My New Hobby – Gardening

It has never crossed my mind that I would pickup gardening at my age, and that I actually like it.

I was raised a city girl and spent most of my life living in apartments in various cosmopolitain cities. Back in Singapore, my hometown, I was privileged to live with my parents on the ground floor of an apartment which comes with a tiny plot of land of less than 10m². I have always enjoyed the view of the garden with its various bushes, flowers and tiny lawn that is well kept by my parents. However, I have never been involved in the gardening; other than the few occasions my parents asked me to pull out weeds and water the plants when I was younger. 

As my parents get older, they consider getting rid of the plants and paving the tiny green plot. Even though I am not living with my parents now, I would always vehemently express my opinion against destroying the greenery.  Now that I have actually dirty my hands, I understand fully why my parents are willing to take the easier way out and pave the garden.  

My little garden, taken at the end of August. There are fewer flowers in bloom now as compared to spring.

Ever since we got back from Romania about one-and-a-half week ago, I have been spending three or more hours in our garden daily. When I am not pulling out weeds, pruning fungi-infested plants and fruit trees, preparing bio fungicide, hunting snails or squashing aphids, I would be busy researching and identifying the various flora planted by the previous owner.

The identification of the plants is mainly done by the use of the PictureThis-Plant Identifier application.  So far, I have identified more than 30 plants, including 2 different types of fruit trees, aromatic herbs such as mint, oregano, and rosemary, and various types of weeds (pretty weeds to boot!)

Three out of the 10 plus nails which resided peacefully behind some plants before this afternoon. At of this moment, there should not be any left as I dislodged them from their sanctuary and smashed them all this afternoon.

Gardening should definitely be considered a sport. I have lost the two kilograms that I gained during the first two months of summer in one-and-a-half weeks just by gardening.

The best part is that time just flies when I am in the garden. I can be scratched by the thorns of the roses, hit by the rotten apples as I try to dislodge them from the tall branches so that they will not contaminate the good ones; hauling and disgorging the pots of dead plants left by the previous owner; praying that I would not break my legs when I climb the stepladder and manoeuvre the 2m long secateur on the fruit trees; and fervently hoping that I would not accidentally cut off my fingers as I wield the various pruning shields…but all these miseries are quickly forgotten when I see that the disorderly garden has very gradually shaped up and become less like a jungle. 

First day of gardening. I was in my scrubs cutting down the uncontrollable propagation of Hollyhocks.
There were so many Hollyhocks in the garden and some reached more than two metres high. The colourful flowers quickly became an eyesore when we realised that each stalk was basically invaded by leaf rust, a type of fungal disease. Moreover, when the plant became too tall, it bent sideway and blocked the walking path.

We want to get a professional to do an overhaul of the garden, and treat the diseased flora. I have put out online requests for gardeners and am still waiting for quotes. So far, no one has yet replied (perhaps they are still enjoying the summer vacation!).

In the meantime, I will continue with my newfound hobby before my  teaching at the university starts in ten days! 

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