Lemongrass Growth


It’s been raining on most weekends – grrr…just when our patio is useable, it doesn’t stop drizzling. Anyhow, I wanted to share the growth of my lemongrass stalks. The root length is now about an inch and shortly, I will plant them into a big planter so that they flourish.

We are having some friends/neighbors over for dinner. We were hoping to sit out on the patio but it looks like we might have to wait till when it will be drier.

On the menu, we have salmon burgers, Italian sausage, hot dogs for the kids, potato salad, cheesey corn bread and a clafouti with ice cream for dessert. It looks like we are beckoning summer to come quickly.

Growing lemongrass


It feels good to take a break from blogging. I had a most wonderful weekend – shopping for landscaping materials, educating myself on how patio pavers are laid, visiting with a month old baby and their swoony parents, having crispy noodles with my better half and watching 2 movies and whipping up serikaya [coconut egg custard jam].

Spring is here in many ways in the Pacific NW. The birds are out, the sun comes up in the sky sooner and stays longer, trees have blossoms instead of leaves and there is a sort of buoyancy about my steps.

One of the many outdoor projects that we’re taking on is to build a patio but it’s all still in its planning stages. We have a vision of something modern yet cosy, with outdoor furniture that is not too chunky. Another chance for creativity on the home front is always welcomed.

I’m also nurturing some chili and other herb seedlings down in the basement where our grow light is keeping them warm and happy. My lemongrass stalks are sitting on the window sill. I took this picture a week ago, the stalks have now changed color to an almost reddish tone and the middle shoots seem to be pushing upward. I look forward to planting these babies in big pot and harvest them whenever I cook some Thai or Malaysian dish. [Gayla is the real expert on growing lemongrass.]

If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant;”
Anne Bradstreet

A day off


I took the day off today to get an early start to the weekend and to go to the Garden Show with mum. Mike and I haven’t had the time to plan our garden this year so I thought it would be a good chance to just gather ideas.

Out of all the beautiful and intricate gardens, my favorite was this modern one. I love the horizontal slated screens, floor lamps, simple bench with crookstem bamboo, mondo grass and this lovely fire dogwood.

I did get a cool cast iron bird/bell. I was tempted to get a new peony tree start and some pussy willow starts but like I said, I hadn’t planned our garden. So it will have to wait.

Some of my favorite shops were Mongo Mongo and David Smith & Co. [lovely finds from Indonesian islands – reminiscent of a past business I had]. I loved the lanterns, their capiz shells hangings and the beautiful ceremonial umbrellas. A popular product seemed to be the pasar [market] baskets.

Another interesting vendor that caught my eye sold these obsidian windchimes – these are wonderful lava rock chimes creatively put together with other natural materials like dried seed pods, flowers etc. You can see them here.

A good day spent!

Tomato Update

A little update on my plants:

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The Healthkick tomatoes are still popping up in huge clusters and some are turning orangey red. I’ve used a few of them in my kiam chye soup. There are quite a number of Roma tomatoes too but also not turning. The Golden Jubilee tomatoes are getting big and there are not quite as many of them. Why aren’t my tomatoes turning?!

New garden additions


Over the weekend, we added more members to our growing garden. We bought a Japanese maple tree [Shojo Nomura] for the corner of the yard, on the other side of our plum tree.

We also bought some Ceanothus also known as California lilac to bring some hardy fragrance, bees and birds to the yard.

Another tree shrub we bought was a Camellia – family of the tea tree, this strain blooms light pink semi-double petal flowers that look almost like a magnolia. Thus its name of magnoliaflora.

Finally, a magnolia that comes from China, known as Fragrant Cloud or Dan Xin. Not to be mistaken for a hybrid tea rose also called by the same name.

It is still very much a work in progress but I feel that we are slowly getting our garden to a comfy point that uniquely says us.

I even plan on keeping a plant journal so I remember what plants I have grown. It will also be a good place to stick those little name tags of the plants with care instructions.

Amateur gardener


This past weekend when the weather was good, we were outside gardening. We put the tomato and chili pepper seedlings outside where they can get sun.

We also planted some ground cover on top of the rocks so that the roots will help hold on to the soil and prevent serious erosion when it rains.

This is the back of the house. On the front, we planted 3 lavender plants and 3 rosemary plants. They will surely love the amount of sun the front of our south facing home gets. It looks like Scarlett has someone actually living here now!

I can’t wait till this weekend arrives and we will find a nice tree to plant in the front.

Serendipity is when a neighbor recommends a good nursery nearby and your favorite friend at work has a coupon for it.

New Plants

Last week, I bought a new pot of lavender from the nearby gardening supplies place. It has such pretty flowers, don’t you think?

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Today, while weeding and mulching the flower beds, I found these little maple seedlings and thought they might like a chance to become maple trees some day. We’ll see which of them will make it with my gardening skills [or lack thereof].

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I thought that a picture of them will help immortalize them should I fail as their new “mum”.

Urban Garden Beginners

Both still very new at gardening, we went for a very informative class at In Bloom Home & Garden about planting edible container gardens. After a continental breakfast of homemade banana nut bread, some fresh fruit and tea/coffee, we [Mike, K and I] headed across the West Seattle bridge to class. I’ve always been interested in container gardening, mostly because I like to be able to move my plants around and group them according to a theme or just to control the climatic conditions.

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After class, we headed one block to Easy Street Records for brunch/lunch. With meals named after famous musicians like Patti Smith Patty Melt, Dolly Pancakes, Johnny Cash Special, to name a few, it was a quintessential Seattle brunch as my friend K would put it. The best part about that lunch was being able to browse the record store, listen to my new favorite CD “The Decemberists” while waiting for a table.

Peonies & Bamboo

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Pictures from the Montreal Chinese Gardens. I visited it in the summer of 2000. Aren’t they the most beautiful flowers? They smell really wonderful too. And the bamboo, I would plant these in my yard if I had one. Also, if I had a garden with these beauties, I’d be one happy mama!

What is your favorite flower?