Sunday, August 26, 2012

Obssesive Gardening Wherever!


A Gardener, always a Gardener! 

Maybe there is also a thing called obsessive-compulsive gardener! I am shoved to the 5th Floor when I had a unit at this medium rise 7-floors-building. I have wonderful summer sunsets, that is really a plus, but real soil is what i miss, a soil i can hold, mold and bring to life. In the absence of real land or soil, a 5th floor dweller is deprived of a real garden! But blessings sometimes come in unusual packages. Wonder of wonders, the concrete ledge for the aircon was misplaced to the wrong spot, and an iron-clad area was placed at its left side, where the real opening for the aircon was correctly located. With the lack of tangible soil and a little misplaced ledge supposed to be for the airconditioning unit, i had an idea! I have the whole vacant concrete ledge for my pots. Isn't that a blessing for an O/C gardener? I am sure most of you my blogger friends will agree. That was the beginning of my funny garden on a 1.0m X 1.5m outside the window on the 5th Floor, west side of the building. I hope the administration will not prohibit me from doing so till i still want to maintain it.

Most of you are familiar with my 5th Floor Window views and sunsets, as I always post scenes from here

another lovely view from my 5th Floor Window, although this is far, only magnified by my telephoto lens

 Green onions luxuriantly growing. I got the seedlings from an officemate 

At the left of the green onions are also small green onions, which i don't know the term

newly sprouting upland kangkong or Ipomoea variety

 Can you see the CD at the bottom left? It is supposed to drive away birds which always cut the leaves of my plants. It glitters whne against the light so birds are scared. 

 These kangkong tops are used for shrimp stews, which is a favorite. I have topped this many times and they have saved me from food emergencies, when i arrived at night from the province without nothing to eat. Buying food from fast food chains has been too suffocating already.

Another plant above is the bitter gourd. Together with it in a round pot is the 'cholesterol plant' Gynura. They said it is really good in lessening tryglycerides, but I haven't used it. It grows so fast depriving my ampalaya of soil nutrients. Maybe i should discard it or plant in another pot of its own. Can you see the hanging succulent at the top left side? It is an Epiphyllum oxypetalum i got from a friend's house, i will eventually plant it in real soil in the province.

These are leaves from my ampalaya (bitter gourd, Momordica charantia). These are mixed with cooked mungbean seeds in a local food recipe. Sauteed with garlic, onions and tomatoes, it is a very healthy and appetizing vegetable and paired with fried fish, chicken or pork. Ampalaya is a bit bitter but proven to lessen blood sugar. Its bitterness gets some getting used to. 


 Despite harvesting leaves from my ampalaya, it somehow gave a fruit, however it is small and curled. I bet the leaves are not enough to sustain its fruiting. But I am not actually for the fruits, but for the leaves. So I am more than happy for my hanging vegetable garden. 

I also remember a saying I heard from my childhood playmate when i was just a teen-ager. The Three Essentials in this life are: (1) something to do, (2) something to love, and (3) something to hope for!

My hanging vegetable garden gives me all three!


29 comments:

  1. Galing naman, Nidz. I'm so envious at how your plants are thriving given your limitations. I'm always not so lucky with my coontainer gardening efforts esp with my herbs and lettuce. But thanks for the CD idea. Naubos ang sili ko dahil sa ibon :(

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    1. Wow Divi, this is your first time to comment in my posts, notwithstanding this is the silliest and naughtiest post i did! haha! CDs to scare the birds will be more effective if hanging, so the sparkling movement will augment their scare! Thanks for commenting.

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  2. I think it's fantastic that you took the opportunity to turn the space into a garden. Everything looks so healthy and happy. Obviously the plants are enjoying the view from their ledge.

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    1. Yes Bernie the plants are enjoying the view. Even the birds enjoy my little cute garden, hahaha. But it is a big challenge when I leave for a few days.

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  3. A triumph of resourcefulness over adversity .... maximum respect! :)

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    1. Yes Phil and thanks for being kind!

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  4. Nice veggies growing considering they are container grown.

    Cher Sunray Gardens

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    1. Yes it is a big challenge, most especially if i leave for a few days.

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  5. Andrea you can cook the bitter gourd, I was told by my Guyanese friends to cut it lengthways and remove the centre, then blanche it in boiling water for a few minutes and use it with other veggies. Thanks for stopping by.

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    1. Oh yes Helen, we do cook the bitter gourd fruits, and i love it. Actually, that very small fruit is the most delicious bitter gourd I've tasted in my whole life. It is just like the rose of The Little Prince!

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  6. Way to bloom where you are planted! You've made such a lovely garden.

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    1. Thanks Carolyn, if i have the time and wide area like yours, i will also have my own garden like you! Thanks for coming.

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  7. I love your garden, I wish I could have them as well esp the bitter melon which is one of the few faves. Here in the US, theirs don't taste as good as the ones I've tasted in the Philippines. Your garden is so inspiring.

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    1. If I am in the US, maybe i can sell a good produce to my neighbors. It is very easy to garden there as the temperature and RH is not so difficult for gardening outdoors. Thanks for commenting, your first time here.

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  8. He he he....I'm baaaaack:) You can't escape me! We had a great time. I know exactly how you feel about not having a garden space, but like you are doing, I did the same back in Cape Verde on my terrace. It was the only way I could keep my sanity. You have to make the most of it and even the tiniest of spaces can be converted:) That one herb reminds me of Culantro which is tasty in latin foods. All my best. Kreesh:)

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    1. Yes, most garden bloggers will relate with me fully, I am sure you are like me too in that aspect. I was laughing at the Thais in the university before, they kept a lot of herbs on window sills. I am not particularly interested with herbs, so i laughed. But now I do understand what soil deprivation means, it is not necessarily the produce from the garden, but the tending and caring for plants. No Kreesh, it is not culantro, i know that one, i don't like its smell, haha!

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  9. Wow. You've shown you can have a garden anywhere. It's amazing what you have grown with so little space, but with lots of care I'm sure.

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    1. Yes Missy, that is the only one thing I am very sure about myself, that i can garden anywhere. The only problem is when i leave my unit for four days and there is no rain. I wonder how i can improvise on automatic watering. I have to keep the more susceptible pot inside hanging near the glass window so they can still see the light. It is really very interesting.

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  10. Once a garden, always a gardener...and nature lover! I bet your greens are enjoying the beautiful scenes of the world below and above. What a nice view for the plants as well as gardener.

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    1. Yes Autumn Belle, like in the office where I am the only one who has a forest near the closed glass window, here my unit is the only one with greens outside. And as Rohrerbot said about, it is the only way to keep my sanity! And i have to choose plants which the birds hate. They like cutting the leaves of tomatoes, so i replaced with ampalaya!

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  11. this just drives the point that if there's a will, there will always be a way, right?

    i'm back from vacay? how have you been?

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    1. Hi Mary or Maria, welcome back! You were out for a long time, where did you go? We miss you! I am sure we will be bombarded with a lot of photos! But take your time or your jet lag! How was the vacation?

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  12. What a perfect solution to your soilless dilemma..so much going on in such a small space...

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    1. Yes Donna, it is a fulfillment of a need, which is deep rooted in the soul.

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  13. I think your playmate just about got the recipe for life sorted out!

    Nice post.

    Stewart M - Australia

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  14. Hello Andrea..I love this post and wonderful that you didn't give up your gardening...Michelle

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  15. You have made good use of that ledge and planted such a wonderful variety of plants, many I have never seen. I wonder if those smaller onions might be chives?

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  16. Hi Andrea! May I know your planting medium? You have healthy plants. I planted spring onions but they are thin. Do you put fertilizers?

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Your comments inspire me to post more, and our conversations make life and gardening more meaningful.

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