One of the most meaningful activities we got involved in this June hols happened totally by chance.
There is a community garden nearby, and our family had visited once. Since I was on leave, I thought it would be good to bring the girls again to get more familiar with the plants there, and help out a bit.
The friendly uncle who is mainly in-charge welcomed us in and patiently answered all our questions about what each plant was. We could tell immediately that gardening is truly his passion!
The girls helped out in watering the plants, and I asked K if she’d like to make signs for the plants and trees. With much more enthusiasm than I expected, her whole face lit up as she said YES!
The garden is not large, but it is certainly tended to with much love.
There was a flourishing white bitter gourd vine along one entire flank of the fence.
So the next day we turned up with these signs. Just six, that we made through drawing from our concept of what the fruits and leaves looked like. We bought some small ziplock bags from Daiso, and used our stash of wooden chopsticks to make these little signs.
It was so fun and fulfilling to see them next to the plants. The uncle was extremely pleased too. We thought that he might think our signs were too rudimentary (instead of having scientific names and the like), but when a friend passed by, he proudly showed off the signs and said, “See have colour too!”
If you look closely at the soursop tree above, you can spot the beautiful flowerbud in the top middle of the photo.
And here it is, close up.
I do not have green fingers by any standards (terrarium plants have perished under my watch) but it was very fascinating and somewhat therapeutic to potter around the plants, and gawk at the various buds and variety of leaf shapes.
Inspired, I took down more names of the many plants in that little garden, and realised that there were more than 30 different plants! The uncle had cleared up the overgrown messy garden quite a bit since he took over early this year. Armed with Sharpies, colouring pencils and reference from Google, we managed to make all these signs within one afternoon!
K was very enthusiastic about googling for photos and drawings to pick nice ones to follow, and B was happy to help colour in the drawings and paste the sticks on.
Hooray for so much free time for such leisurely pursuits during the holidays. In total we made 32 signs.
Here’s a closer look.
And the next day we were off! The girls had a splendid time running around the garden excitedly, asking me where to put this sign and this sign and this sign….
Then they did their usual watering duties……
We came up with a nifty system of spraying the plastic covered signs too, so we’d know which plants we had already soaked in water.
It was actually very fulfilling to watch the browning aloe veras what we had watered plentifully on Day 1, show significant signs of rejuvenation by Day 4.
Look at these beautiful flowers! Belonging to the starfruit tree. How would we ever have known how beautiful the starfruit’s flowers are, but for this chance to encounter it up close?
And here are the Roselle’s buds and blooms.
As well as the Moringa tree’s fragrant flowers.
Here is the beautiful blue pea flower vine, in various stages of maturing into a pod!
We even saw a baby Green Pigeon and its Mother perched above our heads. The parent pigeons had made their nest on the soursop tree and the Uncle had seen the baby grow till it could fly. Not just flora, but fauna too, within this garden.
We were happy to make our small contribution to the community garden, and glad to have completed this little project during the school hols. Couldn’t have thought of a better way to spend those hours!