Sunday, February 1, 2009

Chinese New Year Celebration In Singapore - Part Three

Buying potted plant tradition is not unique to Singapore, but Chinese in Asian Countries will do that too. Most of them will visit flora nursery (逛花市)to buy seasonal potted plants to decorate their houses! I am doing it for the first time this year- visiting Far East Flora at Thomson Road on New Year eve. There were a lot of people shopping for potted plants and most of them actually drove there. I went there by Taxi, alone. Nevertheless, it was quite fun and I want to go there again!

First thing which caught my eyes was this rafflesia-looking plant. I am not sure what is it, but it sure attracted a lot of attention from people because of the size and weird look. As it was placed next to the Tiger-lily, I could not tell whether it had emited any scents, but there were many bees buzzing around it.

So much so that the nursery had to place a sticky board next to it to get rid of the roaming bees. Still, the plant looked very messy, I wondered whether anyone will buy them. Hmm... I would if I owned a bee farm! Haha!

This was not taken at Far East Flora, but the other popular plants which people will buy are Chrysanthemum. I brought them once. The key to make those flowers last longer is in watering the plants. Do not water the flowers directly as it will encourage the flowers to bloom sooner and wilt faster too. In fact, the gardener told us that we should water the roots directly avoiding the flowers. By following the tips, ours managed to last for like 2 weeks or more.

Mini Mandarin Orange plant! I always thought they looked cute. I did not buy them this year, but once which we did, it attracted a lot of beautiful butterflies to lay eggs. Read the entry here.

Pussy Willow or 银柳 is also another traditional plant to buy during Chinese New Year! We have never buy them before, but I heard that ice cubes are placed in the vase along with the plant to make them bloom faster.

See them up close. The flower actually has a furry texture, feel kind of waxy and looked like an extra large cotton bud.

This is confirmed new in Singapore and it is not taken at Far East Flora. It is a whole pineapple plant. Looked manificant. It just makes me want to harvest the pineapple ASAP. Pineapples which is called Ong Lai (in hokkien) sound like propersity come, so it is a favourite fruit among Chinese. They would have buy the fruit as an offering to God if not the whole plant.

I brought one of these plants, but not sure what it is called. Mine is a new variety with Peachy Red Colour flowers. Normal varieties are usually violet-pink or red. I just love the color too much. It costed $18 dollars. Again for the flowers to last, you should water the roots only. Also, as it is a water-retaining plant, you do not have to water them everyday.

绣球花 or Hydrangea is another favourite of Singaporeans. They looked really beautiful! However, I already have another plant in mind, thus did not buy them as well.

Far East Flora also sell fresh cut flowers and they cost so much cheaper than florist shop. I brought 10 daisies for a flower arrangement. Guess how much they cost? $4.50 only for 10 of them. Florist sell them at $1 each. Hmm... Seems like there is business opportunit, we could stock up roses for Valentine Day for selling too!

Da Daah! This is the potted plant that I brought this year! It is a Peach Blossom plant - 桃花! It is supposedly good for enhancing relationship, in fact all sort of interpersonal relationships. I definitely need some luck for enhancing my interpersonal relationships since it hit rock bottom already. They were selling it for half price and cost me $14 dollars.

I put in a lot of effort in raising this plant. I purposely chose one with a lot of young shoots to ensure that they will trive. Nothing worst than having a (touch wood) peach blossom plant that does not flower or wilt after bringing home. Because then, instead of enhancing your interpersonal relationships, it will sabotage it further.

To ensure that none of it happened, I wiki-ed about the plant. Apparently, they are hardy plant and can withstand high heat and low temperature. They like well-filtered soil and should only be watered sparingly. Too much water will cause their roots to rot. They should also be fertilised twice a year.

Mine flowered 5 days later! The flowers comes in various shades of pink and they are beautiful! Though there are two flowers now, I hope more will come later. So happy...

I will definately be back at Far East Flora again!

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