Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Giving my Calamansi an Air layering treatment...

Spring is coming round the corner, it looks like the weather is starting to warm up so I thought why not spend more time in the garden to raise new plants through vegetative propagation. I feel duty bound to learn this fascinating and interesting gardening art and one from which is possible to gain much pleasure  and a great sense of achievement if only I can successfully in propagating my calamansi plant. It has becomes the most sought after plant in my garden since I wrote about it in this blog. I have been inundated with requests from Singaporeans living in Australia for cuttings or seeds so that they too can enjoy this unique lime with their mee rabus or hokkien mee from their garden.
Success in plant propagation is often attributed to the possession of a “green thumb” - a belief which is not without some foundation. It is true that some people seem to be gifted and have little or no difficulty in propagating young plants. I have not been successful in the past few attempts and hope my renewed enthusiasm is not dampened by possible early setbacks and failure.  But there is no reason why I should not successfully propagate my calamansi plant, provided certain essentials are borne in mind. This time around, I will be trying the Chinese method of air layering with my clamansi plant which in its original form was practiced in China centuries ago. My calamansi plant has been grown in the open since I bought it from the nursery and I would be air layering it this coming spring when the sap is rising and flowing freely.  I will post the air layering and its method with drawings or photos once I get it started in the coming weeks.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Drop in this arvo for a cuppa, mate.

In the colonial Singapore, having "high tea" was mainly confined to the tai tai (rich housewives) with their leisurely lifestyle or mainly to affirm their social standing among themselves and usually held in their own bungalows.  As times and lifestyles changed the popularity of the formal afternoon tea waned, but has seen a revival in recent years as people once again enjoy its elegance in the foyer or courtyard of most hotels in Singapore. Most Singaporeans tend to associate nonya kuehs together with dainty decorated cupcakes, sandwiches and scones with High Tea. Contrary to its present fare, High Tea was a more substantial meal, including meat and/or fish, and was really an early dinner which well suited the middle and lower classes after a long day at work in England and Ireland.   This long established eating pattern was brought to Australia amongst the early English and Irish migrants. Today, many Australians still refer to the evening meal as tea and can use the term to mean a cup of tea or 'cuppa'. When invited to “Come for tea” could mean “Come for dinner”, so it is best you ask “at what time?” Tea usually means the evening meal, but as Australians also have "afternoon tea" (mid afternoon light snack) and "morning tea" (mid morning light snack) confusion might result from the word "tea" so you must check with the host, but time will be a good indication as well, i.e. invitation after 6.00pm will be dinner, not just a cup of tea.