Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Herbal Delights

Being a new 'gardener', hehe....rather, new to gardening, I did a bit of research online to get some ideas on how I can improve my garden. Although there are many, most are catered to English garden concept, or four season countries. They are beautiful and colourful, nevertheless, but I am looking for some simple soothing environment where one can really enjoy the atmosphere rather than getting edgy about some fragile plants. And naturally the concept has to be tropical.

So I resorted to magazines that I found yesterday while going out for lunch.

As I was flipping through a magazine on gardens and landscape, much to my delight, there was an article on herbs. Not too extensive, but enough for my basic knowledge. I know some people are talking about 'temulawak', and 'sambung nyawa' etc, but I always like to know more about the basic ones like kunyit, halia, serai, daun limau purut, cili, pandan, lengkuas. (In translation, tumeric, ginger, lemongrass, kaffir lime, chilies, and gallangher) First entry level to herbs.

I am so happy and proud that my herbal garden is growing well, though, slow and steady. More to add, but at the moment, already a cheery lot of herbal plants.

These two plants above, is the ginger and the tumeric. Which is which, please don't ask me now. I don't know, because I don't remember which when it was planted. I will know when its time to harvest, and God knows when. Maybe in a few months time when they look 'harvestable'. Next time I should have it labeled, too.

Gallangher, lemongrass and pandan. Gallangher, as well as tumeric leaves is a must for our spicy dish, 'rendang' in our family. Lemongass makes tom yum simply irresistable, especially when you add the kaffir lime leaves. Pandan is simply aromatic in nasi lemak, and traditional deserts. You can also use it as an air freshener in your car, or place it in your cupboards to keep away the roaches.

Kasturi lime, kaffir lime, curry and chillies. Also extensively used in Asian cooking. Kasturi lime is normaly served fresh cut into two for additional flavourings to many traditional delicacies like Assam Laksa, Mee Kari and Laksa Johor. So is the chillies, for extra spicy meal. Curry leaves adds aromatic flavour especially to curry dishes and butter prawns. Yum,yum....!

But...for the life of me, I just cannot remember what plant is this.....!!!!


U.Lee said...

Hi YDiana, wow! Wayyyyyy to go, Ydiana....nothing like your own little herb garden....not only to your benefit, but pleasant to the eyes as well adds glamour to the garden and of course a topic for conversation when friends come over for kopi or to blog about.

Next time for fun, label them with dates planted and names. There are a lot of herbs you can plant and they don't occupy much space too, only sunlight.

I tried planting herbs here before as well corn, beans, cucumbers....sebelum ready to harvest, habis la satu malam a night, masked robber makan all....Raccoons!!
I next time planted sprinkled pepper around, itu pun ta' short of tembak them with my gun, I gave up, ha ha.
You have a good time with your garden...wear your designer slacks, Christian Dior sunglasses and YSL gardening shoes, *wink*. Lee.

cakapaje said...

Salam ydiana,

lol! You could well have your own TV show with the plants. Well, except for the last plant, that is.

But hey, these plants are good. Maybe you should serai too.

As for natural fertilisers, try mulch - decaying leaves and plants! Try to get earthworms too as they contribute greatly to the health of plants. Another thing which some might find yucky, are food leftovers such as chicken and fish bones. But should you use them, make sure you put them them deep. With the Pandan plants around, you have little to worry about the unwanted 'aroma'.

Ydiana said...

Hi Lee

Yes, I think its a great idea to label it. Get some wood planks and stick it next to the plants. Like a science garden...hahaha. Once I'm done with basic herbs, next will be the vegetables and some medicinal herbs for cholestrol, diabetics, etc.

For the 'masked robber' of yours, tak pe lah, they must be hungry to eat your lots.. Maybe soe leftover bread might hinder them next time? ;)

Ydiana said...

Salam Shah

Ok, cikgu cakapaje. Since you mentioned, I have a few questions for you.

1. What is mulch? Where can i get it? Is it the decaying plants you mentioned?
2. Decaying leaves and plants. Do I get just any around the house and place it on the ground near the plants?
3. The food leftovers need to be deep, do I need to dig and cover it in?


cakapaje said...


For questions like that, the cikgu you need is Cikgu Nazir of Kata Tak Nak! lol!

Mulch as defined by the Free Dicionary online: "A protective covering, usually of organic matter such as leaves, straw, or peat, placed around plants to prevent the evaporation of moisture, the freezing of roots, and the growth of weeds."

In other words, just about anything organic would no nicely.

Apart from giving the soil the protection it needs, those rotting leaves provide food for earthworms which is vital for irrigation. And the earthworms, apart from making those canals underground, provide nutrients to the plant with its 'excess'.

As for the food leftovers, yes, you would need to dig deeper to prevent 1) animals foraging over it 2) the smell which can permeate your nice garden.

Now, what some people do is that they would keep the intended leftovers in fridge till there's about 2 or 3 days worth, then bury them in the garden.

Ydiana said...

Hi Shah

Hehe..I just find out about mulch from the free online dictionary right after I asked you. Moron me.

I supposed I can even use the grass that I just cut and spread it over the plants. Neat! No need to throw it away in trash bags!

Talking about earthworms...eeeee! No way! Stay away!