Herbs & Spices · Lemon Balm

Lemon balm, the confidence booster

When trying to grow a farm on a semi-outdoor balcony facing east in the subtropics, let down is inevitable. Lack of sunlight is always the underlying issue, accompanied by often intense warm temperatures for months. But how to never lose motivation and keep going? To believe that having some plants is better than growing nothing at all?… Continue reading Lemon balm, the confidence booster

Herbs & Spices · Siam King & Queen

Taiwanese Basil: all grown up!

Haven't written about my taiwanese basil 九層塔 plants, who I nicknamed siam king (白骨 green/white stemmed) & siam queen (紅骨 purple/red stemmed, not to be confused with the actual siam queen cultivar of thai basil), for almost two months now. I started them from cuttings, letting them root in water, before planting them in soil. From… Continue reading Taiwanese Basil: all grown up!

Herbs & Spices · Lemon verbena

Lemon verbena and I: relationship status it’s complicated

My relationship with lemon verbena 檸檬馬鞭草 is complicated. Lots of mixed signals, and I'm not sure we have decided whether we enjoy each other's company. But there is no denying that it does smell good, and is (secretly) among one of my favorite scents in my balcony farm. It all began on March 22nd, with me picking… Continue reading Lemon verbena and I: relationship status it’s complicated

Herbs & Spices · Lemongrass

My lemony journey of lemongrass

Growing up in Malaysia, lemongrass - locally known as serai - was a common and easily found spice used in curries, spicy soups, flavoring rice, etc. It has a distinct fragrant; lemony and spicy with a zing. When starting my balcony garden, lemongrass was definitely among the plants on my mind. It can be slow to cultivate lemongrass from seeds,… Continue reading My lemony journey of lemongrass

Herbs & Spices · Laksa Leaves

Laksa leaves: a mini-tree in the making

At the end of a March, I had an epic battle of untangling laksa leaves - also called rau ram, Vietnamese Coriander, and daun kesum - causing a mud explosion that looked like this: Laksa Leaves: untangled at last And was doubtful whether I was doing more harm than good to the plant. Good news… Continue reading Laksa leaves: a mini-tree in the making

Herbs & Spices · Laksa Leaves

Laksa Leaves: untangled at last

If you have ever traveled to Malaysia or Singapore and tasted laksa (spicy noodle soup), you'd be amazed by the distinct taste of a must-have herb used in the dish, so much so, that it is commonly known as laksa leaves in the region. Other common names include Vietnamese coriander, rau ram (Vietnamese), and daun… Continue reading Laksa Leaves: untangled at last