Our visit to TTDI’s community garden

Recently, Annie and I attended a little workshop at the TTDI Community Center by Ecocentric Transitions.

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The workshop entailed an introduction to organic urban gardening by the founder of Ecocentric Transitions – Nisha; a plant cutting exchange session (they were super generous); and also a mini guided tour of the TTDI Edible Project – a project which Ecocentric Transitions is a big part of.

We met Nisha and the other participants at 8.30a.m. by the tennis court of the community centre, where she led us to her team’s homebase. It was a stone’s throw away from the tennis court.

When we arrived, we were greeted by other friendly members including her co-founder Ly Mun. Everyone was surprised not only by the strong sense of community the Ecocentric Transition folks shared, but also by the fact that both the founders moms are involved in their mission. They too share a fiery passion for sustainable living.

Once introductions were made, school was finally in session… Here are some takeaways

  • When planning your garden, consider not only the sun’s positioning but also the diversity of the plants you intend to grow as some plants grow better when paired together. You can read up more on companion planting here – knowing the age and lifecycle of plants will really help!
  • Begin with herbs/fruits/vegetables that are easier to grow in our climate like mint and rosemary – you can find some tips here. Don’t begin with tomatoes if you’re new, they’re pretty tough to grow 🙁
  • Introduce aerated charcoal in your edible garden as it is great for soil building. It’s the reason why the Amazon Forest is so rich 🙂
  • Introduce compost in your edible garden as they are also great for soil building. If you’re DIY person, here’s a guide to building your own worm bin for vermicompost
  • Pests like mealybugs and aphids are fairly common so keep a look out for them. To keep them away, blend a mix of neem leaves, garlic, and washing detergent and spray away at your plants.
  • Go meet your farmers and ask them where they get their best gardening stuff – like reliable seeds and manures. Sometimes these things even come free!

Here are some pictures from our outing that day

All in all, we enjoyed the workshop and we would like to thank the friendly folks at Ecocentric Transitions for the insightful session 🙂

If our dear readers are interested in joining a similar kind of workshop… do let us know in the comments below so that we can organise our very own workshop at the Garden Care Centre!

What our office looks like

Hey everyone, we’ve been open for about 2 months now and throughout the period, we’ve shared with you many pictures of the garden care centre and our plants.

Today we’d like to show you a different side of our garden care centre – the office.

The office has been a work in progress for us as we’d been busy with the shop front. It had little to almost no character right until last week…

Cherie, the Finance Freesia of our team (the numbers girl), took it upon herself to add some color and character to the office.

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Cherie, our finance freesia and Annie – the super women at Green Fingers

 

She first put up a bunch of green motivational posters around the office, which in turn inspired Annie and I to do something for the office.

So off we went to IKEA…

And tada!

We bought a few giant leaves, cute carpets, and several carrots (we even got the carrots some hats too).

And now the office feels much cosier and inviting 🙂

Thanks for getting the ball rolling Cherie. If you hadn’t put up any of those posters, the carrots might not have made it to our garden care centre.

So there you go dear readers, that’s what the Green Fingers Greenquarters looks like.

What does your workspace look like?

Our visit to Lum Chin Orchid Garden

visittolumchin 3 weeks ago, we adventured out of the garden care centre to look for new plants to grace our nursery.

The nursery had previously featured many Chinese New Year favorites like Chrysanthemums, Hydrangeas, and Azaleas. But now that Chinese New Year was over, we wanted to feature more timeless plants. Plants that are very much loved all year round.

“What about orchids?”, we thought. “They’re exotic, mysterious, fascinating… and they’re certainly loved all year round”. We agreed then to visit an orchid farm. In particular, we visited the beautifully humble Lum Chin Orchid Farm.

Christine (pictured above with Annie) was our host for the tour and she was friendly and helpful in showing us around.

We told her about our little garden centre, our wish to feature orchids in the nursery and she was super excited.

So she proceeded to recommend a colorful mix of Norahs, Dendrobiums, Oncidiums, and Mokaras – as they aren’t too expensive and are easier to maintain. Also, she remarked about their Tiger Orchids, which are extremely popular during Chinese New Year.

Thanks Christine! We’ve marked down our calendars and will definitely feature a few next Chinese New Year.

As we strolled across the 4-acre orchid farm picking out orchids, we also took the opportunity to shower her with questions on orchid care. Below is what we learnt from Christine.

1) Grow your orchids under partial shade where it can get indirect sunlight. e.g. under trees or car porch edges. Orchids naturally grow on barks under trees. Try avoiding ares with strong afternoon sun.

2) Water once a day in the morning, ensure that all the charcoal and bricks in the pot is thoroughly wet. On hotter days, water twice a day.

3) Fertilize every two weeks with any organic fertilizer or even better, liquid formulas like the Miracle Gro Orchid Water Soluble Fertilizer. Spray generously from roots to stem but not flowers.

4) Cut off spent flowers or the stem if the whole bloom is spent. And cut in a diagonal manner from the stem one node below from the last node with bloom. This will be where it blooms next.

5) On some occasions , instead of blooms, roots will appear. If that happens… congratulations! You have yourself a baby orchid plant. Wait until at least half a dozen of strong, healthy roots and leaves are grown, then you may carefully cut off the baby and repot!

We not only learnt alot about orchids from Christine that day. We ended up taking quite a few home with us too 🙂

So if you’re a fan of orchids, be sure to drop by! Because we have orchid barks, orchid plant food, and even beautiful containers to house them.

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Join our team: We’re looking for a Garden Care Advisor

Hello everyone!

Green Fingers is looking for a friendly chinese speaking female to join our team.

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Share the above image, or better yet… share this post with anyone whom you think would be suitable alright? (green karma points up for grabs for referrers!)

PS: If you’re looking to work with a bunch of friendly folks in a relaxed environment. We’re a perfect fit 🙂

Hello world!

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Yay we’re finally live and kicking! We hope to bring some green delights to you very soon. Perhaps a story or two about what goes on behind closed doors, or even some beautiful and inspirational pictures like the above 😉

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