Saturday, October 17, 2015


I realized more and more that my gardens are greatly influenced by childhood imagination, feed by the books I read. My heroes eating the delicate Elderberry flowers and berries while lost in the forest. Given a treat of Elderberry cordials when they were good. Taste unknown but imagined, this is my second attempt to grow Elderberry. 
June 20, 2015

Temu Kunci Boesenbergia Rotunda

September 2015

Thai Krachai or Malaysian Temu Kunci Boesenbergia Rotunda, also known as Finger root , lesser galangal, Chinese ginger has been exciting addition to my garden. I love it delicious and unique taste in Thai curries. Needless to say I did everything I knew to encourage the ginger to take root. The Krachai is planted in the same bed as the Cekur. Both these Asian ginger seem to love the filtered sunlight of the location and hot summer. It too has been gracing the garden with its beautiful bloom. The blooms are hidden within the leaf stalk and it is easy to overlook the fleeting bloom.

My Temecula Cekur patch....

September 2015

Let you into a secret, shh.....I have a sweet little dream; that how I think of it - A DREAM. Queue music.... sighs.The heart of Malaysian and Asian cooking is the herbs. My sweet little dream is to have a Malaysian herb garden just steps outside my kitchen. Over the years I have collected and cultivated many of these herbs in my San Diego garden. My heart had been broken too many times to count. Sigh again... The sight of a dead herb that I had searched long and hard for is always devastating. But it is a dream I refused to give up on.

This year has been particularly trying. I had been transferring these herbs to Temecula, a climate far different from San Diego. It is hotter and drier than San Diego and at the same time, it is subject to frost which these tropical herbs cannot withstand. I hedged my bets; keeping one or more plant in San Diego in case the herb failed to thrive in Temecula.

So far it has been gratifying to have my little Asian herb patch in Temecula and watching the herbs flourish. They love the hot heat! The trick going forward will be to keep them alive through the fall and winter, and then have them emerge in spring.

I have a soft spot for 
Cekur Kaemferia galanga. It is an essential herb for traditional Nyonya cuisine. Whenever I do manage find some Cekur roots they live for a period and die away over the winter. So far, I am optimistic they will do better in Temecula. The Cekur likes its location in the planter, under the queen palm tree. It appears it thrives in filtered sunlight condition. 

September 5, 2015

Thursday, October 8, 2015


September 27, 2015

Everytime I slide open the door to the garden, I brace myself. Each season, my tomato plants gets decimated by Tomato Hornworm. These evil caterpillars seem to appear out of nowhere and wreck havoc. It is always when and how bad, never if.........

Today, from the doorway I can see from afar that something had bitten into the tomato. So I get closer. When I see the leafless stalks I start looking for the tomato hornworm.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Walla Walla Harvesting Time

August 18, 2015

Since I started cultivating the onion seedlings instead of viewing them as weeds, my attitude changed towards their care. I had been cutting off the onion flowers as soon as I see them forming so that the energy could be directed to forming the onion bulb. It is satisfying to see the swollen bulbs all in a row.

I started wondering whether it was time to harvest them....The last time I had a significant crop of onions was August 2013. August was here. A quick research to refresh my memory suggested when the stalk start to fall over it would be time to harvest the onions!! My husband walked by and glanced at my computer screen, and makes a suggestion that BLEW MY MIND!! I cannot believe I had never thought of it before.... but that is a topic for another post.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

September Colors

September 23,  2015

Finally, the tomatoes are ripening!! Not many but some. My favorite are the gorgeous Speckle Romans with the beautiful striations.

Transplanting self seeded onions seedlings

August 30, 2015

As the flower blossoms ripen, the seeds form within the flower globe. The seeds look like little black sesame seeds. Onion blossom globes stand high above plant, on the end of long stalk.  Some of these stalks are as tall as 3 feet high. Wind blowing through the garden sway the onion flower globes and scatter the seeds all over the garden.