Saturday, March 03, 2007

Renovating The Garden


As close as we always been, there is some area in our lives that my mom and me just can not see eye to eye.

Gardening is one of them.

Right now we both live in a house that happen to be in the same location with our company. This house only has few area where we can plant few plants. There is our small back yard that actually has more bricks than plants. And there is the front parking area where we need as much parking space as possible. So having a beautiful lawn is just out of the question.

To accomodate many cars, my mom only allow the area surrouding the parking space to be a planting ground complete with concrete boxes to contain the plants to grow on that area only.

As far as I know, my mom never even step her foot into a garden store. She will just send our employee, Jamal, to shop for plants that HE thinks are good for the garden. Since my mom never go to a garden store, she has no idea on how much a plant can cost so the budget that she gave to Jamal is really non-existence. Enough just to buy few plants only. As a result, they planting area looks so bare and since Jamal is not a gardener ( he is a wood vernishing expert for goodness sake! ) he has no idea on how to design a garden. Basically he just plant this tree here, that plant there with no regard about their height so maybe the tall on is at front and the short one at the back. Our garden is famous as a killing field for plants. None of them can live healthy and most of them dead within few months or shorter than a month.

And now that I am resident in this house again. I decided to do major improvement on our garden. But I do realize that I am NOT a gardener also. I just love plants even though sad to say, I am also a plant serial killer. So I decide to hire a gardener. Let's just call him Mr. Gardener from now on.

For his fee, Mr. Gardener asked me to pay him Rp. 200,000 for the backyard and another Rp. 200,000 for the front yard. At first I only discuss to him about the back yard only until I saw that he does a decent job so I paid him again to do our front yard. Total cost for his service is only US $ 40. It took 3 days for him to finish the job with the help on an assistant. They can finished it in 2 days actually, but the weather didn't cooperate with them. It's a moonson season right now.

For the plants, I paid him around Rp. 4.500.000 or equivalent to US $ 460. Sounds a lot but then he really bought a lot of plants. I told him not to buy expensive plants.

I really like the plants that he bought. First, because he knows which type of plants can grown with little sunlight only for our backyard and plants that need to have a lot of sunshine for our front yard. Second, he bought hardy type of plants that almost can grow anywhere. Third, they need very little maintainance. Fourth, they achieve my goal, I like to have more colors, more texture, and smell too.

I wish I took a picture of before and after picture. But I am too busy that time.



There is another thing that my mom and me are total opposite. I know that beauty comes with a price. In this point, I know that a lovely garden need attention. It needs maintainance. Even though I don't have a lot of patient myself to be a great gardener but I know that a decent garden will still need a certain amount of maintainance. I am glad that Mr. Gardener already make sure that our garden needs a very low maintainance that I only schedule him to come here once a month to make sure that the garden is okay. But my mom, she is not kidding when she said she doesn't want to spend time at all on the garden. To achieve this, she bought any kind of plastic plants she can find on the store. Plastic is her answer to all of her garden problem.

Not enough color? Easy.... let's plant some plastic flowers around the bushes.

Not enough shade? No problem, let's hang a lot of plastic grape vines everywhere like a very bad curtain. Full of dust.

Not enough plants to fill the gap betwen the full grown plants? Why worry, let's put plastic grass everywhere !

Not enough greenery indoor? Let's buy as many plastic potted trees and let's place them in every corner of the rooms.

Not enough flowers indoor? Let's place as many plastic flowers arrangement everywhere in the house, even on the floor!!!

Yeah... my house is that bad people....

Sometimes I am afraid that someday my mom will decide to make a plastic forest complete with the plastic wild animals too ....

The good thing about that plastic grape vines is it gaves my gardener an idea to plant the real grape vines on that spot!

I also asked Mr. Gardener to put potted sweet smelling flowers and colorful flowers in front of my children's window too.

To celebrate my new garden, I took pictures of LL 13th month birthday in my backyard. I even install 2 windchimes on the mango tree.

And do you know why I do all this??? Because I love my children so much that I want them to have tiny garden to enjoy.



Pic: I taught her to feed the cat with the fish.



Pic: Look at that 1000 Watt smile!!


Pic: She can even smile on cue everytime we ask her "where is the smile?" then she will smile

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