Matchmaking in the Garden

HENG KOK SENG has been playing matchmaker in his garden over the past few years and his efforts have been rewarded with better quality fruits and higher yield.

Spending his time in his private garden in the mornings and evenings, Heng has self-taught and self-discovered ways to bud graft his fruiting trees to his delight.

“I started with planting Adeniums (desert rose) and bud grafting them to get variations but my friends suggested that I start on fruit trees which could bear me fruits.”

“And so began my adventure in trying my hand in acquiring different varieties of fruit trees such as papayas, custard apple (buah nona) and figs to name a few,” he said.

Having retired as a graphic designer with the New Straits Times and The Star, Heng who is now in his late 60s started experimenting with bud grafting to develop better quality plants which in turn could bear better quality fruits.

“I have been experimenting with bud grafting for some time now and have successfully produced saplings which are ready to plant in big polystyrene bags.”

“The saplings grow faster and bear fruits in a shorter time,” he said, adding that he started selling his ‘match made’ plants to friends and neighbours at the onset of the first Movement Control Order.

According to Heng, gardening has given him a healthy way of spending his time over the last year.

“I experimented with bud grafting the local custard apple tree with the Taiwan variety. The fruits of the Taiwan variety are bigger.”

“I have also grafted Beijing sweet solo papaya branches/scions by using horticultural technique applied marcotting methods,” he added.

Apart from gardening, Heng spends his time in his other favourite past time – karaoke.

Quite frequently Heng combines both his hobbies – gardening and karaoke – by singing to his plants as he potters around in the garden.

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