Thursday, July 21, 2011

Garden in Bloom

It has been a very busy last few weeks with visitors, seminars, business meetings and QC checks for compliance/certification of bakery diplomas courses. On top of that, our cat gave birth to three kittens, our serama hen just hatched five new chicks the sizes of small marbles and our dog got tick fever :-(

As for the five serama chicks, here they are when they are about 2 days old...

This is their lone two months old sibling from a previous batch.

This one is a beautiful pure creamy-white in colour but the new batch will certainly be coloured as can be seen from the dark markings on their feathers.

Meanwhile, the weather have been pretty kind - bright (albeit, hot) sunny days followed by downpours late afternoon or evening. The garden is doing well and looks and smells good. An evening  walk in the garden is a visual and aromatic delight and especially, due to the profusion of fragrant flowers, in particular, the "Queen of the Night" .....

The entire garden is strongly scented with a delightful fragrance. It is really fantastic!

Just look at some of the other beautiful flowers in bloom now ........


Great life in a beautiful garden :-)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Curry Tree and Leaves

As in many Malaysian gardens, we also have a Curry Tree (Murraya koenigii) in our garden.The curry leaf is an aromatic leaf used in South Asian cuisines but now commonly use in other Asian cooking. At home, in addition to using the curry leaves in curry, we also fried them to add to various meat dishes for the aroma.

This is the young curry tree ...
It took a year or so to reach this size.
I love the arrangement of the leaves.
Few people realise that the curry tree produces flowers but they do. Seen here are the small flower buds.
The flowers are white and have a very light fragrance.
Finally, the fruits. The unripe ones are green and as they ripened, they turn red and finally looks like a black peppercorn.
Propagation is by seed and you need the naturally ripened fruit to plant. They must be fresh as dried or shriveled fruits are not viable. Potting medium must be kept moist, and never wet.

Curry leaves have many medical uses in folk medicines. Do a search if you are interested.

One interesting medical use is to control diabetes or to reduce one's sugar level. Apparently the leaves contain agents that slow down the rate of starch-to-glucose breakdown in people with diabetes and could control the amount of glucose entering the bloodstream.

So just chew and eat ten leaves every morning on an empty stomach!