City, Garden Stories

Garden Stories: Ganesh Kumar of Woodlands Botanical Garden

Known as Woodlands Botanical Garden, this award-winning community garden is situated on a hillside in Marsiling spanning 2500m2 over 9 storeys. Furnished with more than 200 varieties of plants, this is a wonderland for birds, bees, butterflies and other garden inhabitants. The good news is it is open round the clock to the public for visits.

Officially launched in July 2020, this showstopping garden is tended to by Woodlands Botanical Garden Chairman Ganesh, his father and a team of around 20 residents. Together they plant, prune, build garden structures and undertake general garden tasks, including feeding the budgerigars who have their own enclosure on the premises.   

Even though this garden was established not long ago, it has already won three awards, including Garden of Year 2022. Flowers that can be found here include roses, Melastoma, Tecoma, Plumbago, Crossandra, Chalicevine, Musical Notes plant and a wide variety of Hibiscus.

Thanks to the diversity of plants and the community garden’s approach to stewarding the garden, visitors are treated to day-long sightings of bees, butterflies, birds, dragonflies and other pollinators. The pond has helped attract more wildlife to the garden, in addition, Ganesh believes in letting nature take its course, and does not intervene when caterpillars and snails make a meal of the plants.

Ganesh has built a few gardens throughout the years, beginning with his grandfather’s garden, a community garden in Hougang, followed by a garden in one of NTU’s halls, where he was the residential mentor. With this garden, he hopes that it can serve as a mental wellness garden for others to enjoy.

Read on to find out more about Ganesh and Woodlands Botanical Garden.

Woodlands town park east
Woodlands Botanical Garden
Woodlands Botanical Garden Singapore

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City, Country

Here’s What to Do If Your Chicken Is Attacked by a Cat

If you keep chickens as pets, it’s important to know what to do if your chicken is attacked by a cat. Cats are natural predators of chickens and can kill them very quickly. In this blog post, I will recommend what to do if one of your chickens is attacked by a cat and what to expect in the process of caring for your injured chicken.

Recently, a cat showed up and attacked the weakest of my flock of three bantam chickens. By the time I went outside to check on the commotion, it was too late. The cat was running away with my hen, Nugget, in its mouth. At the time I thought it was probably too late, I lost a young rooster to a feral cat years ago and it was a quick death as it got him by the neck. I gave chase and the cat dropped Nugget in the drain, before escaping. It was trying to get away fast and it wasn’t able to fit her through the hole.

Nugget was in shock and tilted her head up to breathe. I carried her to a quiet spot to catch her breath and saw that she had a couple of wounds on her back. After around 10 minutes, she stood up and wanted to join the rest of the flock but I put her in the coop for observation. I immediately left some food out for her and she still had a good appetite, which was a relief. However, she mainly stood around and was withdrawn, she also looked like she had some difficulty walking. The next day, my brother and I took her to the vet – AAVC in Yishun- (our regular vet, Gloria Lee of Mount Pleasant in Yishun, was on 3 weeks leave) and discovered that it was worse than we thought.

From my experience I recommend the following:

1. Get your chicken to a vet ASAP

chicken has injury from cat attack
Nugget after surgery, photo provided by AAVC

First of all, it’s important to act quickly if your chicken is attacked by a cat. Cats have toxic saliva and bites can result in infections and kill your chicken. A cat attack requires emergency care and will need to see a vet. It is a good idea to inspect your chicken to try to get an accurate assessment of how serious the injury is.

Before you get your chicken to the vet, clean the wounds to reduce any chance of an infection. If you do not have F10 disinfectant (requires dilution) or saline solution on hand, you can try posting an SOS to Facebook or Telegram on channels like Backyard Chickens Singapore (BYCS) or Save the Chickenese Singapore to find out if there is someone in your neighbourhood whom you can get it from immediately.

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The TCM Garden: Nanyang Herb Garden

Home to medicinal herbs as far as the eye can see, Nanyang Herb Garden contains a diverse number of plants used for Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). It’s caretaker, Zhuang Minshan, a registered TCM physician, looks after all these plants with the help of one staff member and some volunteers.

Plants here are grown in neatly arranged rows. They include Fishwort, Sabah Snake Grass, Black Face General, Snakeweed, Bandicoot Berry, Jiaogulan, Two-Flowered Oldenlandia, Toothache Plant, Soapbush, Singapore Rhododendron and even Ashwaganda, also known as Indian Ginseng, which Physician Zhuang grew from seed. These are just some of a multitude of plants which surround the property.

TCM herb garden Singapore
Fishwort Singapore

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Project Black Gold Singapore

Community Composting in Singapore: Project Black Gold

Want to learn how to do aerobic composting in Singapore? Project Black Gold is a community food scrap composting initiative in Singapore run by Cuifen Pui and Chingwei Chen. Passionate about compost making and building communities, these two got together to co-create and launch Project Black Gold during the pandemic, with the support of other compost makers. Their goals? To teach people how to make compost using food scraps and to grow this community movement.

When physical distancing measures eased, Chingwei began by teaching theory for free over Zoom to a group of condomium residents in Bukit Gombak, and meeting with a smaller group to do hands-on activities. A few months later, Cuifen initiated a series of online teaching for volunteers and nearby residents of Jurong Lake Gardens, although it took many more months before hands-on could take place. From this point, Chingwei went on to start 3 more locations at Tampines.

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