Valentine’s Day which fell on last Saturday was a memorable day. Although I did a gardening talk at HortPark that afternoon, it was not like the past ones I delivered previously. Thanks to Richmond, both my friend and moderator from my Green Culture Singapore discussion forum, who had helped me to snap the following photos that appeared in this blog, showed me donning on the National Parks Board (NParks) polo t-shirt. The talk that was entitled “Grow your own sweet heart” was one that was given by me in the capacity as an NParks staff member.
The response of the talk observed last Saturday was an overwhelming one. I was told that over 70 people signed up for the talk and although there was a massive traffic jam that occurred during the afternoon, over 50 people managed to turn up in the end. Many of them were my gardening friends who came all the way to HortPark to support me. I must thank Kamisah for sharing with me her delicious homemade desserts. I was and still feel very touched now.
I am indebted to my forum members who have helped me in various ways to make this talk on the sweet heart hoya (Hoya kerrii) and other hoyas possible and interesting. Maggie lent me her sweet heart hoya plant which she grew from leaf cuttings she bought. Gan allowed me to use the pictures he took when his sweet heart hoya flowered. Lily granted me her kind permission for me to use some of her pictures of hoya plants.
My fellow NParks colleagues also extended their helping hands as well. Cheow Kheng kindly provided new and nicely made Community in Bloom bookmarks which were distributed to the talk’s participants. Shirley helped by bringing them to my talk. My colleague from my team, Jin Hong, thought of new ways of painting sweet heart hoya leaves where she also shared them with my audience who attended the talk. My own colleagues from my section and the HortPark events branch had also put in a lot of effort to ensure the talk was carried out smoothly. I was pleasantly surprised when I saw my boss, Kartini, turned up at the Fruit Room to listen to my talk despite having just returned from a long working trip. Many, many thanks!
After my talk, I went on to conduct my first guided tour of the Lifestyle Corner in HortPark which I have recently taken over its charge. My colleagues and I rushed over the course of the week to do up the place to ensure that its decor was realistic and one that the layman can easily replicate at home. This was my first attempt to decorate the Lifestyle Corner and I have to admit that it was a daunting task! I encountered quite a large number of difficulties during the process. Now I know what my predecessor had experienced. I can still recall how critical I was with the work he did earlier for the Lifestyle Corner. I feel so bad now.
If one had been observant, at the entrance of the Lifestyle Corner, we showcased a heart that was made from cutting out and bending wire meshes by one of my very creative colleagues, Lin Htet. In the showflat, a dozen of pots of Parade miniature roses formed part of the Valentine’s Day display. Parade roses, available in a handful of colours, are relatively heat-tolerant series from Holland that Singaporeans can try to grow in their homes if they have good light at home.
I hope those of you who took part in the tour find it useful and enriching. I welcome any feedback to help us improve.