Today, I got to enjoy yet another long Saturday worth of gardening-related activities. Although I yearned for more rest at home due to the fatigue caused a past week’s worth of issues and hectic work at the lab, by attending events that take place during the weekend do help me to relieve my mind thoughts and worries that are related to work.
It started out with a kind invitation from Mr Victor Lee (who is Vice-President) to the Singapore Gardening Society’s Annual General Meeting Lunch at the RELC Hotel. Besides the good food, the session was a fruitful one as I got to meet up with some friends who I can seldom meet. It was indeed a good opportunity to have been able to catch up with them as well. I felt honoured to have been invited.
Later in the afternoon, I adjourned to Woodlands Regional Library to attend Cindy’s gardening sharing session with Rosalind (our famous Madame Butterfly from Alexandra Hospital), her friend, Lucy and my good friend, Cheow Kheng. I opened the session to spread the awareness of the upcoming Singapore Garden Festival, the Green Culture Singapore website and discussion forum as well as the existence of this blog. This was followed by a short introduction of who Cindy is to the audience.
Cindy’s talk today focussed on tropical pitcher plants that belong to the genus Nepenthes. Carnivorous plants like the tropical pitcher plants have always been attracting a lot of attention from Singaporeans, especially children, and I was not surprised by the overwhelming crowd that completely filled the little glass-walled function room where the sharing session was conducted.
It was heartening to see many GCS members who were present in the hall. Notably, Joseph, a former veteran pitcher plant grower, also a member of the GCS forum, who brought along some tropical pitcher plant seeds to share with the audience all the way from Clementi despite his busy weekend schedule. I admired his readiness to help as I witnessed him helping the library staff to lay our more chairs at the back of the room so that there are more seats for the audience who just walked into the room. I also got to meet up with Limei, who is already a member since the early days of GCS.
After Cindy’s talk ended, one member, Bill, who was accompanied by his wife, approached me to show me a picture taken using their digital camera, which showed a very healthy and large tropical pitcher plant grown inside a hanging basket. Bill told me that this plant was originally a small plantlet that was given away as a first prize during the GCS gathering that took place in March last year. Indeed, Bill has taken good care of his plant and with that plant, it also sparked his interest to grow more pitcher plants. A couple of other pictures showed more pots of pitcher plants, which were his evidence to show how their tropical pitcher plant interest has grown.
What I have witnessed this afternoon was a wish that had been materialised. The gardening forum I have set up almost four years back has served its purpose as a platform to allow enthusiasts to share their gardening experiences as well as one that helps novices to start their hobby. There, friendships are also forged which will help gardening more enjoyable with the company of fellow like-minded friends. Gardening talks that were a result from GCS’ collaboration with Community in Bloom and the National Library Board had helped to cultivate Singaporeans’ interest in gardening. I am very grateful to GCS members who have volunteered to come forward to share their gardening experiences in these talks.
One phrase that I noticed Cindy had repeatedly used during her talk was “Wilson’s forum”, which referred to the GCS discussion forum. I would hope one day, members and moderators alike will say that the GCS discussion forum is “our forum” instead of “Wilson’s forum”. Although it was set up by me, the GCS discussion forum had been sustained and made purposeful by the active participation and generous contribution from fellow members. The success of GCS is made possible only through the avid support from all our members.