Tsang Chi Fan
Christie's Hong Kong
Paola Dindo & Associates
RC Landscape Specialists
The shades on my living room lamps are torn and faded. Do you know where I can have them recovered?
Tania Chow replies: Soong Arts Lampshades behind Cat Street Market (6 Square Street, Sheung Wan. Tel: 2549 0615) is the best place to have shades replaced. You can choose from its range of fabric swatches or supply your own. Branches of Chinese Arts & Crafts stock a large selection of brilliantly coloured silks starting at $90 a metre.
The best type of silk, however, is dupion silk which has a thicker weave and stretches better over metal frames. Young's Collection in Central (28 Lyndhurst Terrace. Tel: 2545 5413) sells a good selection.
Expect to pay aound $400 and upwards depending on the size of the shade plus the cost of one metre of fabric (pleated shades will require three to four metres). Allow at least 10 working days for making-up time.
My plants are always covered in a variety of insects. How do I get rid of them?
Richard Coumbe replies: There are many types of pests, but these are the main ones which affect Hong Kong plants:
? Slugs and snails: the most common type of insect in Hong Kong which eat foliage leaving plants bare.
? Aphids: soft-bodied, pinhead-sized insects which huddle together on new shoots, buds and leaves.
? Earwigs: elongated black insects which eat foliage.
? Flea beetles: shiny, black pinhead-sized insects which jump like fleas.
? Mealybugs: white insects which look like cotton wool and feed on foliage.
? Mites: insects which look like specks of red, yellow or green dust and suck juices from leaves leaving them in a skeletal state.
? Scale insects: white sticky insects with a waxy shell which lay eggs on plants causing stems to look bumpy. They suck plant juice via the stem.
? Whiteflies: small white insects which suck the sap from plants, spread quickly and fly up and down foliage when disturbed.
You can treat all the above with canned insecticide like Green Devil or its ilk available from branches of Wing On. There's no need to dilute - simply spray affected areas two or three times a week until the plant recovers. The only exception are slugs and snails which you can treat with pellets, again from Wing On, which you sprinkle on the soil surface two times a week until they leave.