18 March 2012


 Today's weather - sunny
If there is anything that perks me up, it is having the opportunity to plant a bare area and see it come alive and transform into a beautiful landscape. This was precisely what happened at this toilet block area of the Fragile Forest.

I took over the Fragile Forest from a colleague recently and I wasn't the one who planted the palms behind the toilet block and on the slope. When I first came to the site, the bare earth in front of the toilet and below the existing Khaya senegalensis trees made me feel very uncomfortable that I had to plant up this area first.

The theme for this area is palms (Family: Palmae/Arecaceae), so I planted up a number of Kerridoxa elegans (common name: White Elephant Palm, King Thai Palm), which is a fan palm with large fronds with a silverish underside. That immediately gave the place a different look and shielded the dry fronds of the Borassodendron machadonis. Unfortunately, I didn't take any photos before the planting to show the stark difference after the planting. This first set of photos captured the look soon after the palms were in.

I added a clump of Elaeocarpus grandiflorus (common name: Fairy Petticoat, Fringe Bells, Lily of the Valley Tree; Family: Elaeocarpaceae) with red flowers near the southern part of the site and a Elatiospermum tapos (common name: Kra, Perah, Tapos; Family: Euphorbiaceae) beside the car park. 

Subsequently, I added clusters of Areca catechu (common name: Betel Nut Palm), a few Rhopaloblaste singaporensis (common name: Keringtin Palm), Areca vestiara (common name: Orange Crownshaft Palm, Orange Palm, Pinang Merah) which further added to my delighted mood over the week. I was so excited about the bountiful opportunities offered by the site and kept thinking and dreaming about it. I am planning to gradually add the following to this site:

  • a collection of Aglaonema
  • a collection of terrestrial and epiphytic orchids
  • a collection of butterfly host and nectar plants
  • a collection of pitcher plants
  • Caryota mitis
  • Cyrtostachys renda
  • Euterpe oleracea
  • Iguanura species
  • Johannesteijsmannia species
  • Licuala species e.g. L. mattanensis 'Mapu'
  • Phoenicophorium borsigianum
Unfortunately, landscape works at the site have stalled for two weeks now and I hope we can start the remaining planting soon. Updates on the progress of landscaping will be provided gradually and as soon as I can.