Hopeless gardener revives gardening project

In the past, he got no luck with gardening. Be it flower or vegetable or tree.

Whatever he planted, died.

That’s what his wife claimed. No hope of growing anything (with the exception of weeds, of course). Let alone enjoying the fruits of his labor.

He accepted the fate that he did not have a green thumb. Finally, he gave up hope and hung up the hoe and boots.

Not until recently, he took the courage to prove that he is not a hopeless gardener – after a few years of hiatus.

He wants to make sure that this time it works. So he read a few books on gardening, especially organic gardening, to make sure that it’s a success. No failure allowed.

That ego-satisfying reason is not the ultimate reason. In fact, there’s another more important reason for this revival: he wants to teach a lesson (or two) to his two young children.

Through gardening, a child can learn about nature. How a plant is grown from a seed. And grows into harvesting stage. He even asked his children to create a log book about their gardening project.

Through gardening, a child can learn about patience. To enjoy the harvest, one needs to wait for a period of time before enjoying the fruits, so to speak. There’s a cycle in every thing. You can’t force things to suit your preferences.

Of course, along the way, the plant must be taken care of and watered and fertilized.

And more importantly, through growing your own vegetables, the child appreciates the food that is served on the table MORE.


Because they realize first hand that it takes so much time and effort to even taste one lady finger (okra), for example. When they realize this, they won’t simply ignore the food.

Not only that, freshly plucked plants taste way better than those you get from the markets.

This story is not taken from a popular TV series.

It’s a real life story and the “hero” of this story is yours truly – the (once) hopeless gardener.

J and K used to “hate” okra. But I am surprised to find out that they “love” it now when I served the first batch of harvest from our little garden.

You see, it has so many benefits of growing your own plants. It can even make a child love a veggie.


To start, you don’t need a piece of land that is the size of a football field. Just a small piece will do. Or you can use pots for this purpose if land is scarce.

I have captured the process of my revival from making the bed to harvesting in a series of pictures.

Care to take a look?

Big Bed

Big Bed – April 13

Small Bed

Small Bed – April 13

Lady finger seedlings

Lady finger seedlings – April 25

Chilli seedlings

Chili seedlings – April 23

Lady finger seedling moved to bed

Lady finger seedling moved to bed – April 29

Chili seedlings moved to pot

Chili in pot – May 9

Growing okra

Growing okra – May 19

Growing chilli

Growing chili – June 10

Flowering Okra

Flowering Okra – June 13

Okra ready for harvest

Okra ready for harvest – June 20

We also planted mint in a pot. First, it was just a mint sprig inserted in the soil. And now it grows into a small bush.

Mint in Pot

Mint in Pot

For more bonding and activity ideas (most of them low tech) with kids, grab a spade and dig for more details at:


About Abel Cheng

I am a work-at-home father and chauffeur to my 2 children. I love simple living and my latest passion is healthy eating. Lastly, I am the founder of ParentWonder, which shares tips on becoming better parents.