Sunday, October 17, 2004

New Hobby

Just started on a new hobby. It was natural considering that I had a grandfather and a father with green finger. I also obtained my Bachelor and Master degrees in Biological sciences. In case you haven’t guessed it, my latest hobby is gardening.

It was always my dream to have a house with a huge garden with ancient trees and an English garden. However, I was not really interested in getting my hands dirty. I guess, being forced to handle plants as part of your academic studies and being graded for it somehow takes away the fun part from gardening. However, gardening runs in my blood. Our ancestral home had a big garden which was filled with exotic plants, especially fruit trees and vegetables collected from everywhere by my grandfather. Even though my father is a doctor, the first thing he does when he gets up and comes back from the office is to tend to his precious plants. No wonder that the small space outside the terrace house in Kota Bharu has run out of space. He has now turned to greening the space outside the house and helping our neighbours with their gardens.

I finally had my chance when I moved into the new rented terrace house here in Kedah. When I first moved in the little space outside was filled with unruly grass and prickly bushes. I promptly called the friendly neighbourhood grass cutter to get rid of the mess. I had grand plans for the small space outside but work overload meant that it remained empty and soon the grass came back. I finally decided that I had to do something. I went to the nearest supermarket and got myself some gardening tools. It still remained empty as I decided what to plant.

Being a practical man, like my grandfather, I decided to go for edible plants -mostly edible herbs. I guess I am a bit different from my father - he prefers flowers and exotic plants even though he grows edible plants too. I started out with Pudina (Mentha) and Halba (fenugreek). I obtained some plants from my in-laws house. It turns out that my wife’s grandmother has green fingers too. She took some Pudina stalks (which I had bought from Giant) and soon we had two pots filled with the herb. I obtained soem specimins from her for my own garden. As for the later, I had actually bought them to use for my cooking. I just threw a few seeds on the prepared soil and soon they were germinating. They are about 2 inches tall now. Last week I obtained a lime (the one used in teh -o-ice limau) sapling from the local pasar malam for RM5. I also decided that my garden also needed some colour and got myself a bougainvillea with bright red flowers (RM5). This week I am going to add some more plants to my slowly growing garden. I brought some Pagaga (Gotu kola, Centella asiatica ) from my in-law’s garden (again) and am going to plant them today.

Next on my list: lemon grass, chilies, selaseh (sweet basil) and Sundal Harum Malam.

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