Seletar Chronicle

News for Residents

Good Neighbours

Posted by susanamy on June 30, 2008

After another packed June holiday, it’s nice to have more time to sit back and enjoy our Seletar gardens. My next door neighbours moved out some 2 months ago, and it has been interesting to see how Nature has set up as the new tenant. One resident is a 12-inch baby monitor lizard. There is also an escapee parrot. The attraction? An abundance of wildlife and flowering plants as feasts and an undisturbed tranquil life without fear of human disturbance. We can look on amused from our side of the fence. But for some time now, our gardening style has also been on the side of Nature who, it seems, knows best. Recently, the story about bees disappearing worldwide due to the use of pesticides has resurfaced with the threat of their extinction being even more imminent. Gardeners’ note: A mixture of garlic, chilli and black pepper soaked in water makes a powerful pest repellent. Discard the solids and use the spray on plants to discourage insects. Mind your eyes, though. We have bees aplenty here…

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking along the lines of connectedness lately, and this becomes more poignant when in contrast to the lilting tranquility and diversity of the garden, just over the fence, bulldozers and other heavy machinery are at work laying quantities of concrete and tarmac and cutting down trees, removing hedges and undergrowth and creating an environment bent on being devoid of life.

As I write at the window, a chameleon on a belimbing tree cocks his head as if to judge what I’m writing. An exotic escapee parrot vies with the resident green parakeets in the tembusu tree. A vivid green beetle, antenna twitching investigates my computer screen. Such a wealth of neighbours big and small I shall certainly miss.

My human neighbours from all over Seletar still stay in touch even though they had to leave here for one reason or another. All say that living in Seletar were among the sweetest days of their lives for the nature and the community, and the sense of historical continuity. They have settled elsewhere and made other lives, but Seletar still holds that special place for them. Even for those who lived here as long as ago as 1941, Seletar still draws them back.

My human neighbours may have left, but I still hope that Seletar will be home to many others in time to come. The community I treasured has spread further apart, but I am happy to see that we still have connections both in Singapore and abroad.

And I hope it will continue to be a home to my animal neighbours too. Must go now  – Nature calls!

p.s. The Seletar Chronicle is here for you. If you enjoy Seletar now or have been a member of its community in the past, do drop us a comment or add an article. Or if you think you can’t write, just drop by for a cup of tea in the garden!

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