Monday, March 16, 2015

Revamping our Garden!

Remember our mature garden?

About a month ago, after the kids were fast asleep; Hubby and I had a late night heart to heart talk and oddly the topic was about our garden! Truthfully, our garden was getting a bit out of hand, with the weeds growing in between the carpet grass, plants that refuse to flower and bugs munching holes in our leaves. Our grass was also not perfectly flat; there were jagged parts due to incorrect use of the mowing machine, yellowed patches due to lack of sunlight, and damaged grass from people trampling on it during our recent parties. 

Hubby was keen to change the grass out... to artificial grass! Although I didn't exactly oppose the idea, I wasn't ready to fork out such a huge amount of money. Then we started talking about reducing the expanse of grass on our land, by putting wood decking or building a structure, which would in turn reduce the amount of artificial grass we were going to need. I suggested building a swimming pool *cue big laugh here* which was flatly rejected by Hubby *oh well, one can always wish big*. 

By coincidence, a neighbour recommended her gardener to us, so that weekend we called him over to our house. Mind you, this is not just your average Indonesian gardener who mows your lawn once a month. This is an actual gardener who works on landscaping gardens and even gives seminars to local entrepreneurs who are interested in garden and landscaping construction!

He asked a few questions on how we wanted our garden (I answered, "Yang senang jaga"). *grins* I guess it wasn't the exact answer he was looking for, because he explained that our garden was erm, to put it lighly - carca marba! We had Balinese garden fixtures, sharp edged leaf plants which looked more Oriental themed, cactus (cactus garden), miniature palm trees (local contemporary), and of course, Hubby's buluh which in the grander scheme of things, didn't match with any theme at all!

In the end, we agreed on a sum of money for his services; and in turn we gave him full responsibility of revamping our garden. We gave him the freedom to do whatever he wanted (within the budget, of course). The sentiment of letting someone else make decisions over a part of our house, was so exhilarating!

The first day, he literally stripped our garden bare. I got home, climbed out of my car with my jaw hanging... I was shocked at how much plants he threw away! Apparently, none of the plants we had originally planted in our garden suited his concept!

Remember that hugeeeee bamboo tree at the back of our house? That was the first one to go! *sob sob*

Check out our newly painted walls! Also in this picture you can see the jagged patches of grass.

This was at the end of the first day. By the end of the 5th day, we had filled this bin to the brim!

New plants purchased by the gardener.

Anyway, let's start with the front.

Remember the big beautiful leafy plants by the front door? Stripped off completely! Thankfully I managed to save the roses (in pots) and moved them to the back of the house. And at least the plant with the red leaves was spared, albeit transferred to the back of the house.

Only the plant with purple/dark red leaves remains; shaped into 5 round bonsai.

Happy Ian playing with the mess in our garden.

The fence between our house and the next house was previously bare, so he planted this as a sort of separation. Same plant was also used for our front fence.

Even our favourite corner was stripped bare.

Next up, the living hall area. Remember the shrubs that the rabbits used to gnaw on? Well that was stripped off too. Opposite the living hall, we used to have the ever flowering plant with white flowers. Sadly that one stopped flowering, so that got cut too. All of Hubby's lalang were also removed. The only one that made the cut was the same plant with purple/dark red leaves and another plant with purple flowers; but even then both were moved to the back of the house.

Now we have big beautiful round shaped plants here. Even the elevated vases were removed.

Opposite the living hall, miniature Christmas trees were planted instead. Picture on the right shows where the plant was moved to the back of the house.

Four Christmas trees in total, with small shrubs in between.

Next, the patio! Remember the huge leafy plants which shaded the patio? I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw that they didn't make the cut too. Instead, a willow tree now stands in its place. All of my herbs were also moved to the back of the house. Also, the patch of grass between the patio and the back door was stripped off too. Since it was slightly sloping, they added soil and sand to level the land again, and replanted new grass.

The willow tree at the patio. That plant with the purple flowers beside the willow tree is amazing! It flowers without fail every single morning!

While they were excavating the soil, they actually found that huge piece of rock. In my own garden! So it is now a decorative piece at the patio. 

Adding soil to level the land.

New grass. Tiny shrubs by the dining hall window too.

A sweet pokok kemboja took over what was previously the bamboo tree's domain.

What happened to my pokok kari, daun pandan, pokok pisang and miniature palm trees, you ask? Well, according to the gardener, they should be mixed with decorative plants in the garden hence they have all been moved outside my gate to the patch of land behind the PE. So in a way, I have officially mewakafkan curry leaves, pandan leaves and even bananas to my community!

Hey, look what came back! Yup, Hubby managed to coax the gardener to rescue his pokok lalang from the bin and back into the garden.

Anyway, the work is all done and despite our initial reservations about the drastic change the gardener made, we're actually liking the outcome! He even managed to make those irritating jagged patches of grass disappear! No pictures yet, because we're waiting for the grass to grow... but we absolutely love the minimalist and clean look of it all. However, since I'm itching to throw in some after pictures, here's a sneak peak:

This is right after everything was completed, so ignore the freshly cut grass. Our favourite corner now has plants with dainty flowers and a beautiful pot to match! And somehow, the garden looks more spacious.

Loving the big beautiful pot by the patio too!

Okay, wait for my next post on our revamped garden! 

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