From tree to pot (Moringa !)

The moringa pod used for making “paripu curry”. It’s an Sri Lankan dish.

We are not Sril Lankan but Chinese and making this during Chinese New Year but ok, I think this is close 🙂

The moringa pods are the main ingredients used for this dish.

The tree where it was harvested from:

The tree is also flowering.

In case you don’t know Moringa is a super food. However most of the nutrients are in the leaves. That doesn’t mean the pods is not as nutritious.

Of course cooking it destroys some of the nutrients but in this case it’s the taste we are after 🙂

If you have a good recipe for the moringa pods please share! 🙂


Smart Garden 9 looks affordable

I’ve had my eye on this but it was too expensive at USD 199( RM 800).

Recently there was a price drop using the “subscription” option.

So the price is 20% off with  $159.96 (about RM650) but you have to subscribe to

-3 x 3-packs just $29.85 (charged once every three months)
-Free shipping on all shipments
-First subscription ships out and fee is charged in 3 months from making the purchase.

RM 120 for a 9 pod refill is ok as I work that out to about RM 13.30 for one pod which is about the price of a soil potted sweet Basil I can get from the supermarket. The difference is that from the reviews, the Smart Garden systems grow much faster.

What do you think? Affordable or not? I am still 50-50 in getting this 🙂

Also I am not paid to promote this although I think I should 🙂

Related link:-

The Smart Garden 9

Also this Singaporean Youtuber  made a review of the refill pack


Zip ties on balcony rails – not a good idea

I thought zip ties were a good idea to hold up the plant containers on the balcony rails. Now I know it’s not.

They are good but only for a few months. Probably 4-6 months by my estimate.

Yesterday one of my plant container came crashing down. On my side ok, not over the railings outside as that would be bad.

Anyway I was lucky it wasn’t a mess and the soil didn’t spill over etc.

My solution is to use this “fish string” you can buy from the aquarium shop. Pretty cheap at RM 1 per roll.

Not very good at knots but I got them holding the container and tied it to the rails.

An advantage is the string is pretty invisible. I can’t even get a clear picture of it.

A close look and it’s visible.

This pot is “half-half” using the fish string method and the zip tie.

My other containers all still use zip ties but I will be slowly replacing them.

Rare bloom

Guess what flower is this? (if you can! 🙂

Here’s another ‘extended’ shot of the bloom at the foot of my balcony.  (lucky didn’t drop the phone trying to take this)

Ok now that you see the leaves, any seasoned gardener knows this is the Indian Borage. Not uncommon. But for me the flower is very uncommon. After a few years of growing borage, this is the first time I see flowers coming out of it. I posted this to the MG group over a month ago and the flower is still here! Hardy as the plant itself.

OK, ok perhaps not as rare a bloom but to me it is 🙂

Anyone else has seen the Indian Borage bloom?

Can dried up telang come back to life?

So the question is can dead telang come back to life? Check this out..

Left the apartment for 2 weeks Raya holidays and without water the telang plants (I have 3) all just dried up and died. Pruned the long creepers and now it’s a few weeks later. The one above is sad. Still no signs of life.



This one however brings back hope. They do regenerate!

A smaller plant with just one small main branch is also starting to grow leaves!


So the conclusion is 2 out of 3 of the telang plants are coming back to life.

Still won’t give up on this seemingly dead telang. I hope it will come back to life too. After all, my nick name here on this blog is Telang Man ! 🙂


The survivors

The spider plants are pretty hardy survivors of 2 weeks without water in the apartment balcony. They recover fast too. Here is the picture (before and after) yesterday and today after watering.

Hanging on the wall they did not have the benefit of the potted plants which had bottled water slow dripping into the soil. The droop but are still alive after 2 weeks without water.



The next morning …

Balcony plants 2 weeks without water

The last time I did this (leave the plants unattended) was for a 3 week holiday and the results were catastrophic and nothing survived except for the hardy indian borage. Came back to a balcony full of dry leaves which was a chore to clean up.

This time it was only 2 weeks and I had some water bottles with spikes to slow drip the plants.

Still the results was still a disappointment.

took out my phone to record this..

Mints all died. Left a few cuban oregano.

Basils all dried up.

Some surviving basils.

Some dried up okras and basil.

I guess the biggest loss was my 2 plants of tomatoes (1 month old) and chillies.

The water bottles with spikes not all worked and a few were full of water. The ones that worked saved the other plants.

Next time, will try to invest in a water timer.

My Telang

Ok not really my telang because it’s outside the house across the road but I planted it.

As you can see it’s across the road.  This picture is rare as this bush is popular and one particular person always harvest all the flowers early in the morning before I can even see the flowers ! 🙂

One benefit is that the grow area is bigger so the telang has grown into a bush. The ones I grow in the house in pots is much smaller and don’t produce as many flowers.

The Telang has other names namely:

  • Asian Pigeon Wings
  • Blue Bell Vine
  • Blue Pea
  • Cordofan Pea
  • Darwin pea,
  • Butterfly Pea’ (Clitoria ternatea)

Also, the benefits are numerous but I’ll list the common one cited by many websites (again no scientific proof but since many have said it, should have some truth in it, yes?)

  1. Antioxidants help your body lower risk of infections, and is great for your heart health.
  2. Combat wrinkles and protects your skin from premature aging.
  3. Cure for headaches and migraines.
  4. Fights internal inflammation. The tea helps reduce inflammation in the body as well as symptoms such as breakouts or rashes.
  5. Brain boosting properties.

Check out these links that list down other benefits:

A newbie Aquaponics setup

I like the idea of fish and plants existing harmoniously and benefitting from each other so this is my simple Aquaponics setup. Granted it does not offer any edible fish or edible plant, it still makes me happy to see plant and animal in symbiosis.

Got this solar powered fountain add some oxygen to the water. Cost: RM 40.

The fish: Mosquito fish (Gambusia affinis). Cost: free (caught at nearby drain last year). Also useful to control the mosquito population as this town (Teluk Intan, Perak) is famous as a mosquito infested area, It is also a hardy fish and many times I have forgotten to feed them with fish food but they still survive. Perhaps from eating just mosquito larvae.

The plant: Indian Borage.

Used the Indian borage because it’s a hardy plant and it’s root can survive in water. I know I should find some better more useful or edible plant but I have no idea what will survive here. Any suggestion would be appreciated. Anyway the borage has been doing well and the new stems I cut are beginning to root in water.

Not enough containers with clay pebbles so cheap mineral water bottles were used as ‘floatillas’ 🙂

one water bottle with the bottom cut off. Usually throw fish food here so I can see the fishes as the swim up to feed.


That’s it. Clearly I am a newbie at this but so far the fish are still alive after more than half a year. The moringas are not doing too well and almost all died and replaced with Indian Borage. Clearly Moringas don’t do well in this set up.

Mystery Telang Lady


This has been debated enough on Malaysia Gardener FB page and it’s concluded plants outside your compound is public land, hence, officially and legally what is planted out there cannot be claimed as yours. So this post is not about that.

It’s about the mysterious woman who keeps plucking the telang flowers grown just outside my house. Yes we planted it in public land so not claiming ownership. This lady comes almost every morning to pluck the flowers and it’s a mystery what she does with them. Quite improbable that it is for personal use. What do you think?


My aunt manage to talk to her and ask her what she is doing with so much telang flowers. Her answer: it’s for a sick friend.


Interesting! Does anyone know what sickness does the telang cure. So far I know telang is good for the eyes.


Also please don’t misunderstand that I am angry or disapprove of her taking the telang because we have it in abundance and she doesn’t touch the ones nearest to the house. In fact quite the opposite. My aunt found out from her she lives at Batu 5 which means 5 miles out of town. That’s a lot of effort everyday (at least to me) to collect bunga telang!