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Not Much Of A Gardener

I had never believed for a moment that I am a novice gardener.  There must be a more junior category than that, but I just can't find it.

A month after I brought those little plants into my planter, they have already thrown a few roadblocks my way. Or rather, they were trying to show me how inadequate a gardener I am.

Hello there, Miss Rosemary!

First up, was Rosemary. She sported a good head of healthy green shoots and smelled absolutely wonderful.  Then two weeks later, she looked gaunt and tired. Her leaves shriveled to almost needle-like. I'm sure my needles in my sewing kit was broader than that.

Miss Rosemary in her former glory.

Then I found out that I was not watering her correctly. Apparently her soil was so dry that it had caked up and needed a bit of coaxing by flooding it with more water to make it absorb. Much like a ultra dried sponge that is unable to absorb water initially.

After a round of proper watering, Rosemary came back to life again. But she didn't forgive me for my negligence and showed me her scars (browned leaves) everyday when we meeting in the mornings. I assured her that she will be back to her former glory in no time at all. Though I don't know how I am going to make good that promise.

I realised that I am starting to talk to my plants. Is this normal?

It's okay, I don't want to know.

Miss Pinky Torenia

Although I had mentioned earlier that I did not intend to buy this plant and its siblings, I was glad that they did come home with me. They added so much colour to my life and planter.

Miss Pinky Torenia is now in trouble. She is covered with powdery mildew and her leaves have turned yellow. I tried spraying a homemade baking soda fungicide on it two days ago but it is not making much progress. I am contemplating to bathe it with soap water. I wonder if that will work.

Even though Miss Pinky Torenia and her two other siblings cost me only S$10, I would hate to lose them.

That's me stooping near the vanity top for a closer shot.

This is Miss Purple Torenia. She was not as healthy as her other two siblings when she first came. Upon closer inspection, I found many mealy bugs parking themselves in little corners. They were the biggest mealy bugs I have seen in my life!

I've trimmed a few branches off the plant as they were badly infested and painstakingly cleaned up the mealy bugs with a toothpick and wet tissue to wipe off the white cottony stuff.

Now, Miss Purple Torenia greets me every morning with lots of dainty purple blooms. Gardening needs time and effort, but it is also greatly satisfying.

Here's fuzzy Mr. Thyme.

Mr. Thyme here proved to be a test on my patience. It sulks at being over-watered and wilts when under-watered.

Mr. Thyme now needs to go visit a trichologist if he wants to look like this again.

I refused to have a civilised conversation with him until he behaves. Or I have found a way to make him behave.

My precious

Here's my precious Miss Italian Basil. By far, she has been most agreeable and productive. I picked her up for S$7 and now I have a few transplants from it. So far I have made Garlic-ky Basil Shrimps and real home-made Pesto. More of that in another post.

I have always said that I wanted a garden in my home, but the reality of it is that I am not much of a gardener. I still have much to learn and with each pot of plant that I kill, I hope that I learn something new.


  1. Oh i suck at growing herbs as well. Overwatering or underwatering... and then pests seem to like them a lot too! So annoying.

    But I have heard that growing them in clay/ ceramic pots (vs plastic pots) may make them easier.. dunno if this helps.. but you might want to try :)

  2. Thanks for the tip. But due to space constrain I hang them on the rail of my planter and clay/ceramic pots might be too heavy. =)


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