing, or are you 'going'? Maybe I should take more effort to strengthen your bed, ya. I'll see if I can find some planks at the hardware store tomorrow, just for you, so that the soil won't slide down everytime it rains, ok. Mini landslide...? noooooo

Basil Beauties! Growing well, aren't you, with flowers and sprigs and germinates! You certainly keep me busy with Basil Tea, Beef Basil, Chicken Basil, Fish Basil......

Are you guys comfy there? Enough space for the four of you? You gotta make do ok? You guys are so precious and beneficial to upkeep, from diabetes, to gout, high blood pressure, high cholestrol, and migraine, you name it, you can help to ease. I just need to find out how.

Hello there, you crawly Mints! I know you like to crawl around, but I have to curl you up so you stay together ok. We'll leave some space for the others, right?

C'mon guys and gals. I know you can do it,.......faster! Is the soil way beneath you too hard? I'm sticking some bamboo's from the old oil lantern around you to protect you from the pouncing Honeybun, Minty or Oreo. Not to jail you up, k!

Wow, that's a whole lot of herbal talking. And, that's only halfway through. Now for the rest of the plants.....

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Not My House!

Yet! At a different location. And different, too. Metropical and slight Balinese concept. Homely. Welcoming. A happy home....!

Love the pool view! Wonder where should I locate my herbal garden?

Ask, Believe, Receive!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Home Sweet Home!

Its always great to be home after being away for a while. Not that you did not have a great time vacationing, but.... a home is, home sweet home! Period.

This vacation is a simple one, rest and relax. No tour packages. Just a map, a GPS, and the car. Have fun, will travel. The activities centers around visits to various parks, aquamarine, a ferry ride, downtown drive through, beach walk, seafood dinner, and even..... a visit to a mall! Haha...! Then back to the hotel to hit the pool or the recreations area.

Just so not to bore you with the attractions that we went to, I'll just share some breathtaking views from the hotel stayed in for 4 days and 3 nights.

Night view from the 21st floor

Town view

Day view of the beach

Window view from the bath...ehem, of course you need to draw the curtain when doing 'business'..haha

An internet freak exposed! Red handed! Wonder whose blog was it?

Friday, November 28, 2008

Replacement Cactus

Last September when I first arranged the cactuses in a bowl, I had high hopes for it. It was actually a trial project to see, 1. whether cactusses brought from Cameron Highland can lasts in KL climate, and 2. whether it can survive as indoor plants sharing a bowl amongst them.

Well, as you can see from the left picture above, the finished project of Cactus in a Bowl and on the right is the bowl after almost 3 months. When one by one a few cactuses started to die, I was clueless on what to do. I still am now, but yesterday when I shop around, I saw some cute cactusses for sale. And they're pretty cheap too.

So I bought four new cactusses to replace the ones that didn't survive the project. I'll probably do it after coming back from my vacation next week.


Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Hamsters Have a Bathroom....Can You Believe It??

Its raining again this afternoon. That means for 2 days in a row, I cannot do my gardening, except for taking a peek at what's sprouting and what's not.

The Bittergourd is still shy, so is the cucumber. Oh, I didn't update, the earlier healthily flowering cucumber died when I transfered it to the vegetable bed. I suspect Minty or the other cats must've jumped on it. Oh, well....

However the brinjals are sprouting 2 strong twigs almost overnight, and the okra is steadily and slowly growing. I also tried to plant red chilies fresh from.... a red chilli. It's also sprouting now. Amazing!

Since I'm not taking pictures because of the weather, I'll post these ones instead. The hamsters have a bathroom....can you believe it?

The Orange Bathroom........ and Hi Sakura!

Waiting room while the 'house' is being cleaned...Hello Syaoran! Tell Sakura not to climb over, k.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Eeeeekkkkk......! i just killed a bug!

Its the grasshopper who's been eating my Pandan leaves.

And I don't want to talk about it.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Garden Garbles

So far, I am quite happy with the overall progress of my herbal garden. However as you go along, there are things that you learned and discover and discovered that you need to learn more. If you know what I mean...

My tomato plants need to be grounded, but according to the net, you need to build a vegetable bed, ie. create a higher ground for the plant. Where? And how? Will this work?

The kesum or vietnamese mint, or laksa leaves, some called it, is nice and bushy, but somehow the leaves are getting smaller in size. Or am I just imagining it?

The Thai Basil is flowering and germinanting but some leaves are getting yellow and aged. What do I do about it? What I do now, I pinched off some of them and crushed them and hang them at random on the plants prone to pest attack, like the lime families. And if I get mosquito bites while gardening, I'd just rub the leaves on the skin and it would heal fast and good repellant for further attack, I think. Mint seems to be ok but I wonder why the leaveas are so small compared to the ones in supermarkets. Is it of different species? By the way, this plant started from a stalk pinched off from a plant the seller gave us as she tried to convince us to buy it and said that this is the easiest one to grow just by sticking the stalk in the soil. We got convinced. She didn't sell us the plant, but we convinced her to give us a stalk.

My cucumber needs a trainer but I haven't had a hoot how to do it yet. So is my okra. It has to be soon before the poly bag and pot became too small for the plants.

My Pandan and Lemongrass, Galangher, Tumeric and Ginger is growing beautifully but I don't know when they can be harvested. The onion leaves are getting wilty.

My chilli plant looks so thin and well,...thin. I am wondering if it is dying a slow.....very slow death. Seems to still flowering and produce one or two chillies.

Curry, ok.

Lime families, Kaffir Lime, Kasturi and Lime is getting better and less invasion from the leaves eater, whetever it is. I just crushed some kesum leaves and stick it either at the thorns or in between leaves to ward off these pests. The fragrant from the kesum leaves supposedly confuses these bugs from the lime fragrant and they will leave these plants alone. So far, in this last few weeks, it seems to be working well. No more eaten leaves.

Pineapples, ok. Long wait of 1-2 years.

Papaya, grounded. All twelve but left with 10 now as 2 died. Eventually only 2 will be maintained once I determined the male/female plant.

Piper leaves and Betel leaves is growing slow and steady at a shady spot. The Piper leaves tend to have some orange/black spots on some of its leaves, but I haven't find anything online for the causes. The Betel looks ok, but still some infested leaves.

My daily vegetable attempt, lettuces, Butterhead and Salad, not working. Bittergourd, next round.

Oh, my friend also presented me with a house warming gifts of 2 plants and some seeds from Mardi. So, there's additional collection of Nona and Tenggek Burung. And recently I managed to stick a couple of Sambung Nyawa stalks in the ground. Looks ok. Next to Mas Cotek we bought from the nursery.

And my front outside garden, sometimes forgotten because, well... it is outside, is unkempt. This one need bigger mental struggle to do...hahaha!

Well, I am listing all these so that I won't forget the list of things to do or to find out. Its still a learning process for me, but the wonder of discoveries is out of this world!