WHILE many people choose to run, cycle or do other outdoor activities during the weekend, Mohd Syahril Mohd Sait prefers to stay at home and spend time gardening.
The 34-year-old engineer said his interest in gardening began five months ago.
He started out with only a mini cactus plant. Now his garden boasts a variety of flowering and vegetable plants like daisies, morning glories and Chinese roses, screwpine leaves (pandanus), brinjal, lime and chili.
“I was really inspired to start my own garden after visiting the Malaysia Agriculture, Horticulture & Agrotourism expo last year.
“Not only does gardening help beautify my porch and home, it is (also) a healthy activity which provides a form of therapy for me. Anyone can instantly become a gardener,” said Syahril.
Syahril does not have to spend much on his hobby. So far, he has invested less than RM500 to buy seedlings and plants from Johor.
For the plants to get enough nutrients, he uses a mixture of organic and chemical fertilisers and, sometimes, leftover water that is used to prepare a fish dish.
Syahril said he watered his plants twice a day and fertilised them every two weeks.
“Since I started this hobby, I have also developed an interest in books and magazines that provide gardening tips.
“In the future, I might expand my collection of vegetable plants by using hydroponics,” he added.
Syahril said gardening also helped deepen his relationship with his wife and three children.
“The good thing about this activity is that the whole family can join in. It is also a good way of educating my kids about taking care of the environment.”
He added that his grandparents were blessed with plenty of land to grow anything they wanted, but he was also lucky because there was still some space for him to set up his own garden even if it was mostly made out of potted plants.