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City, Garden Stories

Garden Stories: House plant tour with Nicole Seah

In her private domain, Nicole Seah is a plant hobbyist who simply loves her aroids.

Her growing collection of foliage plants are beautiful and are elegant accent pieces in the home. These include Philodendron pastazanum, Philodendron verrucosum, Monstera esqueleto, Monstera albo variegata, Begonia tamaya, Anthurium Big Bill, Anthurium veitchii, among others. From the set up it is easy to see that she is pretty serious about plants.

Living in a well-lit apartment, she found that the surroundings were not necessarily suitable for all her plants. As an Anthurium enthusiast, she quickly realised that she had to provide special conditions for them. By housing some of these plants in enclosures kitted out with adequate lighting, humidifiers and handheld fans to create a rainforest microclimate, her plants began to fare better. She also uses a light meter and humidity meters to to aid with this.

In my chat with her, she shared her journey as a plantswoman, both the joy and the challenges — all of which is highly relatable for plant parents. For the full house plant tour with Nicole Seah, be sure to watch the video interview below. I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed creating it : )

Plant tour Singapore

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City

7 places to buy floral and plant patterned, reusable face masks

With the uncertainty surrounding the duration of the Covid-19 pandemic within the community, we will all be wearing face masks for some time to come in Singapore. Instead of single use surgical masks, why not get a reusable, cloth version instead? Besides cutting waste, we can save money in the long run, and also proudly wear our love of plants around with us. Here are 7 places you can buy floral and plant patterned reusable face masks. In this list you find a range of masks featuring botanical prints.

kOy

buy monstera face mask

Karen produces made-to-order cloth masks in two styles – soft or structured. What’s the difference? If you prefer the mask not to touch your lips, especially when talking, opt for the structured version instead. Karen has lovely plant and nature themed masks, and there is a slot for you to insert a filter. Personally I really like the monstera, and podded pea prints. I bought a few masks after seeing The Farmers wearing it. View the catalog on her Instagram page, her masks come in kid’s and adult sizes, and retail at $12 for the soft version, and $15 for the structured one, and the price includes normal postage. Message her directly to place an order.

LambLittleShop

buy floral and plant patterned reusable face mask

Based in Ireland, Jane Carkill is an illustrator and artist who has turned her nature drawings into these textile designs for use on cotton protective face masks.There are a total of 7 designs to choose from. They ship from Ireland so it will take some weeks to get here given the current delay of postal services. Order yours at $13.50 each, before shipping fees, on her LambLittleShop on Etsy.

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City, Guides

Where to buy plant stands and plant racks in singapore

As we fill our homes, porches and gardens with plants and find creative ways to squeeze as many of them as possible in every nook and cranny, there is a real need to optimise our vertical space. There are benefits to this. Besides organising our plants, we are adjusting the microclimate and adding visual interest by creating depth. One way we can use space more efficiently is by using plant racks and plant stands. So where can you buy plant stands and plant racks in Singapore?

There are a few materials to choose from, these include rattan, wood, plastic and metal. Wood and rattan give a sense of warmth and visual texture to its surroundings and add a tropical feel to the home. Metal lends a more elegant and sleek feel. Depending on the finish you choose – be it brass, copper, gold, iron, steel or others – these metals have its own aesthetic effect. For example, gold is luxurious, while copper exudes warmth.When elevating plants, you can get creative by using stools, benches, low tables, shelves, shoe racks and even bar carts.  

There are some points of consideration before you decide to go out and get one. This depends on the look you are after, where you are planning to put it and how practical you are. Are you putting it indoors or outdoors? Will your plant pots use saucers? Does your property have termites? Will it be on the grass or on a tiled area? These materials will experience wear and tear differently and it’s important to make decisions you will not regret later.

buy plant stands in Singapore
Kazi Silver Planter by House Doctor, available at Journey East.

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how to get rid of snails
City, Country

How to get rid of slugs and snails

Many gardeners who have community garden plots or home gardens on the ground floor would have encountered slugs and snails gnawing at their plants, or worse, denuding them. The presence of these gastropods is a recurring event in my garden and I’ve looked at different ways on how to get rid of slugs and snails from my property in Singapore. The snails I usually find are the African Land Snail, Luminescent Land Snail,  Humphrey’s Land Snail and Allopeas Snail but we do have a diverse number of snails in Singapore.

My former flock of chickens would eat the smaller snails and slugs but my current resident flock turn their beaks up at them. So I’ve had to explore other ways of dealing with them that don’t involve slug or snail pellets, something which I’m not terribly fond of because I don’t like the use of poisons in my garden or the likelihood of making my chickens or any wildlife sick.

So which is the best way to get rid of slugs and snails?

Aside from pellets, other tactics that gardeners swear by include copper tape, beer traps/pub, wool pellets, diatomaceous earth, coffee grounds, brambles, and using a plank as a lure, where they can be found and dealt with later. This is a good time to mention that crushed egg shells are not as effective as once thought, because gardeners have found that snails and slugs just crawl over it.

There are however, non-chemical, humane strategies that you can consider, either through preventing or by baiting/trapping, and then relocating. They may come across as the enemy but they are ecologically beneficial. Their diet consists of fungi and rotting leaves and other vegetation, and as detritivores and some say decomposers, they help in breaking down plant waste, cycling nutrients back to the soil. While they are not particularly welcome to our vegetable garden especially, we don’t need to use a take no prisoners approach.

Allopeas snails Singapore
Allopeas snails, or Awl snails, on my chive plants

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