Not something most of us are into these days. Neither was I until a few years ago. I used to dislike doing it because it was so hard to find time to maintain that small patch of greenery so common in terrace houses.
Then I lived in England for a few years and voila! that changed everything. You see, while my colleagues had gardeners to do their lawns I didn’t. And to make matters worse, the house I rented had a traditional English garden just begging to be manicured. So believe me when I say I know a thing or two about maintaining lawns, plants, flowers and hedges across 4 seasons.
When I returned to Malaysia, I was fortunate enough to have my own home and it HAD to have a garden. It’s therapeutic really, to come home to a bit of nature. I strongly recommend for you to keep your patch of green instead of tiling your entire driveway or backyard (common in Malaysia).
My tips for a successful gardening experience in Malaysia:-
- Use Phillipine grass, NOT carpet grass! It grows vertically and doesn’t overgrows sideways. Yes it is a bit more expensive but trust me it’s worth it in the long run.
- Sketch a plan of how you want to layout your garden. I think structured gardens are more suitable in our weather because it’s of low maintenance but still has reasonable shades of colour in them. Zen types are overated & the wood furnitures are difficult to maintain while Japanese gardens are too simple and will not last in our weather. Forget English gardens, they are a nightmare to maintain here (unless you have an army of gardeners at your whim).
- Soil preparation is paramount BEFORE laying the grass because a properly done bed can avoid wild grass/plants from coming through your lawn. Do remember to ensure the lawn is tilted to one corner to make sure water drainage is controlled to avoid flooding.
- Set your mind to complete it in say, 2 to 3 days and get to it. Don’t procrastinate and don’t take too long to get the job done. Get help from friends, maid(s), family members, etc. because it will all add to the experience. Plus it’ll speed up the entire process :).
- Lastly, always get the right equipment to get things done. High quality carbon shears with Teflon coating and multi-action water spray guns are my best friends during gardening. And don’t forget about the fertiliser! I’ve found my miracle grow in Sg. Buloh and it’s a one-type-for-all-plants granule. RM10 for 5 packets, in case you’re interested.
I can go on and on but better leave that for another entry later. Now, 5 years on, my garden has matured nicely. It has undergone a few ‘facelifts’ but the lawn is still as green as ever and the plants luscious. I leave you with some shots of it :).
*azlano via Fujitsu T4020*