Sunday, August 22, 2010

Landscaping: Planters and Pebbles

We have been taking a much needed break from contractors at the house. There has been a bit more roof work done, but for the most part it has been quiet for awhile and we are feeling less tense now and actually enjoying using the kitchen. The Tuscani stove and cooktop is working fantastically and the rest of the kitchen is great as well. Hopefully the 4 stools we ordered for the kitchen to place around the stainless steel table will be ready this week. Still haven’t ordered the exterior lights because when I went to get the two round black lights I saw for the ceiling which will be placed near the front door and near the back door, they were out of them and now I don’t know what to use with the long black cylinder ones we are planning to buy for the front columns of the house.

Landscaping is our next big job. I bought a sample pink plant after the dark wall was finished to see how it would look. I don’t know the name of these plants, I think they start with a B. And they are very common all over Malaysia.

Here is a photo of some in purple from a house that I snapped a long time ago.

I wanted to use this plant in the 9 planters along the long wall at the side of the house. But, the landscape shops tell me these plants mostly grow up and need lots of room for roots. I had also planned to put these in the long planter on the second story of the house outside the big windows.

Metal holder where a long planter can be added on the second floor

But, I’m not sure they will work as the flower pot (which will have to be custom made can’t hold a lot of roots).

We weren’t really liking the pink color of the plant anyway, so I went to another landscape shop today and the woman there told me that this orange plant which looks similar to the pink but is different will grown down instead of up. I think I am liking the orange color better than pink on the dark grey wall, R hasn’t decided yet. She told me that these orange plants are much less common than the other ones and she isn’t sure she can get 40 plants in that color which is how many I think I might need for the 9 wall planters and planter on the second story.

Orange plant at left and pink plant at right which has lost its flowers

We have had a lot of rain since the house was painted. And since there is no established grass or landscaping, the dirt is already hitting up onto the house and exterior property walls making a big mess. To combat the massive amounts of water which come down on to the ground during a Malaysian rainstorm, we thought about using pebble rocks (need to see what these are actually called) all around the house so that it will absorb the rain (we need to get professionals onsite to tell us if rocks or grass would be better at absorbing the water). But for now, we are thinking about putting pebble rocks all around the house just on the outside of where the water hits the ground.

The arrow shows where the water comes down off the roof and has eroded the land

The rest of the landscaping for now will be grass. I had wanted to make a space for a vegetable garden in the back, but we are not sure the soil is good for it so we will just plant grass. Most likely we will go with Cow Grass which is a local type grass instead of the more expensive Carpet Grass which is harder to maintain and harder to take when it is first put in.

I have been looking for BIG black planters or dark grey to put on the front tiled sections and patio. There are many beautiful flowering plants that can go in them or palm-tree-type trees that can be planted in big pots. A few of these big plants and then the colored flowering plants in the wall planters and second story planter, that should be all the landscaping we do for now. There is aleady wiring on the ground all around the property, but we won’t do any spotlight/accent lights on the landscaping for now.

Below are some photos of where I am thinking of using pebbles, this is the first day I did the sectioning off, so I might change it. May add more pebbles outside the patio, not sure. The sample pebble bag I bought in ‘grey’ when put down seems too blue!

So we will be looking for a more grey or a lighter grey pebble to use. The other question was if we should use the big large Asian pebbles in some parts (maybe around the patio) these are very common in Malaysian and Singaporean landscape design. But at the present moment I think we will go only with the small pebbles which are being used in more comtemporary architecture whereas I think the large stones make the property look more ‘tropical’. We’ll see what the professionals think. Actually, I don’t think the large stones cost much more than the small pebbles so if we go with the small pebbles it is mainly for aesthetic reasons not cost.

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