Monday, 24 May 2010

Mr. Wong Kok Peng's Garden

Tourists go to Cameron Highlands for the tea plantation, the vegetable farms and the strawberries.
All we wanted was a cool break and on our last morning the temperature was just perfect, like any bracing Spring day.

But we found serindipity-joy in Mr. Wong and his garden. He is the manager of the apartment. He was efficient and helpful and looked after our needs, but he wasn't at all a hard nosed businessman. The love of gardening and plants were very much a part of his being. As he lived in an apartment, he utilised whatever scrap of land available around the block to indulge in this one love.This is the little patch in front of the apartment,

and this area is just outside the apartment compound.

Father and son lovingly care for their garden but at times it can become a painful experience for both of them especially for the little boy because holidaymakers and their brattage (this is Jack Marlowe's word for horrible obnoxious kids) would pick the flowers and the tiny tomatoes and then callously discard them. Mr Wong's little boy, in frustration, wrote this notice in three languages, but it was to no avail.

But both father and son persevere and here are a series of shots from Mr. and Master Wong's garden. Mr. Wong is well informed on medicinal herbs and generously gave us a couple of plants and cuttings.This plant is good for those who suffer from high blood pressure and diabetes but unfortunately Mr. Wong doesn't know its name. We took home a cutting.

The Karang Raja for problems with gallstones.

No,don't panic. This little thing was replanted. Mr. Wong just wanted us to smell the roots. Exactly the same scent as Tiger Balm!!

The Selasih which according to Mr. Wong is good for coughs. The leaves taste minty and refreshing.

But this is the piece de resistance ! The last time I saw this bush and its fruit was in my late mother-in-law's garden in New Zealand. Mr. Wong had 'dressed' it up to justify the label of the Stocking Bush.

The flower of this bush has such an intoxicating scent.

And here's the fruit.



The kiss of the sun for pardon,
The song of the birds for mirth,
One is nearer God's Heart in a garden
Than anywhere else on earth.

Mrs. D.F. Gurney (1858-1932)

Thank you Mr. Wong for sharing your garden and its joy and knowledge with us.

8 comments:

Wan Sharif said...

Salam AsH,
Could always used pointer on plant and herbs, will definitely share it with my better half, she digd the medicinal power of plants and roots..
I do hope you found your perfect cool break in those beautiful hills and gardens.
I thought we are closest to God when we sujud to Him..
Thank you for sharing the song ..
could not agree more with Trini Lopez..
May Allah showered you two with good health always..

anak si-hamid said...

Hello Wan Sharif,
Good to 'see' you again and thank you for the comment. Yes, it was a very 'medicinal' trip.
Your good wife is on to the right track - good for her for looking for alternatives.
Indeed I take your point and heartily agree about when we are closest to Allah. When we appreciate and respect Allah's gifts of each day and night, and of our blessed earth and all its life - and we realise how small we are - then, perhaps, we are also close to our Creator.
I'm a fan of Trini Lopez and am so glad to be able to fit in his song with this posting.

ph said...

i wonder if Mister Wong has a plant that will keep the nymok away- i want get a pot for Bek so that she can carry it around.

anak si-hamid said...

Yes ph. There is the Serai Wangi or the Bunga Tahi Ayam.
Get Oi Bek to take her pick.

ph said...

My dear AsH, Bek will get both - she very kiasu one !!

sunnysideup said...

ph....just use the bunga tahi ayam.....

Mr Bojangles said...

Mr Wong could take a pointer from me to keep the brattages and even adult ages' fingers to themselves.

I have a little banana plant patch along the edge of a deep longkang besides my house. Nice little folks would come by with their blades and oh so nonchalantly, and without so much as a by-your-leave, slice off the youngest leaves leaving only a sorry looking stump.

So sweet was one lady she even had the gall to ask me if them plants belonged to me, when I protested she was killing off the goose that laid the golden egg, by not loping off the more mature leaves.

I solved the problem pretty fast. I thought of putting up a note along the lines of a bumper sticker I once saw in the US: "Banana-leaf thieves will be shot. Survivors will be shot again".
Fortunately I settled for the more diplomatic "STOP Banana Leaf Thieves."

It did the trick.
Now the plant has had a better chance of growing to adulthood providing me (and neighbors)with one delicious harvest with two more on the way.

So you see. No stick, no carrot.

Cheers.

anak si-hamid said...

Thank you Mr Bojangles,
You're a brave man to put up that sign - and it seemed to work. You must look like a tough street fighter for them to heed your warning.
When our neighbours almost massacred the cempaka tree just outside our fence, we tried nicely to caution them but they cariied on doing so the next day and the next week and .....thank goodness they moved away.
We must try to hire a bouncer the next time we have such a problem.
And oh yes. Other neighbours also helped themselves to the leaves of the banana tree which was growing in OUR garden!
And they throw their garden debris just outside our fence ...I could go on and on.

Is it against the law to catapult pesky neighbours??