Sunday, January 25, 2015

Save the world: Grow patches of native plants in the city

When you visit Singapore, and go out to the west, you will come to the Nanyang Technological University. You will see many manicured gardens. You will also see a patch of green. Dependng on who or what are you, you will see it as either a piece of natural paradise, or a piece of eye sore.

This is a legacy left by me after living 16 years there. What started was similar to the allotment in UK. The university didn't like the residents to plant any where, and after lots of negotiation, they gave us this plot. Unfortunately, it was at a slope and under big rain trees whose canopy blocked the sun.

Friends came to plant and left frustrated by the plants failing to grow. I was the only one undetered, I didn't care if people stole my bananas, because I didn't eat them, the pandan leaves as I didn't use them. But I did care when they pulled up my clumps of lemon grass. Any way, I had fun getting my fingers dirty.

When I left about fours years ago, the plot was abandoned. The native plants and ferns thrived. I revisited last July. Friends told me that it is gone. I thought the university had dug up my plants. To them, gone meant good bye to my manicured garden. To me, it was quite beautiful as it is. It probably houses a lot of insects like praying mantises and butterflies.

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