[2024] Sakura at Gardens by the Bay

It’s that time of the year to view sakura at Gardens by the Bay! For those of us in Singapore who are unable to visit Japan to experience it in person, this event is the next best thing. The theme for 2024 is Blossom into the night, and visitors can view it in daylight or after 7pm, the setting is perfect for Yozakura, or night sakura, when lanterns and light projections offer a different scenery for sakura appreciation.

In Japan, the Sakura festival is a celebration of Japan’s iconic cherry blossoms and the arrival of spring, a season of renewal and rebirth. As the sakura bloom, they symbolise the fleeting beauty of life and the importance of cherishing each moment. It is a reminder to pause, reflect, and appreciate the wonders of the natural world.

This year’s festival showcases more than 140 cherry blossom trees and features more than 40 varieties. Also part of the selection of blooms are  plum and peach blossom trees. Here are the highlights of Sakura: Blossom into the night.

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City, Country

Making cordage from plants

Making cordage from backyard plants is a skill that enriches our appreciation for the natural world. This activity is not just fun and rewarding, but it teaches patience, respect for natural resources, and the ingenuity to utilise available materials effectively.

Many plants in your backyard contain fibrous material that can be turned into strong, durable cordage when processed correctly. Pictured above is what I made using my homegrown Ramie plant, which some use as a food colouring agent or to make dishes like Hakka Ramie Leaf dumplings.

If you live in a tropical climate, plants such as sea hibiscus, jute, kenaf, banana, bamboo and sugarcane are excellent sources of fibre after retting. The long, tough stalks or bark of these plants are what you are after.

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City, Country

How to grow pineapples at home

If you have been wanting to learn how to grow pineapples at home, I’d say go do it because it is a highly rewarding experience. All you need is a bit of patience, since it can take around 15 months or more to yield fruit, depending on where you live.

Belonging to the Bromeliaceae family, which includes Tillandsia or air plants, the pineapple is a ground-level shrub which grows to around one metre high. The fruit is a result of the merging of 100 to 200 small florets that, once fertilised, produce individual fruits and swell. This results in a unified fruit when matured. A fully ripe pineapple typically weighs around 2kg or more, although this varies by species.

Photosynthesis for the pineapple takes place at night. The plant possesses Crassulacean Acid Metabolism (CAM), an adaptation that enhances water utilisation efficiency and is commonly observed in plants that thrive in dry environments. These include cacti, orchids and terrestrial bromeliads.

how many pineapples grow on one plant
Image by Rushay Booysen

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Edible flowers you can grow in Singapore

Have you ever considered growing edible flowers at home? Incorporating homegrown edible flowers as part of your garden not only adds beauty but can also enhance the flavours of your culinary creations. In this post, find out which edible flowers you can grow in Singapore.

Edible flowers have diverse culinary applications and these days it is not uncommon to find them used as garnish on or around food in cafes and restaurants. Add them to salads, desserts or beverages for an attractive and flavourful touch. A word of caution, do choose edible flower varieties that are safe for consumption and if you are planning to grow them at home, avoid spraying chemicals so there is no risk of contamination.

edible flowers singapore
Edible flowers that adorned my wedding cake

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