Mum's balcony garden

MALAYSIA - In an apartment nestled in another part of the city, Wangsa Maju, Masliza Maaris, a home-maker and mother to three boisterous sons, is happily defying the limitations of space presented by her 4 x 12 foot balcony and turning it into a small but productive edible garden.

She started working on it in the middle of last year and already the garden is yielding sweet results; clutches of bright red cherry tomatoes, fat and juicy Japanese cucumbers, small but cute lady fingers, and some succulent long beans and eggplants.

Everything is grown in a pot -- whether it's of the clay variety or one formed from a reused plastic bottle or an IKEA plastic-bag basket.

Apart from the fruiting variety, she has also grown an impressive wall of fresh herbs that include dill, parsley, mint, lemon basil, Thai basil, cinnamon basil, marjoram, oregano, spring onion, curry leaves, and more.

Not only does she grow them well but she also photographs and posts them on her Instagram account, @triple _sprinkles.

"I love cooking but it is quite tedious and costly when I run out of ingredients and realise it as I am about to cook for that day.

"I would then have to change clothes, drive out in the city jam, rush into the mall, queue up to pay and then rush back home. There's also the parking and the petrol costs.

"So, I thought, why not change things?"

Being a true urbanite, the first place she turned to was the Internet.

"I googled for information such as places to buy seeds and sought advice from fellow home farmers. I even joined a Facebook group, where I gained many helpful tips and remedies for whatever ailed my plants," she said.

The rest, as they say, is history.