The gardener


The gardener with two specimens of angled loofas, both about 70 centimeters long… (photo taken in Sept. 2011).

It is probably not an overstatement to suggest that I am an academician by accident, and a gardener by choice…
I grew up in Malaysia and schooled there until I was about 20 years old…
Then, fate had its way and I found myself popping up in countries like Singapore, Philippines, and United States before ‘settling’ down in Japan…
On why I garden…
Well, let us just say I am by birth, a paddy farmer’s son and had always harbored this affinity with the soil. I derive pleasure from touching and smelling the soil…I am passionate about vegetable and fruit gardening while my better half ‘Y’ finds bliss in caring for herbs and flowers.I consider myself to be a student-gardener, having planted only two seasons of vegetable crops thus far. I would count the number of vegetables grown so far to be around 40 to 50 types.
We plant leaf vegetables like broccoli, kale, lettuce, spinach, chard… root vegetables like carrots, onions, potatoes, yam… fruit vegetables like tomatoes, chilies, peppers, cucumbers, bitter gourd, and pumpkin.For beans, we do fava beans, long beans, french bush and pole beans, and snap peas. On fruits, we are into strawberries, plums, pears, apples, prunes, loquats, figs, oranges, olives, persimmons, blueberries, raspberries, mulberries, lemon, lime, and grapes.The joy of gardening for me, lies in the thrill of being outdoors… I see gardening as a treat, soaking in the weather when the conditions suit…I cannot resist gasping upon the discovery of a ‘forgotten’ seedling sprout… followed by the sustained euphoria of seeing the tender young leaves broadening out, the flowers blooming, the fruits maturing…I relish seeing my ‘pet’ earthworms wriggling out of their holes when I dig the soil, inadvertently disturbing them…I cherish observing the insects that chew on our plants and the ‘hunters’ that prey on them… we get a kick out of watching the birds come to our trees in the mornings to hunt for caterpillars…

For me, the activity itself is the ultimate luxury, and any little harvest we can get from the potager is a gift from the gracious heavens…

I welcome garden-related correspondence at: lronglim(at)


2 Responses to The gardener

  1. Bret Aker says:

    What a beautiful blog! We have left Nara and now trying to grow Japanese vegetables – myoga, nasu, mitsuba, gobo, shiso, shishito, etc. in Colorado. The greatest gift I will carry from my 12 years in Japan is the flavor of these wonderful vegetables that I hope we can bring here.

    • Lrong says:

      Hi Bret… many thanks for dropping by my humble little blog, and for your kind comments too… I can understand your feelings about Japanese vegetables… I simply love them… good luck with your adventures in growing the vegetables in Colorado…

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