I followed some instructions from a guy's website and planted a few pineapple plants. The trick is not to cut off the top of the pineapple with a knife but use your hand to twist out the crown of the pineapple instead. It is amazing how easily the top of the pineapple comes off with a twist of the wrist. Two of the plants are fruiting now.
After growing pineapples for a couple of years, you must really appreciate the hard work and life of the farmers.
It takes more than a year for the plant to mature to flowering size and you need good earth and plenty of sunlight. All for one fruit that costs at most $4 (the most premium types from Taiwan, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam etc). The normal Malaysia type (Honey pineapple) costs only $1.30 for a large fruit in NTUC supermarket and 70 cents in the AMK market. There is really no justice if you consider how much the farmer actually gets for one fruit (30 cents maybe) after growing it for a year while some bastard sips champagne, smoke cigars and makes billions selling some junk shitty crap bonds.

A Very Pretty Tree Frog

Polypedates leucomystax (Common Tree Frog)

I accidentally found this tree frog while trying to tidy up the contents of a carton box at the back of the house. It tried not to move at first but decided to make a dash for the longan tree. I followed it to the tree and took some pictures.
More information regarding this frog can be found in:- http://www.sbwr.org.sg/Wetlands/text/99-6-2-1.htm


Huge Caterpillar

This caterpillar is more than 4 inches in length and is as thick as my thumb!

This caterpillar was accidentally spotted when i wanted to get a cutting of pandan leaf plant for a friend. While i was moving the pandan leaves around i noticed these huge round pellets all over the pandan leaves and getting lodged between the leaves. They reminded me of caterpillar droppings so i looked up and saw that many leaves of my torch ginger had been eaten and only the main vein of the leaf remained. Then i spotted it. I have never seen any caterpillar this size before. It is slightly longer than 4 inches, is green in colour and has a whitish powdery skin. It is now in a cage with lots of leaves to chew on. I can't wait to see what kind of butterfly or moth it turns out to be.



One of my classmates used to live in Lim Chu Kang area and and i once kept pestering her to show me a nutmeg cos she said there's a nutmeg tree near her house. In Penang, they serve nutmeg syrup drink which is so refreshing on a hot day.

It is actually very easy to make nutmeg syrup. You first need abt 3 kg of the nutmeg fruit, slice the fruits into 2; then slice the flesh into thin slices; put them all into a pot; put a lot of rock sugar (just dump the whole bag in); add water to just cover the fruit slices; bring to the boil and then lower the heat but let it keep at it for abt 20 mins; turn off the gas and wait for it to cool.

You've got concentrated nutmeg juice (nearly a syrup). A thick syrup can be obtained by the steaming method but in my opinion too complicated for the average joe.
If you prefer a stronger flovour, do not skin the fruit and add in the seed together with the red membrane around the seed.

Pink Lemon Grass

While orchid hunting in CTC market recently, i happened to see a very interesting variety of Lemon Grass that i have not seen in Singapore. The leaves are the same but the stalk is deep pink in colour. I am growing one in my backyard now and it has thrown out 4 new growths. Hope to get a large cluster soon.


Cucuma elata flower

My cucuma elata ginger produced a very nice flower stalk recently. This plant is among one of those that managed to escape my "search and destroy" operation a year ago.

The story started from Bangkok three years ago where i bought $5 worth of different types of ginger roots from CTC market, including thai tumeric (different from the local ones in the market). Some cost 10baht while some are 20baht per piece. I put all of them into 3 big planters outside my house and before i knew it i have lots of different gingers sprouting all over the place. Very interesting at first but soon i lost interest and decided to clear the place for rosella, barbados cherry, mulberry and other herbs. So i decided to dig out the ginger roots.

Not as easy as i thought because i did not realise how big the roots have gotten. I dug out enough roots to fill 3 NTUC bags! And some of the escapees produced another round of ginger plants a few months later.

Since they are so lucky i decided to leave them alone so now i still have a few of those that got away.


Scotch bonnet is ripe

The scotch bonnets are ripe now. Must handle with care cos it is very hot!!! My fingers burn for a while when i accidentally touched an opened chili.

Close-up of the chili.


Pollinating the Chili Flower

This is how i ensure the chili flowers don't get pollinated by pollen from other varieties. I hope the seeds will be genetically uncontaminated.


Updates on Scotch Bonnet

The first fruit has grown bigger now and the lobes are more pronounced.

There are also more fruits on the plant now.


Scotch Bonnet

The beautiful flower of the Scotch Bonnet Chili. The flower is larger than the usual chili padi flower.

The fruit is forming. It is a bit angular, not rounded like in usual chili.

The plant is healthy now. Not sure if it will just suddenly die off like some other chili plants.


Pulasan and Pineapple

Me with the pulasan tree that i have planted 3 years ago. The tree fruits every year but in the beginning the fruits were flattened and contains no flesh or seeds, just skin. Maybe due to lack of nuitrients.

This latest harvest shows great improvement in the fruit quality. Likely due to the maturity of the tree.

A bunch of pulasans. The semi-red ones are already very sweet.

This is almost fully ripe. The dark patches in the picture is actually ant hive material. The ants are using the hard spikes of the fruit to hold their hive in place so need to bang the fruit on a hard surface to dislodge them before opening the fruit.

Another bunch with ant hive material, quite harmless actually.

This is a plant ripen pineapple grown from the crown of a dole pineapple bought from NTUC. One year plus and all you get is a small fruit although it is quite sweet. My mom says better to buy from NTUC.


Rosella (Hibiscus sabdariffa)

The flower bud of Rosella. The flower is typical hibiscus type and lasts only a day.

The buds can be harvested and made into a nice refreshing ribena-like drink. The Taiwanese drink it a lot in Karaokes to soothe their throat.
If i can, i will mix in a few Barbados cherries. This alters the sourness slightly and makes the drink even more refreshing.
My orchids:

Dioscorea japonica

This is the leaf of Dioscorea japonica (japanese yam) which i got from a friend in Penang. Every year, near chinese new year she would obtain a few of the root from a relative and use it to cook a desert similar to Cheng T'ng. The root would be washed, skinned and sliced. Only one leaf is shown cos i just re-planted the vine into the pot after digging up the yam for cooking.

Left: This is the root that i dug up from my pot after planting for a year.
Below: Another view of the root.

Etlingera elatior white torch

This is the plant of the white torch. I purchased a stem cutting from CTC market together with some other colleagues. Theirs did not survive. The plant had grown into a big clump now.

Close-up of the flower bud which was about a week old and still opening.

The fully opened flower showing the pure complete whiteness of the flower.

This is the red torch, for comparison.


Barbados cherries again

The cherry plant.

A harvest of cherries.


Other Fruits

This cherry-like fruit is called Barbados Cherry(Malpighia punicifolia L.). It is rather sour but according to articles on the web it is suppose to be the fruit with the second highest level of ascorbic acid (vitamin C) behind the fruit of rose hips(Rosa rugosa) .
For more info on this plant please visit:-

This is the familiar Thai guava variety with larger fruit. The seller told me that rounder fruits are sweeter.

Here is a pineapple plant sprouting two side shoots after the unripe fruit was eaten by a monkey.

This is a Thai coconut that i brought back from Mr. Lim Song's orchid farm in Penang. I gave one plant earlier to my colleague Mr. Andrew Tan and it had already fruited. I planted mine a year or two later so i am still waiting. According to Mr. Lim, you need to give it lots of salt when it is this size and then soon you will get fruits and this Thai variety fruits early so you actually have to bend down to pluck the fruits!!

This is a view of the Thai coconut beside a local coconut tree.

This is a black sugar cane. This is better than the green type because even the nodes are tender. Sweetness level is the same.

This is obviously a cross between the Longan and Mata Kuching (Cat's Eye). Although the seller at the nursery labelled it as Longan. The fruit can be as big as a Longan but the taste is that of Mata Kuching. The flesh is much thicker than Mata Kuching, very sweet but too soft.
My orchid collections are at:-