The Gardener In Me - December 2017

Though small in size, I am most contented to own one. One where I could play getting my hands dirty with soil in exchange for the beautiful greens. What more if the greens are also deliciously edible.

Since coming back to my holiday ( vacation ) home days back, I have been out in the garden a number of times everyday. When I am not tending to the plants, I would be there admiring and watching them.

I was so happy the other day when I first saw my pumkin plant. I thought it has borne me fruits. Not one but many. A gardener friend ever warned me that it is not easy to get one. This is because the stamens and stigmas are in separate flowers. Unless pollination takes place, fruit will not come by. The process is a must. Either you make it happen with your hands or there are insects around to help you out. Pray hard that the insects would. The moment when I saw some yellow flowers with small fruits right below them, I thought real fruits have set. I felt just so lucky at that instance. However, when I searched the internet, I found that I was terribly wrong. Those were just normal unpollinated female flowers. (Sigh ) . What a disappointment!

Female flower

Male flower
However, despite the disappointment, I removed all the weeds from the planter. It was a real difficult task. I got my hands itched all over from contacts with the hairy pumpkin plant. Luckily, the itch went away soon. I wanted the pumpkin plant to grow at its best without having to compete with the weeds for nutrients, space and water. I still have high hopes that it will bear fruits somehow without my interference.

Heaps of weeds were removed. There were no signs of any Kailan plants ever germinated from the seeds which I had sown on the planter weeks back.

I planted some sweet potato cuttings inside the planter to fully utilise the empty space. Hopefully, there would be something for me to harvest the next time I come back.

After that I top-dressed the planter with coffee grounds ( crushed coffee fiber ) to add more nutrients to the soil. I even dilluted my homemade Eco-friendly Enzymes in water and applied it onto the soil and plants for better growth and more.

Coffee grounds used as fertilizer

Front yard planter after weeds removal and top-dressed with coffee grounds.

Having done all that were necessary at the front yard planter, I moved on to work at the backyard planter. I have harvested most of the vegetables and cooked them in my kitchen days before. I did not pull out the whole of the plants. Instead, I cut them low; leaving at least two nodes or more above the ground for them to continue growing. Unlike the front yard planter, weeds removal was much easier here as there were not too many of them. After the removal, I top-dressed the soil with coffee grounds and watered the plants with my dilluted, homemade Eco-friendly Enzymes .

Backyard planter top-dressed with coffee grounds

Backyard planter top-dressed with coffee grounds
A lepidoptera insect resting on my Gynura bicolor plant.

I have always wanted to add more planters to my garden. Having just two are definitely not enough to satisfy The Gardener In Me! Thus, I added 3 big pot planters to my backyard yesterday. I am hoping to plant some climbing edibles to beautify and screen-off the back neighbour's kitchen - for more privacy. However, I have yet to fill them up with soil. I guess I can only do so the next time I come back as I would be going for a 7-day retreat on the 23rd..

After the retreat, I would go back to Kuala Lumpur. Then, like always, I would have to leave my plants under the care of nature. All the best!

I Am Rather Happy With My Small Backyard Garden Right Now

After quite a long absence, I am finally back to my vacation home where My Small Backyard Garden is today. Soon after I got out from my sister's car, I took a quick look at the front yard planter. I knew I shouldn't have high expectation at all but I still felt very disappointed at the sight of the weeds having dominated almost the whole of the planter. The pumpkin plant managed to survive and bear flowers somehow but there was no sign of the kale plants at all. I have yet to take a closer look at it as it was already quite late when we arrived. I will have to pull out all the weeds tomorrow or day after to know the actual condition.

Here is the picture of the front yard planter which I had captured at that instance :

Beautiful greenery but unfortunately not my desired greens.

Having seen the unfavoured growths at the front yard planter, I quickly went to the backyard to see the other planter, but with much less optimism. A lot of times when you least expect the best to happen, you would be happy to see even the slightest good things or happenings. It was just the case for me right then. I was closed to jumping with joy at the sight of the beautifully grown vegetables ( except for the Ceylon Spinach ). They have grown just so well and beyond my expectation. There were some weeds here and there but they have not hindered the growth of the vegetables, or so it seemed.

See the pictures below :

The Sweet Potato plants have overgrown to the outside of the planter and are ready for harvest.

The Basil Leaf plants are flowering and ready for harvest.

The Red Amaranth plants are growing in abundance. They may be over-crowded but look healthy somehow.

The Gynura bicolor plants are at their most beautiful state. They are ready for harvest.

The Madeira Vine has already trailed up the fence and looks healthy though it is not ready for harvest yet.

Despite the disappointment that I have with my front yard planter, I am quite happy for at least the backyard planter is rather beautiful and productive. Thank goodness.

Note : This blog post is a continuity from an earlier blog post. Click HERE to read the earlier blog post.

About Lemon Grass And How To Sun-dry Its Leaves To Make Tea

Lemon grass ( Cymbopogon citratus ), is a species of grass native to parts of Asia and Africa although it has been well-known for many generations by various indigenous peoples of Central and North America. It is a perennial grass that thrives in warm weather and it can grow up to four feet tall in ideal climates. You can find lemon grass planted in many Malaysians' home gardens.

Its Uses =>

Lemon grass is most commonly consumed as a fresh herb (in curries and soups), oil and tea. The tea is also sometimes applied to the skin as a toner and cleaner. Boiled lemon grass leaves or stalks (dried or fresh) water is very good for bathing especially for women who have given births as it is said to be able to expel excessive 'winds' from their bodies.  Lemon grass tea has a slightly spicy taste and may provide a wide variety of health benefits.

Its Benefits =>

Lemon grass promotes healthy digestion, calms nervous disorders, relieves insomnia, normalizes blood pressure and removes toxins from the body. Lemon grass may be an effective colon cancer fighter. Researchers discovered that lemon grass contains citral, a substance that kills cancer cells, but does not harm healthy cells in any way. Lemon grass also displays strong antioxidant properties and is a mild antimicrobial. The toxicity of lemon grass is very low, so it is safe to be consumed as tea on a regular basis, unless you’re pregnant.

Propagation And Growing Conditions =>

Lemon grass is a fast growing and easy to grow plant. It can be propagated via division from its mother plant. However, you may also plant one using store bought stalk that has a few roots in sight. You can either plant it direct into the soil or leave it to root a little bit more in the water before planting. Lemon grass grows well under full sun with plenty of water. It prefers a rich and well-draining soil. If it is grown in containers, you may want to top-dress it with compost or organic fertilizers every couple of weeks so as to ensure it gets enough nutrients.

My mum especially loved lemon grass for its delicate hint of lemon. She also cherished it for its many health benefits. She used to make tea from its fresh leaves or stalks for us to drink every now and then. While it is best to use fresh leaves or stalks to make the tea, it would be good to have the dried ones at hand, especially when you don't feel like going out to the garden to do the harvest.

Here is how to sun-dry lemon grass leaves to make tea :

1) Harvest some lemon grass leaves or stalks on a clear-weathered morning. Wash them clean and cut them into small pieces.

2) Spread them evenly and thinly on a tray and bring them out to dry under the hot sun.

3. The drying time may take one to three days depending on the heat of the sun. They should be completely dried when they turn golden brown in colour. You can also use your clean hands to feel it.

4. After that you may store them in an air tight glass bottle for future use.

To prepare the tea, you may use about 2 tablespoons of dried lemon grass leaves to make one glass of tea. Pour hot boiling water onto the leaves in a mug or drinking glass and let it stand for at least 10 minutes. Then strain and serve.

Small Space, Budget Balinese Garden Made Possible

Bali Island is a favourite holiday destination for many people from around the world. It is a wonderful place popular for its arts, beaches, cultures, nature and nightlife. Bali has its own arts and practices one could never find elsewhere in the world. The Balinese are Hindus. They hold very strongly to their beliefs. They practise them in their everyday life. If you ever visited Bali, you will be impressed by these influences in their dances and handicrafts. You will also notice that they love and respect nature so much so that it is reflected in their gardens.  

Let's take a look at these essentials that make a typical Balinese Garden :-

1) Tropical plants such as fern trees, frangipanis, palm trees, pandanus, hibiscus, peacock plants, petunias, cordylines, bamboos, cycads, money plants and many more are usually used to give the garden a natural and tropical feel. 
2) Structures such as timber gazebos and furnishings such as cushions and curtains, rattan or timber furniture, hammocks and garden umbrellas are used to add functionality to the garden. 
3) Water features and sometimes, wind chimes are added to achieve the feeling of calm and peace. 
4) Carved statues and lanterns are used as focal points in the garden. 
5) Spotlights are used to highlight certain elements to enhance the overall landscape at night. 
6) Stone pathways are installed to connect places.

It is not difficult to create a full function Balinese feel garden if you have enough space and budget. However, even if you lack them both, or whether you want it indoor or outdoor, you can still create one that is much simpler ( omitting the bigger items ) that gives you similar feel. You do not need an expert to do it for you. Nowadays, creating a small Balinese garden on a budget is made possible by the availability of the materials at many garden nurseries or on the internet.

Here are some sample pictures of small, budget, 'simplified' and possible ' Do It Yourself ' Balinese gardens for your reference:

Before you decide what to buy, you may want to draft out a plan on a piece of paper to see how you would want to position your water feature, plants and other elements on the intended space. You may also generate an outcome view of it if you want to.

Here are the examples :

Layout Plan

Perspective View

After that you can list out and calculate the materials you need to buy. 

Here is a sample Checklist of the materials needed :

A. Water Feature:
1) Water tank ( eg.: Fiberglass Tank )
2) Water spouting urn or carved statues
3) Underwater spotlight.
4) Water pump
5) Water filter
6) Potted Water plants
7) Granite or Lava Stone to surround the water tank

B. Balinese Lantern

Important Element : Balinese Lantern

C. Tropical Plants or Potted plants ( Different heights and colours ) to suit your outdoor or indoor garden. 

D. Pebbles

E. Stepping Stones 

F. Carved Statues

Carved Statue

Carved Statue

Carved Statue

Carved Statue

Carved Statue

G. Matching Chairs and Table ( optional )

When you are done, you can start sourcing, buying and finally, installing them according to the plan. Note : You may still need to do some adjustments here and there to achieve your desired Balinese garden. 

After that you can sit back and relax!

I Miss My Small Backyard Garden

Yes! December is the month. Yeah! The vacation month of the year is here again! This means that I can go back to my vacation home where My Small Backyard Garden is. The date is still undecided yet. But, it has got to be before the seventeenth. This is because I may be joining the Pureland Retreat Camp after this date for two weeks. I am ready to go back anytime now. My online handmade business can be brought to a halt. But, I have to wait for my Fourth Sister and her daughter. We have agreed to go back together in her car. I am waiting for their notice to set out. Usually, it would be last minute one. Patience is all that I have got from my father. So, it is alright to wait. 

Now, it has been a few weeks since I last set my foot on My Small Backyard Garden. How I miss it! I wonder how the vegetables are doing now. I am not worried about them lacking of water cos it has been raining very often nowadays. Nor am I worried about the Madeira Vine that should have made its way up the fence and enjoy the whole space. My main concern is that the other vegetables could be competing with each other for space now. I was reluctant to pull away or sacrifice any of them the last time I worked on the garden. The pumpkin plant could have overgrown and covered up the whole front yard planter leaving no space for the Kale plants ( Kailan ) to grow if ever they did germinate.  ( Read the post HERE to know what I have grown ). Moreover, there could be intrusion from weeds and some pests that could make things worse. Wish me luck! That somehow, I would still be greeted by lavishly grown, ' happy ' vegetables in My Small Backyard Garden on this coming vacation.

Arachis Pintoi - The Groundcover Plant

Arachis pintoi is orginated from South America; Brazil to be exact. It is found growing under open forests in its native range. Today, this plant has been distributed and cultivated as animal feed and erosion-control or ornamental or soil-improving groundcover in many countries like the tropical and sub-tropical countries. It grows well both on lowlands and highlands up to an altitude of 1,400 meter above sea level. Arachis pintoi has a few common names like Kacang-kacangan, Kacang Pintoi or Kacang Hias in Indonesia, Pinto Peanut in Australia and England, Yellow Peanut Plant in England, Mani Forrajero Perenne or Mani Perenne in Spain, Amendoim Forrageiro in Portuguese and Thua Lisong Tao in Thailand. However, despite the plant's common names, it does not produce peanuts.

Arachis pintoi is a low, herbaceous, leguminous and perennial shrub that can grow to a maximum height of 50 cm. It bears free-blooming, pretty flowers on short axillary racemes that are bright yellow and pea-shaped. Arachis pintoi can be propagated by stem cuttings or seeds (if available). Plants grown from seeds tend to establish its root system more quickly. However, in countries like Malaysia and Singapore, seeds are seldom used though. 

Arachis pintoi is a fast spreading plant with rhizomes and creeping stolons that root at nodes to form dense ground-hugging mat. In landscape planting, Arachis pintoi took around 2 to 5 months to cover up the whole ground, depending on the area size and planting distance. During the establishment period, it is prone to weed intrusion and therefore, needs weeding every now and then. 

Arachis pintoi is not a ' fussy ' type of plant. It can grow well in open space under direct sunlight though it prefers 70 to 80 percent of sunlight best. Arachis pintoi grows well on fertile loamy soils and well-drained sites. However, it can also withstand short periods of seasonal flooding, but not permanently waterlogged clay soils. Arachis pintoi is a very tough plant that can survive up to 4 months of drought. Other than that, it can tolerate infertile and acidic soils as well as high levels of aluminium and manganese soils. It can also survive well in shallow media of about 8 to 10 cm deep. 

Having mentioned all that, it is no wonder that I love to include it in my designs when I worked as a Landscape Designer years back. It just never disappoints. Do take a look at the pictures below :

Do You Know That Bird's Nest Ferns Are Not Only Decorative But Edible ?

Never has it crossed my mind that the leaves ( fronds ) of the Bird's Nest Ferns ( Asplenium nidus ) that I used to admire a lot for their beauty are not only edible but very tasty, or so I thought. It was only recently that I came to know about it when I traveled to Taiwan with my sisters. In Taiwan, young and tender fronds of the ferns are found sold in small bundles as a type of mountain vegetables in the wet markets. These vegetables ( called San-shu in Taiwan ) are harvested from both, wild and cultivated plants. I never had a taste of these vegetables while I was there.

When I got back to Malaysia, I began to hunt for them from wild growing trees nearby my house that have got no owners. Finally, I found one that grew on the branch of a tree that I could reach. I used a knife to cut a few still curled fronds ( fiddleheads ). I put them inside a plastic bag and brought them home to cook. When I left, the plant seemed to have remained 'untouched' as the older fronds which would be too fibrous and hard to eat, were spared.

Here is how I prepared and cooked Bird's Nest Fern vegetables :

I washed the fronds gently with a toothbrush under running water and cut them into small, bite pieces. The whole of the curled fronds which I had harvested ( like the ones in the picture below ) were used.  

[ Note : You may also use more developed but still young, slightly curled, light green, tender fronds.]

After that, I washed and cut a few slices of ginger to cook with them.

Then I took out a small pan and put all the cut pieces of the fronds and sliced ginger into it. I poured a little water, added a small spoon of oil ( grape seed oil ) and some salt ( rock salt ) into it. Soon after that, I placed it on the stove and cooked them under small fire until set. Then, I turned off the fire and served them on a small, white porcelain bowl to eat with my rice and other vegetables.

Note : They are crispy and tasted a little odd but great, lovely and yummy to me. I swear I would cook these vegetables once every week unless I could not get them. I have yet to know its health benefits but it just does not matter. 

How To Make Eco-friendly Enzyme For Garden Use

Eco-friendly enzyme is a complex solution produced by fermentation of fresh kitchen waste ( fruit and vegetable dregs ), sugar ( brown sugar, jaggery or molasses sugar ) and water. It is dark brown in colour and has a strong sweet, sour fermented scent.

Here are the things needed and steps to follow in order to make the eco-friendly enzyme:

Things Needed :

( right sized air-tight plastic container ), ( brown sugar, water, fruit and vegetable dregs in - > 1 : 3 : 10 ratio , eg: 100g sugar to 300g fruit and vegetable dregs to 1000ml water )

Steps To Follow :

1) Dilute brown sugar in water.

2) Add fruit and vegetable dregs.

3) Leave some space in the container for fermentation.

4) Close it tight.

5) Place it at a cool, dry and well ventilated area. Avoid direct sunlight. Leave it to ferment for at least 3 months before use.

6) During the first month, gasses will be released as a result of the fermentation process. Once in a while, open the container to release the pressure which has built up in the container to avoid it from rupturing. Caution : open gradually so that the gasses can be let out slowly and not causing big ' explosion '.

7) Push the floating dregs down the container once in a while.

Directions for use in gardens :

The eco-friendly enzyme can be diluted in water at a specific dilution ratio of 1 : 1000. It can used as natural insecticides, herbicides, pesticides and organic fertilizers. It can also be used to stimulate plant hormones to improve the quality of fruits and vegetables as well as increase their production. Spraying on the soil continuously for some time would improve the soil quality. The solid remains can also be added to the soil as organic fertilizers.

Important Notes :

1) Do not use glass or metal containers that cannot expand.

2) From my experience, papayas should be avoided because of the terribly-smelled outcome. To make fresh, sweet smelling enzyme you can add apples, orange, lemon peel or pandan leaves.

3) The ideal colour of the enzyme should be dark brown. If it turned black, add in the same amount of sugar to start the fermentation process all over again.

4) If it has a white, black or brown layer on top of the enzyme, ignore it. If you encounter flies or worms in the container, leave it. The chemical reaction of the enzyme will resolve them naturally. Close and seal the cover tightly until set.

5) Eco-friendly enzyme is at its best after 6 months of fermentation. The longer it takes, the better it gets. It will never expire. Do not store in the refrigerator.

It is very easy to make and everyone can have great success. Most importantly, it has so much goodness for our gardens and environment. HAPPY TRYING !!!

Bio Enzyme, Eco Enzyme, Gargabe Enzyme
This is one of the many bottles of eco-friendly enzyme which I have made 9 years ago. The good thing is it will never ever expire!

My Favourite Plant - Asplenium Nidus ( Bird's Nest Fern ) In My Childhood Garden

At one point of time, I have 2 giant-sized Asplenium Nidus ( Bird's Nest Fern ) planted in pots under the rambutan tree in my childhood garden. When my friend first brought them back from the jungle for me during a trip to Balik Pulau on Penang Island, they were still very small; about the size of a palm. I planted them in coconut shells which I get from the shop in town that sells shredded coconut flesh ( coconut 'soft meat' ). I stuffed the coconut shell planters with coconut fiber and organic soil as the root-holding medium. After that, I put them somewhere on the rambutan tree that could hold them well in place and watered them every day. As years passed, the plants had grown to be so big that I had to bring them down to the ground for stability and put them into bigger and more stable pots. I did not actually transplant them. I just placed them into the pots. The leaves were so much more beautiful during the raining season compared to the dry season though I thought I did water and 'bathe' them well enough then. During the dry season, my mum loved to help me trim away the dried leaves whenever she saw them. So, there was never a time that the plants did look unsightly. Every time I went home during my University years, my mum would often happily told me how well she had taken care of and pampered the plants. She was definitely right as the 2 Bird's Nest Fern(s) had grown to be so magnificently big ( almost 5 feet in spread ) and their glossy apple green leaves were so admiringly beautiful. 

Today, these Bird's Nest Fern(s) were no longer around in my childhood garden due to our garden's complete reconstruction. I had never captured any pictures of them but the beautiful memories that I had of them seems to have stayed in my heart forever.

Bird's Nest Fern or Asplenium nidus
My Bird's Nest Ferns used to look like this one. Only that mine were a bit more beautiful, or so I thought.

Untrimmed leaves like these never happened to my Bird's Nest Fern(s). Thanks to my dear Mum for her untiring care and love all those years..

About Asplenium Nidus ( Bird's Nest Fern )

1) Botany And Habitat

Asplenium nidus is a huge herbaceous epiphytic fern plant, wild growing on trees and sometimes on rocks, at elevations from sea level to 1,200 metres. The whole plant can grow to a height of 1 metre. Its entangled rhizome is a mass of roots below. Leaves are erect and flaring from the crown aggregated in a dense tuft above. Leaves are broad and numerous, radiating from the center of the plant giving the appearance of a bird's nest; spiral, leathery, smooth, lance-shaped with entire margins, sharply pointed tips and broad bases. They often attain a large size, 40 to 120 centimeters long, 6 to 20 centimeters wide.  Sori are numerous, elongate running along the line of the veinlets, reaching from the midrib about halfway to the margins. Spores are bilateral, monolete with a perispore.

In Malaysia, Bird's Nest Ferns are usually found wild growing on trees in the jungle or felled tree stumps like this.

In their natural habitat, Bird's Nest Fern feeds on nutrients that are assimilated from decayed fallen leaves or twigs accumulated at its center.

2) Geography

The plant is native to East tropical Africa, Eastern Asia ( Japan and Taiwan ) through tropical Asia ( Eg.: Malaysia ) to northern Australia and the Pacific Islands. 

3) Cultivation

It is also cultivated as an ornamental house and landscape plant.

In Malaysia, Bird's Nest Ferns are very often cultivated as ornamental house or landscape plants. One can easily purchase them from a plants nursery throughout the country. 

4) Edible Uses

- Leaves are parboiled and eaten by aboriginal tribe in Malaysia. In Taiwan, sprouts are eaten as vegetable. 
- Ash from the burnt leaves can be used as a salt substitute

Young leaves ( Curled Leaves ) like this can be harvested and eaten as vegetables

5) Folklore

- The plant has been reported to be depurative (purifying) and sedative.
- Plant has been used for halitosis.
- The Malay used a decoction of leaves to ease labor pains; also, lotion from pounded leaves in water used as poultice to the head to relieve fever. 
- In French Polynesia, used for stings and bites, contraception, chest pains and lice.
- In Hawaii, shoots used for general weakness, ulcers, and sores. Also, plant is part of an asthma regimen, mixed and pounded together with flowers of ki, mixed with poi made from kalo or uala (Ipomoea batatas). 
- Shoots used for general debility, sores, ulcers.
- In Taiwan, used to treat fever; infusion used to alleviate labor pains, asthma, debility, halitosis, and sores. 
- In North Eastern India, rootstock used against fever and elephantiasis. Also, used as emollient, in coughs and diseases of the chest. Leaf is smoked to treat colds.
- In Kumaun Himalaya, Uttrakhand, India, used in splenic enlargement, urine calculus, jaundice, and malaria. 
- In Madya Pradesh, used for jaundice and malaria. 
- Veterinary: In Papua New Guinea, leaves used as contraceptive in pigs. 

6) Known Hazards

Although there are no reports of toxicity for this species, a number of ferns contain carcinogens so some caution is advisable. Many ferns also contain thiaminase, an enzyme that robs the body of its vitamin B complex. In small quantities this enzyme will do no harm to people eating an adequate diet that is rich in vitamin B, though large quantities can cause severe health problems. The enzyme is destroyed by heat or thorough drying, so cooking the plant will remove the thiaminase

7) Propagation

Seed ( Spore ) Or Division.

Bird's Nest Ferns can be propagated by scraping off matured spores from the underside of the leaves ( fronds ) and spreading them onto frequently misted compost soil for germination.

What I'm Growing In My Small Backyard Garden And Front Yard Right Now

Since I seldom stay at my newly- bought vacation home, the planters of vegetables in my small backyard garden and front yard are very often left unattended. Every time I go back for vacation, I would harvest the vegetables, if any, do thorough weeding, add my own naturally-derived fertilizer to the soil, do seeding and plant vegetable cuttings. After that, I would leave them all, almost completely under the care of nature unless I can find time to do it myself. Recently, it has been raining almost everyday. Hope the amount of water is just sufficient; not too less or too much. Pray hard now that the vegetables will all grow well and be a feast for the eyes in my small backyard garden and front yard in the weeks to come.

Here are the pictures of my planters of vegetables right now:

1) Backyard Planter :

Madeira Vine (anredera cordifolia) started to show signs of starting to grow well after a long stagnant growth since planting. Thanks to the rain water and the crushed coffee fiber which I have added to the soil as fertilizer weeks earlier.

Ceylon Spinach (basella rubra) planted from cuttings are not growing well now. I am not giving up on them just yet though. Hope their growth would improve soon after my adding of crushed coffee fiber fertilizer to the soil.

Basil Leaf Plant (ocimum basilicum) growing very well after I have added crushed coffee fiber fertilizer to the soil weeks earlier. I have sprinkled some Baby Spinach ( Amaranthus gangeticus ) seeds on the empty space next to these plants to fill up the planter. Hope they would germinate soon.

Gynura bicolor plants grow well from healthy cuttings in soil that is added with crushed coffee fiber fertilizer.

Red Amaranth ( Amaranthus cruentus ) seedlings grown on crushed coffee fiber fertilized soil. Hope they would grow well despite being so close together. I am very reluctant to pull out any as I love them all.

2) Front Yard Planter :

Pumpkin Plants ( Cucurbita  pepo ) planted from seeds. I have a lot of them removed to give enough space for them to grow and spread later. I have learnt that it is not easy to have it bear fruit as they need pollination either by hand or by insects to make it happen but would still want to try anyway. I have also sprinkled some Kailan ( Brassica oleracea Alboglabra Group ) seeds on the same planter and hope that they would germinate soon. Perhaps I would sacrifice or move the pumpkin plants to the outside of the planter.

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