About the Curious Gardener

The Curious Gardener is my personal blog about my garden in tropical Singapore. You’ll find stories about my plants, my attempts at gardening as well as the creatures that visit sporadically or daily.

I’m a gardening hobbyist who enjoys pottering around in the garden. I started out the usual way – as a helper to my dad – and eventually got interested in the different ways of propagating plants. People used to give lots of cuttings and thinnings, and once I mastered growing plants from those, I eventually worked my way to growing plants from seeds; and from there, graduated to the how and why of growing things. The journey is fun; the destination somewhere up ahead…


Harvest time!

In early 2010, I decided to focus more on growing edible plants. I’d dabbled in them a little over the years, but let’s face it – they don’t give sufficient instructions on the backs of those packets of seeds, so my attempts weren’t huge successes. However, knowing how much pesticide goes into commercially grown crops, and how prices are continually rising, I decided to make another go at it.

My intent was also partially inspired by cooking shows on TV (hello, River Cottage and Jamie Oliver! :) ), but more so by our older generation’s experiences of growing their own crops back when Singapore was more rural. It gives me a sense of connection to them.

Besides that, I like communing with nature, understanding how everything works so harmoniously together rather than running for the pesticide whenever I see something destroying my plants. Everything has a place and role to play, even when they’re doing something we don’t like – they’re just doing what nature intended them to do.

Industriously going from flower to flower...

Industriously going from flower to flower…

There’s a lot of trial and error in gardening, but there are good lessons to be learned. It’s a personally rewarding experience to me – relaxing and positive, and it helps me to stay balanced and deal with life’s ups and downs. Just watching plants grow and thrive is a terrific counterbalance to crowds, rude people and irresponsible drivers!

In this blog, I also try to include information that I didn’t find elsewhere when I started looking up the growing of certain plants – which is why you’ll see photos of my plants’ progress, e.g. from seed to fruit. Hopefully it will be useful to you. For me, it’s part of a wonderful learning journey.

In case you didn’t notice, we also have a very humble YouTube channel where we upload the movie snippets taken in the garden. It’s mostly about the birds that we see here, especially unusual visitors like migratory birds. I haven’t worked myself up to doing vlogs yet, sorry.

Starting in 2017, I’ll also be experimenting more with the concepts of permaculture. It’s something that caught my interest a few years ago but didn’t pursue until now. Why now? Because I finally decided to take the leap when I found a suitable online permaculture design course. In case you haven’t already discerned it, I like working with nature, not against it, and this is something that definitely does that. Don’t worry, the usual updates will keep coming!

The Scaly-breasted Munia is a grass seed eater

The Scaly-breasted Munia is a grass seed eater

If you want to stay in touch with us at The Curious Gardener, check out how you can get regular updates from us.

If you just surfed in but didn’t find exactly what you were looking for, make sure you’ve searched this site properly before you leave. We like sharing information with like-minded gardeners and hope you have a positive experience when you visit.

And please note that we use British English on this blog, so the spelling of some words may differ from what you may be used to if you use American English.

Let’s keep gardening!

The Curious Gardener
January 2017

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About the Curious Gardener — 16 Comments

  1. Hi Curious

    R u from Singapore? Sorry for being so blur. Reading yr blog right this moment and liking it enjoying it keep up the entertainment.

    ps Ms Blur Me found the way to follow u alreadi…

    • Haha, yes, I’m in Singapore. Glad you’re enjoying the blog and that you figured how to follow it. ;) Anyway I usually update it every few days – thankfully there are things happening in the garden to share, so hope to keep you entertained for quite a while yet!

  2. Hi there
    i like gardening but living in a flat i don’t have much gardening space. Also, lacking in knowledge. Would like to ask if you can recommend good sites to learn how to plant from scratch. Things like mulch, compost, etc, they just confuse me!

    • Hi Shye!
      I think the first thing you need to do is consider the area you’re going to put your plants – what kind of conditions do you have? How much sunlight per day, etc. That will determine what kinds of plants you can grow. From there, you can Google for the types of plants, eg. shade loving, partial sun, and then you can look up potting mixes and fertilizers. The main things that plants need are sunlight, water and a proper draining soil to grow in. Don’t worry about making mistakes. Many of us have killed, and still kill, plants. It’s part of gardening. Besides, plants always try to adapt to their growing conditions, so they can be quite forgiving that way. Just try to ensure you give them the basic care that they need, and have fun!

  3. I came across your blog while searching for information on how to grow common sunflowers from seeds, and I had an enjoyable time reading your informational blog. Thank you!

    • You’re welcome, Shalyn! I hope I’ve managed to help and that you have great success growing sunflowers. 8)

  4. hi!

    was checking up on perilla/shiso on the internet and found your blog!
    did you plant them from seeds bought in singapore? or did you manage to get hold of a seedling? really really interested to get one for my “herb garden”

    • Hi Melody,

      I got the seeds from a fellow gardener from the GCS Forum. You can sign up there for free and place a notice in the Member’s Market Place requesting for the seeds. I’m sure if anyone has some to spare, they’ll get in touch with you. I have to mention that mine didn’t grow well after a while. But then I don’t have a good track record with growing herbs… :)

  5. Dear Curious Gardener,

    My name is Xin, I am the Exec Secretary of Kranji Countryside Association and also The Heart Warrior at Bollywood Veggies Pte Ltd.

    I am searching on a machine to make mulch this morning and came across your interesting blog.

    It is heart warming to know that you are in Singapore and have the same interest as many of us here at the countryside —> to grow our own produce.

    I am not sure if you read the news on 30 March 2012 that Kranji Countryside Association has won the bid to host the 27th Royal Agricultural Society of the Commonwealth (RASC) Conference in 2016 in Singapore.
    We are the first Asian country to host this biennial conference which more than 300 delegates all over the world will fly in to attend.

    I am writing to you this morning because after reading your blog, I am hoping that we can meet up one day to discuss our common interest and maybe you will be interested to be part of this big event.

    Please feel free to call me or email me for further communication.
    Look forward to hear from you.

    Xin The Heart Warrior

    • Hi Xin,

      Congratulations on winning the bid to host the 2016 RASC conference! I’m not sure how I as a gardening hobbyist can help but I’ll email you shortly. :)