Sunday, 8 March 2009

My garden

If one is to apply Darwin's theory on the origin of species with strict obedience, then what I have been doing for the past weeks will seem foolish and redundant. The theory of "evolution" through "natural selection" implies that the fittest life forms will surive, and those not will evolve or die.

To pave way for my herb garden, I have been propagating seeds, nourishing young plants, transplanting plants from pot to pot and reviving those infested with pests and fungi. Here are the results.

Mint, Lavender, Thai Basil, Sweet Basil


Not too bad for someone with little experience in horticulture and is still grappling on trial and error basis. Of course I did my homework diligently. Learning about soil, garden pests, conditions of growth suitable for each type of herb and even watching video on how to water plants... the information is overwhelming! It is an area specialisation that could lead to a Ph.D.

There is a Chinese saying, "人非草木", which means that man is not unfeeling as grass and trees (plants). Whoever said that must have misunderstood nature. What I have seen for myself is that the plants are extremely sensitive of their environment. They react to changes in environmental conditions amazingly quick: if they have enough water, enough sun or if there are pests aggression, they tell it all in moments. Just by looking at their colours and vibrance for example, I would know if the day has been bright and sunny or gloomy and wet, even though I have been out of the house all day. I don't reckon my mood swings are quite as fast when being provoked.

The part that has been most difficult but at the same time exciting is growing parsley from seeds. I did not know that germinating parsley seeds is tricky and irratic. I have only considered that it is the herb I consumed the most and therefore would like to have them in my garden. Fortuantely, my efforts paid off (so far so good), though the casualty rate is extremely high.

Signs of new life, after 3 weeks. Soon, they will need to leave their safe haven (my kitchen) and be introduced to the "treacherous" nature where there are dangers of mealybugs, aphides and spiders... sweat.

The insatiable craving for light causes the young sprouts to bend and stretch towards the light source.

So, if I listen to Darwin, I should have left my plants to live and die on their own? Ha, I am just misinterpreting. His evolution theory relates to an entire specie and the bigger environment, not to leaves and sprouts in my tiny little flower pots. But if I were to do nothing, my plants will also "evolve"... from fresh to dry (die)... and maybe even gone. Beware of a dog!

Cowboy messing around with the young seedlings.

A garden is never complete without insects and pests. Dead grasshopper (I didn't kill it). Handicapped, only 4 legged.

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