If you are an 80s or even 90s kid, there's a high chance you will remember seeing little community gardens popping up in certain housing estates. Interestingly, these gardens were usually locked and I remember not being allowed to enter these exclusive gardens even when it was unlocked! We had to resort to peering through the metal gates.
Twenty plus years later, there was a major sense of deja vu as adult me was again peering through a metal shutter, this time trying to catch a glimpse of a garden on a particular carpark rooftop in Ang Mo Kio.
I've always loved the idea of being self-sufficient - ie you eat only what you grow! But as much as I love growing my own vegetables and herbs in my micro-garden, it's a real struggle in keeping them alive! Basil, mint, oregano, rosemary, you name it, I would probably have tried (and failed) propagating it.
Early this month, my aunt gifted my mum a huge bag of ‘木耳菜’ (googling it got me 'Malabar Spinach' so please correct me if I'm wrong) and sweet potato leaves that she had harvested herself in the community garden. Hearing that, I jumped at the chance to fulfil my childhood dream - to finally get inside a community garden!
My aunt showing off her small plot of land, where she grows at least five different types of vegetables
But the malabar spinach fills up most of her plot
So to have a plot of real estate in this community garden, you have to sign up as a community member and if there's still space, you just have to pay an annual membership fee for that plot! Sounds easy... until you realise there's a long waitlist for it!
As my aunt brought us around the garden, I felt that it was my responsibility as a millennial to whip out my phone and snap some photos. Enjoy!
A colourful row of recycled detergent bottles lining the fence to serve as pots
Here's one creative way of making your own unique plastic pots from recycled materials
Each plot is super compact and it's up to the owner to do whatever he or she wants to do
Someone even built a trellis so that plants can grow on it!
Another person built shade!
Sweet potato leaves
Here's a pretty elaborate garden as compared to the rest
There you have it - Teban Gardens Community Garden. Alright, that should be enough motivation for me to try building up my mini-garden again!